(Book: Eva Zahn, Volker A. Zahn, Director: Florian Kern)
Vera Lanz and her team have every reason to celebrate. In a spectacular solo effort, they have arrested the long-sought Ingo Blume, godfather of a drug cartel. But after the case is before the case: the next operation blows up the victory celebration just as Vera and Trompeter are getting close. Musician Theo Gottlieb has been stabbed to death with a pitchfork on his farm. Vera is soon convinced that Markus Schüttler, the ex of Gottlieb’s girlfriend Wilma, is the culprit. But in the course of the investigation, other suspects are added: the victim’s brother, Christoph Gottlieb, was only able to sell the farm they shared after his death in order to finance the reopening of his architecture firm. Wilma also had a “valid” motive to kill the lover, because apparently her 15-year-old daughter Alexandra maintained a sexual relationship with the victim. In addition to investigating the rural machinations, Vera Lanz is also struggling on her own front: Dominik Schneider, head of the internal department, is investigating Vera in connection with Blume’s arrest.
10.10.2014: “The Fourth Victim”
(Written by Timo Berndt, directed by Florian Kern).
Munich’s city center at prime shopping time. Crowds of people stream through the department store doors. The scene freezes when a young woman staggers out of the elevator covered in blood. Vera Lanz and her colleagues are quickly certain: Sabine Heuchert narrowly escaped a serial killer. Details point to similarities in three other unsolved murder cases. Coincidence drives the investigators into the arms of Toni Marschaber, whom Sabine Heuchert identified as the perpetrator by his scent. Marschaber’s boss Eberhard Hallhuber can also be linked to one of the earlier victims, and an interesting commonality connects the two suspects: Both are represented by celebrity lawyer Xaver Baumgartner. Then, surprisingly, another woman’s body is found and the sequence of events resembles the serial pattern. But the appearance of the corpse does not match the other victims. Is Vera Lanz dealing with a copycat perpetrator? But how could he get the detailed perpetrator knowledge?
17.10.2014: “Deadly Rope Ships”
(Written by: Axel Hildebrand, directed by: Florian Kern)
Vera Lanz had imagined a reunion with an old colleague differently – Mario Fechter, undercover investigator in a formerly sensational case, is shot by an unknown perpetrator. His ex-colleague Bernd Ecker did not survive the attack. Vera and her team are able to identify the perpetrator via street surveillance: Piet van Meeren. His trail leads directly to his former employer, the gambling king Joseph Berlinger. Thanks to Fechter and Ecker, Berlinger was in prison until his death. Murder of the undercover agent and colleague of Fechter was the charge of the then public prosecutor Gero Hoffmann. Until his death, Berlinger had denied the crime. Vera becomes skeptical in view of the files: Was the gambling king really framed for the murder? Did his son Andy take late revenge for his father? When van Meeren also tries to hit Fechter’s son Aaron, Vera decides to go into hiding with father and son.
Katharina Böhm is once again in front of the camera as “Die Chefin” Vera Lanz in the ZDF Friday crime series of the same name. Playing her familiar team are: Jürgen Tonkel, Stefan Rudolf and Nicole Marischka.
Bernhard Schir, Wanja Mues, Sandra Borgmann Michael A. Grimm, Thomas Unger, Thomas Sarbacher, Jan Henrik Stahlberg, Gregor Bloéb, Sigi Zimmerschied, Simon Schwarz and others can be seen in the episode roles.
The first shooting block of the fourth season is directed by Florian Kern based on scripts by Timo Berndt, Eva Zahn & Volker A. Zahn and Axel Hildebrand.
“Die Chefin” is produced on behalf of ZDF by Network Movie, Cologne (producer: Wolfgang Cimera; producer: Susanne Flor). Günther van Endert is the editor at ZDF.