|Occupation|| Journalist |
True Crime Writer
|Portrayed by||Joanne Kelly|
Lee Wax was a journalist and a true crime writer, working as the ghost writer for an autobiography of Cynthia Dern, a former eco-terrorist. When Dern was murdered, Lee intended to write the book as a true crime novel instead, under her own name.
Dern, along with Susan Mailer and Jared Swanstrom, had tried to set off a bomb on an oil tanker as a protest against the Exxon Valdez oil spill. While they hadn't intended to kill anyone, something went wrong, leaving Mailer dead and the ship's captain, Sam Pike, permanently crippled. Swanstrom was caught and Cynthia escaped.
Dern had been in hiding for twenty years, posing as Allison Goldman, but was facing financial troubles and wanted to come forward. Lee was paying Dern a few hundred dollars a week while the book was being written, but both stood to become quite wealthy if the book made it into print and became a best-seller. Lee also speculated that any potential jury pool would be favorably inclined towards her because Cynthia claimed that she had tried to back out of the bombing when she realized that someone was aboard the ship. Until the book was released, Dern was adamant that Lee not speaks to any of her old associates for fear of exposure.
Lee realized that Cynthia's story was a self-serving pack of lies, but she was trapped by her contract, which stipulated that Cynthia got final say over what was written. Her publishers were also skeptical, and worse, felt that the remorseful story was uninteresting, to the point that they were preparing to cancel the book. To create a more interesting text, Lee began secretly contacting the other people involved in the bombing to verify Cynthia's account, careful to provide them with just enough information that they could deduce that she was in contact with Cynthia without ever explicitly saying so. Lee hoped that one of her sources would tip her off to the FBI. Once Cynthia was arrested, Lee could throw out her contract and use all the notes she'd gathered to write a true crime story that was much more interesting than Cynthia's version of events.
However, Lee's plan went awry. Susan Mailer had actually survived the bombing and gone into hiding, after her attempt to defuse the bomb and save Sam Pike failed. It was Cynthia who had been the one who was willing to let the bomb go off despite an innocent person being aboard. When Susan discovered what Cynthia was doing, she did threaten to go turn her in. Cynthia decided to kill Susan to silence her, faking a suicide to attract publicity for her book, but Susan managed to turn the tables and killed Cynthia instead.
When they discovered Lee's contact details while going through Dern's personal information, Lee cooperated fully with Castle and Beckett, identifying "Allison Goldman" for them and turning over all her interview notes. In exchange, she asked that they keep her in the loop about the murder, which would be the perfect ending for her book. Beckett refused, but Castle, intrigued by the beautiful young writer, took her card. Later, once the murder was solved, she approached Castle for the inside scoop, but Castle had realized what Lee was doing, noting that it was unlikely that everyone Lee spoke to would have worked out that she was in contact with Cynthia by chance. Although Wax pointed out that she had done nothing illegal, Castle retorted that it was still slimy, returned her card, and refused to give her the information she sought, noting that he would use her story in a book.
- Castle fulfilled his 'threat' to Lee Wax in Heat Wave, when he included a reference to her in the form of reporter Bree Flax, an associate of his own fictional counterpart Jameson Rook, constantly looking for that one big scoop which she can use to author a true crime thriller.