The Brush Man
The Brush Man

Season : 6
Episode: 14
Directed by: Roxann Dawson
Written by: Elwood Reid
Production Number:
Airdate: January 25, 2009
Date of Crime: June 6, 1967
Previous: Breaking News
Next: Witness Protection

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The team investigates the 1967 murder of a travel salesman when his remains are found at the bottom of a duck pond. They learn the salesman suspected something VERY wrong was going on in one of the houses on his route and wanted to do something about it. Meanwhile, Vera needs to find a new place to live after he and Toni break up and Lilly tells her father what happened to her mother.


Roy W. Dunn, a traveling brush salesman, was found dead in a recently-drained pond. From an interview with the salesman who took over his route, we learn that Roy kept his finger on the pulse of the neighborhood, flirting with the area housewives, playing ball with the neighbor kids, but remaining all business. The salesman tells of Roy frequently giving away product samples to the women in the neighborhood, including an upholstery brush to an extremely timid woman, Diane, who’s come over for coffee at the home of her flirtatious friend, Joannie.

In interviewing Joannie, Lilly and Scotty learn that Roy had a confrontation with a reclusive neighbor, “Abnormal Norm,” over a baseball that landed in Norm’s yard. Our fearless detectives head over for a chat with Norm, who refuses to answer the door, buying him a trip downtown and giving the detectives the right to search his house, where they find Roy’s appointment book. The book contains notes on orders, payment information, and has an envelope containing $100, addressed to a woman named Alice. Norm, however, protests his innocence, insisting that he found the book while at the pond feeding the ducks. In a flashback, he recalls seeing Diane’s husband, Glenn, giving back the items she bought from Roy, and ordering Roy to stay away from them.

Scotty and Lilly head over for a chat with Glenn and Diane, who seem the happy couple, but Lilly senses something strange about Diane, particularly when she escapes to the kitchen the minute the detectives ask about their estranged son, Kevin. Glenn recalls seeing Kevin and Roy playing ball in the park, Roy mentioning that he used to play baseball all the time just to get out of the house, and an enraged Glenn threatens Roy with a call to the police if he doesn’t stay away from Kevin. Glenn also mentions seeing Roy lurking around another neighbor woman’s house.

This, folks, is where the case gets interesting. It turns out Roy’s got a manslaughter conviction for killing Jim Mills in a bar fight…and the man’s widow, Alice, lives in that same Philly neighborhood. This, warrants a chat with Alice, and the detectives agree. Alice explains to Lilly and Scotty that her husband beat her, Roy took exception, the two fought, and Roy killed Jim. Upon his release from prison, Roy came to Philadelphia to find Alice and apologize, saying, in a poignant moment, that he wished he were the type who could just walk away. Perhaps Roy repeated his pattern with Diane?

Lilly certainly thinks so, because she confronts Diane at the grocery store. After a brief argument, Diane relents and tells Lilly the reason for their falling-out with Kevin: one day, she was upset about Glenn and how he kept secrets from her, and Roy showed up to provide a shoulder to cry on, as well as encouragement for her to leave Glenn. Although this could easily have turned tawdry, it’s clear that Roy cared only for Diane’s well-being. Unfortunately for all parties involved, Kevin saw them embrace anyway.

Back at Headquarters, Vera and Lilly interview Kevin, who says he received a beating from his father after this incident, but it had nothing to do with Diane and Roy: it had to do with Kevin catching Glenn at the park…with another man. Lilly and Scotty confront Glenn with this information, and he admits that Roy came to his workshop, told him everything, and urged him to leave Kevin and Diane alone. They fought, and Glenn stabbed Roy to death to keep his secret.


Main CastEdit

Guest CastEdit




  • Ellen Rush's grave lists her date of death May 5, 2007. This is one day before the airdate of "Stalker", in which she died.


  • The Velvet Underground "I'll Be Your Mirror"
  • Nancy Sinatra "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'"
  • Nancy Sinatra "Lightning's Girl"
  • The Velvet Underground "European Son"
  • The Hombres "Let It All Hang Out"
  • Closing Song: The Velvet Underground "Pale Blue Eyes"

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