Synopsis 05×19: Sherlock and Joan investigate the death of a private investigator and a mysterious John Doe that ends up being connected to a court house shooting in the 70’s. They do this while trying to reconcile the current situation with Shinwell after he threatened Sherlock, told him to stay out of his way, and kicked the crap out of him.
Later in the morning Joan confronted Sherlock about it, letting him know that his behavior had not gone unnoticed and he pointed out that she had been trying to keep busy, too. They both agreed that there was not anything for them to do unless they wanted to out Shinwell as an informant.
Joan coped by heading down to the precinct to help look over a few things while Sherlock stayed at the Brownstone to work out his mood.
The next case dropped onto their plate when two bodies were found, at least one having been burned alive inside of a crematorium. This one got Sherlock out of the house. The M.E. determined that two people had burned and among the rubble were the remains of a specific leg/foot brace that may help them find out who had died. Sherlock was able to identify the other body himself due to a high school ring that had not completely burned. He recognized it and knew it belonged to Frederick Kirby, a man Sherlock described as “the worst private investigator in NYC.”
Dental records confirmed Sherlock’s discovery and they assumed that the other unidentified body was that of his driver and friend who assisted him in his investigations. Joan and Sherlock searched through Kirby’s office and found a stack of restraining orders all from family members of individuals who died in a shooting from the 70’s. It seemed that Kirby had been interested in the shooting and his investigation was not going well.
Sherlock let the Captain know about the shooting connection and showed him a badge that had been found in Fred’s office. It looked like he had gone undercover into the courthouse and Sherlock wanted to know why. On his way out, he ran into the current President of the New York Order of Private Investigators and was not exactly impressed, though the gentleman was nice. He was less impressed when he found out he and Joan were registered members.
Speaking of Joan, she went to talk to the widow of the bailiff who rushed the shooter in the 70’s. He survived, but had died a couple years before the current case from an unrelated disease. At the house, Joan got hit on by a friend of the son who wanted her to come watch them play baseball. The widow chased the boys off and explained to Joan that no one involved with the shooting was angry with Fred, merely annoyed because they wanted him to leave them alone. She said she believed Fred was after “murder-bilia” – trying to collect personal affects from the shooting to sell them to enthusiasts.
Joan returned to the Brownstone to find a spiteful Sherlock. He plastered a bench with an advertisement for her services as a detective and told her he was irked that they were enrolled in the PI organization. Sherlock went on a rant about their lack of standards, Joan called him a snob and seemed generally not bothered by his tantrum. They switched gears to the case and she filled him in on what the widow told her but shared that she did not really see the connection.
Thankfully Sherlock had the connection and after examining the memorial at the courthouse said that Kirby had stolen four bloody pocket constitutions and replaced them with fake blood covered ones. He linked it to a Chernobyl conspiracy, which claimed that the men behind the explosion had been working on behalf of the American government and were given new identities. Maybe some of the men being sworn in on the day of the shooting were the spies and the shooter knew it, or at least believed it to be the truth. Kirby may have wanted to test the blood for radioactive markers.
They went to the lab to talk to the gentleman who ran discounted samples for Kirby and he looked at them like they were nuts when they mentioned radioactivity. He had been asked to run a paternity test because Kirby was working for a young man named Carter Gibson who believed someone that was shot that day might have been his real father. The lab tech told Joan and Sherlock that Gibson “had a temper” and they should look into him.
Sherlock decided he was going to destroy the PI organization, Joan told him he was displacing his anger about Shinwell onto them. Later she filled Bell in on the case. They found out that the courthouse shooter was Gibson’s father and Gibson had changed his name to try and distance himself from the incident. When they went to talk to him they found the bloody scene of a fight and found another leg brace. It turned out the second man who had been burned to death was actually Gibson, not Kirby’s associate.
Sherlock identified the murder weapon as a heavy marble ball which had been an award for Gibson’s work doing fundraising for a genetic disease he had called CMT. They started to put the pieces together and realized that maybe Gibson’s “father” went on a shooting rampage because he found out the truth about his son and was mad at his wife about it.
The President of the PI organization showed up at the brownstone to ask Sherlock to consider backing off long enough for him to fix the organization. He recognized that the standards had crashed and burned and he became the president because he wanted to fix it. Sherlock said he would back off until he was done solving Kirby’s case.
Puzzled by blood splatter at the crime scene Sherlock tried to recreate it in Joan’s bedroom with fake blood and coconuts. He determined that the only way to get the right splatter would be if someone had pitched the ball at Gibson’s head at “major league” speeds. That is when it clicked for Joan. She realized the son of the bailiff, Houston, played baseball. They brought him in and confronted him, claiming he had killed Gibson to keep it quiet that he had CMT because it could ruin his pitching career. He was about to admit it when they were interrupted because his pitching coach confessed to the murders.
They did not believe the pitching coach did it but there was blood in his trunk and he knew what the murder weapon was. Sherlock returned to the brownstone to clean up and told Joan he was going to destroy the PI organization. As he tossed the coconut into the garbage can it made a bang and Joan told him it was the same sound that had been made the night of the murder. It led them to the murder weapon, poorly disposed of in a garbage can, which allowed them to arrest Houston and solve the case.
When Joan followed up with Sherlock about the organization he explained that what it was had gone away, but he worked with the President to help re-brand and re-structure, which included re-instituting the original private investigator exam. Joan got to be the one to test it out.