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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Concocting a Killer

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Mr. Shanley, how does it feel to be a free man?


I-I really can't describe it.

I'm just...

I'm so glad to have my life back.

Were you surprised the judge ruled in your favor?

I'm innocent.

I fought this appeal myself

because I knew if I stood before the judge

and showed him what was in my heart,

he'd have to set me free.

What will you do with your first day of freedom?

I want to see my son.

In fact, he should be here with my ex-wife.


GUS: Philip!

Look at you.

You're all grown up.

I haven't seen my son in 12 years. I'm sorry.

-Mr. Shanley... -No more questions, please.

I'll be happy to speak to all of you at another time.

Just one more question.

Do you hold any ill will toward the detective

who sent you to prison?

"I hold no ill will toward Detective Murdoch.

The guilt that man must feel

for wrongfully sending an innocent man to prison

is punishment enough."

They've released him, have they?

Yes. Do you feel guilty?

Me? No.

The man is a murderer.

He deserves to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

DR. OGDEN: I can't imagine how he could have been set free.


I had another look at the case file.

If you recall, Gus Shanley killed his friend Rex Landon

by putting thallium in his cocoa one night after dinner.

We found the cocoa tin in his home.

And my test proved that it contained poison.

Are they thinking someone else may have contaminated it?

His wife was out of town.

His co-worker testified that Mr. Shanley

purchased the cocoa and thallium the day before the murder.

If the victim was a friend of his, what was the motive?

Mr. Shanley believed the man

was being too forward with his wife.

We found a series of threatening anonymous letters

that a handwriting expert determined Mr. Shanley wrote.

Then the evidence was sound. So why was he released?

Apparently, Doctor, you made a mistake.


Judge's report.

Seems that Shanley found some lab man in New York City

who proved your initial testing could have been wrong.

"Thallium mistaken for other nonpoisonous elements"?

This is nonsense.

Well, it is a rather thick file.

Perhaps it bears reading thoroughly.

But it's most likely baseless.

The Crown wants to take another look at the case,

see if there's enough evidence for a retrial.

Well, there is a preponderance here.

I'll have a full report by tomorrow morning.

Right. Uh...

The thing is, me old mucker,

they don't want you anywhere near it.

Detective Murdoch,

meet Detective Watts, new man over at Station House One.

Ah, so you're the one who botched it.

Excuse me?

Well, that's why I'm here, isn't it?

Listen, Detective Murdoch did nothing wrong.

The Crown is just worried that Shanley may claim prejudice

if the same detective reinvestigates the case.

Right, right, right. You're just biased.

The coroner's the one who botched it.

Coroners. Odd lot.

Far from reliable, to say the least.

Not to mention the smell.

Our coroner has a flawless record.

And she also happens to be my wife.

Good God, man.

You're married to the city coroner?

-Yes. -Oof. Is she pretty?

Ah, she'd have to be pretty.

I don't know how else you could tolerate

being married to a colleague.

Why don't we leave you to review the case files, Detective Watts.

Yes. Feel free to use my office if you must.

Not necessary.

The streets of this fine city are my office.

This everything?

There may be an evidence box.

But given that the case is 12 years old,

it may take some time to locate it.

Let me know when it's located.

Uh, you let me know.

I'm afraid your involvement has to end here, Detective.

-[ Laughing ] -You there.

How long have you been working here?

10 years, more or less.

There's been time off here and there.

I was incarcerated for a short while...

Were you here for the Shanley case?

-No. -Perfect.

Hopefully you'll be of more help

than the dullards at Station One.

[ Snaps fingers ] With me, Constable.

Go on, Crabtree.

Oh, Detective --

No hard feelings on leaving you

out of the investigation, I hope.

In fact, are you free for dinner?


I don't understand a word of this.

Mr. Shanley was quite clever.

He understood that if he could raise a question

about one key piece of evidence,

his entire case would have to be thrown out.

But how can he challenge a scientific laboratory test?

Well, the Crown claimed

that he poisoned his friend with thallium.

And the man did die of thallium poisoning.

Without a doubt.

And Detective Murdoch found the cocoa tin in Shanley's home.

The final piece was to prove that there had been thallium

mixed into the cocoa,

and that's where Mr. Shanley found a weak spot.

And what is the test for thallium?

Well, today we'd test the sample with a spectroscope.

There'd be no question.

12 years ago, I didn't have a spectroscope, so...

That flash of green? That's thallium.

The problem is that other metals also burn green.

So you might've seen something else

and mistaken it as thallium.

Precisely. And that's where it gets interesting.

Why would cocoa have metal in it?

-I can't think of a reason. -Well, Mr. Shanley found one.

For a brief time in the 1890s,

Callahan Cocoa used tins made of a copper alloy.

And then a scientist in New York

proved that small amounts of the copper

could leech into the tin's contents.

-And copper burns green. -It does.

A different, much duller green,

but close enough that Mr. Shanley and the judge

think I could've made a mistake.

Is that possible?

I have a way to find out.

[ Blows ]

-Where are we going, Detective? -To investigate.

To investigate what exactly?

-Should I read the case files? -Absolutely not.

The less you know, the more pure you remain.

From purity emerges truth.

From truth emerges...


-Justice. -Justice.

So it's better if I know nothing at all.

Knowing nothing allows one to see everything.

You there.

Detective Watts. Louise Cherry, Toronto Gazette.

Can you comment on the Shanley case?


What's your name, Constable?

Uh -- Uh, George --

Constable George Crabtree. But I...

Spell that for me?

Uh -- Uh, "George."

Then "crab" then "tree."

But I really know nothing about the case, I'm afraid.

Can you comment on the previous detective's investigation?

Detective Murdoch?

Well, I can tell you he's a good man.

He put an innocent man in prison.

I highly doubt that.

He's the best investigator this city has.

And an even better friend, mind you.

You know him personally?

Few know him better.

So you're top chums, then? Dearest friends?

Top chums? You didn't hear it from me.

Oh. Uh, can I help you?

Detective Murdoch. What a pleasure.

Perhaps you don't remember me.

Geraldine Hanover.

I was your key witness in the --

The Shanley case.

Miss Hanover, yes, of course I remember you.

You were his co-worker at the chemist's.

That's right!

I heard that the case has been reopened,

and I thought perhaps I might be needed.

Ah, well, a new detective has taken over the Shanley case,

but I'm sure he would be happy to hear from you.

Oh, certainly.

If I'm needed, I will help however I can.

What should I say?

Uh, I don't understand.

I can tell him whatever is necessary.

W-What's necessary is that you tell the truth.

Just like you did 12 years ago.

Do you think I'll be asked back to the courthouse?

There were so many people there that day. [ Giggles ]

Um, Miss Hanover,

you -- you did see Mr. Shanley purchase the thallium,

did you not?

I wore the prettiest dress.

I do hope it still fits.

[ Slow piano music playing ]

[ Indistinct conversations ]

Are you sure we couldn't discuss the case?

It would be inappropriate.


You live in this hotel?

Yes. Temporarily.

I'm planning to build.

My wife and I would like a place to call our own.

Our mind is where we live our lives.

The only home one needs is the human skull.

Hello. It's been a while.

-My son. -Hello.

Detective Murdoch.

Mr. Shanley.

I wanted to say,

I know you're not the only one to blame for all of this.

The past is the past.

I'm just glad I'm free and I can spend the evening with my son.

So don't be too hard on yourself, eh?

I must say, I question his sincerity.

MURDOCH: Why wouldn't you? The man's a murderer.

That remains to be seen.

I am perfectly capable of admitting

when I've made a mistake.

But given the volume of evidence in this case,

I find that nearly impossible.

Do you actually believe the man could be innocent?

Mmm. This is very good.

Do you think they have catsup here?

Detective, please.

Have you made any headway in this case?

Have you spoken to witnesses?

I suppose it can do no harm to sate your curiosity.

Shanley's ex-wife won't say anything.

Uh, that witness is now dead.

Oh, so is he.

Your handwriting man

still thinks Shanley wrote those letters.

Good. Good. Those point strongly to motive.

But I spoke to another handwriting man -- young,

up to snuff on all the new loops and so forth,

and he's not so sure.

And then there's the, uh...

-Co-worker. -The co-worker.

Miss Hanover.

Oh, yes. I spoke to her as well.

Unfortunately, I no longer

believe her testimony to be reliable.

Oh, no. You interviewed a witness?

Oh, no. She called on me.

Your involvement was to cease entirely.

Instead, it appears you are continuing to seek a conviction.

And based on what?

A visual test

done 12 years ago by a neophyte coroner?

Dr. Ogden is my wife.

Which makes it all the more likely

you're blind to her mistakes.

No, it appears this dinner was a poor idea.

Good night, Detective.

SAMUEL: Philip, what are you doing here?

I can take care of myself.

What have we here?

Those would be the son's parents.

Mr. Shanley's ex-wife and her new husband.

This is no place for a boy his age.

It's all right, son. Go on, Philip.

WATTS: Mr. Ramsay doesn't seem to care much for Mr. Shanley.

Wonder if he isn't worthy of suspicion.

How could Samuel Ramsay be under suspicion?

He didn't even know the Shanleys at the time of the murder.

-Copper. -Correct.

The man wasn't even living in Toronto at the time.

It sounds like Detective Watts' instincts

leave something to be desired.

His theories are as empty as his meaningless philosophies.

He writes his case notes on -- on detritus.

-Thallium. -Correct.

Let's say I was biased.

I sought out evidence and testimony

to prove the man was guilty.

-Copper. -Correct.

What about the laboratory reports, hmm?

Science has no bias.


Correct again.

It's obvious you can tell the difference, Julia.

It seems absurd that some wild theory

could discredit your work.

DR. OGDEN: Thallium.

And surely your reputation stands for something.

Actually that one was wrong.

It was copper?


Barium? I hadn't even considered...

I didn't intend to trick you, Doctor. I --

No, Miss James, you were right to do so.

Barium wasn't even part of the investigation.

DR. OGDEN: Yes, but that's not the point.

Today I didn't consider barium,

just as 12 years ago I hadn't considered copper.

It's possible I saw thallium

because I was looking for thallium.

So it's possible we sent an innocent man to prison?

Uh, sir, Detective,

I've been instructed not to let you inside.

Is something wrong?

They've found the evidence box.

Detective Watts has asked that Mr. Shanley be there

to witness the opening.

Couldn't they have opened the box somewhere else?

How long am I to be barred from my own station house?

Sir, I know.

I'll alert you as soon as it's safe to come inside.

George, George.

Has Detective Watts made any progress on the case?

I'm afraid I can't answer that question, sir.

-George. -Sir, I don't mean it like that.

Although he has asked that I don't speak to you,

but, sir, I'll hardly heed that directive.

What I mean, sir, is that

he's largely kept me in the dark about the case.

Most of the things he's shared with me, sir,

could be described, at best, as abstract musings.

The man's a fool.

I don't think that's entirely fair, sir.

His methods are scattered, to be sure,

but I actually find working alongside him quite inspiring.


Truth be told, sir, it evokes a feeling

not unlike when I first began working with you.


Are you both set?

Go ahead.

There won't be anything damning in there.

Ahh. There she is.

The beautiful maiden that set me free.

Oh, so you agree this is in fact

your tin of cocoa from 12 years ago?


Evidence records show this box has been untouched, Mr. Shanley,

and you've just witnessed me breaking the seal.

[ Sniffs, exhales sharply ] Not to mention it smells awful.

Okay, fine. Yes.

Of course. It's the tin.

There's no poison in it.

You won't object if we test it again?

I suppose not.

-Well, what are we waiting for? -Not a thing.

The spectroscope awaits us at the city morgue.

-"Spectro-what"? -Spectroscope.

Science has advanced at a rapid pace

over the past 12 years.

A spectroscopic analysis will leave no doubt.

Oh, no. No, no.

I won't be railroaded by another one of your "science" tests.

You want to do this "spectro" business,

I'll need to research it first.

Then we will wait until you have had time to do so.

Why bother? We can test it with or without him.

Inspector, if we take this evidence out of his sight

even for a minute,

he might turn around and accuse us of tampering with it.

The sample will be kept under lock and key

until such time as you're prepared

to oversee its examination.

[ Door locks ]

Tomorrow morning will be fine.

This is the only key,

and it will remain in this envelope

until all parties are present.

And why should I trust you?

You shouldn't.

The envelope will be sealed with both of your fingermarks.


Happy? Am I free to go?

The detective was wrong.

About what?

You're not pretty.

Excuse me?

Look at you.

Classic, Romanesque bone structure,

excellent physiognomic symmetry.

You're not pretty, you're beautiful.

Well. I suppose I'm flattered.

Why? It's merely an objective assessment.

But that necktie...

Big smile, son. This is for the papers.

[ Pops ]

That one should be a pip. Thank you, gents.

Ah, Detective Murdoch!

Join us?

Come, now.

You take 12 years of my life,

you can't spare me two minutes of your time?

I owe you nothing, Mr. Shanley.

I merely provided evidence to the Crown.

Oh, of course, of course.

It's not your fault. You were just doing your job.

I'm glad you agree.

And the lawyers were just doing their jobs,

the judge just doing his,

the jury just doing their civic duty.

The armed guards

that kept me under lock and key for 3,996 days,

They were all just doing their jobs.

When the prime of my life was flushed away,

no one was to blame.

Least of all the man who first decided I was guilty.

You killed a man, Mr. Shanley.

-Your punishment was just. -You have no proof.

You wrote the letters.

Well, your replacement doesn't think so.

The handwriting might not prove anything,

but the contents still do.

Proves nothing.

Maybe whoever wrote them wanted it to look like me.

Well, I suppose we'll have to wait till morning.

And if that tin does indeed contain thallium,

then we'll know once and for all that you are guilty.

You know, it's sad, really.

You spend all your time trying to prove I'm a villain,

'cause if I'm not, then the villain must be you.

-Well, either you or your wife. -Watch your words, Mr. Shanley.

She wanted to see me hang 12 years ago.

With this test tomorrow,

I'm sure that harridan will try to do it again.

-That's enough! -[ Pops ]

What can possibly be so important

as to have a man out of bed before 9:00?

BRACKENREID: [ Clears throat ]

Mr. Shanley has filed a lawsuit --

Continued and undue harassment by the Toronto Constabulary.

It was my fault.

He engaged me. I never should have spoken a word to him.

Honestly, Inspector, how does anyone work with this man?

He is some kind of renegade

to whom rules are a foreign concept.


WATTS: I hate to say, but this case is looking more and more

like the personal vendetta of a single police officer

against an innocent man.

I'm not in the habit of letting guilty men walk free.

I was doing my job -- and yours, coincidentally,

since you seem to be taking no action to solve this case.

Murdoch, that's enough. We have a report of another murder.

We'll continue this later.

Actually, you'd better take Detective Watts with you.

MURDOCH: When did this happen, Mrs. Ramsay?

When I woke up this morning, I found him like this.

-And you didn't hear anything? -No.

I went to bed sometime before 11:00.

I don't what could've happened.

The pick is missing from the ice chest.

That would be consistent with the wound I'm seeing here.

DOROTHY: [ Sobs ]

PHILIP: We're gonna be all right.

-[ Inhales sharply ] -Everything will be just fine.

It appears you have to step down

from this investigation too, Detective.

And I have to say you were right.

You believe Shanley is involved.

One of the neighbors saw him arriving here late last night.

Just when I'd convinced myself of his innocence.

Well, it would appear he's killed again.

So Ramsay was stabbed to death in his cellar.

Two stab wounds. Likely an ice pick.

And we think Shanley did it?

Neighbors saw him at the house late last night.

I spoke to him and the wife.

They both agree she invited him over

to discuss custody of their son.

Well, if it's about the son, that could be motive.

Shanley got worried the new husband

was standing between him and his family.


However, the victim was not present at their tête-à-tête.

They spoke, Mrs. Ramsay served martini cocktails,

then retired to bed,

leaving Shanley to see himself out.

And she never saw or heard anything after that?

Nothing. It's possible that Shanley just left.

But it's also possible that he stayed at the house,

there was some altercation with Ramsay,

and he ended up killing him.

We don't have evidence to confirm it either way.

Some of your men searched Shanley's room.


Well, it's nearly 11:00.

I believe we have a test to run on Shanley's other murder.

DR. OGDEN: I'm afraid we have a problem, gentlemen.

The key is secure,

but the cabinet itself has been breached.

I arrived this morning to find that the front door

had been forced open.

I trusted you had this in hand.

I posted men to patrol the area all night, Inspector, but...

Station One. Dullards, to a man.

We should have tested this yesterday.

Can't test it now.

Anyone could have taken that and put poison in it.

Or dumped the poison that was already in there.

Fresh as a daisy.

What, you think I'm responsible for this?

You may have scuppered this case, Shanley,

but we'll have you dead to rights

over the man that you killed last night.

[ Chuckles ] Now, this is incredible.

You have less evidence,

and you're accusing me of more murders.

-I've had enough. -You're not going anywhere.

I'm holding you till we get this sorted.

Dr. Ogden inspected the tin.

There's no residue of old cocoa

and no thallium in the new stuff.

Which further points to Mr. Shanley's guilt.

But makes it impossible to get a conviction on him.

I'm gonna have to let him go.

Should never have let Watts delay that test.

Detective Watts couldn't have anticipated this. Where is he?

He's moved on to the second murder.

He's having another look in Shanley's rooms.

Let us suppose for a moment

that Mr. Shanley is guilty of this current murder.

Now, does that make him more or less likely

to be guilty of the first?

More likely, I would say.

If a man kills once, it seems logical he might kill again.

Are you the same man today you were yesterday?

Yes, of course.

Your hair is not the same. You...

-[ Thud ] -Oh!

...cut and discarded it.

Same with your fingernails.

Over time, our entire body falls away

and is reconstituted.

How, then, can you be the same?

Well, I'm the same on the inside, I suppose.

I have the same thoughts, the same feelings.

Oh, but our thinking changes with maturity, with experience.

In truth, the continuity of personhood

may be nothing more than a delusion.

So even if Shanley was a killer last night,

the man he is today could be innocent?

Why, yes.

Yes. That's very good, Constable.

In fact, it makes me question our whole profession.

Well, Detective Watts...

...if Shanley's a different man,

looks like he'll be paying for somebody else's mistakes.

Mr. Shanley! Is it true you've been accused of a second murder?

Gus here has been helping the constabulary

sort a few things out.

I can answer for myself.

In fact, I've been accused of both a second murder

and of stealing evidence.

I'm just trying to lead my life,

and the police continue to harass me.

Is this retribution for your lawsuit?

You may have hit the nail right on top, Miss Cherry.

Go home, Shanley. You're a free man. For now.

I'm afraid not, Inspector.

Mr. Shanley is under arrest

by order of the Toronto Constabulary.

-What are you talking about? -Murder weapon.

Found under a floorboard in your rooms.

That's impossible.

I found it there myself, Mr. Shanley.

Then you put it there!

You want to see me hang!

You may not have been a killer before, Shanley,

but you certainly are today.

This is a farce! I'm innocent!

Shanley's not saying a word.

In fact, he refuses to speak to us altogether.

Surely we have enough evidence to put him away.

We found the murder weapon

in Mr. Shanley's home the first time as well.

We shouldn't take anything for granted in this case.

Well, Detective, the afternoon edition says

you've managed to fabricate evidence

against Shanley once again.


Aside from setting foot at the crime scene,

I-I haven't interfered at all.

The newspapers seem to think

the constable who found the murder weapon

is your "top chum."

Yeah, I-I didn't exactly say that.

She said "top chum," and then I...

She is very sneaky.

She will ask you a question one day

and then apply it later in a completely different context.

It is truly impossible to investigate a case

outside of your influence, isn't it, Detective?

Right, that's enough.

We're all on the same side here, so let's start acting like it.

Crabtree didn't plant that ice pick,

and Murdoch didn't ask him to.

Yes, well, I tend to believe you there.

This one's a good egg, without a doubt.

But the case is a shambles regardless.

Could Mr. Shanley be a victim of fabricated evidence?


I've led the investigation myself.

Well, someone else could have left the ice pick there.

That's right. There were two searches.

And nothing was found the first time around.

The floorboard was conspicuously unseated.

It's hard to imagine anyone would've missed it.

Between the first search and the second,

someone could've gone in and planted the murder weapon.

And if Mr. Shanley was indeed the killer,

he had several hours to dispose of it.

Why bring the ice pick back to his rooms?

I will take another look at that ice pick.

-I'll go with you. -Detective...

I've been held off of this case for long enough.

And we are all on the same side here, correct?

Oh. That is fair.

[ Snaps fingers ] With me, Detective.

[ Snaps fingers ]

I suppose we'll never know

if you were right about the thallium.

Short of a confession, I imagine we won't.

But perhaps we can ascertain Mr. Shanley's guilt

in this latest murder.

Take a look at this.

REBECCA: Bruise from the hilt. Deep.

Likely pierced the heart.

Almost certainly. Now look at the second wound.

REBECCA: Same size.

Probably the same implement.

Oh, my.

These are Shanley's fingermarks.

WATTS: That seals it, then.

However, some of the marks are smudged,

as if this weapon was handled with gloves or a cloth.

I picked it up with my handkerchief.

No, these smudges occurred while the blood was still fresh.

I think it's unlikely that Mr. Shanley

would have stabbed a man with his bare hand

and then placed gloves on his hands

to handle the weapon after the fact.


Mr. Ramsay was killed with a single stab wound to the heart.

No, he was stabbed twice, as I recall.

Indeed, but the second wound

has no bruising or discoloration.

It was inflicted at least half an hour after death.

I can only think of one reason to stab a man

long after he is already dead.

To apply fresh blood to the weapon.

Let's piece together what we know.

On a blackboard? Nonsense.

We need to get out of doors, Detective.

The truth is in the air. [ Inhales deeply ]

We must breathe it in.

Someone else handled that ice pick.

Which means Mr. Shanley was telling the truth.

-About that, yes. -Release your suspicions.

If he told the truth once,

he may have told it again and again

about everything.

All right.

So he went to the house.

She had him make ice for the martini cocktails.

But then Mr. Shanley left after Mrs. Ramsay went to sleep.

Leaving Mrs. Ramsay in the house with her husband.

We did find a report for that address from some time ago,

but all it said was, "Family conflict, no arrest."

Is that so?

Indulge me, Detective.

Let us put ourselves in the mind of Mrs. Ramsay.

It's late at night.

I've just met with my ex-husband.

I'm in the mood for another drink.

I need more ice. I go down to the cellar.

-And that's when... -My husband comes in.

Can I give you a hand?

WATTS: I detest him.

The man has been cruel to me for years.

MURDOCH: So much so that I once had to

telephone the police.

This is my chance.

I stab him through the chest.

I've killed him. I'm going to jail. Unless...

Unless I can lay the blame elsewhere.

I just happen to know a renowned killer.

But how can I make him look good for it?

The murder happened before Mr. Shanley came to the house.

Of course.

I invite him over expressly so the neighbors can later say

he was at the scene of the crime.

But how can I get his fingermarks

onto the murder weapon?

She wiped the ice pick clean.

Then Mr. Shanley had to use it to chip the ice.

Once he'd touched it, all she had to do

was stab the corpse once more and cover it with blood.

Crackerjack! I believe we have it.

Are you going to ask me something?


Oh. No. What would be the point?

We both know you didn't do it.

Then why am I here?

We have to blame someone.

The function of the police is to attribute blame

on behalf of the community,

but the community doesn't particularly care

if we blame the right person.

Of course they do.

You can't put me away if I'm innocent.

Why not?

Man has been using scapegoats since Leviticus.

The sins were placed upon the goat,

the goat was banished to the desert,

but no one cared that the goat was innocent.

You're the police. You have to care.

Fine. Then who did it?

-Gus Shanley. -Oh.

Was that why you tried to kill him?

What? I did no such thing!

You didn't try to kill Mr. Shanley this morning?


Then why were you at his building?

Witnesses saw you there. Do you deny it?

No, but...

If you knew he was the killer,

why would you go there if not to seek revenge?


What other reason could there be?

[ Inhales sharply ] Oh, yes.

No, there -- there is one other reason, isn't there?

To plant the murder weapon.

Oh, and his little teeth are coming in.

Constable "crab" then "tree."

I've been looking all over for you.

I don't have time, Miss Cherry.

You aren't angry with me, are you?

I only wrote what you told me.

You made it look like I was planting evidence.

I posed a question.

My readers draw their own conclusions.

They draw their conclusions based on what you write.

The written word is a powerful thing, Miss Cherry,

and you used it to paint me as a gormless patsy

aiding a police conspiracy

headed up by the vile and corrupt Detective Murdoch.

You have to admit it makes a good story.

Just give me two minutes, and then go back to hating me.

-No. -[ Sobbing ]

Oh, good God.

All right, all right, two minutes.


This morning I was going through the Ramsays' trash...

Their trash? To what end?

I was hoping to piece together some details for a story.

"The Last Hours of Samuel Ramsay" --

last meal, last cigar, that sort of thing.

But I found something much better.


There was fresh cocoa in that old Callahan tin, was there not?

This could be the source of the new cocoa.

Yes, but it's empty.

The only thing that would have been of help

is the old cocoa itself.

Then it's a good thing I found that too.


Found in the same trash can.

Friends again, Constable?

If you don't try that fake-crying act anymore.

[ Sniffs ] Oof!

That's it, without a doubt. So who stole it from the morgue?

WATTS: It doesn't matter.

We'll never be able to prove it's the same cocoa.

Can't we just test how old it is?

We don't have a method any more scientific than your smell test.

Then this new tin is quite useless.

Ah, but thank you, Constable.

This man, he impresses, he impresses,

he impresses again.

How did you find it?

Interesting story there, actually.

Remember the journalist who I said was very sneak--

Apologies, Constable.

I look forward to hearing

the rest of your account in all its detail,

but I have the overwhelming sense

our associate here has a notion brewing.

There might be a way.

WATTS: What am I looking at?

DR. OGDEN: That is a spectroscopic analysis

of the cocoa found in the old cocoa tin.

After the break-in, of course.

So we can assume that cocoa is new.

And the reason you see nothing

is because it contains no metallic elements.

Which fits with our theory that Mr. Shanley swapped it out.

No surprise.

Now, this is the cocoa found in the Ramsays' garbage.

The bright-green line you see,

that proves that the cocoa contains thallium -- poison.

Yes, yes. Fine. But this is of no help.

Mr. Shanley will argue

we've merely found some unrelated individual's cocoa

which just happens to be contaminated with thallium.

We can't prove it came from his tin.

Have another look, Detective.

The bright-green line you see --

To the right, there is another green line.

WATTS: All right. What of it?

That line, Detective Watts, is copper.


The only way copper can come to be found in cocoa

is if it came from a copper tin.

New tins contain no copper.

So this cocoa is old.

We can say with utter certainty that this cocoa

spent years in the same type of tin

as the one that sat in evidence for over a decade.

Sweet Mary, you two are something else!

Good news, Mr. Shanley.

We have proof someone else hid the ice pick in your rooms.

GUS: [ Chuckles ]

The police have finally stumbled into the truth, eh?

Your ex-wife invited you over that night.

Whilst there, she had you make ice, did she not?

She did.

The martini cocktails needed a chill.

But you did not go down to the cellar.

No. She had a block in the sink.

Think back, Mr. Shanley.

Is this the ice pick that you used that night?

Yes. I think that's Dorothy's.

Oh, dear God.

You're not saying that she's the one.

She invited you over.

She arranged it so you would handle the murder weapon.

I can't believe it.

She stabbed the corpse to cover it in blood,

and she planted it under your floorboards.

The woman I married could never do such a thing.

Well, people change.

I-I suppose so. [ Clears throat ]

So if that's all...

I'm afraid it's not, Mr. Shanley.

What? Why not?

The missing cocoa has been found.

And we have irrefutable proof

that it does indeed contain poison.

You might have some powder with thallium in it,

but you can't prove it's mine.

Oh, but we've done just that.

You see, a doctor in New York City

has had a very unusual theory.

Particles from a copper alloy tin

can leech into the tin's contents.

You see, the same clever discovery that set you free

is also the detail that will put you back behind bars.

Who took it?

-Who took what? -The cocoa.

Someone stole it, I presume to protect me.

I guess you found them out.

Who was it?

-Why would he say that? -I can't imagine.

-Maybe he didn't do it. -His ex-wife?

-But why? -You're right.

Then, who?

Of course.

They've proven it, have they?

You're hardly in a position to look down on me, Dorothy.

I suppose they won't be letting me out anytime soon, either.

Actually, Mrs. Ramsay,

you're free to go.

What? She killed a man and made it look like I did it.

We know you covered up the murder

and planted the ice pick.

You'll likely face charges for obstruction of justice,

but you didn't kill him, did you?


Detective, please. You can't...



He's the one who broke into the morgue.

He stole that cocoa to protect you, Mr. Shanley.

GUS: Philip...

-No. -Dad, I had to.

They were gonna put you back in jail.

Don't say another word. I won't let you go to prison.

MURDOCH: He's already confessed, Mr. Shanley.

To all of it.

I didn't mean for any of this to happen.

I took that cocoa to protect you, Father.

I was trying to hide it when he came in. He saw me.

What have you done?

I'm calling the police this minute.

I'll see to it your father rots behind bars.

[ Gasps ]

You did this! This is your fault!

I didn't know anything about it!

I did nothing.

You're a murderer, Gus.

And instead of owning up to it, you hid behind a bunch of lies.

Lies your son believed.

He thought he was saving you.

You made him a killer!


Can I entrust nothing to those fools?

Is everything all right, Detective?

The ignorami at Station One have done it again.

I clearly told them to release the man

who looks like Karl Marx.

They've let out some fellow

who's as clean-shaven as bloody Kierkegaard.

-Who? -Oh.

Maybe I wasn't clear in my instructions.

Ah, well. Duty calls.

Fine working with you gents.

You as well.

We got it right in the end, even if this case did remind us

that we are all fallible at times.

Fallible? How so? You were right all along.

Oh. Well, I...

So was your wife, as it turned out.

She is an impressive woman.

There is no doubt you were a fool for marrying a colleague,

but I suspect that's one blunder you won't regret.

Thank you.

She's not pretty, though.

I don't know where you got that idea.

Should I be offended?

I haven't the foggiest.

The Description of Concocting a Killer