|Occupation||WHNY weather girl|
|Appearances||Cloudy with a Chance of Murder|
|Portrayed by||Candice Mann|
Mandy Michaels was the channel WHNY weather girl, whose body turned up behind a fountain at the outset of "Cloudy with a Chance of Murder".
Beyond her obvious looks, there were rather more admirable qualities about Mandy, chief among them her work for the 'City of Trust' Children's Hospital. At first her murder appears to be a robbery gone sideways, with local 'oddball' Jonathan Goodheart, who lives not far from the fountain, found with her purse and its contents.
Mr. Goodheart, however, alibis out when it's discovered that the signs of mugging were faked post mortem, and Mandy, who appears to have been a workaholic, offers Beckett and Castle very little to go on, beyond a handwritten death threat in her purse, and the make-up on her blouse, apparently indicating a cat fight with a co-worker. This turned out to be Rebecca Fog, her competition as weather girl, who saw her as "a lazy, entitled, big-boobed bimbo".
Rebecca, through her bile, points the duo in the direction of a car, a vehicle which, it emerges, belongs to basketball star Reggie Blake. Reggie, when questioned talks about his friendship with Mandy, and their communal work for the Children's Hospital, but he comes off the suspect list when his wife confirms the mutual nature of the friendship between the three of them.
Beckett and Castle start to zero in on the Children's Hospital itself, and discover that Mandy, as asthmatic, was taking a particular interest in kids with asthma who played at Conway Field. She paid her own money, a thousand dollars of it, to take the company chopper on a hush-hush trip over New Jersey, testing air quality. I
t turns out Cazuli Carpeting, run by George Cazuli, was using a new backing on their product to make it long-lasting, and, as a side-effect, pumping styrene into the atmosphere, a chemical linked to severe respiratory problems. Cazuli himself turns out to have a short fuse and a lack of judgement, since, while waiting for his lawyer, he confesses to writing the threat and that Mandy had evidence against his company which would cost him, probably millions.
While he clearly has motive, Mandy's photographic evidence is shown to be something she couldn't have taken herself, since she was in front of, rather than behind, a camera at that moment. Mandy was looking to expose Cazuli, but since legal would need to vet everything before a story could be aired, she decided instead to turn the whole thing over to the EPA, in hopes of quicker action, saving children's health and lives.
Unfortunately, her partner, and photographer, was anchor Miles Haxton, who needed the exclusive to protect his job, and who set up a 'fake mugging' to retrieve the crucial files. The gun went off, Mandy went down, and her story broke in a way neither of them wanted or expected.