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Elise Vogelson

The evil and devious Elise Vogelson

Elise Vogelson (Mariette Hartley) is the main villainess of "Red Lacquer Nail Polish," episode 5.15 of The Mentalist (airdate March 3, 2013). She is an heiress who was believed to have been murdered before the beginning of the episode, with her ashes being found in the living room of her mansion.

In actuality, Elise had embezzled all of the money from the Soldier's Home charity that she was working for, and then faked her death to avoid suspicion. As part of her plan, the devious villainess drugged Lissie Calhoun (a nurse who served during the Vietnam War and who Elise considered a friend) and then set her on fire, meaning that the latter was the one found burned to death. After that, she convinced Cayce Robbins—the episode's hidden minor villainess—to hide her on her boat, which is where Patrick Jane found her after tossing a lit marine flare into said boat's lower deck. With nowhere else to go, Elise was pulled up while holding a small suitcase containing the stolen money, after which she was arrested.

At the California Bureau of Investigation's headquarters, Elise stated her motives for the embezzlement: the money was hers, she could do what she wanted with it, and she didn't want her nephew Curtis Wiley to tell her how to spend said money. She also claimed that she gave Lissie a "peaceful death" before mocking her kinship with Cayce—claiming that she thought of her as the mother she never had. As revealed during Cayce's interrogation (during which she showed remorse), the callous woman was also plotting to betray her unwitting accomplice once she got away by killing her.

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