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0072 Missing Person, Part 12: “Kathy to the Rescue.”

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Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 72 – Missing Person, Part 12: “Kathy to the Rescue.”

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 72. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

This episode is the last in our 12-part special series: Missing Person, a murder mystery. In our previous episode, we found out that the person who had kidnapped and killed Sarah Salas was her own husband, Bill. We also found out that John Costello, the bartender who was shot and killed at his work, lived in the same apartment building as Bill and Sarah Salas.

Our narrator, Dr. Reeves, went over to Bill and Sarah’s apartment building and broke into John Costello’s apartment, where he surprised Bill. The two men fought, and at the end of the episode, Bill had Dr. Reeves’s gun and was going to shoot him. But Dr. Reeves suddenly remembered the pills that he found in Bill and Sarah’s apartment – pills for Bill’s bad leg. “Now,” he said, “I knew what to do.”

Now, the final episode of Missing Person: “Kathy to the Rescue.”

[start of story]

Without thinking for another second, I kicked Bill in his right knee. He screamed in pain and fell backward onto his back. The gun fell to the ground. I picked it up and pointed it at Bill.

“The game is over, Bill,” I said, moving the gun closer to his face. “I know that you killed John Costello, too. Was he your partner in kidnapping Sarah?”

“Costello was an idiot. He was supposed to kill Anne and then keep quiet. But he told me he wanted more money or he would tell the police everything he knew. So I had to kill him so he wouldn’t blab to the cops.”

“And you came to Costello’s apartment tonight to get rid of any evidence that connected you to him?” I asked.

“Costello had my name written down on a sheet of paper I gave him. I had to find the paper and get rid of it.” Just then I heard a knock on the door, and someone came in. It was Kathy Chang.

“Kathy! Right on time!” I said. “Did you call the police?”

“Yes, they’re on their way here right now. I have a cameraperson from the television station outside. We’re ready to report the story.”

The police arrived a few minutes later and arrested Bill Salas for the murder of his wife and John Costello. Anne would be devastated, of course, but at least now she would know the truth. Now it was really over, and the murderer had been found.

A week later, I met Kathy at her apartment for our usual dinner. Of course, she wanted to know all about the case of Sarah Salas’s kidnapping. We talked over a wonderful meal of baked chicken.

“I understand that Bill killed his wife, Sarah, for her money,” Kathy said, “but how much money was he going to get?”

“Bill had a two-million-dollar life insurance policy on Sarah,” I responded. “Bill would get two million plus half of the money from Prado Computers.”

“And how was John Costello involved in this whole thing?”

“John Costello lived in the same apartment building as Bill and Sarah,” I said. “He moved in a few months ago and became friends with Bill. But John liked to go to Las Vegas and gamble. He also liked to smoke and drink. So, he needed money – lots of money.”

“And Bill gave him a chance to make a lot of money by helping him kidnap Sarah,” Kathy said.

“Exactly. Bill told John he would give him $500,000 if he helped him kidnap Sarah.”

“But how did they take Sarah? Where did they keep her?”

“Bill had planned everything out very carefully,” I explained. “He told John Costello to call Sarah on the phone to ask her for some help with his computer. When she got there, John tied her up and kept her in his room. Bill left Los Angeles for two days in a rented car so people would think that both he and Sarah had disappeared. And it worked: Anne called me because she thought that Bill and Sarah were in trouble.”

“What went wrong with Bill’s perfect plan, then?”

“The problem was that John Costello wasn’t a very good helper,” I said. “He was supposed to kill Anne on the freeway, but he didn’t. Then he told Bill that if Bill didn’t give him more money, he would tell the police about the kidnapping.”

“That’s when Bill decided to kill Costello, to make sure Costello didn’t tell the police?”

“Exactly. He went to the bar where Costello worked and killed him,” I said. “Then he went back to Costello’s apartment to kill his wife. He cut her throat and put her body in the street. But when I discovered that John Costello lived in the same apartment building, I knew it was no coincidence, and that’s how I figured it out.”

I took a drink of wine and looked at Kathy. She really was a very beautiful woman.

“Well, let’s not think about Anne or Bill or John Costello,” Kathy said. She smiled and raised her glass of wine. Perhaps I’ve been working too hard on this case. I’ve forgotten the simple pleasures of life. It was time to spend some more time on the good things in life, like a good glass of wine, a good meal, and Kathy’s wonderful smile.

[end of story]

In this final episode of Missing Person, we find out how the story ends. The title of this episode is “Kathy to the Rescue.” “To rescue” (rescue) someone means to save them from trouble – to help when they are in danger or need help. So, “Kathy to the Rescue” means that Kathy is going to come and help Darren Reeves, our narrator.

The episode begins in the middle of a fight between Bill and Dr. Reeves. Bill has Dr. Reeves’s gun and is pointing it at him. Then Dr. Reeves remembers that Bill has a bad leg, so he kicks Bill in the knee. The “knee” (knee) is the joint that connects your upper leg to your lower leg. So, he kicks Bill in the knee, and Bill screams in pain and falls “backward.” “To fall backward” (backward) means to fall in the direction of your back. “To fall forward,” is to fall facedown, to your front. Bill falls “backward onto his back.”

The gun that Bill was holding falls to the ground, and Dr. Reeves picks it up. Now Dr. Reeves points the gun at Bill and says, “The game is over, Bill,” meaning “This is it. I know what you did, and it all stops now.” Dr. Reeves continues, “I know that you killed John Costello, too. Was he your partner in kidnapping Sarah?” A “partner” (partner) in this case is someone you are working with, someone who is helping you.

Bill says, “Costello was an idiot. He was supposed to kill Anne and then keep quiet.” But Costello failed to kill Anne, and then he told Bill he “wanted more money or he would tell the police everything he knew.” So, Bill says he had to kill him “so he wouldn’t blab to the cops.” “To blab” (blab) means to give information to. It’s an informal way of saying that he’s going to tell the police some secrets. “To blab” is usually used when someone tells someone else about a secret when they’re not supposed to.

Bill killed Costello and then he went to Costello’s apartment “to get rid of any evidence.” “To get rid of” means to destroy, to throw away, to make disappear. Bill needs “to get rid of any evidence.” “Evidence” (evidence) is proof; it is something that would show that Bill and John Costello were partners. Costello has Bill’s name “written on a sheet of paper.” A “sheet (sheet) of paper” is the same as a piece of paper. Bill says he needed to find this sheet of paper and get rid of it.

Just then, Kathy Chang knocks on the door, and Dr. Reeves says, “Kathy! Right on time!” “To be right on time” means to arrive exactly when you are supposed to. So, “right on time” means the same as “exactly on time.” It means you are here exactly when I expected you to be here. Dr. Reeves asks Kathy if she called the police, and she says, “Yes, they’re on their way here right now.” “To be on one’s way” means to be traveling to a particular place.

Kathy is a reporter, and she says that she has “a cameraperson from the television station outside.” A “cameraperson” (cameraperson) is the person who operates the video camera. The police arrive and arrest Bill Salas. “To arrest” (arrest) is what the police do when they take someone to jail. If you are arrested, you will have to defend yourself in court with a judge and lawyers and so forth. So, the police arrest Bill Salas for the murder of his wife and for the murder of his partner, John Costello.

Dr. Reeves says that Anne – Sarah’s sister – “would be devastated.” “To devastate” (devastate) means to destroy, to ruin, to break something apart until there is nothing left. For example, a storm like a hurricane or a tornado can devastate part of a city – it can completely eliminate it. But in this case, it is Anne who will be devastated, meaning she’s going to be very sad and extremely upset. It’s something that’s going to bother her for a long time, knowing that her brother-in-law murdered her sister.

A week later, Dr. Reeves and Kathy get together for dinner, and they talk about what had happened to Sarah Salas. We find out that Bill killed his wife, Sarah, because she had a lot of money and because Bill “had a two-million-dollar life insurance policy” on her. A “life insurance policy” is something you pay for in case someone dies; if that person dies, then the company you bought the life insurance from will pay you the amount of the policy. Bill had a two-million-dollar life insurance policy on Sarah, plus he would get half of the money from the computer company that Anne and Sarah owned.

We also find out that John Costello got involved because he was a neighbor of Bill and Sarah’s. He agreed to kidnap Sarah so that he could get some money as well. But things didn’t work out as planned. John Costello called Sarah on the phone and asked her for some help on his computer, and “when she got there” – when she arrived there – “John tied her up.” “To tie someone up” means to take some rope and put it around their arms and their legs so they can’t move and they can’t leave. He tied Sarah up, and then Bill left Los Angeles so that everyone would think that they had both been kidnapped.

But John Costello “wasn’t a very good helper.” A “helper” (helper) is, of course, someone who helps. The plan was for John Costello to kill Anne on the freeway, but he didn’t do that, and when he wanted more money, Bill decided to kill him, as well. When Dr. Reeves found out that John Costello lived in the same apartment building as Bill and Sarah Salas, he “knew it was no coincidence.” A “coincidence” (coincidence) is when two things that have a connection to each other happen at the same time. Usually it is just by chance; it just happens. But Dr. Reeves says he knew that this “was no coincidence,” which is how he figured out what happened and solved the mystery.

At the end of the story, Dr. Reeves calls Kathy “a very beautiful woman” – he is still attracted to her, it seems. He and Kathy share some wine, and Kathy “smiled and raised her glass.” “To raise” means to lift up into the air. Dr. Reeves says that he has “forgotten the simple pleasures of life,” meaning the simple things that make life good. And one of those simple things is Kathy’s “wonderful smile.” So, perhaps we can expect Darren and Kathy to begin another romantic relationship.

And so, on this happy note we end the last episode in our series: Missing Person.

Now let’s listen to the story, this time at a normal speed.

[start of story]

Without thinking for another second, I kicked Bill in his right knee. He screamed in pain and fell backward onto his back. The gun fell to the ground. I picked it up and pointed it at Bill.

“The game is over, Bill,” I said, moving the gun closer to his face. “I know that you killed John Costello, too. Was he your partner in kidnapping Sarah?”

“Costello was an idiot. He was supposed to kill Anne and then keep quiet. But he told me he wanted more money or he would tell the police everything he knew. So I had to kill him so he wouldn’t blab to the cops.”

“And you came to Costello’s apartment tonight to get rid of any evidence that connected you to him?” I asked.

“Costello had my name written down on a sheet of paper I gave him. I had to find the paper and get rid of it.” Just then I heard a knock on the door, and someone came in. It was Kathy Chang.

“Kathy! Right on time!” I said. “Did you call the police?”

“Yes, they’re on their way here right now. I have a cameraperson from the television station outside. We’re ready to report the story.”

The police arrived a few minutes later and arrested Bill Salas for the murder of his wife and John Costello. Anne would be devastated, of course, but at least now she would know the truth. Now it was really over, and the murderer had been found.

A week later, I met Kathy at her apartment for our usual dinner. Of course, she wanted to know all about the case of Sarah Salas’s kidnapping. We talked over a wonderful meal of baked chicken.

“I understand that Bill killed his wife, Sarah, for her money,” Kathy said, “but how much money was he going to get?”

“Bill had a two-million-dollar life insurance policy on Sarah,” I responded. “Bill would get two million plus half of the money from Prado Computers.”

“And how was John Costello involved in this whole thing?”

“John Costello lived in the same apartment building as Bill and Sarah,” I said. “He moved in a few months ago and became friends with Bill. But John liked to go to Las Vegas and gamble. He also liked to smoke and drink. So, he needed money – lots of money.”

“And Bill gave him a chance to make a lot of money by helping him kidnap Sarah,” Kathy said.

“Exactly. Bill told John he would give him $500,000 if he helped him kidnap Sarah.”

“But how did they take Sarah? Where did they keep her?”

“Bill had planned everything out very carefully,” I explained. “He told John Costello to call Sarah on the phone to ask for some help with his computer. When she got there, John tied her up and kept her in his room. Bill left Los Angeles for two days in a rented car so people would think that both he and Sarah had disappeared. And it worked: Anne called me because she thought that both Bill and Sarah were in trouble.”

“What went wrong with Bill’s perfect plan, then?”

“The problem was that John Costello wasn’t a very good helper,” I said. “He was supposed to kill Anne on the freeway, but he didn’t. Then he told Bill that if Bill didn’t give him more money, he would tell the police about the kidnapping.”

“That’s when Bill decided to kill Costello, to make sure Costello didn’t tell the police?”

“Exactly. He went to the bar where Costello worked and killed him,” I said. “Then he went back to Costello’s apartment to kill his wife. He cut her throat and put her body in the street. But when I discovered that John Costello lived in the same apartment building, I knew it was no coincidence, and that’s how I figured it out.”

I took a drink of wine and looked at Kathy. She really was a very beautiful woman.

“Well, let’s not think about Anne or Bill or John Costello,” Kathy said. She smiled and raised her glass of wine. Perhaps I’ve been working too hard on this case. I’ve forgotten the simple pleasures of life. It was time to spend some more time on the good things in life, like a good glass of wine, a good meal, and Kathy’s wonderful smile.

[end of story]

This concludes our special series: Missing Person. I hope that you have enjoyed it.

From Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Thanks for listening. Come back and listen to us again here on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language Podcast is written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan. This podcast is copyright 2006.

Glossary
knee – the joint between the upper and lower parts of a human leg; the part of the body where the thigh (upper leg) connects to the lower leg

* Carl hurt his knee while playing football and has been walking with a limp for a nearly a month.

backward – behind one; toward the rear

* Mong was walking backward while talking to his friend when he fell over the bush.

partner – a person who takes part in something with one; a person who shares the work and responsibilities of a task

* The teacher told his students to work with a partner on the assignment and to check each other’s work.

to blab – to tell secrets; to tell others something that is private and should not be shared

* The party was supposed to be a surprise, but Janelle blabbed about it to all of her friends and Sophie found out about it.

to get rid of – to remove something unwanted; to be free of something that one doesn’t like or want

* How do you get rid of unwanted houseguests who stay longer than expected?

evidence – information indicating that something is true, believable, or acceptable

* The police found very little evidence to show who started the house fires.

sheet of paper – one piece of paper

* Donny said he would give you a ride tomorrow, so write down your address on a piece of paper and give it to him.

cameraperson – a person whose job is to operate a television or movie camera and record events as they happen

* We are shooting a small film with only one cameraperson.

to be devastated – to feel extreme sadness or grief (feeling of loss after someone or something is gone or has died)

* Kylie was devastated when she got a letter telling her that she was not accepted into the university she wanted to attend.

life insurance policy – an agreement with an insurance company that states that it will pay an amount of money if someone dies

* Hassan wants to be sure that his family will have enough money to live on if he dies, so he purchased a life insurance policy.

to tie (someone) up – to use rope, string, or something similar to tie someone’s arms and/or legs so that someone cannot escape

* The kidnapper tied Georgina up and told her to be quiet or he would hurt her.

helper – someone who helps one to do something; assistant

* We were able to set up for the party in less than an hour because we had three good helpers.

coincidence – two or more things happening at the same time with no connection or common cause

* Is it a coincidence that three of my neighbors stopped by to say hello on the day I bake my famous apple pies?

to raise – to lift up; to move to a higher position

* The dancers raised their arms in the air as they moved across the stage.