111 Sacrifice

 Numbers can’t always account for the way life turns out …

Summary: A computer researcher is murdered leaving behind a cryptic data file about a project that Charlie must decipher.

Original air date
: April 29, 2005 (US)

Written by: Ken Sanzel

Directed by
:  Paul Holahan

Opening numbers:
91: Think tanks
$2.7 Billion: Government funds
13,104: Research analysts
8: Stab wounds

Family Concepts: (character development)
  • Charlie believes it’s his duty to develop mathematical tools, and someone else’s to use them wisely
  • Charlie went to Princeton at age 13
  • Alan and his wife had marital problems when Charlie was 13 (money and irrational jealousy)
  • David has a sister named Linda who has been divorced, but went back to her ex-husband. David thinks she could have done better.

Episode Synopsis:

Jonas Hoke is murdered in his home.  When Don arrives on the scene, he finds another government group as well as Robert Oliver, the president of the think tank Hoke worked for already there, Oliver has a tam of people from is company working on Hoke’s computer.  Don takes over the scene and he and David start their investigation, only to discover the computer had been wiped.

Talking to his estranged wife and Hoke’s research assistant, Scott Reynolds, the FBI learns that Hoke was in a bitter divorce and he went days without coming into work. Charlie and Agent Stendhauser try and recreate the data on Hoke’s computer only to find a series of baseball statistics, Hoke was not a fan of the game.  Digging deeper into his data Charlie discovers Hoke was actually working on a program to help the government determine the best places to allocate money for schools and other programs.

Don interviews Scott again and finds out that Hoke may have been doing work the Loman Group didn’t want him doing or suspected him of working on outside the companies best interests.  Scott explains that Hoke’s requests for data sets had been denied and he was working more and more from home.  Wondering if Hoke has a reason to think he was being spied upon by his company, Don and David go back to Hokes house and find evidence of a bug installed to tap into the security system.  

Don and Terry go back to Oliver to find out if he was working on the program for the Loman Group or if he was building it on his own. Oliver wants to know what Don’s point is and when told, Oliver replies he had no need to kill Hoke for any project he was working on, the company already owned anything he created.  He also tells Don that Hoke was demanding a cut of the licensing fees the group charged for the use of their software and Oliver admits he would not bow to any sort of extortion.

Further examination of the device found shows it was installed by the boyfriend of Hoke’s estranged wife.  She admits she had the bug installed to try and find evidence in her divorce case but that she would never kill him.  Analysis of the surveillance, shows someone was working on Hoke’s computer soon after he was probably killed and also shows the data on the computer being wiped.

Charlie is able to use the data to analyze the key stroke pattern used on the machine and compares it to another key stroke pattern found on the computer in Hoke’ office. Both show that one person in particular was working on the machines after Hoke’s murder: Scott Reynolds.

Charlie confronts Scott when he is arrested and asks how he could kill a man he had worked so closely with and Scott informs him he did it for the greater good.  Hoke’s program would have denied a school like his the resources for kids to make a better life and he wasn’t going to let that happen.  The discussion leads Charlie to think about how his work with the government is used.