Back at the adult bookstore, the owner is explaining his tenuous relationship with his customer base. "It's not like we take roll call here. Guys come here to be invisible," the owner says. "If I looked, if I asked questions, I'd be out of business." Nameless Cop's not buying it: "The key to any business is return customers. What about them?" "I notice them even less," the owner replies. Which is how it should be. A friend of mine -- and this time, I am using a transparent narrative device -- made the occasional visit to a neighborhood video store which made up for its lack of popular commercial titles with a wide selection of edgier, adult fare. This was long before he met Sobe-- er, "his future wife." So one day, he goes into this store, and the clerk there greets him with a bit too much familiarity for his liking. And he never went back. There are certain places you want to be recognized as a regular -- bars, restaurants, certain churches -- and other places where it's just as well that everybody doesn't know your name -- hospital rooms, police stations, and adult video stores. Anyhow, the owner points Horatio and Nameless Cop in the direction of the deceased's husband. "He's a real prize," the owner sneers. "How do you spell 'pimp'?" P...I...M...oh, you were trying to be coy.
Cut to Horatio and Nameless Cop paying a visit to the P-I-M-P, a fellow by the name of Rick Breck (and doesn't that sound like the nom-de-plume of someone who stars in that edgier adult fare I...er, "my friend" used to rent?). The Brecks live in a boat down by the marina; perhaps they have the berth next to Sonny Crockett and his pet alligator, Elvis. Rick Breck looks a lot like a shaggier version of Dennis Miller, only with a lot more piercings and a lot less proclivity toward spouting off esoteric pop culture references. The Brecks have been married less than a year; they do not own a car. This is why Amy -- at long last a name for that poor, dead stripper! -- walks home. Nameless Cop wonders why the Ricker wasn't concerned when his wife didn't show up after her sixteen-hour shift at the strip club. "She comes, she goes, she always calls," Rick says, a little bit too flippantly for someone so recently bereaved. Did she call last night, Nameless Cop wants to know? Rick looks around nervously -- perhaps a little bit of Dennis Miller's esoterica might come in handy right about now. "She call you?" Nameless Cop repeats. "Yeah," Rick says sheepishly. "But I wasn't here. She left a message." "Can I hear it?" Nameless Cop asks. "I erased it," says Rick, adding that the message didn't contain anything out of the ordinary. "Then you won't mind if I take the answering machine with me?" Horatio says. "Go right ahead," Rick says. "And don't bother with the formality of a warrant. It's not like there's a constitutional safeguard against unreasonable searches and seizures." Oh wait -- that's what I'd say. Rick folds like a card table and lets Horatio take his stuff.
Only after leaving the boat does Horatio think to suggest to Nameless Cop that they get a warrant. "On what grounds?" Nameless Cop wonders. "On the grounds that this is a murder investigation," says Horatio, probably forgetting that the man he's patronizing is, in fact, in the paid employ of the Miami-Dade police and therefore not entirely unfamiliar with the concept of criminal investigations. "It's a hit-and-run," Nameless Cops says in exasperation. Horatio argues that if they can connect Amy Breck's death with the murder of Victor Ratsch, they have a shot at probable cause. "The probable cause is she's a stripper, she's a junkie, and she's a whore," Nameless Cop says. "She's also a human being," Horatio fires back, and it's not like he doesn't have a good point, but I don't remember this outpouring of sympathy when the victim had bad teeth and wore Kmart socks. There's no outrage like selective outrage, I suppose. Nameless Cop is having none of Horatio's blather -- "She's also a corpse, and by God, don't you ever step on my investigation again," he snarls as he storms off. Horatio is left standing on the dock, reminding himself that not everyone is strong enough to handle his staggering intellect and limitless compassion.