A beggar loudly asks for money from several people waiting for a bus.
"Ladies and gentleman! I am not a criminal! I just need some money for my medicine. So help me not break the law! Thank you!"
He goes through the line, thanking a man who gives him money. He eventually gets to an older couple who turn away from him. He becomes irate, yelling that he's not going to go anywhere.
"I've got news for you, Mr. Rockefeller! I've got NO PLACE TO GO!"
He asks more people for money, yelling at the people who are staring or pointedly ignoring him that he has just as much right to be on the street as they do. One man in particular, standing just on the edge of the street, smirks at him. Suddenly, a truck accelerates down the road. The smirking man falls into the street and is run over.
The truck driver complains that he will have to go to court to testify. Briscoe asks for his statement, and the driver says that the dead man dove in front of his truck.
"He wants to kill himself, what does he got to use me for?"
—Truck driver and Lennie Briscoe
The driver says that he had no chance to swerve aside or turn.
Logan is talking to two of the people who were waiting for the bus. One, Elvira Juarez, says that she's sure that the homeless man pushed the dead man in front of the truck on purpose. The two give a description of the beggar, but don't know his face. Briscoe then interviews the older couple who turned away from the beggar.
"I work for a living. I'll be damned if I give it away."
The woman of the couple, Lillian, wonders if they should have given the beggar something, but the man says that the beggar's cup was a $3.00 coffee cup, so he thought the beggar didn't need money. Then an officer calls over Logan, saying that another witness, Sam Keeley, was standing next to the victim. Keeley, however, didn't see anything, since he was looking away when the man was pushed in front of the truck. Another officer shows the detectives the dead man's ID card, which identifies him as Harry Renkmeyer. Renkmeyer's corpse is wheeled past the detectives.
"I guess he should have given the guy a quarter, huh?"
A waitress at the café where they sell the coffee in cups like the one the beggar had says that the café offers a free refill, so homeless people often take the cups out of the trash and try to get a free drink. She recognizes the beggar from Logan's description of him. He lives in the neighborhood, but the waitress doesn't know where. Later, an officer identifies the beggar as Rudy. Rudy is often at a psychiatric ward, but when he's not at the ward, he lives in an abandoned building in the area. Rudy isn't home, though, and the officer says that the detectives will have to come back at night. They decide to go talk to Rodgers instead.
Rodgers tells the detectives that there's almost nothing left of Renkmeyer. His wife Joan called, but Rodgers doesn't want Joan to show up until Renkmeyer is put back together. She also wants to verify that the body is really Renkmeyer's — his body was so mangled that an identification is nearly impossible. She did find ripped blue fibers under Renkmeyer's fingernails; they are presumably from the clothes of whoever pushed him.
The detectives walk through the abandoned building, looking for Rudy. They hear a man making guitar noises with his mouth, and follow the sound to a corner. Rudy is there.
"Hey, now, BABY! Wa-oh-wa-oh-wa..."
Rudy is arrested.
In interrogation, he complains about the system, which he says let him down. He adds that he hates the rich people who spend lots of money on fancy clothes but won't give him a quarter. He denies shoving Renkmeyer.
"We got a whole crowd of people who saw you there, Rudy."
"You know, it's funny. They don't notice me when my hand's out, asking for change."
—Michael Logan and Rudy
He argues that the death will hurt Rudy's attempts to panhandle on that corner. The detectives arrest him anyway.
"...what's the charge?"
—Rudy and Lennie Briscoe
Later, Rudy's lawyer wants him released. She says that there's no evidence against Rudy; he was just nearby when the murder occurred. Van Buren says that Rudy was hassling the public, but the lawyer points out that this isn't evidence related to the homicide. Logan comes in, saying that the fibers under Renkmeyer's fingers don't match anything Rudy was wearing. Van Buren orders the detectives to go back to square one.
Rodgers tells the detectives more about the corpse.
"He definitely got run over by a truck."
She clarifies that the truck didn't kill Renkmeyer — he was shot. He was hit in the heart and fell over, ending up in the truck's path. Logan says that they need to start looking for a shell.
Joan is confused about the latest turn of the investigation. The detectives ask if Harry had been threatened by anyone, but she says no. They ask about his work, so she says that he was the Chief Financial Officer of a baby food supplier. The detectives then leave and go to the crime scene, where a CSU team found a .32 shell in a sewer grating.
At Nature's Way Baby Food headquarters, the detectives are introduced to the co-owners of the company, Ann Madsen and Steven Green. Green wonders if Rudy was stalking Harry, but Logan says that someone else killed him. Madsen and Green find this unlikely. Madsen says that Harry was utterly dependable with no bad habits, and was well-compensated. Logan asks if Renkmeyer wanted more money and wonders if Harry had a gambling problem or a mistress for which he would need money, but Madsen doubts this.
"Harry was so conservative we used to make fun of his button-down shirt."
Logan wonders if Harry had fired anyone recently, and Madsen mentions a bookkeeper named Ingra Torvald that Harry let go a year ago. Steven interrupts and says that there had been fighting between Harry and Joan. The fighting had been about a supposed mistress of Harry's.
Ingra Torvald admits that, after several late nights in the office, she and Harry had begun an affair. He didn't spend a lot of money, but they did make plans for Harry to divorce Joan and marry her. It didn't work out, though, and Harry fired Torvald. Later, Logan wonders if Torvald did it when Harry wouldn't leave Joan and fired her. He also wonders if Joan might have done it. Briscoe doubts that Joan knew about the affair, but Logan thinks that she did.
Joan tells the detectives that she ordered Harry to stop seeing Torvald and Harry did. She insists that Harry must have lied about the divorce plans to Ingra. She adds that the two wanted to stay together, especially after their child Sam was born. She eventually says that Harry became unhappy at work after the affair and the new child. He wanted a second job. She also recalls that, late at night a few weeks ago, he threw out all of the Nature Way's baby food in the house.
"He just said, 'We're not feeding this to Sam anymore.'"
The detectives tell Van Buren what they know. Briscoe says that Green and Madsen said everything was fine at work, but at home Harry sent out resumes and was so dissatisfied that he discarded all of his company's baby food. Logan wonders if the baby food was the reason Harry was dissatisfied, and thinks something may be wrong with it. Briscoe doubts this and thinks that Harry just got rid of the food because it reminded him of the job he disliked. Van Buren says that they'll check the books of Nature's Way.
The forensic accountant says that Nature's Way had a classic start-up problem. They had to pay for supplies to make the baby food, but wouldn't receive sales income for months. Their brand was so popular that they were going broke paying to have it produced, but wouldn't get money back for some time. Briscoe guesses that the company got a loan, but the accountant says that banks don't generally support new ideas. Madsen got a loan, but had to put up her personal assets as collateral at an exorbitant rate. The bank called the loan six months ago, though.
A bank employee says that the timing was great for the loan, since the bank was under pressure to help female entrepreneurs. The loan was called, though, because the accounts were out of balance. The inventory and receivables weren't high enough by the bank's standards. The employee says she tried to save the company, but couldn't. The detectives wonder how Madsen paid back the part of the loan she spent when the loan was called, and the employee says that she got Green as a new partner.
Briscoe wonders if Madsen lied to them about when Green started, and says that the company seems to have no income and yet is still in business. He also points out that most banks wouldn't just give Green the two million. Logan adds that it was the CFO, Renkmeyer, that died mysteriously. They think the mob is involved.
Madsen and Green say that none of their investors were corrupt. Briscoe wonders why Renkmeyer wanted to quit; the others claim they didn't know about it. They also deny knowing why Renkmeyer didn't want to feed his baby the company's baby food anymore. Logan says that Harry was in finance and might have noticed that the company was running with no income, but Madsen says that Green took care of that. Green says that he pledged his own assets for a new loan, and when asked why this loan wasn't in the company's books, says that the new financiers like to operate quietly.
"Okay, where can we find them?"
"Why, detective? Do you have an idea for a new product?"
—Michael Logan and Steven Green
Logan insists, so Madsen says she'll get them the information.
The detectives find a small building with the nameplate of Brookings Ventures. The secretary says they need an appointment, but won't say who with — she says they can leave their numbers and her boss will call them. Logan, exasperated, says this won't work. She insists that she knows nothing, and says something in Russian. A guy behind her raises his hand, and she goes over to yell at him.
"I don't think these people are exactly going to give City Bank a lot of competition."
They decide to ask Madsen what's going on.
Madsen says that Green saved her; the bank was going to take her house and her company was going to collapse. Steven, however, got her the capital. She never met the Brookings Ventures people, but trusts Green. She adds that Green is actually Russian, but took a new name upon entering the country. His old name was Sasha Gruskov. Briscoe asks about interest on the loan, and Madsen says that they paid 25%. Briscoe says that this is one point below usury rates. Madsen says she noted that too, but had little choice in the matter.
Van Buren says that the Gruskov family is a major player in the Russian mob, mostly in financial and sex crimes.
"The Mafia's taking lessons from them."
—Anita Van Buren
They discuss the high interest loan, which was actually low for a Gruskov loan, and Van Buren doubts that Madsen was completely ignorant. Logan thinks that Renkmeyer knew what was going on, since he brought Green onboard in the first place. Profaci comes in, saying that they have a partial fingerprint on the shell. The new system doesn't have many prints in the database yet, but as luck would have it, there is a match with the shell they found. The print belongs to Nikolai Rostov. He has multiple assault crimes on his record, and lives in Brighton Beach, which is Gruskov territory. They go to arrest Rostov.
At Rostov's apartment, the building super is unhappy about breaking into Rostov's rooms, but Briscoe doesn't care. The super says that Rostov has money and a good car. The detectives find silk suits and .32 ammunition. Then Rostov comes in, sees the detectives, and runs. The detectives chase Rostov up several flights of stairs and onto the roof. Logan tackles Rostov just before he reaches the edge. Rostov drops a duffel bag as he falls. As Logan Mirandizes Rostov, Briscoe finds a .32 gun in Rostov's bag.
At arrangement, Judge Morris Torledsky reads the charges in wry amusement.
"Shoots a man, pushes him under a truck. I've heard of overkill but this is ridiculous."
Rostov pleads not guilty. Despite the efforts of Lawrence Weaver, his attorney, Torledsky remands him.
Schiff is excited that they can take down Green, who was suspected of being in the Russian mob for six years. Stone cautions that they only have Rostov, not Green. Schiff says that they will flip Rostov, and asks about motive. Kincaid says that the issue was tainted food. The USDA confirmed that the baby food was contaminated, and in fact just shut down the company. Stone says that Renkmeyer could have destroyed the company by going public, which would cost the Gruskovs two million dollars. Kincaid remarks that she's surprised that the Gruskovs didn't try other means of persuasion, but Schiff just says the Russian mob is brutal. Stone says that Russian mobsters are hard to flip.
"Twist him till he's a corkscrew. Make it work."
In a conference room in jail, Weaver says that Rostov owns an ice cream parlor and isn't a hitman. He adds that the lineup witnesses were inconclusive and often picked a wrong man.
"...eyewitnesses are like dessert. They're nice but they're not necessary."
Kincaid brings up the shell casing with Rostov's prints, and the fibers under Harry's fingernails which were matched to Rostov's coat. Weaver says that the slug wasn't matched to the bullet, nor the bullet to the gun. Stone doesn't think this is enough, but Weaver points out that there's no motive. Kincaid says that Green had motive, and Weaver sighs that the trial is becoming about the mob, but says that the judge will block this.
"You won't even get to order chicken kiev for lunch."
Weaver asks what the offer is. Stone says that he'll offer manslaughter 1 if Rostov names Steven Green as the person who ordered the hit. He tells Rostov that he'll be convicted despite Weaver's claims. Stone then guesses that the Gruskovs are paying Weaver's fees, and that Weaver will protect their interests before Rostov's. Weaver advises Rostov to go back to his cell, and Rostov does so. Weaver smirks.
Fetzer, an agent of the Organized Crime Control Bureau, says that Green's cousins built up the Gruskov family. He adds that Rostov killed a state witness that was out on bail before, and another witness against the Gruskovs was killed by another Gruskov worker, Joseph Andreyev, while in prison. As for Green, he moved to Brooklyn and apparently left the business. Fetzer believes that Green's still in the mob, but there's no evidence.
Stone gripes to Kincaid that they can't mention the Russian Mob without more evidence. Kincaid says that they'll get Rostov, but Stone wants Green. Kincaid brings up Madsen, saying she might know something. Stone tells Kincaid to talk to Madsen.
Madsen says that she didn't know Green was in the mob, or even that the Russian Mob had a presence on Brighton Beach (where she knew the investors were from). She recognizes a photo of Rostov, saying that he was in Green's office the night before Renkmeyer was shot. At Kincaid's prompting, Madsen says that Harry had found out that Green was buying apricots from Poland for the baby food. The apricots, Harry said, were moldy, and the baby food could be contaminated. Harry said that he'd go to the USDA. Green told Madsen that Harry was wrong and that he'd talk to Harry and reassure him. A week later, Harry wound up dead. Madsen protests that she asked Green if he was involved, and he said no.
"I didn't know about his family."
She then says that Green knows that Madsen saw Rostov in the office, and since Rostov's picture was in the paper, Green knows that Madsen knows who Rostov is. She's worried about testifying.
Schiff doesn't think Madsen is enough.
"...I can put my barber on Broome Street together with half the hit men in the city."
Schiff says that, since Rostov owned an ice cream business, they could have been discussing some kind of ice cream for babies, or something like that. It's not plausible, but a jury might buy it.
"Never ask a jury to think."
Schiff says that they need to connect Green to the Gruskovs.
Stone presents Fetzer's findings to Judge Margaret Barry. Weaver says that the only connection between Green and the Gruskovs is that they're all Russian, but Barry is willing to hear Stone out. Stone says that, by referencing the mob, they can show the motive — Rostov shot Renkmeyer to save a two million dollar mob loan. Weaver protests that there is no evidence. Barry asks what Stone has, but he only has old arrests of Gruskov employees and that Rostov rented from the Gruskovs. Weaver points out that there's still no evidence linking Green to the Gruskovs.
"Your Honor. Allow this; it's guilt by association."
Stone brings up the meeting between Rostov and Green, but Barry says it isn't enough. If Stone could prove that Rostov worked for the Gruskovs, the connection would be admissible, but he can't. She precludes any reference of the Russian Mob.
Schiff complains about the ruling. Kincaid says that Barry is just interpreting the rules in a very literal sense, but Stone thinks Barry is too left-wing.
"She thinks we ought to supply the defendants with nice clothes so the jury won't be prejudiced."
Kincaid says they might want to just forget about Green and nail Rostov, but Stone disagrees. Schiff won't let them make a deal that's better for Rostov than the one they already made. Stone then remembers that Fetzer said all the people who were going to testify against the Gruskovs ended up dead.
Later, Stone tells Rostov that federal marshals have arrived to offer him protection. Rostov says he's not saying anything, but Stone says that they just transferred Joseph Andreyev to Rostov's jail. Stone says that Andreyev might kill Rostov now that he has the chance, and says that he'll offer Rostov protection but only if Rostov testifies. Weaver wants to shut down the interview, but Stone says that Rostov will die unless he gets protection. He gets up to leave, but Rostov stops him and accepts the deal.
The detectives wait outside Green's house, and wonder if he fled. Logan thinks he went summer warm and tropical, but Briscoe thinks that he's more of a skier. Then they see him get out of a cab. The two arrest Green.
Stone excitedly tells Schiff that they arrested Green. Kincaid comes in and says that Madsen just arrived and that Stone needs to talk to her.
Madsen is pacing Stone's office. When Stone comes in, she says that she got several dead-air calls spaced exactly one hour apart. Stone offers her protection, but Madsen says that somebody waved a flashlight in her face as she exited a cab to enter Stone's office. Kincaid says she can go into witness protection, but Madsen says she won't cooperate. Stone tells her that the Gruskovs are already targeting her, no matter what, so she might as well testify. He also says that Harry needs justice, as do Joan and Sam Renkmeyer. Madsen insists that she cared about Harry. Stone threatens to indict her for hindering prosecution. He blames her for getting involved with the mob.
"Miss Madsen, anyone who dances with the devil thinks they can walk away. You can't."
Madsen wonders how she wound up in her situation.
In Barry's chambers, Green's attorney, Aaron Packard, says that Rostov's testimony is inadmissible because he was coerced. Barry asks what happened, and Packard mocks Stone and then asks Weaver to tell Barry what happened.
"Mr. Packard, please. I speak English. I can ask the questions."
Stone admits to asking for Andreyev to be transferred. He tries to argue that Rostov had nothing to worry about if he was innocent (because then Andreyev would have no reason to hurt him), but Weaver points out that Stone told Rostov he'd be shanked.
"I suggested that. You said I was bluffing."
Packard, assuming Barry will rule against him, says this is outrageous. Barry pauses, then says that Rostov believed the threat, and that was his decision. She allows the case to proceed.
In court, a USDA inspector testifies that about 75% of the lots of baby food contained spoiled product. They were all processed the week of Renkmeyer's death. Packard objects but is overruled. The inspector says that, had they found the lots then, they would have shut down the company immediately.
Madsen testifies that she saw other people in Green's office. Stone asks when she first saw Rostov. She hesitates, then says that she'd never seen him. Stone begins to get mad, but Madsen insists that she saw Rostov's photo in the paper but hadn't seen him before in person. Stone then asks if Madsen told him that she saw Rostov, but Packard objects and is sustained. Stone asks for a recess, Packard does not object, and one is granted.
Outside, Stone threatens Madsen with jail. She says that jail is better than dying. Stone argues that Madsen is as well-protected as possible.
"I don't think they can even get near you."
"Maybe not today. Where will you send me? Kansas? Iowa? They'll find me."
—Ben Stone and Ann Madsen
Stone directly threatens her with prosecution. She still refuses. Stone pauses for a long moment, then asks a nearby officer to arrest Madsen — she is being charged with felony perjury. Kincaid calls for the officer to wait. The officer pauses, and Kincaid tells Stone that this won't change Madsen's mind, so there's no point in doing it. Stone doesn't care and has Madsen led out.
Schiff chastises Stone.
"Don't tell me it's required."
"She perjured herself and destroyed this case."
"Is that what this is about? Or is it about you looking foolish in front of a jury?"
—Adam Schiff and Ben Stone
Schiff demands to know how many perjury indictments they filed in the previous year. Stone protests that Madsen is central to the case, but Schiff says that they only filed four perjury charges in the previous year, and all of those were to hardened criminals and not innocent bystanders. Schiff says that any case would be Stone's word against Madsen's, but Stone says that Kincaid will testify as well. Schiff asks if Stone really wants to prosecute her, and Stone says that he will if he has to, but a few nights in jail might change her mind.
Later, in court, Rostov testifies that he was asked to kill Renkmeyer and he did. He names Green as the man who asked him, and begins to talk about the Gruskovs. Packard objects and asks to approach. He points out that Barry already ruled on this. Stone says that Rostov is just saying what he knows, but Barry still won't allow in the testimony — saying that Green is with the Gruskovs is prejudicial. Stone then claims that Barry might be responsible if Madsen goes to jail.
"Your Honor, this decision of yours has forced me to prosecute a woman who committed perjury out of fear for her life. Whatever happens to her is as much your responsibility as mine."
Barry, angry, says that she'll note the comment and tells Stone to step back. Stone asks Rostov who asked him to kill Renkmeyer, and Green again names Green. He's not sure why, only knowing that Renkmeyer was going to talk about something. Packard then asks to be heard in chambers.
Packard wants to file a motion to dismiss. Barry says she has to consider it when Stone complains. Packard points out that Rostov is the killer, but Green has not been linked to him. Barry says that she has to dismiss unless Stone has more witnesses. Accomplice testimony is legally insufficient for a conviction; Rostov's testimony is thus not even sufficient to proceed to a jury verdict. Stone says that Madsen won't testify because she's been threatened. Packard asks if Stone thinks he's involved in witness tampering.
"Are you implying that I've been involved with witness tampering?"
"I'm not implying anything, sir!"
—Aaron Packard and Ben Stone
Barry gives Stone until the next morning to make Madsen testify.
Madsen still won't testify. Stone threatens her with a charge of conspiracy to commit murder. Madsen says that she wasn't involved, but Stone points out that she might well be protecting herself as well as Green. Her lawyer says that there's no evidence of that, so Stone says that Madsen will be killed whether she testifies or not.
"Will you ever go to a movie, and not look over your shoulder? Will you ever have a child and be comfortable sending her to school?"
He offers to give Madsen a new identity, but only if she testifies. Madsen says that she's not a cop or a prosecutor and it isn't her job to take down Green. She asks her lawyer if Stone can refuse to help her if she won't cooperate. Her lawyer says that she understands that Madsen is scared, but can't condone her actions. Stone says that, as a citizen, she has an obligation to testify. Madsen says she doesn't care. She says she doesn't deserve to be in her situation. She thinks she just made a mistake in trusting Green.
"The mistake you're making is not telling the truth."
This finally sways Madsen.
She testifies in court that she believed that she could be in business, make a good product, and help improve the world. She says that she confronted Green about the tainted baby food. He told her that he'd discuss it with Harry and everything would be okay. She admits to lying about not seeing Rostov, and after a pause says that she saw him before. She says she lied because she was afraid for her life. Madsen testifies that she saw Rostov in Green's office the night before Renkmeyer was killed. Later, Green is convicted of second-degree murder.
Late that night, Kincaid enters Stone's office. Stone is brooding. He says that, as Madsen was moving out of her apartment, she was shot in the street. The assassin was killed but had no ID. His identity is still unknown. Madsen died en route to the hospital. Kincaid says that Stone had no choice, given who he is. He sighs and drinks some liquor. Later, he submits his resignation to Schiff. Schiff is surprised, and Stone jokes about it.
"It's, uh, not entirely about you."
Schiff says that Green is appealing and claiming that Madsen was coerced. Stone replies that, since Madsen is dead, the appeal won't get anywhere. He turns to leave.
"I've brought Claire up to speed on my open cases."
"She'll be fine. And you?"
"I'm clear as a bell."
—Ben Stone and Adam Schiff
Schiff approaches Stone. Stone gently pats Schiff's head, squeezes his arm, and leaves. Schiff watches him go, then looks pensive.
- Note: Last appearance of EADA Ben Stone
- Note: First appearance of defense attorney Lawrence Weaver