The Ryan Report – Episode 201 "Deep in Death" Ryan's Bio
| Read the episode recap
Instincts, Hunches, and Other Forms of the Truth
One of the things I never expected about working in Homicide is the exposure you get into other people's jobs. See, when you have a dead vic on your hands, you've gotta look into every aspect of their lives – particularly what they did for a living. So you end up discovering the whole wide world of crazy things that people do to make ends meet.
At this point, I've seen almost every kind of job: animal psychiatrists, rodeo clowns, toenail models... If you can think of it, somebody probably gets paid to do it.
Our most recent victim had a pretty straight gig as an actuary. Guy spent his life compiling statistic after statistic so that he could calculate out probabilities, rates, and all that fun stuff. Sounds boring as hell and what's more, it just doesn't feel right. I mean, he was basically trying to figure out the future through numbers. If he could have predicted the future, I doubt he'd have ended up dead and lodged in a tree on 9th.
If there's anything I've learned on the force, it's that the facts don't always tell the whole truth. I mean, evidence is evidence – we don't make our cases on hunches and guesses, despite what people might think. But sometimes it's a matter of listening to your gut. Instead of just looking at the evidence that's laid out neatly for you, it's important to go looking for the evidence that's harder to find – the evidence that the killer didn't want you to see.
It's something I've learned from both Castle and Beckett. Castle's got his wild theories and sense of a grander scheme, his tendency to look not just outside the box but into a whole other box altogether. Take him not believing Kyle Cabot was responsible for Alison Tisdale's murder 'cause it was "too easy." Not exactly the most water-tight logic, but his hunch pushed both him and Beckett to start digging deeper and find the real killer.
Beckett, well, she comes from a more emotional place. She wants to capture the killer because she won't rest until that happens. Every case is personal to her. I mean, when we were looking into that frozen woman's murder. Beckett kept going over and over the case files – discarding all the easy answers. She and Castle kept working hard until they were able to figure out the entire story of what happened, not just scratch the surface.
So when I'm out on a case and I get that feeling where something's just not adding up, I've learned to trust it. So I'll explore every clue, every piece of evidence, not just the ones that are right in front of me. Facts may not lie, but you've got to have all the facts to make that call. And getting all of 'em takes following your instincts, pulling long hours, and doing the difficult work necessary to put all the pieces together.
But just in case you think I'm totally down on facts, go and ask Espo about our fantasy baseball league. As my number one rank in the league proves, I know how to use statistics when I need 'em. My RBI and ERA calculations beat Esposito's hunches every time… no matter what his gut is telling him about the Mets this year.