|Portrayed by||Billy Atchison|
Daniel Goldstein was a math whiz who worked for Berman Rose prior to his untimely demise at the outset of "Punked".
Daniel was a high-flying wunderkind in financial circles, until three months before his death when his flagship project, the Lower Tide Fund, suddenly tanked, sinking hundreds of millions of dollars with it. His colleague at Berman Rose, Adam Murphy, told Beckett and Castle when they came investigating that they had "fielded scores of less-than-complimentary messages from clients". A lot of people seemingly had a lot of reasons to want him dead.
Daniel, however, was discovered stripped down to his underwear with a lead ball, not a modern bullet, in his chest, so simple everyday anger doesn't seem to explain everything. A mugging appears possible, especially when Daniel's wallet turns up in the possession of a man-mountain by the name of Roland D'Andre, (D'Andre the Giant, as Castle calls him) with a rap sheet as intimidating as his person. However, his .45 is soon dismissed by firearms expert Abe Sandrich as incompatible with the lead ball, and his assault on Esposito becomes the only charge he's going to face. The lead ball, apparently, could have been fired by a vast variety of 18th-century flintlocks, so Mr. Sandrich believes the team will have to track down and match the specific murder weapon, rather than only looking for a particular type.
Daniel was aware of his unpopularity, it seems, and that presumably only added to his general level of stress, something he blew off, as the detectives and writer discover, at "The Gaslamp League", a private steampunk club on East 82nd Street. In this Victorian/futuristic environment of lavish costumes and sumptuous decor Daniel was able to express the artistry and romanticism unsuited to his financial working world. Part of that spirit, apparently, seeped over into the workplace, however, as Daniel had a crush on Julia Foster, his assistant, and he and Adam cooked up a steampunk-themed way to show Julia how he felt. Daniel did the math and worked out that, at forty paces, using the club's antique, authentic dueling pistols, hitting one another was a mathematical near-impossibility, so they staged a duel with Daniel challenging Adam for besmirching the lady's honor (by kissing her). The two turned, strode the requisite twenty paces, turned and fired. Unfortunately, Daniel went down, Julia started screaming and the blood flowed freely. Adam and Julia panicked, stripped the body of the incriminating costume and fled the scene. However, as Beckett and Castle prove, Daniel's calculations were spot on - there is no realistic way Adam could have deliberately fired the fatal shot.
As compensation, perhaps, for his financial disaster, Daniel befriended Troy Kenworth, the son of Charles Kenworth, a major investor in the Lower Tide Fund. Kenworth senior lost $2 million, his marriage and his life (by suicide) in that order to the fallout from the collapse. Troy was brawling his way through grief until Daniel talked to him, and helped get him a job as a barman at the League. Troy, however, was not past his anger, especially when he constantly witnessed the lavish and seemingly frivolous life Daniel led at the club, so when he overheard Adam and Daniel planning their dramatic, romantic fiction for Julia, he decided to take advantage of it. He customised his father's shotgun to fire lead balls and, on the stroke of midnight, simultaneously with Adam and masked by the church bells, took his fatal shot.