The Perfect Witness, Part 1
At Holstein’s bookstore, Fred Holstein is showing Katrina Shanks a rare book, which he has acquired for Professor Marcus at Campbell College. Jenny Roberts, who is blind, comes inside. She is frustrated because people treat her like an invalid. Suddenly, two robbers, Russell Kosh and Martin Franklin Johns, lock the door and steal the money in the cash register. They also steal Katrina’s knapsack, which holds her college supplies. When the robbers realize Mr. Holstein has pushed the silent alarm, they grab Jenny, thinking she is a perfect hostage because she is blind.
The kidnappers eventually return Jenny to the police station. After Dr. Morton pronounces her all right, she is interviewed by Captain Richard Quinn and visiting Detective Pat Ethan. Detective Ethan tells Jenny that because of her blindness, she can help them paint a “sound picture” of the criminals and their hideout.
Meanwhile, Eugene Meltsner rushes to Holstein’s, frantic about Katrina and Jenny. He had heard about the robbery while he was at the police station, reporting that his laptop computer and car were stolen. Captain Quinn comes in and informs Eugene that his car was used as a getaway in the robbery.
While Jenny is questioned, she remembers things that lead the investigators to believe that it was the rare book, not the money, that was the motivation for the robbery. Captain Quinn and Eugene go over Eugene’s car for clues. Then the captain urges Eugene to go back to his room to see if anything else was stolen. Eugene discovers that a box of computer disks is missing, and the hard drive on his computer has been erased.
- This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »
- What was the big mistake the robbers made in taking Jenny hostage?
Heard in episode
Mentioned in episode
|Dr. Marcus||Fred Holstein|
|Doc Morton||Captain Richard Quinn|
PARENTS: This three-part mystery includes an armed robbery and kidnapping, which are played and replayed throughout all three parts. Although no one gets hurt in the episodes, they may be too intense for younger listeners.
- Captain Quinn tells Detective Ethan than Eugene's car was found on Route 29. In addition to the major north/west US Highway of this name, there are 14 states with a state highway named Route 29.
- The stolen book was by real-life author Erik Haugaard. Haugaard books would be mentioned again in #556: “And That's the Truth”.
- Jenny notes to Mr. Holstein in this episode that she and her parents are almost finished reading The Chronicles of Narnia.
- See main article: List of The Chronicles of Narnia references
- In #267: “It Ended with a Handshake”, Eugene mentions the AUTOEXEC.BAT file on Bernard's computer. A few other comments in this episode confirm that Bernard has a MS-DOS/Windows PC. When Eugene's computer acts up, it says, "Non-system disk. Replace and strike any key to continue." This is a MS-DOS PC message. However, in this episode, Eugene starts up his desktop computer (at 22:52), and the distinctive Apple Mac II chime plays. Apple users are often fiercely loyal and almost always stubbornly anti-Microsoft. Thus, it seems unreasonable that Eugene, a Mac user, would also have a laptop PC and advise Bernard to get a PC. Of course, there are several plausible explanations for this. Perhaps Eugene realized that (even in 1994, when this episode was created) PCs are more ubiquitous than Macs, and wanted Bernard to have the more commonplace machine. Certainly we'd expect a computer scientist such as Eugene to be familiar with both systems, so perhaps this is the case. Also, he might have both machines so as to be familiar with the way both machines work because he is Eugene and wants to know as much as possible. He might want to know how to fix both machines, or something else.
Martin Franklin Johns: What are you doing?
Russell Kosh: I'm changing shirts.
Martin Franklin Johns: Go in the other room, will you?
Russell Kosh: Why?
Martin Franklin Johns: The girl!
Russell Kosh: Don't be such an idiot. She's blind, remember?
Martin Franklin Johns: Well, I'm going in the other room.
Fred Holstein: Don't count your chickens before there are eggs.
Fred Holstein: If I can be of any service, just call me by name. I will be behind the counter. Just say, 'Fred Holstein, we need your help' and I will -- how do you say? -- zipper like a mad dash over.
Russel Kosh: That's one way of saying it.