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Johanna Beckett Murder Board

Becketts Murder Board small.jpg
This information was compiled from all episodes that have aired to date (through season 3, episode 19 "Law and Murder")

Hopefully we will get further insight into the case before season 3 is completed.

Most of the information is "Fact in the Castle World". Most of this is from Beckett's murder board that she has at home, and her discussing the case with Castle. Additional information was gathered by Ryan, Esposito, Castle and Beckett during the investigation in Knockdown. I have included some questions and observations of my own, and I believe that Beckett and Castle know these things too.


  • 1992 Bob Armen killed in the same alley as Johanna Beckett. Event quoted by Raglan and Montgomery as what started it all.
  • 1999 Johanna Beckett and several other of the people worked with her were killed
  • 3 weeks after Johanna Beckett's murder, warehouse containing a potentially critical report related to money trail of the ransom money burned down
  • 2003 - Many drug dealers were suddenly being murdered, legend done by "Cavalo"
  • 2004 - Martin Holst killed on duty while in the Navy Seal, his gun was not found
  • 2010 Dick Coonan shot by Kate Beckett while trying to prevent Coonan shooting Castle
  • 2011 John Raglan killed by Hal Lockwood in diner while speaking to Beckett and Castle about her mother's case
  • 2011 McCallister killed by Hal Lockwood in prison
  • 2011 Same day. Hal Lockwood shot dead by Roy Montgomery, Roy Montgomery shot dead by Hal Lockwood
  • 2011 Kate Beckett shot at Montgomery's funeral by a Mark 11 sniper weapon belonged to a Martin Holst


Johanna Beckett - Murdered Saturday, January 9th, 1999

  • Found in an alley on lower west side
  • Killed with multiple stab wounds. Fatal wound delivered as low angle thrust to kidney and knife was twisted. Other wounds were for show after she was immobilized and on the ground.
  • Killer: Dick Coonan - hired by "______" to kill her
  • Why: unknown

Diane Cavanaugh - Murdered Sunday March 7th, 1999

  • Found near 65th and Amsterdam
  • Killed in same manner as Johanna Beckett, multiple stab wounds, first to the kidney, followed by others
  • Killer: Dick Coonan - hired by "______" to kill her
  • Why: unknown
  • Would volunteer for Johanna Beckett from time to time for "The Justice Initiative"

Scott Murray - Murdered Sunday, March 7th, 1999

  • Found outside behind a bar
  • Killed in same manner as Johanna Beckett, multiple stab wounds, first to the kidney, followed by others
  • Killer: Dick Coonan - hired by "______" to kill her
  • Why: unknown
  • Was a Document Clerk at the Courthouse

Jennifer Stewart - Murdered Friday May, 21st, 1999

  • Found in Central Park
  • Killed in same manner as Johanna Beckett, multiple stab wounds, first to the kidney, followed by others
  • Killer: Dick Coonan - hired by "______" to kill her
  • Why: unknown
  • Would volunteer for Johanna Beckett from time to time for "The Justice Initiative"

Bob Armen - FBI agent, working undercover in the mob was murdered about 19 years ago (1992)

  • Found in the SAME ALLEY as Johanna Beckett
  • Killed by gun shot wound(s). Made to look like a mob hit (like he was found out to be FBI)
  • Killer is one (or more) of three masked men that came into the alley and tried to kidnap Joe Pulgatti (a mob enforcer). Bob Armen tried to stop them, went for one of the masked men's gun and was shot in the scuffle.


Rathborn - real name Richard "Dick" Coonan - Drug Smuggler, Professional Assassin.

  • Killed by Kate Beckett in Sucker Punch in 2009 (even though episode aired in 2010) after he took Rick Castle hostage in the precinct.
  • Jonny Vong identified Dick Coonan as a drug smuggler and that Dick hired "Rathborn" to kill Jack Coonan.
  • Before he is killed he admits to killing Johanna Beckett and that it was not personal, it was professional. He refused to say who hired him saying: "forget it. You'll never touch THEM, they'll bury you." Wanting to escape the precinct, he offered a slight chance of indicating who hired him, but he was killed before that happened.

John Raglan - Retired Detective, NYPD.

  • Murdered January 2011 while meeting with Castle and Beckett.
  • Wanted to give information about Johanna's murder - states that the dominoes "started to drop" 19 years ago (1992 - 7 years before Johanna was murdered) "and one of them was your mother". He wanted to give Beckett "context".
  • Says "I did what I was told".
  • Says he kept quiet because "I was scared".
  • Says he did not kill Johanna, was told to bury the case and he buried the case.
  • States that when Beckett killed Dick Coonan last year (2009) "people" noticed.

Information found out during the Investigation

  • He drank and gambled a lot, ran into a long loosing streak betting on the ponies, had money problems, then didn't.
  • Started working for Vulcan Simmons - running drugs, looking the other way.
  • He arrested Joe Pulgatti.

Gary McCallister - Retired NYPD.

  • Attended academy with John Raglan, John's best friend.
  • "Fingered" Vulcan Simmons as a person of interest to Beckett - but this was to throw Beckett off course because Simmons fit the "profile".
  • He was the "backup officer" called in when John Raglan arrested Joe Pullgatti for the murder of Bob Armen.
  • Admits to being a part of a "kidnap the mob team" (presumably all cops, but not necessarily). They knew they were doing "right" by taking the mob people off of the streets, working them over and "incarcerating" them and holding them for a high "ransom" amount.
  • Denies having anything to do with Johanna's and Raglan's murders - Someone else had them killed.
  • States that the "head person" is someone that Beckett cannot touch, the situation is way bigger than they realize (Dick Coonan said the same thing in Sucker Punch).
  • She woke up "The Dragon".
  • Stopped talking - asked for a lawyer.

Vulcan Simmons

  • Runs half of the drug trade in New York.
  • It's been years since he was last brought in for questioning - never convicted.
  • Beckett tried throwing him through the one way mirror in the interrogation room.

Persons of Interest

Chad Rodrick - rich kid street pharmacist, sold anti anxiety drugs that the shooter/sniper (Hal Lockwood) used to calm himself before shooting and killing John Raglan.

Joe Pulgatti - Mob enforcer, currently serving time in prison.

  • convicted of murdering Bob Armen, he confessed to the murder (he chose life in prison over the death sentence since he KNEW he would be convicted since he was being framed by dirty cops).
  • proclaims his innocence in this murder (probably true).
  • back in the day, the five New York "families" had a truce, because someone was kidnapping the mobsters.
  • he was the eye witness to the murder of Bob Armen.
  • he says that he was a target of the "kidnapping" ring. Three masked / hooded men tried to kidnap him.
  • Bob Armen came out and attempted to help him, tried to take one of the masked men's guns, and he was shot and killed.
  • John Raglan was the arresting officer.
  • Johanna Beckett (and a group of her colleagues) were working with Joe on an appeal to get his conviction overturned in this murder. She was the only attorney willing to take a look at his case because all she cared about was the truth.

Hal Lockwood

  • HIRED to Murder John Raglan - BY WHO!!!
  • Kidnapped Ryan and Esposito because "no one has ever come that close to catching me before".
  • Stated while torturing Ryan and Esposito that he needed to know what the police know BEFORE FINISHING the job.
  • Served time in prison, Beckett visits him weekly to see if he is willing to tell her who hired him.
  • HIRED to Murder Gary McCallister - (by who?)
  • Escaped prison during trial
  • Blackmailed Captain Montgomery into bringing Kate Beckett to him. Captain did but then send her away in order to kill Hal Lockwood. Hal killed Captain Montgomery right before Montgomery killed him.

Bob Armen

  • Died in same alley as Johanna Beckett, but several years earlier
  • The day of his death quoted as the day of important context by both John Raglan and Montgomery
  • Supposed to be an undercover federal agent
  • Was accidently shot dead by Montgomery when he reached for Montgomery's gun (implying they were in some sort of tussle, over what?) when he was a rookie while he was kidnapping Pulgatti with Raglan and McCallister.
  • Was described by Montgomery as "wasn't supposed to be there" on the day of his death
  • Why was the day of his death so important? Why was he there when Raglan and McCallister was there to kidnap Pulgatti? Was he someone important, like son of a big mobster? Was he a federal agent who was there to investigate? Or was he part of the mob that infiltrated the fed?

Mr. Smith

  • Receiver of package sent by Montgomery as what will protect Kate Beckett
  • Package contained files of Raglan, McCallister and featured Beckett and Castle
  • Made a phone call to Capitol Hill, Congressional office after receiving the package through a special cell phone that he intentially chose rather than a regular cell phone.
  • Made a call to Castle, telling him that Beckett is safe as long as she doesn't keep digging.

Rod Halstead

  • Wrote report about the warehouse that burnt down that may contain crutial report as accident caused by power surge in a junction box
  • His picture appear in the package of files sent by Montgomery to Mr. Smith together with some reports from the NYFD.

Persons No Longer Under Investigation

  • Dick Coonan - killed by Beckett during the hostage situation in the precinct
  • John Raglan - since he was murdered
  • Chad Rodrick - just supplied some drugs
  • Hal Lockwood - dead killed by Montgomery


  • Johanna Beckett's Medical Examiner report case number is: 48508250854-JKL. from A Chill Goes Through Her Veins. Is JKL the initials of the ME?
  • Dr. Clark Murray determined the actual cause of death of Johanna Beckett in A Death in the Family and was confirmed in Sucker Punch.
  • When the four murders occurred in 1999, the Medical Examiner did not make a connection between the murders. If he did he buried it. Castle states that the Medical Examiner died in 2005 ("four years ago" ep 201 from Deep In Death (September 2009)). Q: was it murder or death by natural causes?
  • Where did the money go that the mob kidnap team collected?
  • What did Hal Lockwood mean by "Finish the Job"??
  • Diane Cavanaugh & Jennifer Stewart would volunteer for Johanna Beckett from time to time for "The Justice Initiative".
  • Scott Murray was a Document Clerk at the Courthouse.
  • Johanna Beckett took pictures of the alley where she was killed, a week before her murder.
  • Beckett has gone through her mothers appointment book and "there's nothing she can make sense of".
    • Johanna had her own system, Kate and her dad could not figure it out.
  • Joe Pulgatti states that there were three kidnappers that tried to snatch him.
    • John Raglan is assumed to be one because he "knew" what happened in that alley.
    • Gary McCallister admitted to being one of the kidnappers.
    • It is very strongly implied (but not ever explicitly stated) that Montgomery was the third kidnapper.
    • Beckett, Castle and co. believe that there are no kidnappers still to account for. They might be right, or NOT.

Notes on Beckett's HOME murder board

Note #1 (we only see a part of this note)

- an organized
Johanna Beckett
Lost Cause
- Both Diane

Note #2 (full note)

Were the 4 victims targeted because of a specific legal case?

Note #3 (we only see a part of this note)

Justice Initiative
organization (or orientation)
for lost causes

Note #4 (we only see a part of this note)

- a civil rights attorney
- headed up the "take back the neighborhood" campaign to try to get drug dealers off the streets in Washington Heights
- Had requested a court file before her murder

Note #5 (unable to make out all writing)

"The Justice Initiative" was for "lost causes"
Pro Bono work on ??????,  ???????, ??????? and immigration

Note #6 (with Dr. Clark Murry's explanation of how Dick Coonan murdered his victims)

- Like Johanna, Coonan's 3
additional victims in 1999 were
all killed using same MO;
A fatal stab wound to the kidney
first. Followed by multiple superficial stab wounds

How Dick Coonan murdered his victims By Dr. Clark Murray forensic pathologist after reviewing Johanna's Medical Examiner report and the body of Jack Coonan in Sucker Punch. Much of the following is a direct quote of Dr. Murray, therefore copyrighted by The American Broadcasting Company.

Rectangular bruising around most of the wounds caused by the hilt of the knife striking with force enough to compress the skin. Therefore the injuries penetrate deeper than the actual length of the blade. The blade is honed so fine it is brittle enough for bits to break when it strikes bone. Slivers were found in both victims and we now know those slivers come from the same murder weapon. We know for sure that he has killed five people this way. Not a serial murderer but a professional. Someone with extensive military training. I (Dr. Clark) recreated a model of the knife blade, then identified it as a "Special Operations Group" knife, favored by special forces in Gulf War I. He kills with a single blow, using the other wounds to camouflage the skill with which the initial stroke was delivered. The same method and weapon that killed was used 10 years ago (1999).

There is no doubt in Dr. Murray's mind that Jack Coonan and Johanna Beckett were murdered by the same person.

What Beckett and Castle Do NOT know

  • John Raglan has a "Police Brotherhood" certificate / award / "retirement recognition" - not sure what it is.
  • John Raglan has a Special Investigator badge.
  • John Raglan's badge number is 4320.
  • Was the medical examiner from the 1999 murders, murdered, or did he/she die of natural causes? If Murdered, what happened in 2005 to warrant that action?

Your Theories Go Here :)

  • In the post 19 discussion there were a couple of thoughts thrown out ...
  • That the DA Lou Karnacki might be The Dragon, but as someone pointed out he was not that "untouchable" because he is now the "ex DA". While talking to and trying to bribe Captain Montgomery he started talking about "the greater good". Montgomery indicated he an "old friend" and he had done good in the past. The DA was probably a rising lawyer in the past...how was he able to do good?
  • The Dragon might be the "Addison" family. Their daughter was killed and the alleged killer was on trial in the beginning of LAW. And they were big supporters of the DA.
  • The Addison family is a rich family who is rich enough to be able to get the DA to frame someone else for them. It is highly suspicious that the Addison family's money and power (and their children's heroin addiction) will play a part in the bigger scheme of things.
  • Theories of who the big bad is:
  • The big bad might be a former captain who took the ransom money from his subsidiaries like Raglan (recall Raglan was short of $, and then he is not, perhaps he got some kick back for doing a little extra for the boss) and eventually rise through the ranks through the feds or military. Armin may also be a dirty fed agent, implcating the level of corruption. The dragon likely also runs the drugs rings, which may still continue 'til this day in foreign countries like Afganistan. Recall that Dick Coonan also runs drugs from abroad and has special forces training. Probably that 's how he knows, and works for the dragon. Vulcan Simmon's drug record all but suddenly disappeared, possibly also works for the dragon, but just moved the operations abroad? This may also support why Montgomery choose to be a good captain to repay his sins.
  • Part of the process of determining who the Dragon is, is to determine the motivation behind the murders ...
  • Raglan worked for Simmons -> Simmons = Drugs
  • Does Simmons also work for the Dragon?
  • Raglan / McCallister, others kidnapped any and all members of the 5 mob families -> Dragon work?
  • Johanna worked on several projects: Overturning Pulgatti's conviction -> that involved the mob
  • Scott Murray was a document clerk at the courthouse, did he pull the file(s) for Johanna regarding the Pulgatti case? -> mob
  • Johanna, Diane Cavanaugh and Jennifer Stewart worked together on "the Justice Initiative" which more than likely was pro bono work with under served people that needed legal help -> unknown
  • Johanna (and maybe Diane and Jennifer) worked on a program called "take back the neighborhood" -> an anti drug campaign in Washington Heights = Drugs

  • Theory: Johanna Beckett tried to fake her own death?
Possible support:
  • Johanna went to the alley where she was killed before she was killed
  • In S1 "Ghost" This idea of faking one's own death had been explored
  • In "knock out", there was a seemingly unusually long monologue by the lady who got Lockwood's print on her arm about a guy who faked his own death.
This plot point could make sense that, Johanna, after realizing what she had discovered and who she was dealing with, attempted to make a deal with the devil to exchange keeping what she knew secret by faking her death to go into hiding to protect her family. But the dragon did not keep his end of the bargain and murdered her and her colleagues anyways. That may also be supported by why her body was "discovered" so fast after her murder, as well as Raglan's guilt and what he called the "dominoes falling". Raglan and Montgomery might have been involved in playing the role of the fake murder that turned real. Montgomery then especially feel justify to protect Kate in lieu of the truth in the spirit of he mother's intent. It may be possible that Jim Beckett knew of the original plan and hence feel extra remorse for letting his wife try to make this horrible deal and went into alcoholism?
  • Cavalo is Real (Cavalo is Portugese word for horse, in urban dictionary also listed as can mean "heroin")
  • In "Slice of Death", Cavalo was described as an urban legend character who worked for a big Columbian drug lord, but eventually killed his boss, killed his own children and took over the operation.
  • Cavalo uses normal business operations to distribute drugs (pizza restaurants, Johnny Vong etc.)
  • Who they caught at the end of the episode is probably not the ultimate Cavalo but a foot soldier of Cavalo...
  • The Cavalo legend started circulating around 2003 when a bunch of dealers started getting murdered.
  • Theory: Mike Yanavich, formerly in charge of evidence room, current manager of a cop bar is a part of the conspiracy:
Supporting evidence:
  • Montgomery sent Ryan and Esposito to Yanavich – someone he knew was the third cop – Wouldn’t have wanted it then as if they had found out just minutes earlier that Montgomery was part of the conspiracy, Kate would have had advance notice and would have gone in all guns blazing. Only sensible reason is if Montgomery needed Yanavich’s name to be known before he died.
  • No decent explanation of how a cop (even with an enhanced pension) would have been able to buy a bar. As it was a cop bar, he would be ideally placed to continue to gather evidence for his boss.
  • While talking about Raglan and McCallister, Yanavich said "They used to drink here before I owned the place". Why did they stop?