Down in Ohio this week Fletcherfans, where JB is visiting her friend Kathleen Laine who is running for state senate. Unfortunately for Kathleen, all anyone (particularly TV host Edmund Hall) wants to talk about is her love life and rumours that she’s been cheating on her husband and resident wealthy dude Jackson with her campaign manager Bud Johnson.
Oh the 80s. Isn’t it great that in 2014 politicians don’t resort to cheap tactics and focus on issues?
*Tumbleweed blows past, crickets chirp*
Unfortunately that is the least of Kathleen’s problems though, as her speechwriter has also resigned. So when JB arrives to help drum up support for her friend’s campaign, Kathleen has a favour to ask – would JB stay and be speech writer?
“Look, Kathleen, if you give me a good juicy murder and a few suspects my imagination will swing into high gear but speechifying? I’m not sure I could write on a soapbox!” says JB.
YOU GUYS JB SAID SPEECHIFYING! The only person I hear say ‘speechifying’ is me when I”m pretending to be a a country lawyer in a 1950s courtroom drama (and you’d be surprised how often this happens, I do get bored doing the dishes).
Anyway, JB is ultimately persuaded by her friend’s campaign slogan and agrees to stay for a week.
The next day Edmund Hall gets an anonymous tip to go to the train station, where he gets a call on a payphone with instructions to open the phone book. Someone has very conveniently left him a key to a locker and inside the locker – an envelope containing something so shocking Ed Hall’s face begins to twitch with delight.
Meanwhile, JB is hard at work on Kathleen’s next campaign speech and getting tips from Bud. Another member of staff, Nan Wynn, arrives back from a campaign stop and tells them that the Party Chairman invited Kathleen around to his house for dinner after her speech at the old folks home.
Later that night while Jess is getting ready for bed, the eleven o’clock news comes on and it is soon revealed just what had Ed Hall palpitating with delight – pictures of Bud and Kathleen. IN THEIR BATHING SUITS! SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN.
Jess tries to call Kathleen’s room but there’s no answer. On her way over she bumps into Nan who has also seen the news. She can’t find Kathleen or Bud. The mystery is soon resolved when Kathleen pulls up in the campaign car downstairs to find police and onlookers surrounding the body of Bud the campaign manager – an apparent suicide.
While being questioned by local cop Lieutenant Gowans it is revealed that Bud fell from Kathleen’s hotel room balcony, while wearing her robe. Kathleen has no explanation for this, but insists she wasn’t having an affair with Bud. She gets a phone call from her husband who tells her he’s an hour away. Meanwhile, Gowan’s minions have found something in Bud’s room – specifically his pants. JB takes note of this while pointing out to Gowans that his fingerprint dude didn’t find one print on the balcony door, and that it would be weird for someone committing suicide to wipe their own prints off the handle.
Gowan confronts Kathleen with the photos but she still insists that they weren’t having an affair. Gowans tells her that they have established time of death to be just after the news bulletin aired, and could she confirm where she was? JB tells him she was at the party chairman’s house but Kathleen tells them that when she got there noone answered the door so she sat in her car for half an hour and drove back to the hotel. With that she goes to her new room to wait for Jackson. In her old room, Gowans finds a note with polling numbers scribbled on it showing Kathleen trailing her opponent Arthur Drelinger by only 7 points. Nan tells them that she wrote the note but pushed it under the door when she realised Kathleen wasn’t back in her room (or didn’t want to be disturbed). She hadn’t told anyone else about the new poll. Upstairs, Kathleen assures Jackson that she wasn’t having an affair and he believes her. Yay!
The next morning Kathleen and Jackson call a press conference to present a united front and smack down the unbelievers including Edmund Hall. Jackson tells reporters he believes his wife, and that since she’s only 7 points down in the polls he believes she’ll win on primary day. Everything is awesome until Edmund Hall starts insinuating that Kathleen killed Bud and so Jackson goes ballistic. FFS SOMEONE CALL OLIVIA POPE.
Down at the police station Gowans is convinced that Kathleen killed Bud but hasn’t worked out how to prove it yet. He admits to JB that due to insufficient evidence the case might not ever get to trial if Kathleen was even arrested. JB is furious, as her friend is already facing a trial by media, and asks Gowans if he’d considered the possibility that someone was setting Kathleen up. He tells her that yes, the thought had crossed his mind.
“Well next time it starts crossing, Lieutenant, please stop it half way and give it some attention. I have known this woman for seventeen years and believe me, she is incapable of deceit or subterfuge. And also she is incapable of committing murder.” JB declares.
The crowd goes wild (I call myself the crowd now).
“I get it, she’s your friend I understand.” Gowans says in a tone that can only be described as Horrifyingly Patronising,
Back at the hotel Jess is waylaid by Edmund Hall who would like to offer her an open invitation to appear on his show. She tells him she will consider it if he tells her the source of the photos. Eddie is forced to admit he has no idea, he got an anonymous phone call that paid off, but he doesn’t want that info getting out.
JB goes to see Kathleen who is flummoxed by the thought that someone killed Bud to win an election. JB asks her about the failed dinner with the party chairman and Kathleen tells her that he never called – someone pretending to be him called Nan to set the meeting up/lure her away from the hotel. Jess decides it’s time to visit the source of Kathleen’s troubles.
Great minds think alike. Gowans pays a visit to Arthur Drelinger and his campaign manager (and shady character) CW Butterfield and discovers that their alibi is a little on the hazy side. On his way out Gowans bumps into JB and tells her that her speech got to him so he’s trying to tie off loose ends, and getting nowhere. JB has a different line of questioning, specifically about the photos. CW and Arthur both condemn the photos but get a little flustered when JB mentions the dirt file she’s heard about from an ‘unnamed source’ (Edmund Hall). They are interrupted by someone coming in with new polling info – it’s Nan. She swears to JB she wasn’t a spy for Arthur, she just followed the money and escaped the bad polls. She shows JB the polling history – Kathleen started 20 points behind, got as close as 5 points on the day of the murder but then the scandal made her drop 12.
Well that can’t be right, says JB. The polling data Nan shoved under the door had shown Kathleen down by 7. Turns out Nan got the info wrong, but luckily the only people she told were Gowans and JB.
Wait a minute…
When JB arrives at Kathleen’s house the media pack have gathered. Kathleen is pulling out of the race. As she speaks to the media JB (and later Lieutenant Gowans) have a quiet word with the killer. They know who took the photos and sent them to Edmund Hall. They know who set up the fake meeting with the party chief. And they know who killed Bud.
Alas for Kathleen, her husband’s questionable business practices were not going to stand under scrutiny. And when Bud worked out Jackson wasn’t in the Bahamas at the time the photos were taken like he claimed…well you get the picture.
And so concludes season 4 of Murder She Blogged. Stay tuned for season 5 next week. But first, I have a favour to ask you all.
On October 5 I’m taking part in the 7 Parks Walk to raise money for the Cancer Council Victoria (I figured it was more of a challenge that dumping a bucket of ice water on my head). I’m almost half way to my target of $500, so if you have a few coins around that you want to give to a good cause, my supporter page is here.