BEHIND THE SCENES: TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN ~ EPISODE 5!
Seven hours, folks! Less than a full work day . . . We thought we’d done pretty good finding the briefcase in thirty-two hours in a previous episode, but seven hours? My partner is awesome!
As interrogators, one of the first things you do is evaluate a subject based on their appearance. Is this superficial? Yes, but you have to start somewhere. In the case of hider contestant Rick Lechleitner, there were several things Mary and I decided up front – Rick is in his 60’s, but he’s a good looking man with a flat belly and a smooth way about him. He also has his hair cut in a youngish style. From these things, we assessed Rick as being somewhat narcissistic and it was best if Mary was to take the first crack at him.
Mary also decided she was going to put her usual pit bull courtroom persona aside and get her Betty Boop on. Her little, “Hi, I’m Mary. I’m a district attorney, but all I really do is file cases in the back room,” act was amazing. What Rick heard was, “Hi, I’m Mary. I’m not dangerous. I think you’re a hunk. Please tell me where the briefcase is.” Yikes! I told you last week, the woman is dangerous . . .
As bizarre as Rick telling Mary where he and his daughter Trish hid the briefcase appears, it was really an incredible display of patience on Mary’s part that made it happen. Her interrogation of Rick lasted two and a half hours. She patiently stayed in character, showing interest in everything Rick was telling her about himself. She let him talk, and talk, and talk – establishing a bond and completely entrancing Rick. He wanted to tell her where he hid the briefcase . . . he wanted to impress her with how brilliant his plan was . . . his ego began talking and it just didn’t know when to shut up.
Once Mary obtained from Rick the name of Eddie Mullins – the man at whose realty office the briefcase was hidden – Oakland detectives Anwawn Jones and Casey Johnson did a fantastic job of locating and then searching Eddie’s office and finally locating the briefcase. The look on Eddie’s face when Casey and Anwawn knocked on his door was priceless – FEAR written across it in capital letters.
The funniest thing about the situation is something none of us knew at the time, and the viewers, of course, did not see . . . One of the rules of TTMAR is the briefcase’s hiding place has to be accessible to the detective contestants 24/7. So, if the hiders put the briefcase in a business or a residence, they have to get the business owner or the resident to agree to give TTMAR the required access. This means if the detectives are checking a residential address and there is nobody home, or they go to a business address and the business is closed, the detectives can eliminate that location as a hiding place.
This is all good, and Eddie Mullins did agree to allow 24/7 access to his office. However, there was no way the TTMAR producers thought the detectives would ever get to Eddie’s realty office the first day, and so they told Eddie he could go home!
When Mary coxed Eddie’s name out of Rick in her first interview with him, there was a huge panic in the producers’ room. They had to get in touch with Eddie and get him to beat feet back to his office so he could be there if the detectives arrived. The problem was, Eddie wasn’t answering his phone!
Eventually, the producers did contact Eddie and he was able to get back to his realty office before Casey and Anwawn arrived – but it was close. Apparently, however, there was a Chinese fire drill going on behind scenes that none of us were aware of at the time.
NEXT WEEK: CHICAGO REDUX
REMEMBERING AUTHOR GERALD HAMMOND
13 hours ago