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Disappearance of Richard Castle

RyanEspositoBeckettscrapyard.jpg

'This information was compiled from all episodes that have aired to date (through season 8, episode 14 "The G.D.S.")

Most of the information is "Fact in the Castle World" but some questions and observations are included at the end which may factor into future plot lines in this story arc.

Timeline[edit]

  • May 12, 2014
    • Castle, driving his Mercedes, is run off the road near his house in the Hamptons hours before his wedding. His car is set on fire, and forensic and witness evidence indicates he has been taken away from the area in a black Cadillac Escalade.
    • The Escalade is tracked to a local scrap yard using the signal from Castle's phone, where the SUV is found being crushed, but Castle is nowhere to be seen.
    • The destruction of the vehicle is traced back to Castle's mobster friend Vinnie Cardano, who says he agreed to perform the service for a flat fee of $10,000 cash, called for and paid for anonymously by drop-off.
    • CCTV footage of the drop-off reveals that it was Castle himself who paid for the Escalade to be destroyed. Being persuaded that the case is one of abscondment rather than kidnapping, the FBI scales back its investigation.
  • May-July, 2014
    • Beckett continues a solo investigation into Castle's disappearance without success
    • Beckett makes a TV appeal for information, also with no success
    • A man masquerading as Henry Jenkins moves into Jenkins's coastside trailer home near Gloucester, Massachusetts.
  • July 2014
    • A Coast Guard cutter finds Castle unconscious in a small dinghy, 80 miles off the coast of Delaware, with three bulletholes in it, having been drifting for an estimated four to five days.
    • Castle is taken to hospital, still unconscious, where it emerges that he has a minor bullet wound to the ribs, signs of having had dengue fever, and no memory of the months he was away.
    • A key bearing the number 38 is found sewn into his trousers
    • Investigations and aerial photographs trace the dinghy to Henry Jenkins's jetty in Gloucester, Mass.
    • A raid on the property finds a man claiming to be Jenkins, who says he has had a camper staying nearby for several weeks and directs them to a tent on the shore, where supplies, newspapers, and many of Castle's personal belongings are found.
    • Castle asks to be taken to the site, having no memory of it. While Castle and Beckett are there, they encounter the real Henry Jenkins and realise the campsite has been staged. They find out later that the DMV database was hacked two days after it was announced that Castle had gone, and the imposter's photo was substituted for that of the real Henry Jenkins.
  • July-August 2014
    • Castle offers a reward of $250,000 for any information relating to his disappearance
    • A couple who have recently been in Montreal notice Castle in the background of one of their holiday photographs and inform him. He is seen in the picture talking to the imposter Jenkins outside the Montreal Global Bank.
    • Castle visits the bank with the No 38 key, which opens a safety deposit box. Inside are memory cards in envelopes addressed to Beckett, Martha, and Alexis containing three short video messages from Castle, apologising for his disappearance but not explaining what he is doing or why.
    • Technical analysis of the view of the window behind Castle in the video messages indicates that he made the recordings in a building at 876 Sebastien Street.
    • Castle visits 876 Sebastien Street, which turns out to be deserted, and unexpectedly encounters the imposter Jenkins, who tells him that Castle asked to have his memory wiped, and that Jenkins was to remind him of an incident that happened in Hollander's Woods when Castle was 11 to prove it, if he were to doubt him.
  • April 2015
    • Castle begins to experience vivid dreams that he starts to realise are fragmentary memories of his abduction. He visits Beckett's psychologist, Dr Burke, who helps him revisit the dream.
    • From the fragments of the dream, Castle remembers several things: being in the dinghy; a man who seems familiar greeting him; a vague memory of a school trophy; seeing a gun being fired and a man who had been shot; being in a truck, driving through a jungle, pursued by an SUV with unusual licence plates; a blond man issuing commands in the SUV; and a figure with a military tattoo and a striking similarity to Chuck Norris crouched next to him and firing at the SUV.
    • Research at the precinct suggests the unusual licence plate, which Castle has been able to sketch, is a Thai one.
    • Castle realises that the trophy in the dream is one he won jointly in a debating competition at Fairfield Prep school, and that the man who greeted him in the dream was Phil Bartlett, the boy he shared it with.
    • Castle arranges a meeting with Phil Bartlett, only to discover that Bartlett has never been to Chiang Mai and was never on the school debate team.
    • More research at the precinct into the tattoo eventually identifies former soldier Jeff Powers as the man Castle saw, but when he and Beckett visit Powers's apartment, they find Powers shot dead. A post-mortem reveals that he has the same dengue fever antibodies in his system as Castle.
    • Investigations into the murder lead to a strip club Powers frequented, where one of the dancers, Amber, describes an 'old friend' Powers had met a few days earlier.
    • During a second session with Dr Burke, Burke suggests there may have been a trigger for the dreams. Castle realises that he developed an aural stress symptom - a ringing in his ears - for the first time while in a coffee shop last week, when he was watching the shop's TV.
    • Watching the same programme again he realises he had recognised the blond man in the background of a news report. A police artist's sketch of Powers's 'friend' turns out to bear a striking similarity to the blond man.
    • The blond man is identified as Ilya Golovkin, a former Russian special forces soldier who has now become a criminal.
    • A police officer spots Golovkin near Powers's apartment. When the team arrive they find the police seals broken and Amber dead in the same chair that Powers was found dead in.
    • Castle goes back over Powers's file, and finds that he went to a restaurant, Sunil's Cafe, regularly at set times. He goes there on his own, and recognises a waiter as the man he saw shot and wounded in his dream.
    • He confronts the man, who says he is Bilal Khan, a former friend of Castle's in 11th grade who became a Pakistani intelligence officer, dropped out to join al-Qaeda, then repented of his choice and defected to the US with valuable intelligence.
    • Bilal says Powers was his handler; he was being held in a Buddhist monastery in Thailand as a safe house. After Bilal was attacked, he says he refused to go ahead with the defection unless a prominent figure he knew was present throughout the journey - someone too important to be eliminated. He says he chose Castle, without Castle's knowledge. He apologises for the upheaval in Castle life.
    • As Bilal leaves, Castle is discovered by Golovkin, who appears to be on the point of shooting Castle, but is then himself shot by the impostor Jenkins, who has been watching.
    • Castle challenges Jenkins about his kidnapping. Jenkins tells him that the extreme measures were unavoidable in the light of a feared major al-Qaeda strike on the US, which was imminent and which only Bilal knew enough about to stop. He suggests Castle's sacrifice may have saved thousands of lives.
  • February 2016
    • While on a case at an English language school, Castle eats some Korean food and has a sudden vivid image of being in South Korea, which he realises is a flashback to his missing time. Then, while asleep, he has a longer, more vivid flashback that, strangely, includes the Hollywood sign, and he realises he must in fact have been in Koreatown, in Los Angeles. He resolves to go and investigate.
  • March 2016
    • Castle goes to LA with Hayley and Alexis. Visiting the restaurant in Koreatown, Castle remembers that he had no money when he ate there and paid by leaving his watch with the proprietor. Retrieving and examining the watch reveals that it has a tracker inside.
    • Alexis's attempts to identify the history of the tracker leads to a man called Malcolm McCabe, a special forces soldier turned contractor, who has an aunt in LA.
    • Alexis visits the aunt in the guise of a reporter writing a story about his army career. When his aunt shows her an album of family photos, Alexis is startled to see one of McCabe and Hayley together.
    • Hayley, realising she has been discovered, reveals the truth to Alexis and Castle. She first met Castle during his disappearance because his father, Jackson Hunt, asked to watch out for him, but lost him after he gave the watch away.
    • It emerges that after the mission in Thailand, Castle got wind of another case and 'went rogue' for a month in LA before eventually getting shot. Castle cannot remember any of this, or meeting Hayley, and she tells him this is because he wanted to have his memory wiped after what he had discovered, and asked to be returned to Jenkins.
    • Unconvinced that he really wanted to forget, Castle insists on knowing more. Hayley shows him one thing he left with her - an encrypted dark website that Castle apparently told her to show him in circumstances like these.
    • Given the clue to the encryption, Castle unlocks the site, and finds a video message from himself, revealing that, a year and a half ago, he had got close to discovering the identity of LokSat, before the deaths of Rachel McCord and the others, but had backed away from the case and tried to erase it from his mind because it was too dangerous.

Victims[edit]

Richard Castle - Abducted May 12, 2014; found July 2014

  • Crime Scene: Road in the Hamptons, Long Island, NY
  • Method: Castle's vehicle hit from behind, then pushed off the road and burnt; Castle dragged from the car; kidnappers escaped by road
  • Perpetrator: Henry Jenkins and associates
  • Motive: Apparently required Castle to assist with extraction of Bilal Khan from Thailand

Jeff Powers - apparent CIA operative, murdered May 2015

  • Crime scene: His apartment
  • Method: Tortured, then shot in the head
  • Perpetrator: Ilya Golovkin
    • Motive: Uncertain

Amber - dancer at Exotica strip club, murdered May 2015

  • Crime scene: Powers's apartment
  • Cause of death: Gunshot wound identical to Powers's
  • Perpetrator: Ilya Golovkin
    • Motive: Uncertain

Ilya Golovkin - Russian assassin, murdered May 2015

  • Crime scene: Alleyway
  • Cause of death: Gunshot wound
  • Perpetrator: Impostor "Henry Jenkins"
    • Motive: Imminent threat to Castle's life

Suspects[edit]

'Henry Jenkins' (real name unknown) - Apparent CIA operative

  • Evidence: Found at scene where Castle was purported to have camped in Massachusetts, where he pretended to be the owner of the site, Henry Jenkins, with the help of a fake drivers' licence thanks to a sophisticated fraud at the DMV. Subsequently encountered unexpectedly by Castle at 876 Sebastien Street in Montreal, where Castle was held captive. He insisted that Castle had told him to wipe Castle's memory of the two months he was missing, without revealing what those events were. Subsequently encountered in an alleyway in New York, where he is apparently revealed to be CIA operative in charge of the urgent recovery of Bilal Khan to the US – a mission, he says, that Castle played an essential role in.
  • Background & Notes:

Relevant images[edit]

© 2014-2015 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.
© 2014-2015 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.
© 2014-2015 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.
© 2014-2015 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.
© 2014-2015 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.



Persons of Interest[edit]

© 2014-2015 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.

Manager, Montreal Global Bank

  • When Castle discovers he might have opened a safe-deposit box in the bank, he asks the manager whether they have ever met before. The manager denies it, but looks guilty afterwards, and it is clear Castle has indeed been to the bank before.


Bilal Khan

  • Tracked down by Castle in Sunil's Cafe in New York.
  • Says he is an al-Qaeda defector and schoolfriend of Castle whose retrieval from Thailand proved to be so important that Castle was unwittingly recruited to assist with the mission. He was used as a sign of good faith to Bilal that nothing would happen to them while travelling together, because Castle is a celebrity whose death could not be explained away.
  • Reported to have saved many lives with his intelligence.
  • Whereabouts currently unknown after his cover was blown at the cafe.


Ilya Golovkin

  • Chance sighting of Golovkin on a TV newsreel triggered Castle's memory-fragment dreams, in which he remembered Golovkin chasing him and firing at him.
  • Apparently hired to put a stop to the retrieval of Bilal Khan to the US.
  • Shot and killed by Jenkins in April 2015.

Jeff Powers

  • Covert operative with striking resemblance to Chuck Norris who features strongly in Castle's memory-fragment dreams.
  • Apparently part of the team that extracted Bilal Khan from Thailand; said to be Bilal's handler.
  • Tracked down via his unusual military tattoo, which identified his unit in the US Rangers.
  • Shot and killed by Golovkin in April 2015


Hayley Shipton

  • Free-spirited private eye whom Castle met while looking for Beckett during her brief disappearance and who has been working for him off and on ever since.
  • Hired by Jackson Hunt, Castle's father, to watch over him during his missing time, and has been playing a watching role ever since.

Malcolm McCabe

  • Former special forces soldier turned contractor who helped Hayley bug Castle's watch in LA.


Suspects No Longer Under Investigation[edit]

Phillip Bartlett

  • Castle's schoolfriend, remembered in his dream of the events in Thailand, but subsequently discovered to have been hypnotically placed in Castle's subconscious to obscure memories of Bilal.

Outstanding Questions[edit]

1. Who is 'Henry Jenkins' really?

2. Was Castle's memory deliberately altered, and if so, how?

3. Why does he appear to show signs of having contracted dengue fever? NOW PROBABLY ANSWERED (in Sleeper): He was apparently genuinely in Thailand

4. Who shot him? Bilal is under the impression that Castle was not wounded at all in the incident, although it is later suggested that he was shot later, in LA, not Thailand.

5. If Castle was performing a national service for his country, as Bilal and Jenkins claim, how did he end up dangerously adrift in a dinghy on the ocean at the end of the mission? NOW PARTLY ANSWERED (in The G.D.S.): Jenkins was apparently not responsible for what happened to him after the Thailand mission (but see Q7)

6. If Castle was on the track of LokSat in LA, how did he end up adrift in a dinghy on the east coast?

7. But, as the dinghy is connected with the fake campsite, is the fake campsite somehow connected to Loksat - and therefore Jenkins?

8. Why are there three bullet holes in the dinghy if Castle was shot in LA?

9. Where does Montreal fit in to a mission that was apparently based in south-east Asia?

10. If the mission was so urgent, why was Castle missing for two whole months? NOW PROBABLY ANSWERED (in The G.D.S.): Castle 'went rogue' at the end of the Bilal mission.