When the Heelers are called in to investigate vandalised graves at the Mt. Thomas cemetery, Tom discovers that Nell's grave site is amongst the desecrated. The vandals have spray-painted an obscenity on the headstone and Tom's deep hurt, fuelled by rage, drives the Heelers to find the culprits. Father Brian Hegarty points out that only the Catholic section of the cemetery was attacked, and that the Blue Lite basketball team was thrashed by St Stephen's last night. As the coach of the Blue Liters, Nick defends his players. But then evidence gives the Heelers cause to suspect Jed Russell, one of the teenagers on the team who is a Legacy charge of Tom's and Tom rises to Jed's defence. Nick, Maggie and PJ have to work hard to persuade Tom to let down his protective guard and interrogate Jed. The following night, Father Brian takes it upon himself to do some undercover work at the cemetery and has to call on the Heelers again. This time a double grave has been desecrated, that of Alice and George James, her "dearly beloved brother". One half of the grave has been dug out, and when the Heelers inspect the coffin, they discover that the skeleton of Alice James is missing a hand. Chris Riley has childhood memories of Alice James, telling the Heelers about "Alice and the Legend of the Scarlet Woman", a story about a local spinster with a rich lover who showered her with jewellery, none of which was found after she died so she assumed it was buried along with her. This leads PJ and Maggie to Helen Bremmer, Alice's only remaining family. Helen Bremmer, a widow with two teenage kids, is battling to keep her head above water with financial burdens on the farm. She doesn't know much about old Aunt Alice, but she does know one thing—Alice didn't have any brother George. Father Brian helps the Heelers substantiate this through the parish records and, in the meantime, Alice James' hand turns up in a shoe box on the church steps. Lateral thinking on Maggie and PJ's part reveals a new strand to the Alice Scandal-her secret lover was a man called Walter Starling. Some persuasive detective work on Walter Starling's remaining relatives then unearths a startling revelation-that the fictitious body of George James is really Walter Starling, who was buried beside his true love as a dying request. So, if graveyard vandals were after the jewellery, who are they? And where's the jewellery? The Heelers eventually find the missing pieces to the story and the Alice James mystery is resolved. And when the culprit who desecrated Nell's gravestone is finally caught, Tom is forced to revisit his feelings of grief and family loss, and then to restore the damage caused to his relationship with young Jed Russell.moreless
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