CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Season 6 Episode 9

Dog Eat Dog

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Nov 24, 2005 on CBS

Episode Recap

An obese man is found dead in a dumpster in the back of a buffet restaurant. CSI Gil Grissom and Captain Jim Brass are called out to investigate the circumstances of his death. Brass was recently cleared of a previous incident from earlier in a review board and approved to return to duty. The victim had creased khakis, an Oxford shirt, and no shoes. Brass found no ID. He spots blood on the victim's face. Grissom swabs it and identifies it as cranberry sauce. Brass knew, saying he was joking Grissom and wished him Happy Thanksgiving.

CSI Catherine Willows and Assistant Medical Examiner David Phillips arrive at the scene later. Catherine remembers how she used to enjoy the restaurant's meatloaf sandwich. Grissom did not eat at the restaurant since the chef shot himself in the head. David comes to the restaurant to eat the chili. David places time of death for the victim at two hours ago. Catherine hypothesizes that the victim was knocked out and thrown out. Metallic silver residue is found on his left cheek. His hands had mashed potatoes. Wrist scarring is found on his right wrist, but not on his left. David finds a piece of paper with a logo of "Aunt Jackpot's Pretzels." The victim died with a smile on his face.

CSIs Nick Stokes (with his infamous mustache) and Sara Sidle are called to the Tinsleys' residence with Detective Sofia Curtis on the scene. Outside of the house, they find a blue car parked outside on the driveway, which does not belong to the residents. Michael was found dead on the living room floor. His wife, Lori, was found opposite of him with blood running from her neck. Nick thinks she was slashed in the neck with a serrated knife. Alarm was triggered at 11:45PM. Patrol arrived at 3:32AM. Kitchen door was open. Wallet was found on Michael, purse was found on a counter with her cards, cash and other valuables. Nick rules out home robbery due to lack of missing property. While both the husband and wife were brunette, blonde hairs were found on both of the bodies. Possible skin scrapings were found under her fingernails. Sara spots a void in a record cabinet, meaning that a collection of vinyl records were removed recently. She dusts for prints. Nick follows a blood trail into the kitchen, which leads outside to the backyard. The back door was unlocked. Sara finds a considerable amount of blood on the dog bowls. When they hear a disturbance, they find a golden retriever identified as Kahlua. The retriever has blood on its paws and Nick calls Animal Control.

Medical Examiner Al Robbins goes over the obese victim's autopsy with Catherine. He explains that people typically hold up to one liter of volume in their stomachs, but can normally expand to as far as four liters. In the victim's case, his stomach expanded to six at the time of his death. Cause of death was Asphyxia due to mechanical compression of the lungs due to gastric dilation. His stomach had expanded to the point that his organs were literally crushed and no room for them to breathe. The victim had multiple contusions with a band of dead tissues on his right wrist. His fingernails had been bitten down, but no signs of force feeding were found. Robbins hypothesizes that the victim ate himself to death.

Catherine visits an Aunt Jackpot's Pretzels stand and asks the vendor about the victim. The vendor remembers the victim snatching a pretzel from his stand and leaving his wallet behind with only $1.00 when the price of a pretzel is actually $1.50. The wallet contains a picture of him with a girl and a man in a blue hat. She also finds a business card belonging to Digger James of the Extreme Eating Federation (EXEF). Catherine tries to call Digger, but receives voicemail instead.

Lab Technician Jessie Menken investigates Kahlua, who was received from Animal Control. Kahlua shows no sign of rabies, but will be quarantined for the next ten days if they do end up developing. It is possible for abused animals to attack their owners. Menken clips off some hairs from Kahlua to send up to the CSI Lab for processing.

Sara interrogates Missy Halter, who is the owner of the blue car found outside of the Tinsleys' residence. She claimed to loan it to Michael since his Beemer was in the shop. She was Michael's girlfriend. Missy told Sara that the Tinsleys were divorcing and Michael chose to be with Missy. She claims to have never been inside the house, but Sara presents her fingerprints found in the record shelf. Missy confessed to Sara that Michael gave her the house keys and the alarm codes to enter the house and get back his records he could not live without. She struck Kahlua. Michael owned The White Album autographed by Paul McCartney.

Michael asked her to break in on the off chance that Lori pressed charges against him. Missy claimed that Lori kept the records out of spite and planned to sell them all. She decides to say nothing further until she sees Michael, but Sara tells her that both the Tinsleys are dead.

Lab Technician David Hodges processes the obese victim's stomach contents. He finishes separating the foods out in time for Catherine to arrive. David pinched his nose because he does not like the smell of hot dogs. He determines that the metallic material was Graftonian theatrical makeup. Its color is Moonlight Silver. Catherine giggles at him for his new look. Grissom arrives to go over the stomach contents with David. The victim did not really chew, making it easier for him to identify the foods. Macaroni and Cheese, cakes, shrimp, pasta, pretzels, beef, fish, and hot dogs were found. Grissom notes that food normally takes two to four hours to digest, meaning that the victim ate this food in two to four hours before he died. David said that the victim ate approximately twenty hot dogs. While hot dog companies protect their recipes with no exceptions, Grissom finds a logo of chatter teeth branded on one of the hot dogs. David also finds a piece of paper, which is an advertisement of the Circus Town buffet for $1.99.

Brass and Catherine interview the buffet manager, who remembers seeing the obese victim. According to the manager, the victim filled up a food plate, but ate directly from the food containers at the buffet line. It got to the point where she had to call security to kick him out of the buffet. He did pay in cash, meaning he still had his wallet. No security cameras are found at the $1.99 buffet. The buffet is well known for its wiener cocktails, eliminating the buffet as the source of the branded hot dogs.

Nick reviews the evidence from the Tinsleys' residence with Sara. The blood found all over the house belonged to Lori Tinsley. Sofia spoke to their divorce lawyers and confirmed they fought over everything. After some vinyl records were stolen, Lori changed the locks and alarm codes. Although Missy admitted to stealing the records, Michael also broke into the house himself since the alarm went off. They meet with Hodges about their trace results. He tells the CSIs that no DNA was found in the scrapings. Hodges confirms that the hairs belong to a golden retriever due to their spade shape in the roots. He appeared to be clearly stressed and recounts his childhood of owning hamsters. The hamsters ran away from him, unfortunately.

David Phillips prepares Michael and Lori's bodies for autopsy. Robbins begins his autopsy on the feuding couple. Nick and Sara arrive to go over Michael's death with Robbins. A .22-caliber bullet was found in the base of Michael's brain and lodged itself in the occipital lobe. Sara mentioned that they did not think to check for gunshot residue (GSR), but Robbins understands since no visible entry wounds were found. The angle of entry showed that Michael was shot through the right nostril of his nose. Sara's theory is that Michael broke into the house, the alarm goes off, Lori shot and killed Michael through his nose, and Kahlua freaked out and bit Lori in the neck, killing her.

Lab Technician Greg Sanders went shopping and bought every possible hot dog brand in Las Vegas. Grissom tells him the Lab will not pay for Greg's expenditures. He then briefs Greg on the origin of "hot dog." Humphrey Bogart once quoted "A hot dog at the ballpark tastes better than a steak at the Ritz." A German butcher in 1867 at New York Polo Grounds sold "dachshund sausages" out of his pie wagon. Afterwards, other vendors decided to sell them too, only they said "hot dogs" because it was too long to pronounce. Greg begins comparing the hot dogs against the branded hot dog. He eventually traces the brand to "Nel's Hot Dogs" with an advertisement of a contest for the EXEF's Hot Dog Tournament in Las Vegas.

Catherine and Brass watch an EXEF Hot Dog Tournament. Hot dogs are stamped with the logo found in the obese victim's stomach contents. Digger James is Master of Ceremonies (MC) at the competition. Another competitor, Marty "The Meat Machine" Mayron, is found with silver paint on his face and wearing the EXEF camera. At the end of the competition, Patty Cake Newton is determined as the winner.

Brass interviews Digger while Catherine interviews Marty Mayron. Digger identifies the victim as Jerry Gable, the best walk-on eating competitor he's ever seen. He explains that EXEF is one of the biggest leagues in the eating competition, with competitors making up to at least $500,000 a year. Jerry had taken third place in yesterday's competition, earning him a spot in the finals in Atlantic City. The event made the Las Vegas Post's sports page. Brass asks to keep the newspaper and Digger gives it to him. Digger believed that with proper training, Jerry would have taken back the Golden Weenie Trophy from the Japanese champion. After the competition, Digger paid Jerry, gave him his business card, and left him to celebrate.

Catherine collects the face paint from Mayron. Mayron explained that he was really angry with Jerry for losing to him until he learned of how mentally disturbed Jerry was. Jerry had hugged Mayron and got the face paint smudge. Mayron remembers some guy in a hat taking him away. He identifies the man in the picture found in Jerry's wallet.

Sara revisits the crime scene. She walks through the incident where Lori shot Michael before being killed by Kahlua. Lori dropped the gun and it slid underneath a couch. She finds the .22-caliber revolver. Nick mikrosils the bite marks from Lori's neck and compares them against Kahlua's teeth. They are not a match due to a chipped tooth, meaning that another golden retriever was present.

Robbins brings a vegan, low fat, low sugar, and low carb strawberry rhubarb pie he baked to the CSI Lab for CSI Warrick Brown to taste. Warrick is off-duty to take his girl Tina to a Cirque du Soleil show at The Wynn. He tries the pie, which he calls a taste bud cleanser, not really approving of its low taste. He pleads Catherine to try out it out, but is unable to stomach anything after watching the hot dog competition. Warrick remembered seeing a Japanese guy eating 64 hot dogs in 12 minutes. He noted that he was the second-most well-known guy since Yao Ming, who Robbins notes is Chinese.

Grissom reads up on Jerry's condition, which he identifies as Prader-Willi Syndrome and explains it to Catherine. It's a rare genetic disorder that causes ceaseless, uncontrollable, excruciating hunger. Its sufferers are characterized as having short stature, hypotonia, almond-shaped eyes, and excessive fingernail biting. Jerry was afflicted by this disorder. Jerry, like other sufferers, are born with a flawed hypothalamus. Hypothalami normally send signals to the brain, telling the body to "Stop eating, I'm full." With Prader-Willi Syndrome, the signal never reaches the brain. Grissom also notes that people like Jerry are monitored 24/7 their entire lives. The scar tissue from his wrist indicated that he was strapped to a chair to keep him from eating everything. In this case, whoever set him free is ultimately responsible for his death.

Hodges identifies Lori's fingernail scrapings as bacon grease and hands it to Nick. Nick meets up with Sara later to pass on the findings. Sara read documents from divorce lawyers that the Tinsleys fought over everything, including Kahlua. The couple agreed that whoever Kahlua ran up to would be Kahlua's owner. Nick realizes that Lori took a pack of bacon and covered her hands in them so that Kahlua would go to Lori. Kahlua, like many dogs, have sensory receptors 25 times stronger than humans. Menken calls Nick to tell him they have the dog with the chipped tooth.

Nick and Sara arrive at Menken's lab. Michael had adopted the golden retriever to replace Kahlua so he can have her to himself. The retriever did not appear to be ferocious initially, but Menken places her in a cage and has another lab tech fire a gun. The retriever goes berserk and fusses in the cage. The CSIs confirm that when Lori shot and killed Michael, the doppelganger attacked Lori and bit her neck, killing her. Afterwards, the doppelganger ran away and Kahlua came out of hiding. Kahlua tried to wake Michael up and then walked to Lori, licking up some of her blood and covering her paws with it before running to hide in the closet. Sara remarked that the couple engaged in a dogfight and only the dog survived.

Brass tracks Jerry Gable's last known address to an apartment registered under the names of Jerry and Suzie Gable. When they arrive, they find the man in the blue hat from the picture. Catherine finds that all the shelves are padlocked. The blue hat refused to answer any questions. He confessed to bringing Jerry to the Circus Town buffet while he gambled at the Circus Town Sports Book. He spotted an advertisement for the EXEF Hot Dog Tournament and entered Jerry. The blue hat took Jerry's winnings and blew it at the sports book. He will ultimately be held responsible for negligent homicide. The blue hat told them that Suzie is in surgery.

Catherine interviews Suzie in the hospital, who knew her boyfriend was trouble and did not really trust him with Jerry. Suzie did not have a choice because she is a waitress, her parents are dead, and she had to get surgery or her insurance would not cover it. Because of Suzie's lack of income, she would have been unable to get Jerry professional help. Catherine shows Suzie the sports page of Jerry's third-place finish at the EXEF competition. Suzie is really proud of him, saying "I bet he had the time of his life."