Castle and Beckett investigate the murder of Derek Brookner, one of New York’s finest…strippers!
The victim was shot while wearing a tear-away police uniform. He was carrying a squirt gun filled with tequila. Cheap tequila, Castle notes. Derek played the party of Officer McNaughty (a fine name) at a raucous bachelorette party the night he was killed. One of the ladies who attended the bash, Camille Roberts, has a record. She also happens to the victim’s ex.
Camille had a bad breakup with Derek. They met in acting class and Derek was the guy everyone thought would hit it big. But things hadn’t worked out that way. Derek told Camille he was desperate for money. He added that he had some other recurring gig that he wanted to quit because he said it was going to kill him.
Derek worked for a company called Mucho Man, headed by Lloyd Saunders, who says the blonde hair with traces of steroids found on the victim’s body could have come from Derek’s second job. Saunders also offers Ryan a job stripping as the skinny vampire guy from Twilight. Esposito’s out of luck though. Mucho Man already has way too many dancers who look like A-Rod.
[break] In addition to doing private parties, Derek Brookner also worked at a club called the Package Store. A fellow dancer, Hans Von Mannschaft (another great name), was upset because Derek was getting all the headline acts. When Hans gets a little too hot and bothered with Beckett during his fireman strip, Castle cools him off with a quick burst from a fire extinguisher. The guy’s all about safety.
Hans says Derek was using a former runway model/rich widow named Rebecca Dalton for her money. Rebecca tells Beckett and Castle that her relationship with Derek ended recently. Her attorney, Michael Grant, says Derek asked to borrow $25,000 from his client last week. This led Rebecca to believe that Derek was cheating on her.
Rebecca hired a P.I. who snapped some surveillance photos of Derek chatting with Mandy Carson, the girlfriend of Billy Grimm, the wanted leader of a motorcycle gang. Grimm was caught after the airing of a TV show called “America’s Most Dangerous Criminals” in which Derek portrayed the fugitive. It wasn’t exactly award-winning television, but it was enough to lead the cops to Grimm.
[break] When the charges against Grimm were dropped, he vowed vengeance against all those who wronged him. Grimm claims all was cool with Derek since he gave him a $25,000. It was part of a deal Mandy made to back sure her guy Grimm didn’t go back to jail for doing something stupid. But where did Derek get the money?
Derek was caught on bank surveillance video withdrawing a large amount of cash from an account labeled Sunfire Limited. He wore a disguise and went by the name Jesse Mandalay. Castle theorizes that actor Derek was playing the part of a business executive in order to bilk unsuspecting real estate investors. He had a partner in the scam. Beckett discovers that the real owner of the Sunfire account is none other than Rebecca Dalton.
Former fashion model Rebecca Dalton was in Paris the day the dummy corporation was established. But her attorney wasn’t. Michael Grant set up the scam in Rebecca’s name. The shady lawyer couldn’t go to the police when Derek took the money, so he killed to the actor to avoid exposing the fraud. Grant refuses to respond to these charges. Castle says, “Do you want a lawyer? Or do you want to hire an actor to play one for you?”Love it! Case closed.