August 21, 2010
When Nikki returns from her internship in California, she learns that Florence, a woman who sometimes borrows her house, was attacked on the premises. Nikki learns from Florence’s story that the Un-Ceelie saved Florence from a beating.
Sybil interviews Florence and announces that the people waiting at Nikki’s house were Italian mobsters.
Ceelie, Ehud, and Sybil try to extract information from the mobsters by sweeping the streets. They eventually meet Gillespie, who says he’s the straw man, someone who’s been elected to deal with masks. Gillespie indicates that, after some difficulties with another mobster, he’ll contact the team with further information within an hour. The team goes on to cause more trouble, and Nikki joins them.
Gillespie tells them the mobsters were looking for a video camera and a bag of money. Phillip Spence hid these items with Nikki’s mother. Phillip Spence was Nikki’s mother’s lover. The team procures an address and phone number for Phillip Spence, who’s been recently released from prison.
The crime for which Spence was arrested was a blackmail case, the target of which was a city councilman who eventually became district attorney and then mayor. From the vigor of the prosecution it seems that Spence had developed enemies who wanted to put him away for a long time. Spence was a bartender at the strip club where Nikki’s mother worked.
The team goes to Nikki’s house to look for Spence’s camera and money. Ehud finds a hidden area where they find both the camera and the money, pristine Confederate currency.
Nikki views the silent movie developed from the film and finds that it’s a piece of kinky amateur pornography starring an underage girl and two men, one a director. It turns out to be a torture film. The girl is unusually resistant to the damage inflicted on her (although it turns out that that’s due to the expertise of the torturers, not any inherent ability in the victim).
Gil later recognizes one of the men as his father, William Patrick Lochland.
Ceelie looks at a picture of one of the medical examiners responsible for writing the report on a Jane Doe who died of stab wounds, and one of them looks like he could be the father of the other man in the movie. The team guesses that the other man might be Leonard Berkshire, head of Sacred Heart Hospital and potential president of Crescent City University.
Gil goes to visit his family home and has a conversation with his mother while he’s looking for a connection to the Berkshires in his father’s things. His mother suggests that any evidence of William’s wrong-doing has already been destroyed by an employee.
Kessling brings the team a box of missing-persons files from the appropriate time, and Ehud finds the picture of the victim. Ceelie, Ehud, and Sybil goes to visit Winston Bloqzk, Crescent City’s sole cold-case investigator. Ehud asks Bloqzk to help him identify the victim.