Hixton's soup kitchen memorial
|Portrayed by||Skoti Collins|
Jay Hixton seems, as "Lucky Stiff" opens, to be a man whose phenomenal good luck finally ran out.
He is the corpse whose demise Beckett is called in to investigate, the apparent victim of a home invasion turned deadly. As she and Castle look into the life of Florida largest ever lottery winner, however, those waters become far murkier.
Hixton had a wife and daughter, but they were not living with him at the time of his death, due to the strains on the family from their changed circumstances.
His daughter had been, for a time, hooked on drugs, and his wife struggled to recognize the man she loved in the individual in the palatial apartment.
Hixton was also know for his philanthropy. When he first arrived in New York, he befriended a soup kitchen, and would hand out $100 bills left and right, until the manager had to ask him to stop, as it was "attracting a bad element". He was generous to others, as well as indulging almost every one of his own whims.
There were far darker shadows, however. Hixton believed his past was coming back to get him, and bought a gun, a .357 Magnum, from Logan Meech the night he was killed. Since the gun was found next to his body, his fears seem to have been realized.
The digging into Hixton's past at first merely throws up a nearly endless parade of potential killers, not least the Page brothers, from Hixton's Florida hometown, who had robbed him a month after his win. They in turn provide a link to Marvin "Oz" Osminkowski, a disturbingly successful and violent criminal with a history of staying off the police radar.
At one point, it even seems as if Castle will get to declaim, "The butler did it!", since Reginald Easley was indeed his 'gentleman's gentleman', and nursed a grudge aginst the overfunded oafs who paid his wages, paying them back, apparently, by misapproriating certain valuable items. Although never charged, he frequently changed employers.
In the end, though, it turned out that Hixton's good fortune was itself stolen, since the winning lottery ticket, preserved on the door of the vault in his apartment, had belonged originally to Hank Walters, his neighbor back in Florida. Walters was housebound, and so Hixton had bought a ticket for him. However, Hank died on the day of the announcement, with no close family around to help wrap up his affairs. Since no one else knew about the ticket, or stepped forward to claim it, Hixton waited a day, then submitted the winning ticket himself. As an 'act of generosity', he paid for the masoleum of his recently deceased neighbor.
Walters had a nephew in New York, Tom, who stood to inherit, so he appears to be the logical killer when this information emerges, but he and his uncle were not close in any sense. Hank had stayed in touch, however, with his one-time stepson, Shawn York, and the numbers he played were in fact his own date of birth and that of Shawn. Shawn realized what had happened and tracked Hixton down to demand 'his' inheritance. The shooting itself was accidental, the result of a struggle between the two men when Hixton refused to give a "dirtbag criminal" the money.
The silver lining to all these clouds appears to be that Hixton's daughter, Nicole, is going into rehab, and will have her mother's full support when she re-emerges.