Numb3rs S1E11 Script

Sacrifice (2005)

( alarm blaring )

( alarm continues )

Hey, Pete, I think I got something.

You better call it in.

Agent Eppes?


David Sinclair.

How you doing? John Reacher.

I'm with the Bureau's Security Division.

Victim was a computer science researcher for a private think tank.

High-level National Security clearance.

DON: Who's that?

This is Robert Oliver.

He's the CEO of The Lorman Group.

How are you? Don Eppes, FBI.


The Lorman Group is the think tank?

That's right.

They have a number of contracts with us for classified government projects.

So, the victim was one of your employees?

Yes. Uh, Dr. Hoke was one of our senior researchers.

I'll check on the body. DON: All right.

Any reason to think the murder had anything to do with the work he was doing for you?

It's possible.

Those Bureau Techs?

No, they're with my company.

What are you doing? They're civilians.

They have security clearance.

DON: Gentlemen, back away from that computer.

REACHER: Agent Eppes, can I talk to you for a minute?

I have an obligation to secure the contents of Dr. Hoke's computer.

Well, I got an obligation to investigate a murder, and whatever these guys are doing, they're contaminating my crime scene.

Your crime scene?

That's right. Unless there's something I don't know, my homicide investigation's gonna take priority over your security concerns.


We've got multiple stab wounds.

The Coroner's Investigator says he's been dead for almost two days.

What was that about?

He was going to let those guys take data off that computer.

Well, I think somebody beat them to it.

According to what I heard, the files were already erased.

All right, we're gonna start with that.

Nobody touches it. All right.

Let's get our people on it immediately.

All right. Adam, Carter.

( echoing ): We all use math every day... to predict weather... to tell time... to handle money.

Math is more than formulas and equations.

It's logic.

It's rationality.

It's using your mind to solve the biggest mysteries we know.

WOMAN: Okay, well, the first thing is, whoever wiped the information off of this hard drive didn't make a copy of it.

You sure about that?


Hoke had an event log on his computer.

Recorded the wipe, but no duplication.

And whoever did do the wipe knew exactly what they were doing.

This code's been flipped hundreds of thousands of times.

Wait. Define flipped.

A computer's language boils down to binary code.

Every bit of information is a specific sequence of zeroes and ones, like coins, all heads or tails.

When you wipe the data, you don't really erase it.

You just start flipping the coins back and forth.

That destroys the code and renders the information pretty much unintelligible.

Now, mind you, we're talking about binary code, which is millions upon millions of zeroes and ones.

In order to recreate the data, I need to reconstruct the original sequence of the code.

To flip it back to the way it was originally.

Try to. But as you said, you're talking about millions and millions of numbers.

CHARLIE: Now the program that was used to flip Hoke's code left a pattern behind.

If I can find it, I can reverse engineer the program and reconstruct the original sequence.

Give it a shot. Let me know if you find anything.



Jonas Hoke was an applied physicist.

Lived alone, no kids, and from everything I've heard so far, totally devoted to his work.

He was in the middle of a divorce.

Wife left him a few months ago.

Oh, yeah? Any history there?

No police reports, no 911 calls.

Neighbors say he was a quiet, friendly guy.

Yeah, who somehow wound up being butchered in his own house.

House ransacked. You've got multiple stab wounds.

Alarm tripped.

Not really the M.O. of a professional killer.

Why is the alarm tripped on the night the body's discovered, as opposed to two days earlier, when the guy's actually murdered?

There's no evidence the body was ever moved.

Yeah, the neighbors don't report seeing anyone else in the area.

Still, the house being ransacked suggests somebody was searching for something.

Well, whoever wiped that file knew what to look for, that's for sure.

You think they trashed the house on a ruse?

Make it look like an amateur?

Why don't you go check out the wife?

I'm going to talk to Reacher about the Lorman connection.

DAVID: Mrs. Hoke, I understand there was a dispute over the money involved in the separation.

I guess we both valued our time together a little differently.

Maybe it was because he was angry I left.

I don't know, but Jonas felt it appropriate that I leave the marriage with what I came to it with.

I wanted to ask him for the 12 years back, but I didn't know how.

When was the last time you spoke to your husband?

A few weeks ago.

He was late with a separation check.

He'd do that -- forget.

Sometimes I wondered if it was intentional.

Mrs. Hoke, I have to ask you, where were you on the 14th?

Right, I understand.

As it happens, I was at home.

Any witnesses who can verify that?

Lucas Grodin.

He is a friend.

I don't expect you to understand.

I'm not judging you, Mrs. Hoke.

I'm just trying to take your statement.

So, your tech's sure whoever it was who wiped Hoke's files from the hard drive -- they didn't make a copy? That's right.

Apparently, it was erased, but not duplicated.

My bosses will be happy to hear that.

You know, you guys...

You ought to remind your bosses that a man was murdered over this, you know?

I didn't mean it the way it sounded.

Look, what exactly did Hoke do for The Lorman Group?

The company had a contract with the Defense Department for a new computer system, one that could better interpret global satellite imaging.

So, so new that someone would kill over it?

It's pretty sensitive stuff, but a motive for murder?

I don't know.

Hey. So Hoke was working on a DOD contract for a computer program that interprets satellite images.

Remote Sensing.

It's a process that scans electromagnetic signatures from the earth's surface.

It was used to detect prehistoric Incan paths to sacred burial sites.

Hoke was probably developing it to read roadside bombs or ruts from tanks.

Why didn't you tell me you found this?

Because that data wasn't the focus of the hard drive wipe.

All right. What was?

Say I want to hide what I've written.

Have I hidden it?

CHARLIE: Exactly.

The impression runs deeper than the one sheet I've written it on.

Now, if I really wanted to conceal it, I would do this.

Hoke's remote sensing work was erased with the equivalent of a magic marker, but this section here was scribbled out with a data scrubber -- the equivalent of a pencil.

On the surface, it renders the computer code meaningless, but here there are magnetic shadows underneath, pieces of data left behind that I was able to find.

All right, tell me.


Specifically, like, baseball statistics.

Baseball statistics?

Batting averages, on-base percentages.

I mean, as far as I can tell, Hoke was developing a pretty sophisticated application of sabermetrics, which places numerical values on specific skills, like home runs, hits, walks.

A lot of teams use sabermetrics to identify the best way to allocate their resources.

Yeah. What was that book about the...?

It was the Oakland A's GM.

Money Ball. Yeah, Money Ball.

Right. Only Hoke was taking his formulas to a whole new level, attempting to predict player performance based on statistical curves.

All right, so, why erase baseball stats?

And why kill over it?

I have no idea. Hmm.

But I might be able to use a predictive equation to rebuild the missing data, like detecting the original lines here, and guessing at what letters they could make.

Right. Well, I mean, we got to know what they were trying to hide.

OLIVER: Obviously, it was quite a shock to hear about Jonas.

To see him like that.

I'm sure.

I'm sorry for your loss.

Yeah. We'd worked together for quite a while.

Well, I'm gonna need to get a consultant in to access Dr. Hoke's computer.

Well, I don't see a problem.

So, this is Dr. Hoke's office.

This is Scott Reynolds.

He's Dr. Hoke's research assistant.

Has anything else been touched in this office?

Uh, no. Uh, Agent Reacher told us to leave everything in place.

What are you doing on this computer?

Just checking e-mails, general housekeeping.

Well, I'd appreciate it if you did that someplace else for the time being.


You worked with Dr. Hoke on a daily basis?


You remember what you were doing on the 14th?

Uh, it was a Tuesday?

Um, he came in that Monday, and then I didn't hear from him again till Mr. Oliver called me and told me what happened.

Well, he was missing for two days. Wasn't that a little unusual?

No, he would stay home from the office three, four days at a time.

Scott's right. Jonas could get lost in his work.

DON: Was Dr. Hoke a fan of baseball, by any chance?

Baseball? Yeah.

Oh, I'm not sure.

Uh, he never went to any games or anything, if that's what you mean.

Why do you ask?

It's just a little survey I'm doing.

You gentlemen are going to have to leave this office.

Well, apparently, Hoke wasn't that into baseball.

I mean, there's no autographed balls, no sports memorabilia whatsoever.

So, whatever his interest, as far as I could tell, it wasn't personal.

Maybe he was interested in sabermetrics as a hobby?

Well, it doesn't seem like that should get you stabbed to death.

How are you doing on recreating his data?

I've been running the corrupted files through a series of algorithms on my computer.

All right, well, as soon as you find anything, let me know, 'cause I want to get you out here and look at his computer, all right?

All right, well, I'm actually on my way to give a lecture right now, but sure, afterwards, any way I can help.

All right, good, thanks, Charlie.

Now, did I just hear you say the word "sabermetrics"?

Familiar with it?

The "Money Ball" craze?

Oh, yes, I'm familiar with it.

I take it you don't approve.

Well, the notion that human achievement on a baseball diamond can be predicted through the application of statistical analysis is, at it's very core, highly problematic.

Even if the skill can be statistically measured?

Yes, because, Charles, the human spirit is immeasurable.

You know, our brains aren't just these machines.

There's a lot of either/or going on here.

Yes, statistical probability is a wonderful tool, but applied to human performance, it's only an extrapolation of the past.

Still there are a number of baseball teams that use sabermetrics to determine who to pay.

As a Dodger fan, I'm all too painfully aware of that fact, but I'm also aware that in a statistical model, the Red Sox never beat the Yankees.

Ah, there are exceptions to every rule.

Yes, and aren't they glorious? ( chuckles )

Now, why is Don even asking you about statistical baseball analysis?

( sighs ): A researcher was found murdered.

Wait, are we talking about Jonas Hoke?

You knew him?

He... yeah.

We were doctoral students together.

Well, not together, but at the same time.

He just -- I don't know.

There's that old saying:

"Applied physicists are from Venus, "theoretical physicists...

...wonder why it rotates in the opposite direction."

There you go.

No, our department was informed of his passing and the planned memorial service.

I'm sorry.

Well, the book doesn't always work, Charles, and numbers can't always account for the way life turns out.

Well, I mean, just ask Jonas Hoke.

DON: What do you say, David?

Hey. Anything at The Lorman Group?

Well, Hoke didn't show up for work for two days, and he wasn't missed.

That's either very sad, or that's a really good job.

Yeah? Seemed odd to me.

Well, guess who had a $2 million insurance policy.

What? The good Dr. Hoke?

Mm-hmm. And guess who the beneficiary is?

Not the wife.

Yep. Turns out the divorce was nastier than we thought.

Major issue being Hoke's potential earnings.

Apparently, he didn't want to give her any.

So she takes him out and gets the money she's entitled to?

Then she's free and single again.

He's her alibi the night of the murder. Arrested in '84.

Assault and battery.

I guess she figured Hoke was worth more dead than alive.

MAN: I was twenty years old.

I got in a fight with a guy at a bar.

Two years probation, believe me, I learned my lesson.

Which was what -- don't leave any witnesses behind the next time?

You have some imagination.

We do.

How about you imagining this --

Gail Hoke's in the middle of a bad divorce, right?

I mean, it really isn't going well.

On the other hand, a dead husband pays out on a $2 million insurance policy.

Wonder how many of these you'd have to work to make up that.

And, killing Jonas helps me how?

Because maybe Gail will give me some of her insurance settlement?

Well, with him out of the way, she's free to marry again.

Gail and I like each other.

Maybe it's even more than that, but neither one of us has ever talked about marriage.

All right.

We'll be in touch.

Gail Hoke wasn't over her ex-husband.

I got that much from both of them.

Well, doesn't mean she didn't kill him.

Yeah, but I got the feeling she wasn't willing to admit the marriage was over.

She was thinking about going back to him.

How'd you get that?

Kind of reminded me of my sister Linda when she got divorced.

Moved out, got her own place, sat around waiting for her ex to call instead of getting out and getting on with her life.

Did he call?

Yeah, and she went back to him.

I always thought she could've done better, you know, just given herself a chance.

Thanks. Yeah. Yeah?

Knucklehead, you know.

Hello. I'm sorry. I have pretty specific instructions.

No one's supposed to use this computer.

Oh, I'm sorry. You must be Scott.

Yeah. I'm Professor Charlie Eppes.

Oh, I'm the, um, yeah, I'm the... FBI consultant.

Oh, all right.

Yeah, Mr. Oliver said you were coming.

I was told that, uh, none of Dr. Hoke's work was to be touched before I got here.

No, all that stuff's mine.

Oh, you're leaving.

Yeah. Well, they probably would have offered me another position here, but Dr. Hoke was kind of, kind of a mentor to me, and you work that closely with someone, it's hard.

Mm. I can imagine.

I work pretty closely with someone myself.

He always wanted me to go back to school, finish my dissertation, so...

Thinking now I will...

Oh, that's great. What's your field?

Econometrics, specializing in economic statistics.


Yeah, that's exactly what my dad said when I told him I was gonna borrow 30 grand a year to pay for it.

He's like, "You don't make money by studying it."

Mathematics can be much more lucrative than most fathers think.

Yeah, but I want to do something with it.

You know, make a difference in the world.

That's really admirable.

Well, 'cause people, they assume that the economy's this adversarial relationship, where one person's gain, by definition, has to be another person's loss.

But it doesn't have to be that way.

There can be gains for everyone.

I'm sure you're right. No, I know I am.

It's all there in the numbers... if anyone would just bother to look.

Ah, I think I know just how you feel.

Well, if you need me for anything, just let me know.

Hey, Scott.

Is there any reason that Dr. Hoke would've been working on, like... baseball formulas?

Yeah, you know, the other FBI agent asked me that same thing about baseball.

I-I told him Dr. Hoke never mentioned it.

Yeah. Any backup files, any-any other workstation that Dr. Hoke might have used?

No. That man was particular about where he worked.

It was either this computer or the one at home.

And you weren't aware of any of his work on sabermetrics?

But then again, I'm not much of a baseball fan.




What are you doing here?

Well, you mentioned a memorial, and I knew you'd be here.

Oh, yeah.

It's a rather disheartening turnout, isn't it?

Are we early?

No, I don't think so.

It's physics.

It's such a demanding field.

Leaves little time or energy for a social life.

Einstein said that one has either time for science or family... but not both.

Well, now, that's spoken like a man who can appreciate our predicament.

CHARLIE: I wonder though... Is our work the actual cause, or is it an excuse?

That's a fair hypothesis, isn't it?

I suppose the real trick is in finding the solution while it still matters.

ALAN: What do these formulas tell you?

CHARLIE: The ones I've recovered indicate that the Dodgers are not on the right track to win the pennant next year.

Like you needed math to figure that one out, huh?

( chuckling ): No.

( chuckles )

I heard that, uh, Don was leaning towards the wife.

That's right.

Seems to be the first place they look nowadays.

I don't understand.

I mean, if you hate the person you're married to that much, get divorced.

Even the thought of divorce holds its own special horrors, let me tell you.

Well, you and Mom never thought about...

I mean, I was never witness to any kind of...

That's exactly the way we wanted it.

Well, it was a long time ago, we, um...

We had a little rough patch there for a moment, but we got through it.

How rough a patch are we talking about?

It was when you were 13 years old, and you went off to Princeton.

Mom came with me.

The separation was... pretty hard on both of us.

And aside from the money matters, there was this irrational jealousy.

Anyway, even the possibility of divorce was never discussed, because we loved each other too much.

I don't remember any of it.

I don't even remember a raised voice between the two of you.

That's because your mother and I both agreed that we wouldn't stress you or Don any more than we had to.

Charlie, that's how parents argue in front of their children; they disguise the big things as little things.

CHARLIE: Big things disguised as little things.

In World War II, U.S. submarines were equipped with bathythermographs, which helped them find warm pockets of water beneath colder ones, because warm water bent the sound waves away.

If the submarine hid in the right place, the enemy's sonar was useless.

Hoke did the same thing with his own data.

He hid it in warm water.

He disguised his work as baseball statistics, thereby hiding its real meaning.

How'd you figure it out?

CHARLIE: The magnetic shadows that were left on the hard drive after the wipe.

I ran the extrapolated data through a series of simple algorithms.

The end result was that the baseball statistics fell away, leaving the pertinent numbers.

I then did a simple brute force analysis...

Brute force?

I just went on the internet and Googled the set of numbers.

I sifted through the hits one by one, to find the matching data tables.

( beeps )

Hoke pulled his data off of U.S. Census Bureau reports over the last ten years.

Other tables were federal budgets, grade point averages, SAT scores.

Grade point averages?

Hoke's work had nothing to do with baseball at all.

He was attempting to apply the concept of sabermetrics to average communities, not athletes.

You're talking about real people?

Actuaries do it all the time.

Uh, taking into account income levels, access to health insurance.

Only Hoke wasn't measuring life expectancy; he was measuring human potential.

What do you mean?

Like predicting success?

Almost from birth.

That's not possible.

Baseball teams use sabermetrics to determine which players to pay.

He was using sabermetrics to determine what people were worth investing in.

So no one gets left behind, they just never get started to begin with.

It applies to schools.

It applies to hospitals, to libraries.

I mean, companies fire employees who smoke because of future statistical probabilities of cancer.

Uh, they use DNA to deny employees access to healthcare.

I mean, why not a mathematical analysis to do the exact same thing?

And you're saying he was actually close?

Well, from what I can tell, he hadn't finished his main equation, though once he was through, theoretically, he'd be able to predict human performance based on geographic and environmental factors, down to a city block.

So basically, you are where you live?

A mathematical determination of who will or won't be a winner.

REYNOLDS: I've never seen any of this stuff before.

Well, it's an incredible amount of data.

So you're saying Dr. Hoke never asked for your help?

With this? Absolutely not.

I mean, you know how it is.

He works alone.

I'd get glimpses, but it's not like he includes me or anything.

Yeah, but what about research, Scott?

I mean, you never prepared charts, or downloaded statistics?

That seem a little weird, considering what you thought he might be working on?

Um, there's some market research studies that he asked me to get.


But I don't know.

Market research?

Yeah, stuff the Lorman Group was compiling.

What kind of stuff?

Household incomes, housing costs, buying tendencies.

This was all stuff the Lorman Group was working on?

Yeah. Um, Dr. Hoke would make the request, and then Mr. Oliver would have me e-mail it to his home.

And when was this?

Up until a few weeks ago.

What happened a few weeks ago?

For the last request, Mr. Oliver called me into his office, and he said the company was not going to allow Dr. Hoke access to the information anymore.

Did he tell you why?

I mean, it's not really my place to ask, but I just remember Dr. Hoke was pretty upset about it.

Oh, yeah?

Okay. Thanks for talking to us.

I'll take that. Yeah.

Thanks a lot, Scott.

All right.

Sounds like Hoke was going behind the company's back, trying to develop a new software program.

Either that, or trying to hijack it.

Explains why Oliver shows up the night the body's found.

Yeah, he's gonna get back his program, right?

Question is, did they want it bad enough to kill him for it?

Well, I mean, he was concerned that someone was going to steal it, right?

Otherwise, why disguise it as baseball stats?

And why would he bother to do it on his own home computer?

Unless he was worried that his house wasn't as private as he thought it was.

Don, take a look.

Oh, yeah, look at that.

Something was there. Mm-hmm.

Maybe they didn't have time to pull the wire.

A dead body decomposing a few feet away -- maybe they felt the need to rush.

DON: Oh, yeah.

Someone put some kind of surveillance there.

Hoke had a reason to be paranoid.

See, that must be why the alarm went off two days late.

DAVID: So someone came in after he was murdered to remove the device.

That's what tripped it.

So, someone planted a surveillance device in Dr. Hoke's house.

Well, judging by your tone, you think that someone is me?

Dr. Hoke was working on a software program that would be extremely valuable to a lot of people.

Yes, well, I gave the FBI full access to the imaging data.

DON: Well, actually, we found a second body of work on his home computer, and it had nothing to do with your satellite program.

I have no idea what you're talking about.


You sure?

So if our consultant wanted to develop that data, you wouldn't assert a claim?

Well, The Lorman Group has a contract with every researcher we employ, so anything that Dr. Hoke worked on is owned by the company.

Maybe he didn't agree.

Maybe you went to his house, argued.

The night I met you is the only time I was ever in Dr. Hoke's house.

There's more then one way inside of a person's home.

Look, we want that surveillance, okay?

I want my lawyer.

You sure? 'Cause if someone happened to leak to the press that your company is under criminal investigation, your government contracts -- they might dry up pretty darn fast.

What do you think?

TERRY: Feds don't like scandals.

You take a moment, think about it.

( sighs )

Jonas had no right doing what he did.


The idea of using statistical analyses to predict human performance originated in this company.

But he didn't see it that way?

He refused to provide algorithms to us unless we gave him a percentage of the license fees we charge for the use of our software.

And this time I bet you refused.

I had no intention of being extorted by Jonas Hoke or anyone else.

So, you put the surveillance on him?

I did no such thing.

But after I learned that he died, I felt that we were within our rights to retrieve the research.

So, what, you called your friend, Reacher?

Look, the point of all of this is, I didn't have to steal anything from Jonas Hoke.

I already owned it.

DON: Uh-huh.

All right.

We'll be in touch.

So Oliver told you what Hoke was working on.

That's why you wanted his people there.

Oliver said Hoke had a program that could determine with mathematical certainty which neighborhoods would benefit from public spending and which ones wouldn't.

Yeah, and you understand this is about justifying taking money from some certain communities and giving it to others.

In case you hadn't heard, we're running a $10 trillion deficit.

Yeah, I read the papers.

Why throw money away on state-of-the-art lab facilities for kids who have no potential?

That's right. Why even give them books?

Oliver asked me if such a program would be of value to the government.

I believed it would.

So you put the surveillance in Hoke's house?


You wouldn't tell me if you did, would you?

I understand you haven't turned the data you got from Hoke's computer over to The Lorman Group yet.

Yes, that's right, and I don't have any intention of it.

Oh, you realize, I'll just have my boss call your boss.

These relationships go way beyond the two of us, Eppes.

Part of a homicide investigation.

There's no telling when it might become available, but you go ahead, you make your call.

We did not place surveillance inside Jonas Hoke's house.

DAVID: So, if it wasn't us, and it wasn't Oliver's people, who was watching Hoke?

Well, whoever it was, it's clean.

No prints, no identifying signature.

Any idea how they could have done it?

Well, the alarm company runs a phone line through the touch pad.

Whatever system was used to spy on Hoke was piggybacked onto the security system.

So, it was a listening device?

Some sort of audio would be my guess, but it's hard to tell without the actual device.

Wait a minute. Hold that screen right there.

Don, take a look at this.

This is the manufacturers' list for the alarm system, right?

Mm-hmm. This is the serial number for that unit -- the unit in Hoke's house.

Take a look at who bought it.

Grodin Construction.

Aha. The boyfriend.


Take it to four.

MAN: Okay.

GRODIN: You two again.

Yep... with more questions.

I don't know what else I can tell you.

Why don't you tell us about the bug you planted in Jonas Hoke's house?

DAVID: You know, for a while there, I was thinking Gail was the victim in all this.

I didn't do anything wrong.


Don't tell me this is the part where you say that she did it all?

Look, neither of us did anything.

DON: Well, we still got a dead body and an alarm system that was bugged -- an alarm system that you installed.

Gail's lawyer asked me to help her guy put a wire or something into Jonas's house, but that's it. That's all I did.

DAVID: Turn around. Let's go.

DAVID: Last time we spoke, you weren't exactly forthcoming about your relationship with Lucas Grodin.

In what way wasn't she forthcoming?

For starters, how about the fact you never mentioned you asked him to wire your husband's house.

The house was never adjudicated as separate property, so therefore whatever monitoring system Mrs. Hoke may have placed in her own house, she was absolutely entitled to do so.

I put Jonas through college and grad school.

Gail... I waited tables.

I did anything I could, because I believed we had a future together.

Do you have any idea what it's like to have your husband tell you your contribution to your marriage isn't of value?

ATTORNEY: I think we should take a break now.

I'm not finished with your client, counselor.

You can't prove Gail did anything.

All I need to make out conspiracy at this point is probable cause.

And your boyfriend's alarm system gives me exactly that.

It also puts you in possession of material evidence, and an obstruction of justice charge, counselor.

If Jonas were a doctor or a lawyer, I'd be entitled to half of everything.

But everything he had was inside his head, so tell me, Agent Sinclair, how do you get half of that?

Which is why you put surveillance in his house -- to see what was on his computer.

It was the only way Jonas would have ever given me what I was entitled to.


But after you had the information you needed, why'd you kill him?

I didn't kill him.

I could never do anything like that.

I told you, he was late with a check.

I went there to get it.

That's when I found him dead.

Gail did not kill her husband.

DAVID: Forgive me if I'm not willing to take your word for it.

ATTORNEY: You don't have to.

I have the surveillance, remember?

So is this an audio file?

No, actually, digital video.

So the device was a camera?

Not exactly...

It was an antenna.

CHARLIE: A Van Eck phreak.

But at a far more sophisticated level.

Wait, what are you guys talking about?

The wire you found in his house wasn't for a camera.

It wasn't for a microphone.

It was for a high-gain antenna.

An antenna?

For what? To pick up what?

Well, with any LCD screen, liquid crystals provide an image when energy passes through them.

The color they become depends on the amount of energy that they're exposed to.

When energy passes through these liquid crystals, it emits a wave of electromagnetic radiation.

Dutch physicist van Eck realized that with an antenna and a decoder, you could both read the waves and decode them into a perfect replica of what someone would be seeing on their computer screen.

What you're saying is that the antenna was able to read and pick up whatever was on Hoke's home computer screen.

That's right. That is amazing.

Hoke had elaborate safeguards against conventional hacking.

Firewalls, blockers...

Still, nothing could stop this.

Isn't that around the time he was killed?


That's where the files were being erased.

See the zeroes and ones just flipping around, back and forth?

So the killer knew Hoke's passwords.

Too bad he didn't leave a fingerprint.

Actually, you know what? I think he did.

DON: All right, so what are we looking at?

Digital representations of a pattern of keystrokes.

One taken from Hoke's computer at home, one from Hoke's computer at work.

Now, you know that experts can distinguish one person's typing from another by their rhythm.

Yeah, you mean like Morse Code.


Telegraph operators used to recognize each other by the different ways they used to tap into the exact same codes, like a concert pianist sitting down to play a piece of music.

Even though the notes originate from the sheet music, the way she plays them is entirely distinctive.

Now, if another pianist sits down to play the same piece of music, the strength of notes, the flourishes in rhythm would make the keystrokes totally different.

Now, only by seeing them side-by-side would you be able to tell they were different.


Now, I'm sitting here, and I'm looking at these, and they look identical to me.

That's because they are, Don.

This is from Hoke's computer at home.

The keystrokes you're seeing are passwords used to tap into Hoke's sabermetrics files, made after Hoke was dead.

This is from Hoke's computer workstation at the Lorman Group, made after Hoke was dead.

So then this is the same person that erased the files?

DON: Scott Reynolds, you're under arrest for the murder of Dr. Jonas Hoke.

Get your hands up.

( handcuffs snap )

You have the right to remain silent.

Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.

Bring him down.

AGENT: All right, sir. Go ahead.

What do you want?

I'm trying to figure out how you could kill a man, how you could kill a fellow scientist, to steal his work.

Is that why you think I killed Dr. Hoke?

For the money?

You weren't jealous of his accomplishments.

His accomplishments... is that what you call them?

I grew up in West Oakland.

Anyone I grew up with who isn't dead or in prison is flipping burgers or driving a truck.

And it's not too difficult to guess what Dr. Hoke's formula would have said about putting a computer lab in my high school.

That computer lab saved my life, and next year, it's gonna save somebody else's.

And killing Dr. Hoke accomplishes that?

You think it stops there?

In the last century, the Nazis used the theory of eugenics to stop the poor from reproducing.

Eventually, they justified just killing the sick ones.

You can't compare that to this...

Actually, that's a perfect comparison, cause what Jonas was doing was taking away a person's chance at life.

It's taking away someone's hope.

And I did what I had to do to stop that before it started.

That makes you a murderer.

Don't you ever wonder about your own work?

What about my work?

Well, you consult for the NSA, don't you?

Ah... of course you do.

So you're gonna tell me that everything you do will be used for good all the time?

What's your point?

Well, you're asking me how I'm gonna live with myself.

Look in the mirror.

Ask yourself the same question.

Let's go.

Jonas Hoke's last hurdle.

Oh, yes, his equation seeking to predict a person's chance at success.

He never got to finish it.

I thought maybe I'd give it a shot myself.


To what end?

This work is just a self-fulfilling prophecy.

How do you mean?

Well, Charles, if we use numbers to choose who among us gets opportunity, then by definition, those we haven't chosen don't.

I mean, that's not science.

Well, it's not good science.

It's like, every year college football chooses a national champion, but they use computers to determine which two teams play for the title.

And every year, invariably, some team gets left off that believes, well, it could have won the game on the field if it had just been given the chance.

I've always believed that it was my duty to develop mathematical tools, and someone else's to use them wisely.

Could I have been wrong?

The consequence of our understanding subatomic particles was a horrible bomb that transformed the world we live in and a source of energy, the basis of life-saving techniques, and an indispensable scientific tool.

Science... you know, science, not this, but real science, is discovery, Charles.

It's not invention.

The truths are there, whether we find them or not.

Listen, I'm gonna grab a bite to eat.

You want to come?


Thank you.

( door closes )