Season 17 - Episode 6: Profiteer

Episode 6: Profiteer

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Gary Howard, the CEO of military equipment contractor Presidio, is shot dead as he escorts his daughter to her sixteenth birthday party. Given the contentious nature of the victim’s line of work, Cassady and Green immediately start to cast about for enemies. Howard’s right-hand man, Bill Whitney, tells them that Howard was recently threatened by anti-war protesters. “These left wing conspiracy nuts think we're kicking back money to the White House for taking us to war,” he says grimly.

The next day, Howard’s widow receives an unmarked package containing a purple heart medal of the sort traditionally given to the families of soldiers killed or seriously wounded in action. The name Matt Garcia is engraved on the back, but the Howard family claims not to know the man. It transpires that Garcia was killed in action in Iraq eight months earlier. “By sending the purple heart, the killer must be somehow blaming Howard for Garcia’s death,” Cassady speculates.

Green and Cassady track down Garcia’s widow, who still has the original purple heart that she received after her husband’s death. She claims not to know exactly how he was killed, but puts the detectives in touch with an old army buddy of his, Alan Crockett. The soldier gives Cassady and Green short shrift, but reveals that Garcia died because his bulletproof vest –made by Presidio – was faulty. He also mentions that a soldiers’ advocacy group named American Shield took up the case after Garcia’s death.

At American Shield HQ, an employee reveals that the group had tried and failed to get an investigation started into Presidio’s equipment. She also tells the detectives about a phone call the charity received from a man claiming to be a military investigator, who asked for the name of Presidio’s CEO. She also hands over an anonymous note blaming Presidio for Garcia’s death, which was received by the charity some months earlier. Further examination reveals two sets of fingerprints on the letter – one belonging to Crockett, and the other to his comrade Kenny Ellis.

Crockett’s phone records reveal that he was in regular contact with Ellis in the build up to the murder. Under pressure from detectives, he cracks and reveals that Garcia once saved Ellis’s life, and as a result Ellis was utterly shattered by his friend’s death. “You’ve got all this respect for your fellow soldier,” Green tells him, sympathetically. “You need to help us bring him in peacefully, otherwise we’re going to go in there and hunt him down like a dog.”

Crockett leads the detectives to Ellis, whom they find holding a gun to his head. The troubled young man surrenders after Green talks him down, and he admits to shooting Howard. However, Ellis’s legal team plans to plead not guilty on the grounds that the soldier is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. “You don’t have to leave a limb on the battlefield to be wounded,” his psychiatrist tells McCoy. Rubirosa and McCoy set about trying to get a murder charge to stick, but in the process they uncover some disturbing truths about Presidio and Bill Whitney...

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