In The Wire, Season 1, Episode 13 (The Sentencing), there's a scene where D'Angelo (Dee) is in the interview room with his own lawyer (not Levy) about 19 mins into the episode:

PEARLMAN: Your client must realize that any agreement is dependent on his full cooperation.
DEE: Well, yo, there ain't nothin' else.
[McNulty pulls out a picture of Deirdre's corpse]
DEE: Deidre.
[Bunk knocks on the table three times]
DEE: Tap, tap, tap.
[Bunk knocks again]
DEE: She was one of my uncle's girls.
McNULTY: Yeah, but we got people who put you with her the night she's killed.
DEE: Yeah, I didn't know what he was gonna do her. I swear. They played me.

Something that confused me is how do Bunk and McNulty know about that tapping on the window which they gesture about while handing the photo to Dee (the tap tap tap reference)?

Dee talks about the tap tap tap when describing the murder to Poot, Bodie and Wallace in a previous episode (4 - Old Cases). The police aren't aware of this conversation. In the famous scene where Bunk and McNulty investigate the crime scene without any dialogue apart from "F*ck", they also tap on the window 3 times. How they would know that this happened I have no idea as no one witnessed these events and no evidence would suggest that the shooter tapped on the window 3 times (what could possibly suggest that took place?).

So during the interview, how did Bunk and McNulty know this tap, tap, tap event took place? Am I missing something from the plot or is this just some sort of story telling mechanic which doesn't fit in with the events?

1 Answer 1


During the "Fuck" scene, Bunk and McNulty understood how the crime happened, especially that the woman was bending over while looking at the window (the bullet entered high in the chest and came out low from the back, at 3:18 in the video).

Something had to attract her attention, from the outside, for her being positioned that way. They deduced it was someone knocking at the window. I suppose the most common number of knocks is three, hence the "Tap, tap, tap".

  • 6
    Not just one of the best scenes due to the inspired use of the profanity, it is the best example of seeing how exceptionally talented Bunk and McNulty are with the level of accuracy displayed in their assessment of the events. 'Natural Po - leece'. Indeed. Mar 9, 2018 at 14:25
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    @StephenFrancis, yes indeed. And the "best bros look" is priceless :-) they did't need words to solve this case. Mar 9, 2018 at 14:29
  • Yeah I understand that from the investigation of the crime scene that they determined the shot came from outside and the entry and exit wound indicated the victim was at an angle. But there was nothing to indicate why the victim was drawn towards the window. It could have been anything like a pebble thrown at the window, a flashlight shone into the room, noise of people talking outside. It was just that in the interview they stated the tap tap tap as a matter of fact - it threw me off as how they could be so certain. I thought I missed something.
    – Ritchie
    Mar 13, 2018 at 15:42
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    @SilverBebs I'm not saying it was a coincidence that attracted her to the window, you're missing my point. I am questioning how the detectives can be SO confident of the tap tap tap event to confront the suspect in the interview with it - it could have been anything to have attracted the victim to the window. And because they were so confident, it threw me off as I thought I had missed an important event or story point. However, your answer seems to suggest that I haven't missed anything, hence it is accepted now.
    – Ritchie
    Mar 14, 2018 at 12:32
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    @ritch0s, it also could be some kind of bluff. They are 90% sure about it, and D understands what they are talking about so it confirms it. When you bluff you have to show confidence :-) Mar 14, 2018 at 13:36

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