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The Heiress in the Hill is the fifteenth episode of the ninth season of Bones.


The Jeffersonian team investigates the murder of Lauren Frank, a kidnap victim whose remains were found buried at a park. But when they discover the unhappy relationship that Lauren had with her stepmother, the team starts to think the killer was someone closer to the girl than expected. Meanwhile, Hodgins uncovers a shocking secret about his family and Brennan and Booth face a common couples dilemma - whether to co-mingle their funds.


Brennan receives a check for $75,000 from book sales and asks Booth to deposit it. Booth balks at her request as the amount was "more than I make in a year." They get a call to a crime scene at Antietam. In the midst of the investigation, Hodgins receives a visit from a Dr. Rozran and discovers that he has an older brother named Jeffrey who has schizoaffective disorder and has been residing at a private mental health facility for the past three decades. Throughout the episode, Hodgins struggles with feelings of guilt and anger as he wonders what if his parents had told him about Jeffrey. His personal fortune having been drained in the previous season by hacker-murderer Christopher Pelant (see episode "The Corpse on the Canopy"), Hodgins is distressed that he is financially unable to assist his brother and that Jeffrey will have to move to a state institution. He later finds out that Jeffrey overheard the conversation and ran away as he did not want to leave. 

The Scene of the Crime: A body is brought to the Jeffersonian within a giant vat of dirt. The body was found by a local park ranger. The skull displays damage, including smashed teeth. Additionally, one of the victim’s toes has been removed and the body was doused with lye. Booth wonders if the shallow grave and applied lye suggest a mob hit.

The Victim: Lauren Frank, a 26 year old socialite who still lived at home with her wealthy father Steven and his new wife Katherine. Booth and Sweets get a surprise when Steven and Katherine arrive to the FBI, expecting to find Lauren. They have received a text demanding a ransom for Lauren’s return (as well as a package with her toe); Sweets has to tell them Lauren is deceased.

Primary Suspects:

  • Chuck Winter, Frank family house and security manager. He had access to security footage and certainly had means to kidnap Lauren without anyone knowing.
  • Mauricio Rivas, Lauren's Spanish instructor. Her computer's calendar showed she had an appointment with him. He insists they were dating and planning to run away together. Sweets suggests that since Lauren didn't have that on her calendar that Mauricio killed her and was planning a one-way trip for himself.
  • Katharine Frank, with whom Lauren had a difficult relationship. It's revealed she is having an affair with her personal trainer and that she took out a kidnapping insurance policy against her family.
  • Buddy Coleman, the dog-walker. He had access to the Frank family property, and after Booth figures more than one person is responsible for Lauren’s kidnapping, he wonders if Buddy had a part of the plan.

The Case Progression:Buddy tells Booth that Lauren hated her life at home, that she talked to him about wanting to leave and especially how much she disliked her stepmom. The Franks continue to receive text and phone messages from the kidnapper, suggesting that whoever is plotting against them doesn’t know that Lauren is dead. This includes a picture of Lauren with duct tape over her mouth.

Brennan and Fisher continue to examine the skeleton. Fisher notices bone damage to the wrists, the back of the head and the heels, suggesting Lauren was hurt badly. But Brennan posits that she did the damage to herself, during a seizure. The question becomes…what caused it?

Angela figures out that the ransom texts are coming from Lauren’s phone. She traces it back to the Franks’ home, and B&B gather a search, ultimately finding the device among Katherine’s workout equipment. Booth brings her in for questioning, suggesting that because her prenuptial agreement with Frank has a "no-affair" clause, she took out the insurance policy to get some money after Lauren saw her having sex with her trainer. Katherine insists she is innocent and lawyers up.

Sweets wonders if Lauren's dad was also in on her death, Angela discovers that all of the ransom texts are cued up and ready to go, pre-prepared by someone. Meanwhile,  Hodgins discovers rust along the toe wound. They also realize Lauren was given penicillin, but was allergic to it. Fisher suggests that Lauren’s death was an accident, that someone tried to help her but ended up killing her and trying to hide her body. Cam runs DNA on the toe wound and traces it back to the Frank family dog and Buddy’s tools. Angela traces the picture of Lauren back to her device, where the full image reveals she took the picture herself.

The Verdict: B&B bring Buddy in for questioning. They tell him they have evidence that Buddy’s tools were used to cut off Lauren's toe, that they think he tried to dismember her but couldn’t out of love. Buddy admits they were in love and were going to run away together, and he didn’t mean for anything to happen.

B&B reveal to him that Lauren didn't love him and was just using him to escape. A final scheduled text message from her phone points the police to Buddy's whereabouts — she planned to set him up for the kidnapping while she escaped, presumably with Mauricio.

Booth learns of Hodgins' dilemma and, with Brennan's blessing, offers to donate the $75,000 check. Although grateful at the gesture, Hodgins refuses and decides to take a loan instead. At the end of the episode, Booth and Brennan are seen having their usual post-case drinks at Founding Fathers. They agree to open a joint account for convenience. He tells her he has decided to "invest" the money in the Wounded Warrior Project.


Main Cast[]

Intern of the Week[]

Guest Cast[]

Featured Music[]

  • Half Light by Fossil Collective


Cultural References[]


Brennan: Men are so foolish when it comes to money. It's why we have so many wars. You like your loot covered in blood and sweat. It's the only way you can do it.
Booth: So I'm Attila the Hun now?

Booth: Take the files. Go shrink them. Shrink it down.
Sweets: I don't shrink files. I read them.

Fisher: Well, I feel so inadequate now.
Brennan: You work with me, Mr. Fisher. I'd have assumed you'd be used to that by now.


Video Gallery[]


Promo for "The Heiress In The Hill" BONES FOX BROADCASTING


Hodgins May Not Be An Only Child from "The Heiress In The Hill" BONES FOX BROADCASTING


Joint Accounts from "The Heiress In The Hill" BONES FOX BROADCASTING