Brenda Reynolds (1944-2018) was a suspect in the murder investigation of high school student Caleb Millhouse in To Pay A Deadly Price (Case #2 of Toomeswood) as well as divorcee Lorena Esposito in A Devastation Of Love (Case #3 of Toomeswood) and her co-worker, high school teacher Darcy Keller in A Fallen Hero (Case #5 of Toomeswood). In Fitness For Death (Case #8 of Toomeswood), she was slain
Brenda was a 74 year old home economics teacher with short wavy grey hair and green eyes under black horn rimmed glasses as well as mauve lipstick. She wore a long sleeved lavendar blouse underneath a light blue apron. It is known that Brenda eats protein bars, visits saunas, works out and is a pescatarian.
In her second suspect appearance, she ditches her apron and is seen holding a vape in her left hand. It is known that Brenda vapes, eats communion wafers and is allergic to seafood and uses allergy medicine.
In her third suspect appearance, it is known that Brenda knows chemistry, uses anti-bacterial soap and is hypoglycemic.
At the time of her death, she wore a light blue t-shirt underneath a lavendar hoodie with matching sweatpants. She also wore white running shoes.
Events of Criminal Case
Brenda became a suspect when a piece of paper revealed her as one of two faculty members who attended a disciplinary meeting with the victim (the other teacher being science teacher Jack Princeton). When asked by Vanessa and the player, Brenda cited that the meeting never happened due to the victim's mother deciding a nail appointment taking priority over a disciplinary meeting.
Brenda de-escalated a situation that was caused between vlogger Brad Ryder and the team along with Jack by having the latter three listen to Brad who came to the team via tracking them down with a GPS to share allegations about the victim's bullying behaviour. She later interrogated Brad about his findings and when Brad handed the teacher his phone, the allegations were revealed to be true (attacking kindergarteners outside of school hours, cyberbullying grade 8 students etc.).
Later on in the investigation, Brenda reported a physical altercation ensued between Coach Brock Rothery and Jack which was ended by Principal Gerald Deckerton who without allowing Jack to explain his side of the story, automatically decided that the coach was in the right which infuriated both Brenda and Jack.
Brenda was spoken to again when the victim's cellphone was analyzed and admitted her interest in interrogating Brad about his allegations against the victim; the victim and his mother threatened to out her as a closeted bisexual. She stated that she was blackmailed for refusing to change Caleb's grades because of his poor performance and deliberate vandalism of equipment, especially his sexual harrassment of his female classmates.
Ultimately, Brenda was found innocent after Brock was incarcerated for the murder. She was spoken to after she was reported by the school psychologist to be in severe distress in which the team found an empty blister packet in the school cafeteria which (per Lucas) was confirmed to be the home ec.teacher's anti-depressants.She explained that she had been distressed amid possible rumours of Elanna Esposito (who she felt was like a daughter to her) possibly being forced by her mother to emigrate back to Tijuana. However, much to Brenda's heartbreak, the rumors were confirmed to be true per a goodbye note the team found at the school's sauna room. Jane gently suggested a group therapy center for her as well as a local garden to help her cope with the void of losing Elanna. Before the team left, she thanked them for arresting Brock for the murder.
Brenda became a suspect when the team arguing with the victim via text messages on the victim's cellphone over abruptly forcing Elanna to move away from Toomeswood. When Vanessa asked her about the arguement, the home economics teacher stated that she felt that Lorena was a threat to the teenager's safety due to the victim's insanity and mental instability as a result of her religious upbringing from the victim's mother Veronica Hernandez.
Brenda was spoken to again when the team found her empty medicine bottle, she told the team that the victim also threw away the home economics teacher's seafood allergy medicine which the home economics teacher needed to not only be able to follow her diet but to be able to make recipes involving seafood. Lorena also believed medicine to be sinful and wanted to protect Elanna's "immortal soul" from being "corrupted" by medicine, as she had once used Epi-pen to save Elanna's life from her allergy to wheat; which the victim felt that it was unholy to have such an allergy and only God knew what was best. Brenda once again deemed Lorena to be the only danger to Elanna and Lorena, alone.
Later on in the investigation, Brenda was involved in a scuffle with Veronica after the latter tried to assault a young girl for wearing a short skirt by paddling and spraying her with holy water.
For the second time, Brenda was ultimately found innocent after Veronica was incarcerated for the murder. However after Elanna made a heartbreaking decision to cut off all ties with Brenda in order to protect the home economics teacher from any harm that may come, she was left upset and frustrated by this decision. She also helped the team find more evidence on Veronica's sordid past.
Brenda became a suspect when Vanessa and the player found a receipt for renovations on the very bathroom in which the victim was found dead. She immediately told the team that she was told by former principal Seamus Scott to have the bathroom renovated over a decade ago in order to turn the bathroom into a yoga studio. However, this idea never came into fruition as Gerald Deckerton had decided to overturn the decision. When asked about the victim however, she told the team that she barely knew the victim. She found out about Darcy's murder after a student told her that Jack Princeton fainted upon finding Darcy's decomposed body.
Brenda was spoken to when she came forward to the team about Darcy having been discovered to be stealing from the elite rich such as the Millhouse and Baltimore families. Darcy's robberies infuriated Brenda as this further put the faculty on edge, despite Darcy's intentions on trying to improve the quality of life for the students and faculty.
Brenda was found innocent for the third time when the team chased down Gerald, who was on the run and eventually arrested for Gerald's murder. She was able to make amends with expelled cheerleader Elanna Esposito, also she told Elanna and the team that she had been taken hostage in a train by a mafia gang led by Darcy's grandfather and Velma Keller's father Jack Keller. This prompted the home economics teacher to find out Darcy's motivations for not only wanting an optimal quality of life for the students but Darcy's investigations about the embezzlements. Once she found out about Darcy's tragic past of bouncing from foster home to foster home and eventually ending up homeless as a teen, Brenda confronted Velma who regretted making the girl homeless while wanting to give her independence.
Brenda was found crushed to death in the Columbia Heights Women's Fitness Center by a fitness bike, per Tazia's autopsy, the killer left traces of their green smoothie all over the bike before killing the home economics teacher which meant they drank those smoothies.
Mid-investigation, the team found a sushi box, which confirmed that the killer ate sushi and a footprints confirmed to be running shoes worn by the killer.
Later on in the investigation, the team found a scale and CCTV camera at Peachtree Park benches. Per Jonah's analysis, the scale showed that the killer weighed 132 lbs and the CCTV camera revealed that the killer wore yellow clothing.
Relationship With Suspects
Internet blogger Jenna Danson sometimes came to the Columbia Heights Women's Fitness Center to record people working out for likes on her blogs. It was later revealed that she was hired to harrass Brenda who was enraged and attacked the blogger.Athlete Susanna Collingswood often worked out at the gym and was considered a top athlete for her young age, however she denied knowing the victim. She was also revealed to have hired Jenna to harrass the victim as she felt that only the young had rights to any fitness centers. The victim's colleague, science teacher Jack Princeton was beside himself with grief over the victim's murder as he considered her his best friend. However, the two had a falling out as the victim wanted to retire which upset Jack as the schools were at an all out war and with no principal to lead the staff and students at either school, he felt the victim had no right to retire at such a difficult time.On top of having an allergic reaction to seafood, the victim's top student Elanna Esposito was utterly devastated to have lost her mentor and had bouts of crying throughout the investigation. It was revealed that Elanna had a falling out with Brenda after the former decided to confiscate her father's anti-depressants after he mixed them with his tequila causing him to ransack the morgue two cases earlier, while Brenda felt that the tequila should have instead been confiscated. After being caught in a hostage situation between the ex-mobster's father's gang and a rival gang at the age of 16, Brenda still felt she could not trust Velma Keller and Velma in return did not expect to be trusted. The feud between the two further worsened, when Velma secretly met up with Father Cappelanio (with whom the victim was romantically engaged) for information on Lord War.
Killer And Motives
The killer turned out to be
- Brenda is thus far the only non-main character to appear as the player's partner while being a suspect in the main leg of the investigation.
- Brenda is one of the characters to appear as a suspect in two consecutive cases