The Reality TV Guru

The Interrogators: Police detective Paul Bishop and Deputy District Attorney Mary Hanlon-Stone

Here we are in South Beach, Miami with two sisters attempting to do the $100,000 caper in broad daylight. Rebecca and Jennie Albano are a couple of attractive ladies who are sure to get noticed on the streets, money case or no money case. They’re business partners and have a knack for saying words like “together” at exactly the same time, as if they’re somehow psychically connected.

The sisters are up against Miami detectives Manny Muñoz & Jorge Montero, supported by the weekly cast interrogators Paul Bishop and Mary Hanlon Stone. The sisters meet their contact at the marina near Miami City Hall. He handcuffs the briefcase on one of the sisters and instructs them to press a button on the briefcase for their instructions. We get the usual recorded message telling them that they have an hour to stash the briefcase with $100,000 before being taken into custody and the cops have 48 hours to find where they hid it.

In the GPS-rigged SUV they’re provided, the sisters make their plans. “We’re not making any phone calls, we’re not sending any text messages, we’re not spending any of the of money.” It looks like they’re only going to leave the detectives with the GPS route as the sole clue, with no phone calls or receipts to track. It leaves no traces with no questions to have to answer apart from their route, but it also leaves no decoys. Now, where do they plan to hide it?

As they drive along for 10 minutes, they debate about their strategy. “No, no! No phone calls. No information whatsoever.” Their route takes them across the bridge and into various residential areas. We still have no idea where they intend to stash the cash until they get to Matheson Hammock County Park, with Snapper Creek Park south of there. Stop #1 is at Banyon Drive, near the park entrance.

They hoof it from the entrance of the park, holding hands, with 35 minutes remaining. They walk along a narrow, paved park road for a while until they get to an inconspicuous spot along the road. While the partner with the briefcase hides the money in some underbrush about five feet off the road, the other partner turns around and closes her eyes so that she doesn’t see the act of stashing.

The stashing partner falls down in the underbrush and makes her way out and the “blind” partner asks her if she fell down. The case is pretty close to the road and visible from a certain angle, so if the detectives sense about where this spot is, they’ve got a good shot at finding the case. In the background we see the main road only about 100 feet away, so it’s also not very far inside the park, either. These ladies could have done a better job by walking further into the park and concealing the case better further off the road.

They drive along for a while, get a five-minute warning by phone and soon time’s up. Now the 48:00 clock is ticking. Immediately upon taking the sisters into custody, the Miami detectives Manny Muñoz & Jorge Montero frisk the ladies clothes and ask them to take their shoes off. These guys are clearly more street savvy than the cops we’ve seen the previous two weeks. They’re being thorough about looking for clues immediately, as they also inspect the car. Not leaving everything up to the two show interrogators, they do some interrogation of their own on the spot.

At the “incarceration facility” (a fancy name for “jail”), they’re put into jail clothes while their own clothes are checked and put into boxes. There’s an outside chance the cops might find a clue here since the stashing sister took a fall in the underbrush while doing the stash. We’ll see. Interestingly, Jennie’s also got a notebook or journal with her that she apparently was allowed to bring into the cell.

Paul & Mary meet up with Manny & Jorge. They trade notes and realize they don’t have a lot of clues to work with. First order of business is to retrace the route, starting with Dinner Key Marina. The route is full of places where the case could be stashed in undergrowth or bushes. They stop at one spot not too far from the park at a dead end at Banyon Drive and have a look around. Little do they realize just how close they are to the stash spot, just up a small paved road very near by. Whew. Then the cops drive the rest of the route up to the point of custody.

The Miami cops are quickly back out on the field, methodically searching areas of undergrowth, starting along the earliest part of the route. No wandering around here. It seems inevitable that they’re eventually going to reach the park and have a look there. Meanwhile, as night falls, Paul & Mary begin their interrogations.

Paul begins Rebecca’s interrogation with a “good afternoon”, although it’s already night time. Prior to this, she says she has no idea what time of day it is, and she greets him back with a “good afternoon”! My, how time flies when you’re having fun. Paul notices and asks her about her “gluttony” tattoo and we get a somewhat unsavory explanation about how she came to get this tattoo.

Meanwhile, the Miami cops reach Banyon Drive. It’s nightfall with still a dim glow on the horizon and they’re using flashlights. Lo and behold, they find a case! Whoops, but this isn’t the case we’re looking for. It appears to be an abandoned hand luggage case that might actually meet the airline size limit specifications. There’s nothing inside of it except for a few old papers. “Nothing”. But whether they know it or not, they’re close. They might have just missed it as they call it a night at this location for now, with it becoming too dark to find much. Will they return during the daytime?

Mary interrogates the other sister and starts out with compliments about how smart and driven she is. Looks like the strategy here is to butter her up like a slice of bread and hope some crumbs fall to the door. It comes down to Jennie telling Mary that “I don’t know where we went most of the time. I had my eyes closed.” (Partly true.) Mary responds, “That’s not true.” “You can ask me all the questions you want, I have no information for you.” Mary walks out, clearly not pleased, “We’ll be chatting again”.

The Miami cops return to the office and do some background checks on the sisters and find out they run a vending business and where they live. It turns out the sisters drove by three of these locations, their own houses and a best friend’s house, so there are decoys here after all. They also start looking into rental metal detectors.

The next day dawns and now there’s 27:37 hours remaining for the cops. The Miami cops will want to make the most of the daylight they can. Before hitting the field, though, they meet with Paul & Mary about the progress of the interrogations. Paul says that “my initial impression is… that it’s somewhere along the route” and explains why. He says the sister said “We walked and put it in ‘this space'” as opposed to ‘this spot’, noting the choice of words. Between the four of them, they narrow the locations to search down to best friend Eddie’s house, Banyon Drive (marked as “still viable” on their map!) and a sister’s house on 85th Street.

It’s mealtime and one sister rejects the slop and gives it back while the other sister doesn’t eat it. Ironically enough, both interrogators join up against the younger “gluttony” sister.

Meanwhile, the Miami cops stop by Eddie’s house. They talk with a lady over the intercom who says Eddie’s not around. She also answers the question about whether the sisters stopped by with a briefcase and get a “No”. They leave there and go to the sisters’ license address on Toledo street, where nobody’s home. They suspect that the sisters no longer live at the address listed on their driver’s licenses and want to ask the sisters about that. Then they stop by Jennie’s business address at 85th Street where there is also nobody home. This leaves Banyon Drive as the last place to check out. On the way, they pick up a metal detector for rent.

During the interrogation, the driving sister says she didn’t know where she was, and “there was actually one point where I made a right and went down the street and it was at a dead end.” Then Mary catches her by asking whether it was “after Banyon”. She says “after Banyon… wait, what Banyon?” Oops! Later they bring in a map for her to look at as they question her, trying to zero in on her dead-end blunder. They also take her pulse as they ask her questions about when and where they hid the briefcase. She held up, “she didn’t blink, she didn’t sweat”.

Meanwhile, the Miami cops are at the location driving down the road at Banyon passing the same No Outlet sign the sisters did, with 25:25 hours remaining. They get a call from Paul that they suspect it’s at Banyon, based on the sister’s “what Banyon?” interrogation blunder. The cops are now on the road the sisters walked on, armed with a metal detector and a prodding pole. Methodically, they search along the road but Manny walks right by it with it barely in view!

Oh, so close!

And after Jorge misses it the first time, Manny finds it on the second pass behind his partner!

“Oh, man,” says Jorge, realizing he’d missed it but his partner Manny saved the day. Game over. Even Paul goes, “Wow.” when he and Mary find out Manny and Jorge found the case.

You have to credit the two Miami cops for their thorough leg work for winning this round. Well done, guys! You deserve a promotion. Oh, wait, you’ve already got $100,000. Who needs a promotion?

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus