CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Season 7 Episode 18

Empty Eyes

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Mar 29, 2007 on CBS

Episode Recap

Sara walks the scene of one of the most horrific crimes she's ever worked, flashlight illuminating a home which only hours before was overflowing with life. "Showgirl Heaven" housed six gorgeous girls, all dancers in Vegas, but now it's silent, floors tracked with bloody footprints. Warrick handles the first bedroom, where three victims are tied up on their beds with their throats slit. Grissom deals with another girl, Becca, who appears to have been sexually assaulted, while he assigns Sara the fifth victim in another room. The sixth resident wasn't home at the time of the attacks, so she's the lucky one. As Sara looks at the victim, she notices a pool of blood on the floor nearby. She gets the shock of her life when a hand shoots out from underneath the next bed and scratches her face. At first Sara thinks the hand belongs to the killer, but is stunned to realize it's actually a sixth victim. Cammie is barely alive. "You're safe now, it's going to be okay," Sara whispers as the medics are called in.
A tearful Jonathan, Becca's boyfriend, tells his story of finding the front door open when he arrived to say goodnight. Meanwhile, Sara tells Brass what happened with the Cammie. The girl's last words were so garbled that Sara couldn't understand her, until finally, her eyes went blank as life left them.
David checks the girl found alone in her room, Becca, who was killed not by a slashed throat, but by at least a dozen stab wounds. "He took his time with her," Grissom says. He photographs a window that was kicked in by a bare foot, wondering who did the kicking since Becca's wearing socks. Greg notes that the room isn't Becca's; photos of Libby are scattered across the dresser. From the fact that the girls were bound with a top sheet, Grissom deduces that the killer was of the disorganized variety, killing whoever crossed his path.
Catherine photographs the bathroom, the mirror covered with photos of the girls in happier times. She bags some bloody paper towels from the trash and grabs a snapshot of a gun barrel imprinted in some spilled baby powder on the counter. That's what he used to control the girls, but perhaps he used a knife to kill because of the noise factor. "You can't scream once your throat's been slit," Catherine reasons. As Sara circles the house, she finds a chair wedged from the outside against an exit door. On the chair's arms, she dusts for prints and finds four perfectly shaped prints. Nick offers Sara some sympathy for her earlier experience with Cammie before presenting a new piece of evidence: a wine bottle with a personalized label. It reads, "Love, Lewis." As Sara recalls some of Cammie's garbled words, she wonders if the wine was an important part of the crime.
Meanwhile, an unidentified man in a beat-up red car swigs from a flask as he listens to a radio report about the crime. Could this be the killer?
At the morgue, Sara collects evidence as she carefully frees one girl from her bonds. Once Doc Robbins finishes his work, he explains how all the girls died--most from exsanguination from their neck wounds, including Cammie. But she survived almost two hours after the attack, leading Sara to believe that she'd have lived if she'd been found earlier. "Sara, there's nothing you could have done," Robbins reasons. Two of the girls may have been raped, but Becca definitely was. Her stab wounds were intensely violent, but the killer left something behind inside the body: the tip of the knife.
From the order of the paper towels discarded in the bathroom, Catherine has deduced the order of the murders: Emily, Lauren, Libby, Cammie, Jennifer and finally, Becca. It doesn't make sense to Grissom considering where the girls were found. He believes the killer didn't know how the house was laid out ahead of time, so it's possible he'd never been there before.
Hodges has news for Sara: the knife used in the crime was ceramic, not metal. Minutes later, Hodges makes a tough decision by picking up the ringing phone belonging to Libby. It's her mother. He's unsteady when he asks the woman if Libby wore a heart-shaped necklace, devastated when the answer is yes. He makes an even tougher decision when he tells the mother that her daughter has died. It's the right call, but not part of his job description.
Archie and Warrick go over a recent newspaper article about the girls, the text describing how they pooled their money to rent a house while going after their dreams of making it big in Vegas. The byline belongs to Lewis Greyburg, perhaps the same Lewis who provided the wine. As Warrick zooms in on the girls' smiling image, he has a jarring revelation. He knows one of the victims.Warrick pays a visit to the home of Emily Wilson's grandmother, Mary. Mary recognizes him immediately, and they reminisce about the old neighborhood. Warrick is stunned when Mary explains that Emily's mother died the year before of cancer, and now he has to break it to her about her lost grandchild. When he does, it tears them both apart.
In interrogation, Sara and Nick question Lewis Greyburg about the wine, as well as the story he wrote. It was a puff piece, but he admired the girls for their big hearts, considering they raised money for a fellow showgirl suffering from breast cancer. At one fundraiser, they gave away gift bags which included a ceramic knife. Nick wants Lewis's DNA, his shoes and his own ceramic knife from the charity event, all of which Lewis agrees to hand over. Sara gazes disdainfully at him, believing he could be the guilty party.
Nick compares Lewis's shoe prints to those found at the crime scene, surprised when the treads match, but the wear patterns don't.
As Greg delivers some information to Gil, Grissom has some news for him in return. The Demitrius James case isn't going to trial, so the city is paying out 2.5 million dollars to the family. Greg sees the deal as making him look guilty, but as Grissom says, "It comes with the job."
Hodges runs LASER ABLATION on the murder weapon's tip and compares it to Lewis Greyburg's; they're both ceramic, but Lewis's knife is intact. The murder weapon could have come from anywhere, including inside the house. With Hodges still stung by his conversation with Libby's mom and Sara trying to process what happened with Cammie, he and Sara share a quiet moment of sadness.Two sets of prints come back for the wine bottle, one set of smudges from callused, working hands, the other from a musician at the show where the girls danced. Brass finds musician Chris Mullins's home empty. A neighbor says he hangs at a local bar, and Brass is headed there when squad cars and an ambulance race by on their way to the same place. A man is down, Marlon Frost, with a slice to the neck. He's alive, luckily. And the weapon, missing a tip, is right nearby. Sara gets in the ambulance with the victim to see what she can learn. She holds his hand tenderly, just as she held Cammie's.
Brass finds Chris Mullins inside the bar and brings the guy in for questioning. He's ess and indifferent, not caring that any of the girls were killed. Lauren was his semi-girlfriend, though they didn't have much of a relationship since he slept with both Emily and Lauren the night of the murders. When Brass brings up Marlon Frost, Chris clams up.
The DNA confirms Chris's story to a point, but the details aren't all there. Would Chris have gone back into the bar so nonchalantly after stabbing Marlon Frost? In any case, the same smudges found on the knife were found on the wine bottle. Whoever cut Frost killed the girls too.
A gentle Sara photographs Frost in the hospital before taking his prints from his bedside. When they all show up as smudges, she experiences a moment of realization--this man is the killer. From the look in Frost's eyes, he knows too. Just as she moves away, he makes a grab for her. She pulls back, lucky he's tethered to the bed by a ventilator. With his shirt partly open, she sees the port wine stain across his chest. Finally she's able to decipher the words Cammie was trying to say before she died: "port wine."
Sara is bound and determined to nail the bastard, and fortunately the DNAnope on the wine bottle comes back as a match. Frost drank it down straight from the bottle the night of the killings.
Brass tells the press about Frost, aka David Marlon, an ex-con just out of jail who assaulted a elderly woman the week prior and stole her car. That very vehicle is found only a block from the bar, and Nick and Sara take a look. Inside the trunk are two garbage bags holding six handbags, all of which belonged to the girls. Becca's purse reveals the clue that connects Frost to the girls. It's a receipt from the bar where she stopped for a pack of smokes, even though she was trying to quit. After Becca smiled at him, Frost followed her and used a plastic gun to subdue all the girls. As for the gun, Nick says, "[It] looks real to me. Imagine if you're petrified."
Sara locates Cammie's old boyfriend Corey, the father of a child she gave up for adoption. In her wallet were photos of the little girl, Fin, who Corey looks on with great sadness. In learning the child's name, Sara recognizes the word Cammie spoke on her dying breath. Corey has regrets, wondering if he'd only married her and raised their daughter together… Sara pleads for him not to blame himself, telling him she was with Cammie at the end. "At least Cammie died knowing kindness," he says.
During questioning, Frost explains why he did it. It was random, and he believed Becca wanted it--that she was flirting with him. "I gave her the party of her life." When Brass wants to know how Frost feels about what he did, his reply is chilling: "I don't feel anything. Nothing."
In the break room, Sara and Grissom watch the latest news report about Frost's arrest. Tears fall down her cheeks as Grissom wipes them away