Australian crime drama. The school headmaster is found dead in his office and Blake's investigations stir up intrigue and demons from the past.
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DISTANT DOOR OPENS
What do you want?
Bradley Yates! No playing with balls in the corridor.
-I wasn't, miss.
-On your way then.
You're late, Miss Wooton.
Mr Lennox is a busy man.
If he's kind enough to help you with your maths,
-the least you could do is turn up on time.
-Well, look at that.
-Been a long time, eh?
Remember around the corner there?
The site of your first cigarette, as I recall.
You damn near coughed up a lung.
The state you were in, I thought you must've smoked the entire pack.
I don't remember.
Excuse me for a moment. Thanks.
We've shut the place down for the day, sent the kids home.
What's Miss O'Brien doing here?
Well, the kids were pretty shaken up, and we have used her before.
That's Eva Blackwell, headmaster's secretary.
She found the body.
She and the young Lisa Wooton.
Mrs Wooton would like to take her daughter home.
-I have taken all their statements.
Come and see me if there's anything you need.
-Is it true? It's Mr Lennox?
-Go home, son.
Come on, Paul.
The last person to see Joseph Lennox alive was Miss Blackwell,
-at 5.30 yesterday.
-No-one noticed he was missing?
Oh, he lived alone. Family's in New Zealand.
Let's see what he can tell us, eh?
Nasty, nasty gash to the forehead.
Bruising around the eyes.
Blunt force injury.
He's been hit with something, obviously, several times, I'd say.
Bruising on his torso.
I'll be very interested to take a look at his ribs.
And the autopsy'll tell us more, of course.
I'll start with the staff. Get the teachers into the staffroom.
-See what you can find out.
Rigor indicates he's been dead for a while,
but the blood on his face seems to be very fresh.
-He's lying on something.
A trophy base.
Where's the rest of it?
I have absolutely no idea.
I'll get the boys to have a look around the school.
You get Lennox down to the morgue. See what else you can find.
The, ah, deputy head's out in the corridor.
By the look of his hands, he's been in a fight.
The name's McAvoy.
McAvoy? Not Donald McAvoy?
Oh, it can't be, can it?
Look who it is!
What's it been...
What happened to your hand?
-Who were you practising on?
No, I got a punching bag set up in the shed.
-Hm. Have a seat, Mr McAvoy.
-Don't go all formal on me - it's Don.
Hey, Eva! Why don't you get the superintendent a cup of tea?
How do you have it? Weak? Two sugars?
No, thanks. We'll continue this at the station.
There certainly is a lot of blood.
his nose definitely isn't broken.
-The ribs are intact, too.
-I'm just surprised.
I was expecting much worse,
given the extent of the bruising we saw earlier.
Oh, well... Let's open him up, eh?
Ruptured spleen. Cause of death, I'd say.
There's a lot of excess blood here. Any relevant medical history?
Nothing in his hospital records.
I'll do a blood film, check for leukaemia.
Alice, look at this.
Just on seven ounces.
Double what it should be.
A rupture might explain that.
Multiple blows, yes?
Had to be, if it's that enlarged.
What are you doing?
Instinctive. You're trying to block me.
-I'll do more than block you in a minute.
-No, no, look.
-Look at his arm.
-No significant bruising.
Looks like he may have been taken by surprise,
possibly by someone he knew.
How did you two get along?
Couldn't stand him.
You don't win respect by treating children like adults.
Someone's got to show 'em who's in charge.
-And that's what you do.
-It's my job to keep 'em in line.
How old was Mr Lennox?
Must have been a bit rough, a bloke nearly half your age takes your job.
Well, he told the board what they wanted to hear.
I don't work that way.
So that's what happened?
You resented him,
lost your temper,
gave him a clip around the ear.
I think he's holding a bit of a grudge, your boss.
Where's the rest of the trophy?
We used to corner him behind the bike sheds.
-Wanna know why they called him Splashie?
Come on, mate.
Water under the bridge and all that.
You haven't answered my question.
DOOR CLOSES FIRMLY
Smarmy...! Hasn't changed at all. Give me your hip flask.
-Well, I'm not carrying...
You know me too well.
What's the verdict?
Alice is still running blood tests.
It seems Lennox died of a ruptured spleen,
and a massive internal haemorrhage. I'll swap you.
And the sort of damage we're talking about
suggests he endured repeated hard blows to the body,
which is odd because...
"No bruising on the arms and no grazing on the knuckles."
No defensive wounds.
You sound like a police surgeon.
Maybe McAvoy surprised him.
Well, even if he did, there'd be signs of a struggle.
At the very least, evidence of a knockout blow to the head.
Maybe someone held him down.
There'd still be defensive wounds.
What, the bloke stood there and took a battering?
I'm simply pointing out an inconsistency.
We'll know more when we get the bloods back.
We've finished searching the school grounds. We did find this.
It was under a bookcase in Lennox's office.
A toe cap.
Well, I can tell you it's not Lennox's.
I examined his shoes. No caps.
Take your shoes off.
-Just do it!
It's Lucien, Donald. Lucien Blake.
Dr Lucien Blake now.
Bloody hell. Lucy.
You've been eating your spinach.
You can polish 'em while you're down there.
You used to be good at that.
So, Lucy, last I heard of you,
you were off to some posh school in Melbourne.
Yes, and you're still at Ballarat West.
Deputy head there now.
This toe cap's brand-new.
This left one's rusted.
-It's been there a while.
The other one found in Lennox's office
had a similar amount of wear and tear.
Bad news, Cinderella.
You're not going to the ball.
The wounds would look the same, whether he was kicked or punched.
Yes, I'm aware of that.
That's not what Lawson wants to hear.
His blood's soaked through the sheet.
That can't be right.
And the sample shows no evidence of coagulation.
Are those test results back yet?
-Do you want me to rush them?
-Might be an idea, eh?
I lost the toe cap a few days ago.
While you were kicking the daylights out of Lennox?
Ah, this is a waste of my time.
The only reason you're keeping me here
is you're still carrying some stupid sort of grudge.
We just finished interviewing your colleagues, Mr McAvoy.
Some of them mentioned an argument between yourself and Lennox
on the oval at around three yesterday.
Tell us about that.
I'll ask you once more
then I'll remand you pending further investigation.
What were you arguing about?
Have it your way.
Donald McAvoy, I'm arresting you...
We had a blue.
Money had gone missing from the school funds.
Over 100 quid, straight into his pocket.
-Didn't need proof.
So I confronted him.
-What, on the oval?
-What did he say?
He denied it, of course.
So I gave him a choice.
Either I went to the board and he'd be sacked
or he could resign quietly.
Why didn't you come to us, if you thought he was stealing?
I can fight my own battles.
So then I demanded his resignation.
So you could have his job.
Yeah, that sounds like you.
He's something, isn't he, your boss?
KNOCK ON DOOR ..sake!
-Sir, Dr Blake's on the blower.
He says it's urgent.
Lock him up.
Are you sure about this?
Routine toxicology confirms massive levels of warfarin,
which would explain the failure of the blood to coagulate.
Yes. He was poisoned, over an extended period.
Thought you said he died of a ruptured spleen.
Well, people on warfarin can bleed excessively, even from minor wounds.
It built up in his system until it reached critical mass.
A decent blow to the spleen would have possibly killed him.
So what about the sustained beating?
Given these bloods,
it could have been as simple as a single blow to the face,
then another to the abdomen.
In fact, that would explain the absence of defensive injuries.
So the blows to the body would only have killed him
if he had poison in his system?
Yes. Bear in mind we're talking
about long-term, repeated exposure.
Again, significant doses.
Well, that's a pesticide.
-Yes, thank you, Dr Harvey.
Look, I simply can't believe
Don McAvoy would engage in this sort of thing.
I think we're looking at the wrong person.
I'll organise warrants. Have to search Lennox's house and McAvoy's.
-Matthew, should you be...
-I won't be conducting the search.
Davis will do it.
So what's with the boss and McAvoy?
Bit of history there?
Now, Charlie, I don't think that's any of our business.
Hey, Doc, why would a bloke like Joseph Lennox collect model cars?
Maybe there's an emotional attachment...
anchored to childhood memories.
Something he could never afford but always wanted.
..maybe he just liked cars.
Yeah, I was just expecting you to agree that it was strange.
Nothing that rings any alarm bells.
Charlie, would you mind checking the bathroom for medication?
How did you go?
Just some magnesium and painkillers.
Right. I'll analyse those, along with his food.
I found it under the fridge.
is this the sort of house you would bring a lady friend back to?
I wouldn't know, Doctor. I live in a boarding house.
Yes, vitamin C, Bex...milk, lettuce, eggs et cetera.
Erm, I did find...
one clip-on earring.
Found under the fridge.
Now, I'll analyse the food for warfarin
but I'm not holding my breath.
What about McAvoy's house?
Blood pressure medication.
It contains warfarin.
It does but the sort of damage we're dealing with
would take DOZENS of bottles.
Well, maybe he used dozens.
I'll call his GP, see how many prescriptions he had,
but I don't think that's the answer.
We checked his shed.
He was telling the truth about having a punching bag.
I see you've still got McAvoy's shoes.
I've still got McAvoy. I'm keeping him overnight.
We have witnesses who saw them arguing,
we have physical evidence and I have a motive -
I'm keeping him overnight.
-What if we don't find anything...
-WE'LL DEAL WITH IT TOMORROW!
Ballarat West was your old school, wasn't it?
Yes, for a little while.
-Hasn't changed much either!
-That's not what I heard.
Some ladies in my sewing circle seem to think your Mr Lennox
was rather too progressive.
Well, they would think that, wouldn't they?
Not nearly enough corporal punishment for that lot.
My boys, especially Jack,
could've done with a little more discipline.
-Given the circumstances.
I tell you what, based on the contents of Mr Lennox's kitchen,
he wasn't doing much cooking.
Headmaster. Long hours.
That's what his secretary said.
He spent all his time at the school.
Have you spoken to the ladies at the tuck shop?
When I worked at the tuck shop, some of the teachers asked us to supply their lunch.
If he's not eating at home,
well, that's where I'd start.
One's cheese and chutney, one's plain cheese.
Tell Lisa I'll be home after lunch.
-Sorry about that.
I feel terrible leaving Lisa at home.
-Your husband's still interstate?
But Paul's been a great help.
And how is Lisa, Mrs Wooton?
She's shaken, but Miss O'Brien was so good with her.
What can I do for you?
Um, we've had a number of children come through the surgery
with tummy complaints,
and I was hoping to have a look at your facilities,
just to make sure everything's all right.
Oh, well... It's a shock about Mr Lennox.
He was very kind to us, since Tony's been away.
Ah, just out of curiosity, Mrs Wooton,
did the tuck shop provide Mr Lennox's lunches?
Oh, yes. Every day. Why?
Oh, as I say, just, um, just curious, really.
-Oh, watch for the...
I'm so sorry! We've had a lot of mice lately.
It's the dry weather.
Not at all. It's not a problem.
My word, that's a lot of cake!
Leftovers from the fete the other day.
Is there anything else I can help you with?
Do you use anything other than the, um...
..you know...the thingy there, to control the mice?
No. Well, this is a kitchen, so we can't use poison.
Then what's this?
Large quantities of this could definitely thin the blood
to the levels we found in Joseph Lennox.
What about those pills of McAvoy's?
No, it would take hundreds - HUNDREDS - of those pills
to achieve the desired effect.
Whoever poisoned Lennox probably used something like this.
What did happen between you and Don McAvoy?
I had no idea that poison was there.
You've never seen it before?
We'll need all the names of the staff and parents
who have access to the tuck shop.
Ah, I had keys. Another one of the mums, Mrs Banning.
Did Donald McAvoy ever come in here?
His wife always made his lunches.
Any ex-employees who could have kept their key?
Well, there is Caroline, I suppose.
But she hasn't been here for weeks.
She was a teacher here, up until six weeks ago.
Why'd she leave?
She was in a relationship with Mr Lennox.
And it ended. Quite suddenly.
-We weren't aware he was involved with anyone.
They kept it very quiet.
He hated gossip.
He was a very private man.
When did it end?
Six weeks ago.
I understand you worked in the tuck shop.
We all did.
Donald McAvoy, as well?
Just the women, of course.
Why are you asking about the tuck shop?
What happened to your keys?
I gave them to Eva.
Why would there have been rat poison in the cupboard?
What are you talking about?
..we believe Mr Lennox was poisoned.
The...the paper said something about someone attacking him.
We're following up on a number of issues.
-I don't remember seeing it.
Miss Palmer, forgive me but...
why did your relationship with Mr Lennox end?
You'd have to ask him.
Well, since we can't, we're asking you.
That's not mine.
No, I realise that.
That's a clip-on
and I see your ears are pierced.
But I found this when we searched Mr Lennox's house.
was he seeing someone else?
Is that why the relationship ended?
No. It ended because he told me
he found me revolting.
He said I'd let myself go.
And since then I haven't been able to leave this house.
I know nothing about another woman.
I am sorry.
Miss Palmer, if I may, what happened to your hand?
I burnt my fingers on the hob this morning.
Dear, oh, dear...
Well, I can tell you, sticking plaster isn't ideal for burns.
Would you like me to take a look at that for you?
Did you see her wrists?
So what are you thinking?
I think that Lennox was having an affair with someone else.
-That's why the relationship ended so suddenly.
-Someone at the school?
It would explain why he spent so much time at work.
Eva Blackwell found the body.
She worked very closely with him.
She also had access to the tuck shop.
I'll get Charlie to go back to the school and re-interview her.
I might tag along, if I may.
Listen, are you going to release McAvoy?
Doesn't look like I have much choice.
-Do you want me there with you?
Don't think much of your accommodation.
You're free to go, for now.
-Where are my shoes?
-We're keeping them for now.
You'll get them back when the investigation's closed.
See, you can hide behind that uniform all you like.
You'll always be Splashie to me.
That doesn't work on me any more.
When you return my shoes, I'll expect an apology.
Someone was poisoning Mr Lennox.
Someone who had regular access to his food.
I hope this isn't an accusation.
We just need some more background information, Miss Blackwell.
What can you tell us about Mr Lennox's diet?
I understand he had his lunch supplied by the tuck shop.
-Is that correct?
-Soup or a sandwich, every day.
-He loved his routine.
Caroline Palmer told us
she returned her tuck shop keys to you some time ago.
Yes, she did.
Where are those keys now?
If Mr Lennox had his lunch supplied by the tuck shop, as you say,
what about his breakfast and dinner?
Well, he ate his breakfast at home.
Cornflakes, every day.
How do you know that?
I did his shopping.
And what about his dinner?
I'd organise an extra sandwich.
And he liked his toast.
He liked his toast.
If you don't mind me saying,
that seems like...
..intimate knowledge for a secretary.
Do you have a housekeeper, Doctor?
-Yes, I do.
-And how well does she know your habits?
Mr Lennox had a very important job.
My role was to help him to do it.
I'd trust Mrs Beazley over that woman, any day.
I'd have to agree with you there.
I'll speak to the boss, bring her in for some questioning.
Now, Charlie, those tuck shop keys.
Good man. Thank you.
I'm Paul Wooton.
Lisa Wooton's brother.
She was there when... You know.
I'll leave you to it.
What can I do for you, Paul?
Look, ah, you wanted to talk to me, didn't you?
After the sports day,
Mum took Lisa and I home.
We'd just got in the front door
and I realised I forgot my medal.
-Hundred yards sprint.
So I went back to get it.
And what happened?
I didn't see anything but I heard them shouting.
He was really angry.
Who was he shouting at, Paul?
I don't want to get anyone into trouble. I might be wrong.
That's OK. It's OK.
Who was it?
Was it, er...Mr McAvoy?
She was crying, then she got angry.
She said she was going to kill him.
You worked hard, didn't you, Mr Lennox?
So who came to find you?
Well, what we do know, Mr Lennox,
is you were a middle-class man
who seemingly didn't eat very much.
Breakfast at seven, lunch at 12,
and then, what, nothing until six or seven?
A man of your size, a man of your age.
But you liked your tea. I'd say...
several cups a day.
Tea and cake?
Tea and cake.
How much did you enjoy your cake?
That'd be your coconut, Mr Lennox.
It must have been difficult, working so hard all the time.
He couldn't do his job without you.
He relied on you.
But he never once acknowledged how important you were.
You deserved more than "Happy festive season, Miss Blackwell"
once a year.
Is that why you stole all that money?
There's nearly 120 quid there.
I was going to give it back.
Yeah. Yeah, of course you were.
But Mr McAvoy found out the money was missing,
and he accused Mr Lennox of taking it.
Is that why Joseph argued with you?
He called me a pathetic woman.
I just wanted him to notice me.
Of course you did.
How did you get on with the secretary?
Well, she's been in love with him for years, but he had no idea.
So she started stealing money to get his attention.
-McAvoy found out and Lennox confronted her.
Charlie's been spending too much time with you, obviously.
-She denied poisoning him?
Yes... Well, it stands to reason, doesn't it?
Girlfriend out of the way, then why kill him?
Well, he said some pretty horrible things to her.
A few hours later, someone kills him.
The poisoning had been going on for weeks,
and that still doesn't explain who delivered the fatal blows.
-I thought you said she hadn't left the house in weeks.
Which leaves McAvoy.
Yeah, I can't see it.
Neither do I.
I'll leave you two to sort it out then, shall I?
Meantime, follow up on the secretary.
Find out where she was. If she checks out, we have to release her.
Anything from the school?
I'll let you know tomorrow. Now, how's that sweet tooth of yours?
Oh, there's something on your desk that might tickle your fancy.
Right, now, the lamington's mine.
The other two are up for grabs.
Since when did you bring home desserts, Lucien?
Since today. I thought you could both use a bit of a treat.
Now, what's your poison, Jean?
Well, I'm rather partial to a bit of chocolate cake.
-Chocolate cake it is. Allow me.
Excuse fingers. Mattie?
Looks delicious. And for the good doctor...
-Oh, it's delicious.
Doctor, you're up early.
-Lots to do.
-Mm. Cup of tea?
Yes. Ah, before you do that, Jean,
would you mind sitting down for a moment?
-Mattie, you too. I just want to run a quick test.
-Your blood. Won't take a moment.
Um, those cakes last night.
They were from the school tuck shop.
I believe one of them contained traces of warfarin.
So we prick our fingers, see how long they bleed
and that will help me determine whether my suspicions are correct.
Now give me your hand.
You fed us poisoned cake?
Well, I'm fairly sure I fed myself the poisoned one,
but I need to be certain - come on, give me your hand.
That's the least you deserve!
Oh, come on, Mattie.
You wouldn't have ingested nearly enough to cause any harm.
It's the repeated dose...
the repeated doses that made Lennox vulnerable.
Now having said that, as you know,
warfarin slows down the coagulation process.
What makes you so sure it was in the lamington?
I found traces of coconut under his desk so it seems likely.
But, in order to rule out the others,
I need to conduct some tests.
Well, not just you.
There were eight different types of cake.
I suppose you think that was funny.
Well, you said you wanted medical evidence - you've got it.
Warfarin was only present in the lamington.
How was that carrot cake, by the way?
A little dry.
So, whoever baked the lamingtons...
Was lacing them with warfarin.
Probably using that rat poison from the tuck shop.
And I'd say had been doing so for weeks.
Do we know who that was?
-Your constable wouldn't tell me what this is about.
Interview room, please, Constable.
Mum, is everything all right?
The children can wait here.
Right, Mrs Wooton, this is a list of parents
who supplied cakes to the school day fete - take a look, please.
Your name appears next to lamingtons in the baking competition.
-Is this correct?
Those lamingtons contained a poison called warfarin.
It's a blood thinner. Believe it or not, used in rat poison.
It was present in Mr Lennox's body at very, very high levels.
We spoke to Mr Lennox's secretary who confirmed that he ate several
on the day of the school fete.
He loved lamingtons. That's why we baked them for him.
So you regularly baked for Mr Lennox?
A fresh batch every few days.
He's been very supportive of the kids.
Since my husband had to go interstate.
Were you in love with Mr Lennox?
We spoke to your neighbours, Mrs Wooton.
Your husband hasn't gone interstate, he's left you.
Were you in love with Mr Lennox?
Well, I thought he liked me, but...nothing happened.
So why'd you poison him?
Those lamingtons were baked over a period of weeks. Why?
You didn't bake them, did you?
We found this at Mr Lennox's place.
It's not yours, is it? Your ears are pierced.
Do you know whose it is?
What was she doing at his house?
Lisa baked the lamingtons for Mr Lennox?
Davis, where are the children?
< I'll call you back.
They were right there.
I don't know.
You must have some idea where they've gone.
We don't have family here. I don't know.
-What about your husband?
-I told them he'd gone to Queensland.
Mrs Wooton, did you have any idea - any idea - something was wrong?
Caroline warned me about him.
I told her she was mad.
Mrs Wooton, what did she say?
She saw him with Lisa.
Did your son know about this?
I don't know.
We checked the bus, the train station. No sign of them.
There are four main roads out of town.
You take the car, you search all of them.
You start on the Midland Highway and head north.
What will you be doing?
-I'll be talking to Caroline Palmer.
Tell Lisa I'm sorry.
We're looking for the Wooton girl.
I don't know where Lisa is.
I just know that she's safe from him.
Whoever attacked Joseph Lennox
broke a school trophy on him.
Is that where I'd find the rest of it?
Lisa's mother said that you warned her about Joseph Lennox
but she didn't believe you.
She told me I was just jealous.
She screamed at me.
She refused to believe it.
I could see it happening all over again.
BOY: Go, go. Keep running.
To Lisa. Just like it happened to me.
I was Lisa's age.
My uncle was 40.
He told me I'd enjoy it.
Told me to keep quiet.
Charlie, stay with Paul! Lisa!
-Don't! What are you doing?
-Let him go!
-No, Lisa, stop!
-Let him go!
-'I lived with it for over a year.'
-Let him go!
The smell of his breath.
And when I finally found the courage to tell my father...
..do you know what he did?
He beat me.
-Let him go!
-Stay here, Lisa.
-Leave him alone!
'He called me a liar.'
No, no, no, no... Come here to me, Lisa.
-Lisa, get back from there!
Lisa, stay here with me, please.
'No-one believes you.'
Of course, his respected, charming brother wouldn't do such a thing.
My parents made me apologise to him in front of the entire family.
As if I was the one who did something wrong.
I wanted to kill myself.
You wouldn't survive.
Lisa, please come down.
Well, I tell you what.
If you won't come down,
looks like I'll have to join you.
Now, I'm coming up.
It's true what they say, isn't it?
Best not to look down.
Do you know what?
I think I'd better sit down.
Why don't you have a seat with me, eh?
I'd appreciate it.
'I knew Joseph was going to get away with it.'
No-one ever believes you.
What happens now?
Lisa, we know what happened. You don't have to do this.
Listen to me.
I think your brother would feel a bit better
if we both got off this bridge.
What do you think? He needs you.
I'll hop off first, all right?
Now how about you? What do you say?
Off you go.
Bit of a hand here, please.
Lisa's brother was poisoning him?
She must have told him.
And tried to protect her.
What's going to happen to him?
He'll face children's court and given the circumstances,
and, if you agree to give evidence,
they'll be lenient.
Thank you for letting me come in when I was ready.
I couldn't have taken it if you'd forced me.
There you go, Caroline.
Caroline Palmer, I'm arresting you
on suspicion of assaulting Mr Joseph Lennox.
You don't have to say anything but anything you do say
may be taken down and used in evidence against you.
Do you understand?
Fragile. They all are.
Especially the mother.
Should I have picked up on something?
No, none of us did.
Caroline saw Lennox with her,
told her mother.
And still nobody believed it.
-Except her brother, of course.
Well, still doesn't make me feel any better.
I was just getting them something to drink.
Well, have you returned McAvoy's shoes yet?
Oh, I'll do it tomorrow.
that time when we were kids...
..I found you behind the stairwell and you were coughing up a lung.
You said you'd been smoking.
McAvoy belted me.
Happened a lot.
Made me who I am, though.
And who's that, Matthew?
I get angry when something's unfair.
You know, I use his turns of speech and facial expressions
when I'm interviewing someone who really deserves it.
It's pretty damned effective.
-I hate liars. >
You're not sorry. You're embarrassed. I'm the one who's sorry.
-Hey, how would you like it if I gave you a reason to...
Let him go.
So you belted me and I wet my pants. I was 12 years old.
Let him go.
-Not wearing your uniform?
-My day off.
Give him his ball.
Give him his ball.
Take your ball, son.
When you grow up, you don't want to be anything like this bloke,
-On your way.
If I hear one more word of complaint against you,
I will break all your teeth.
There's your shoes.
You polished 'em.
And they needed it.
The school headmaster is found dead in his office and Blake's investigations stir up intrigue and demons from the past, particularly for chief of police Matthew Lawson, who was once a pupil at the school.