The motive in the murder of a retired insurance salesman appears to be a series of policies he sold to Jews in Poland during the Holocaust.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Jordan Grimaldi
Philip Goodwin ...
Alan Bresler
Laura Esterman ...
Evelyn Walcoff
Ray Aranha ...
Judge
Jacqueline Antaramian ...
Donna Grimaldi
Felix Fibich ...
Mr. Radsenhauer
Henderson Forsythe ...
Hamilton Stewart
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Storyline

Detectives Lennie Briscoe and Ed Green investigate the death of Peter Grimaldi, a retired insurance salesman who was found dead in the backseat of a taxicab. Grimaldi had been helped into the cab by a black man but the driver has little more information. The medical examiner confirms that the victim died as a result of a six inch stab wound and a gunshot wound. Grimaldi's son and daughter have no idea who might have wanted to harm him and they refer the police to Gail Bartlett, one of Grimaldi's friends. It leads them to learn that Grimaldi was having trouble with insurance claimants for policies he sold to Jews during the Second World War telling them their money would safe. He never paid out any claims however. They suspect Grimaldi's former employers may have been responsible for his death. Written by garykmcd

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1 December 1999 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Goofs

A medical examiner explains that a victim didn't realize that he had been shot by saying, "Reagan didn't know that he'd been shot either until he got to Bethesda Naval." Ronald Reagan went to George Washington University Hospital after being shot, not to Bethesda Naval. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Anita Van Buren: So, I heard you went in hot pursuit today.
Det. Ed Green: Yeah. Perp tried to climb out the window.
Lt. Anita Van Buren: I'm surprised you didn't push him.
Det. Ed Green: [pause] Me, too.
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Worthless Lives.
25 September 2012 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

The elderly Mr. Grimaldi sold thousands of life insurance policies to Jews and other Europeans beginning in the early 1930s, knowing that a purge was on its way, that minorities would be devastated, and that the policies would never be paid off.

He was working at the time for an American Insurance Company, the Great Atlantic and Pacific Insurance Company, or something like that. His bosses knew what he was doing.

What they seem not to have realized is that Grimaldi kept a book of all the policies sold and now, retired, wants to sell the incriminating book back to the corporation. An agreement is maid. The extortion will take place. Except that, after Mr. Grimaldi retrieves the book from its safe deposit box, in the fifteen minutes between leaving the bank and entering a cab, he is shot once and then stabbed by an independent party.

The subject is certainly pregnant with social and moral implications but I found it confusing and clotted. The insurance company may have acted unethically but of what crime, exactly, are they guilty? Of selling life insurance to people who will die in the holocaust ten years later? Of knowing ahead of time that no one is likely to show up claiming to be the beneficiary and holding a death certificate? It's an indictment of big business, and of America's policy towards the Jews and other refugees from Hitler.

Okay, it's immoral. But in what way was it a scam? Mr. Grimaldi's crystal ball told him he could take the money and run because all the policy holders would die without records, and yet the people buying the life insurance had no crystal ball? So far, this has impressed me as a relatively crummy season; relative, that is, to the earlier years. Perhaps the show was using new writers.

The rest of the elements are up to par -- the locations and most of the performances. But these plot are beyond thick and into high viscosity numbers. Also, some of the casting, for the lesser parts, is getting reckless and expedient. But it must be said that we've been exposed to a lot of horrible testimony in films that deal with the Nazi's genocidal program, yet Felix Fiebich gives a moving performance in his few minutes on the stand.


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