tv NBC Nightly News NBC August 18, 2013 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
, then. thank you. [ sighs ] okay, i'm gonna show you something, which later, you are gonna have to pretend you are watching for the very first time, okay? okay. the night we lost him, austin blair... was wearing a wire. [ dance music plays ] this is where the party is just getting started. now, there's austin handing off the ghb. that's the recovery room with the medical staff.
goes on like this until... ...austin wanders into the bathroom. looks like he's not doing well. man: hey, man. hey, man, you all right? man #2: you all right? [ thud ] whoa, whoa, come on! and he just passes out. [ indistinct talking ] so, mr. benjamin, that's the end. now let's start with the beginning. can you describe your relationship with the deceased -- austin blair? austin worked for me at different venues across the country, and from what you said earlier, [ chuckling ] it now seems obvious he was going off dealing drugs on the side. m-may i follow up? did you actually see austin blair leave the hell-a party on the night he disappeared? uh, no.
that's odd, because you told travis myers that you saw austin leave with another man. travis. when i told the kid austin left with someone, i was speaking more about a...historical pattern. you know, austin [chuckles] he never left by himself. mr. benjamin, returning to the party itself... [ clears throat ] can -- can you tell us... [ rustling ] did, um... did -- did any... [ clears throat ] individuals receive medical attention during hell-a? of course. we have two recovery rooms staffed specifically for people who, you know, overdo it. would one of those have been austin blair? okay. now, not to stomp on a dead kid's reputation, but, as we all saw e footage, obviously, austin was dipping heavily into his own supply. he crashed in a bathroom.
he was brought to our doctor, put in a recovery position, on his side, to prevent him from choking on whatever might come up, and rehydrated with a saline i.v. and when he got to feeling better, i fired him. so austin recovered. yes. and i assume, at some point, he got in his car, and he drove home. really? follow-up, please? i have three witnesses who state that they saw employees of hell-a drag austin blair, unconscious, out into an alleyway. okay, really, this -- we never agreed to take questions implicating my client in criminal activities here. okay, okay, i think we need a break, okay? agent johnson? can we, uh... convene in the hallway? oh, absolutely. enjoy your bagel, mr. benjamin. hey. hey! do you really have three witnesses who saw austin blair being dragged out? no, of course not. how could i? brenda, if the fbi lies in an interview,
our case can get thrown out of federal court. i'm not going to federal court. yeah, but technically, you are in the fbi! you're willing to just sit there and let this guy eat bagels and lie up a storm? well, what would you do differently? when suspects lie to us, we have to lie back. for heaven's sakes, fritzi, if we all stop lying to each other, how will we ever get to the truth? [ recorder beeps, tape rewinds ] if you think you can remember some of the stuff peter benjamin said in this interview. i'm pretty sure i can. well, then say austin didn't die of an overdose. what would you do then? oh, for heaven's sakes. you want to know what i'd do? ohh! here. i quit the stupid fbi. and from now on, the l.a.p.d. regards the death of austin blair as a murder! well, that's what we wanted anyway. well, then you better just hush up, then, and be grateful!
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jolly rancher bold hand soft juicy chews. untamed fruit flavor... jolly rancher. and i assume, at some point, he got in his car, and he drove home. dr. morales found no puncture wounds on austin's body, so no i.v. was given to rehydrate. peter benjamin lied. and according to the tox screen, austin took 4 grams of ghb over the usual recreational dose. maybe someone spiked his drink, because they knew that austin came to hell-a wearing a wire. and look. look here.
this pocket's been ripped, and the camera lens appears to have been located here where this missing faux pearl button was. faux what? faux. it's french for "fake." you know, like a faux relationship. [ chuckling ] yeah. yeah, l-lieutenant, how many more new suits are you going to buy, sir? one a day, if that's what it takes. god, what a bunch of cynical bastards. all right, everyone, please focus! oh, here are the rest of his effects -- a belt, wrist band, a watch, set of car keys. no wire anywhere. and you know, just looking at this stuff, with the ripped shirt pocket, the missing wallet, the o.d. -- i mean, on the surface, this looks like a guy who got mugged because he was too bombed to find his car and drive home. wait, wait, wait, wait. too bombed to drive home. peter benjamin said something about austin driving off, except he was found in an alley. so where's his car? we haven't found his vehicle anywhere. maybe someone has another set of keys.
travis, do these look familiar? yeah, i think they're austin's. do you happen to have a spare set? no, i drove my own jeep out here. and austin was nervous about anyone else driving his dad's car. [ car alarm beeping ] [ sighs ] don't worry, doctor. i'll get it. [ car alarm deactivates ] whoo! there. that's better. dr. blair, this is a warrant to search the premises. [ scoffs ] uh, sir, perhaps you can explain why your dead son's -- i'm sorry -- stepson's car is in your garage. why are you doing this? "why?" don't you know, doctor? drugs don't give you a why. i can explain why i have his car. i would love to hear that, sir. because it's mine. i registered it to austin for insurance reasons. he was supposed to send me the payments. when he stopped doing that, i took the car back. how'd you know where to find it?
i went to his house. but here's the confusing part, sir. austin never made it home from hell-a, and neither did his car, so how did you pick it up at his house? i don't know. maybe his "friend" -- what's his name? travis. he didn't have the keys. [ sighs ] look, i-i know you're just doing your job, but -- but honestly, i've got to be at cedars by 4:00, so if we can -- they know you're not coming. we called ahead. because we've also searched your office. you what? where my colleagues found supplies for a professional-grade drug lab. no, no, no. whatever you think you'veouhere has a medical application. 50 liters of gamma butyrolactone? the main precursor in making ghb? what exactly is the application for that, medically speaking? this may be obvious. i -- i care a great deal about my cars. gamma butyrolactone -- it cleans the chrome wheels and such. did you know that your wheel cleaner comes from china? it's chock-full of unique impurities. we could match the ghb that we found at austin's house
to that which we found in austin's body and connect it all to what we found at your office. moore: can you do any of that at the county crime lab? uh, probably not. actually, you can't do it anywhere. she always lie like this? i hope not. gabriel: you ever hear of a man by the name of peter benjamin, doc? let's see if this jogs your memory. you were in the drug business with your stepson. the fbi caught austin dealing. they promised they'd go easy on him if he gave them his supplier. they didn't realize that they were asking him to turn on the man he thought of as his father. no, no. hold on, hold -- hold on a second. just hold on here. you are jumping to all sorts of conclusions! all right, all right, let me make this easy on you, doctor. the l.a.p.d. doesn't care about the ghb. we won't be arresting you for that. all i care about is finding the person who murdered your stepson. and then you and i are done.
all right. [ sighs ] all right. listen, you have to understand just -- just how much money i lost in the crash. and you see, austin, he introduced me to this peter benjamin. first, things went very well, and then the fbi caught austin dealing. austin thought that i-i-i could just stop making the ghb, get rid of the equipment, he would feed the feds peter, we would both go free. [ sighs ] that was very naive. how? because peter benjamin was in much the same place that i was. his portfolio was in ruins, attendance was down, the party revenue was nothing compared to what he made selling drugs, so when i told him that i wanted out... [ sighs ] well, he grew very angry. he threatened me. i had no choice but to tell him what was going on and why.
so austin tried to protect you, and you went and got him killed? no. no, no. no. peter said, well, he would just fire austin, make him useless to the fbi. it wasn't until afterwards, when peter called me, when he ordered me to come pick up that car, that i -- that i found out what really happened. that's awfully vague, doctor. that austin had been killed. and peter benjamin said that i had better keep the ghb coming or the same thing would happen to me, and that is a quote. [ sighs ] listen, you got to believe me. i'm telling you the truth. i swear. i believe you. if you'll, uh, take a moment to write all that down, the l.a.p.d. will be releasing you from custody.
special agent howard. yes, former agent johnson. suppose you were running a major dope case and the l.a.p.d. found your supplier. what would you normally do under those circumstances? i'd trade my murderer for your doctor. on one condition. austin's money stays here. why? finally gonna repaint this place? that's my business. you don't need that cash to close your case. deal or no deal? deal. and thank you. you're welcome. dr. blair, it's been a real pleasure. i'll see you when i see ya. gentlemen, i expect peter benjamin in this building as quickly as humanly possible. thank you. you see?
did this not turn out exactly the way i said it would? hmm. what does she want the money for? oh, i have no idea. sergeant. ah, special agents moore and howard of the fbi. the doctor... will see you now. dr. dennis blair... you're under arrest for the manufacture and distribution of a class-1 controlled substance, tax evasion, racketeering, and conspiracy to commit murder.
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different today. uh, well, it's a... new style. [ clears throat ] "country gentleman." i call it "mr. rogers." going to be big next year. well, it's -- it's very becoming. be nice. [ police radio chatter ] where's his shirt? uh, we have to keep that, i'm afraid. it's part of our murder case against peter benjamin. oh, okay. there's one more thing, though. we can't prove where that money came from. you were living at his house. for all we know, it's yours.
no. i don't want it. look, travis, you no longer have a place to live. and getting your things out of austin's house is going to be extremely difficult. i want austin... not this. it's not dislol to austin's memory for you to have this money. you were saving up to go to college. let's -- let's have something good come out of all this. okay? if i hadn't tried to get your mind off of kitty by asking you for a favor... and if i hadn't brought kitty to work, pope never would have handed me that missing-persons case. he was super-loyal, even in death. she was super-loyal. i think she'd be very proud.
so, which one of kitty's babysitting dvds do you want to watch? "cheetah in the land of the lion" or "birds of the amazon"? killing versus mating. you choose. man: of the more than 1,500 species of birds found in the amazon basin, none is more loyal than the macaw. known to mate for life, these beautiful animals fiercely defend their families from any predator, large or small.
trouble in the culver city area southbound 405 at jefferson -- disabled tractor trailer cleared off to the right-hand side. still creating quite a slowdown. oh! oh! can we just -- no, no. careful! it's okay. you know, we don't have to do this today. no! no, no. these -- these things could be used by other cats. [ loud ringing ]
good morning, sergeant gabriel. gabriel: morning, chief. we just landed a body at the crenshaw community center. oh, no. isn't that father jack's place? yeah. you want me to come by and pick you up or give you directions or -- i know where it is. uh, no, no. i'll, um -- i'll be right there. [ beep ] [ siren chirps, indistinct shouting ] doesn't look like much. maybe i'll wait, then. chief's here. appreciate it. chief, agent howard, sorry to cut into your weekend. our, uh, victim is a 35-year-old male, black. single gunshot to the back of the head. was discovered around 7:00 a.m. this morning. take a guess who found him. father jack. victim's name is, uh, reginald gray.
he did maintenance work for the community center, but he's paid by father jack's church, which is where he was living. this is a major crime because... the community center's city-owned, which immediately makes it our problem. where's s.i.d.? i told them not to come, chief. why? there's nothing for them to do. victim was shot once. there's no casings, no weapon, no witnesses. and father jack over there says that the victim, reggie gray -- who's still on parole, by the way -- is some kind of like ex-con turned saint. gabriel: actually, what the father said is that reggie had no known enemies and was well-liked in the neighborhood, lieutenant. yeah? well, he doesn't look very popular to me. taylor: ricardo, this is father jack. nice to meet you, father jack. be right back. i'm ricardo ramos. i got a few questions for you. oh! why is commander taylor forever bringing that reporter around? [ police radio chatter ] morning, chief. i know how it looks, but chief pope believes if ramos is getting father jack's side, then he should get ours, too.
well, i don't know what our side is yet. look, just -- just keep him away from me as long as possible, please. all right. [ police radio chatter ] haven't touched a thing, chief. called the coroner and gave me a one-hour e.t.a., but it looks like reggie here's been dead for quite a while. why is he damp? sprinklers go off every night at 10:00. so he must have been murdered before that. neighbors didn't hear gunfire. around here, they never do. uh... look, i-i-i can't go anywhere until the body's taken away. why don't i take kitty's things down to the shelter, save you the trip down? no, no. we should do it together. you finish your simple investigation. i'll dispose of kitty's earthly effects. [ sighs ] okay. thanks. brenda: looks like he's got a wallet in his back pocket, so it wasn't a robbery. well, if it wasn't a robbery, why else would someone want to kill him? you want an alphabetical list? fire away. "a," ass. "b," because.