As Don and Mac were walking through the squad room, Don received a printout with the information he had been looking for. "Nieci has not been in the military," he said. "He just had the knife for sport, I guess."
They went out to the Avalanche and went to the hotel where Blake Nieci was staying. They stopped at the front desk. "Excuse me," Mac said.
There was a man at the desk. "Yes?" he said.
Mac showed him his badge. "I'm Detective Taylor." He showed him a picture of Blake Nieci. "Have you seen this man here?"
"Sure. He lives here."
"How long has he been living here?"
"I'm not sure, but he keeps a room all the time."
"Would you say he has been here at least a year?"
"Oh yes, definitely."
Mac looked at Don. "Well, have you seen him here with a woman?" Don asked.
Mac showed him a picture of the victim. "Was it this woman?"
The man looked at the picture. "No, the woman he was with had red hair. She would usually come in after him, but some of the time they came together."
"Were they here together a lot?"
"Sure. I assumed they were married or just living together."
"You never saw them coming in like they had been at a wedding?" Don asked.
"And he never came here with the other woman?" Mac asked.
"No, I've never seen her here."
As they walked out of the hotel, they were still confused. "Well, we know she has red hair," Don said.
"No name though," Mac replied. He thought a moment. "Maybe we should ask some of the neighbors in the hotel if they have seen her or know her name."
Don looked at Mac. "I think I would rather look through receipts," he said.
"Too late," Mac said. "Let's go."
They went up to the floor where Blake Nieci's hotel room was. Mac knocked on the first door. They waited but no one came to the door. "I guess no one's home," Don said.
They went on to the next door and went to each door on that hall. They found that the woman's name was Andrea but they did not find out a last name. "So, how do we find her just by that first name?" Don asked.
Mac considered that. "I should have thought of it before when I was searching the hotel room but I wasn't looking for DNA evidence," he said. "I should have collected some hair samples and stuff from the hotel room."
"The warrant is still in order," Don said.
"Go get my forensics kit from the Avalanche." Mac gave him the keys.
Don headed for the Avalanche and Mac went to Nieci's room door. He knocked and waited for him to open the door. "You again!" Nieci exploded when he saw Mac.
"Yes, me again," Mac said. "I need to collect some DNA samples."
"You have a warrant for that?"
"The warrant I gave you before covers anything that I need that pertains to this case. I just need some more samples."
Nieci would not let Mac have his DNA but Mac went into the bathroom and got some hair from the hairbrush that was in there and he also got some samples from the bed. Nieci came into the room and glared at Mac with his arms folded. "You have no right to do that," he said.
"Yes I do," Mac replied.
"Hey, why don't you just go back in there?" Don asked. "Back off."
Nieci glared at Don and then went back into the other room. Don looked at Mac. "I hope I get to arrest him soon," he said.
"You probably will," Mac replied.
They went back to the lab and Lindsey started on the analysis of the DNA samples that Mac had collected. "The woman who has been staying there at the hotel with Nieci is named Andrea," Mac said as he was back in the conference room with everyone else looking through receipts again.
Jo looked at the receipt she was holding. "One box of Raisin Bran and one jug of milk," she said and looked at Mac. "I think I know everything this guy bought in the last year."
"Just keep looking," Mac said.
Mac yawned after a while of looking through those receipts. "Don't start that," Jo said. She rubbed her eyes. "I have never looked at so many receipts in my life."
"Why would he keep all this?" Danny asked.
"I have no idea," Mac replied.
Sheldon held up a receipt and stared at it a moment. "I think I found it," he said.
The others all looked at him. "A purchase at Bill's Outdoor Shop," Sheldon said. "Looks like he bought fishing line, hooks, weights, beef jerky and one hunting knife." Sheldon looked at Mac. "This was about four months ago."
Mac looked at the receipt. "So, he may or may not have planned to kill her when he bought it," he said.
"Probably didn't," Jo said. "It was just handy when he decided to."
Don stood up. "Do I get to arrest him now?" he asked.
Mac looked at him. "Get a warrant," he said.
Don smiled. "For sure."
Mac shook his head as Don left the room. "Well, I guess this puts a bad light on Blake Nieci," he said. "If he can't come up with that knife, he's going to look very suspicious."
"Sure is," Jo said. She looked at Mac. "So, now that we almost have this case finished, are you going to tell us your secret?"
Mac scowled. "What secret?" he asked.
"Come on and admit that you are the one who pulled all those pranks on us," Jo said as she pulled another piece of confetti from her hair. "I am still finding these things."
"Why do you think I did it?"
"I already told you…you have not denied it."
"So that makes me guilty?"
"I know that you won't tell a lie so come on and say 'I didn't do it'."
Mac stared at her a moment and then looked at the others who were also waiting. "You mean with all of you detectives here, you can't figure out who is doing all that?" he asked.
Jo looked at the others. "See there?" she asked. "He cannot tell a lie and that's why he won't say he didn't do it." She looked at Mac. "You did it."
Mac could not hold his smile in anymore. "Yes, I did it."
Everybody's mouths dropped open. "YOU!" they all exclaimed, except Jo who just folded her arms.
"Yes, it was me. So I got a little mischievous. Something wrong with that?"
"I just can't believe it," Lindsey said as she heard this revelation.
"Well, I didn't really expect you to get that," Mac said.
"Oh, you just wait."
"I think you crossed the wrong path," Jo said. "She's going to make you pay."
When the DNA results were done, they found that the woman's name was Andrea Purvis. Blake Nieci was in the interrogation room and he was mad. Mac walked in there and sat down at the table. "So, you killed your wife," Mac said.
"That's a lie!" Nieci exclaimed.
Mac laid the receipt from the purchase of the knife on the table. "You keep very good records," he said. "You purchased a knife just like the one that killed your wife."
"That doesn't mean I killed her."
"Then where is that knife?"
Nieci stared at Mac a moment. "I…don't know. I lost it a long time ago."
Mac frowned at him. "You only bought that knife four months ago! How could you have already lost it?"
"That's enough of these questions," Nieci's lawyer said as he was entering the interrogation room. "He will not answer anymore questions."
Mac leaned back in the chair. "Who is Andrea Purvis?" he asked.
Nieci's frown deepened. "She's…a friend."
"She's more than that." Mac laid the DNA results on the table. "She was living in that hotel room with you. You have been living there at least a year. Your DNA and hers was on that bed mingled together."
Nieci stared at the paper and then looked at Mac. "So, I had another woman, that doesn't make me a murderer."
Mac laid one of the DVD's on the table. "You also made a website displaying your wife in private moments. There are nineteen more of these DVD's in there. She found out about it, didn't she? And she found out about your other woman." Mac laid a copy of an insurance policy on the table. "She was going to divorce you, wasn't she? And then your insurance policy would be worthless. You intended to cash in that policy and run off with this other woman. You thought that your wife had painted a good picture for you and no one would suspect you, but you were wrong. You didn't have anyone fooled. And you haven't fooled me. Question is: did Andrea help you?"
Mac put the evidence up and stood up. "You may not say anything, but you're going up for murder," he said.
Mac walked out of the room and went to the room where Andrea Purvis was waiting. She had red hair that was in a French braid and she was wearing a beige skirt suit. She folded her arms and stared at Mac with green eyes. "What is this about?" she asked.
Mac sat down in the chair. "I think you know what it's about," he said.
"And how would I know that?"
Mac laid a picture of the victim on the table. "You see that woman?" he asked. "That was Wanda Nieci. She was the wife of the man you have been living with over there in the hotel."
Andrea looked at Mac. "So?" she asked. "He didn't love her. She didn't give him what he wanted."
"And you do?"
"I guess I do."
"Did you help him kill her so the two of you could run off with that insurance money?"
Andrea frowned. "Kill her? I didn't kill anyone."
Mac stared at her a moment. "Blake Nieci either killed her or you killed her for him so he wouldn't be late for work that night, but I think he killed her and you checked him in so that he wouldn't look like he was late for work." Mac laid a paper on the table. "See, you work in the business office at the hospital." He looked at her. "Don't bother denying anything because we have your DNA in that hotel room, and we even found your fingerprints on some of those DVD's. You knew about that website, didn't you? Were you jealous of that?"
"I didn't have to be jealous. He was going to leave her."
"Leave her? Why would he do that when she was the only good thing in his life? He thought he had it made but she found out about this little charade you two had going, and she was going to divorce him. It was the last straw for her."
"That doesn't prove anything."
"Well, they're going to search your office at that hospital to see if they find that murder weapon. I don't think the two of you thought anyone would ever find out about your affair…if that is what it is. I just get the feeling that there's an illegal marriage license floating around out there somewhere. I guess we'll see."
Mac left that room. He knew there was more to that case, but they had the ones who were guilty and he thought that Andrea had at least aided Blake in killing Wanda and she would be in trouble for that too.
Mac went back up to the lab. He was sleepy now. It was late and he wanted to get out of this office. He filed his evidence and finished his report as best he could. He knew Jo would proof read it the next day. He was glad they all knew about his disability. He thought he might be able to get past it with their help. He opened the bottom drawer on his desk and suddenly, confetti spewed from the drawer. Mac leaned back in his chair and nodded as fall colored confetti rained down all around him and on him.
Jo came to the door and laughed as she watched the confetti fluttering down. "Happy Thanksgiving, Mac," she said.
Mac looked at her. "You too, Jo," he said. "Let's don't forget that Wednesday, everyone should bring something to eat in the break room."
"We won't forget. We all have a lot to be thankful for."
Mac nodded. "We do."
That Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, they had a big dinner in the break room. Christine was there. She had prepared the turkey for the dinner and the others had brought all the other dishes. Mac smiled as he watched everyone around the table. "Okay, everyone," he said.
Everyone got quiet and looked at Mac. "I know I have a lot to be thankful for," he said. He put his arm around Christine. "I'm thankful for this beautiful woman I have found to share my life with." He looked at the others. "And I'm thankful for all my friends who support me and work with me every day. I love all of you."
The others stood up and held up their glasses. "One big, happy family," Don said.