CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Season 5 Episode 13

Nesting Dolls

1
Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Feb 03, 2005 on CBS

Episode Recap

Ecklie tells Sara that she needs to conduct herself in an appropriate manner and that Catherine is her supervisor. She needs to treat her with respect. He delivers a low blow when he reminds her that she squeaked her way out of a DUI. He instructs Sara to apologize to Catherine.

Catherine and Warrick examine the bloody jacket that Svetlana wore the night she went to a hospital two years before. A small sample of blood is found on it from an unknown male, but it doesn't belong to her husband, Andrew Melton. They also find a small photo booth four-strip picture of Svetlana with an unknown man holding ice cream cones.

Warrick and Nick examine Svetlana's jeans and see that there was a piece of paper in the pocket that was destroyed by decomposition. Warrick points to the blurry characters in blue ink on the inside white pocket lining.

Nick and Ronnie Litra scan in the letters and use a computer to sharpen the contrast and flip it. They are able to make out "Matryoshka's...Tuesday, G am." Litra tells Nick that Matryoshka means Russian nesting dolls and that it is common for people who write Cyrillic to change their "nines" to lower case G-s in English.

Nick and Brass go to Madame Matryoshka's Hair Salon and Vlad, the Russian receptionist, asks them if they have an appointment. They ask for Madam Matryoshka. Chloe Daniels, 40s, approaches the CSIs and asks what she can do for them. There are young Russian women throughout the salon giving scalp massages and rubbing hands during manicures.

The CSIs question Chloe about Svetlana Melton and she reveals that she used to work there as a hairdresser. Nick corrects her, saying "Wife-to-be." Chloe tells them it is not prostitution--she sponsors ninety-day work VISAs and teaches the girls a trade. Brass points out that the men come in and shop for a wife without screening. Chloe replies that when you pick up a woman at a bar, the bartender doesn't screen you.

Nick shows Chloe a picture of Svetlana and the unknown man in the photo booth. She IDs him as Ken Wellstone, a man who actually comes in for haircuts. When Nick tells her that she peddles flesh, Chloe retorts that engagement rings are "proof that a man can pay for his bride. Marriage isn't romance. Marriage is a contract with the state. An investment in your future."

Grissom goes to Sara's apartment and finds her sipping a beer and listening to a Joni Mitchell song. He tells her that he spoke to Catherine and Ecklie wants to fire her. Sara admits that she has a problem with authority and chooses men who are emotionally unavailable. She's self-destructive. Grissom wants to know why she is so angry.

Sara finally breaks down and tells Grissom that her father was stabbed to death by her mother. She asks him if there is a "murder gene." Grissom says that genes are not a predictor of violent behavior. Sara starts to cry.

Nick and Brass question Ken Wellstone, who says that he simply took Svetlana out for ice cream one time. She told him about her abusive husband and begged him to help, but he didn't want to get involved. They inform him that Svetlana was murdered and ask for his DNA.

The CSIs look around Wellstone's apartment using the ALS, but find nothing. Nick spots some small black globs in the carpet and cuts out a sample.

Back at Trace Lab, Hodges takes the glob of tar and runs it in the GCMS. The report shows that the tar from Wellstone's carpet matches the tar Svetlana Melton was buried in.

The CSIs ask how Wellstone's blood ended up on the parka that Svetlana wore to the hospital two years prior. He tells them that she ran away and produces a note from his wallet to prove it that reads: "Ken, do not look for me. I need to go away. Svetlana."

Wellstone explains that in order for Svetlana to get out of her marriage quickly, they had to make it appear as if Andrew Melton beat her. Svetlana begged Wellstone to hit her in the face. He punched her and broke her jaw. His bloody knuckles slid against her parka, leaving behind a trace of his DNA. Ken Wellstone tells the CSIs that he loved Svetlana.

Warrick informs Catherine that some of the drops on Svetlana's sweatshirt were "Aubergine Sheen #315" hair dye. The pattern of drops looked like cast off, indicating that hair dye was present when she was being attacked.

Catherine and Nick go through Madam Matryoshka's Salon at night, looking for anything. Catherine picks up a pair of scissors and realizes that it is "jagged on one side, smooth on the other." It's something that could have been used to snip off Svetlana's fingers.

Catherine discovers that the upholstery on the back of a chair was recently stapled on. She pulls it off, revealing tan upholstery with a large dark purple blob.

Warrick and Catherine examine a scanned image of the chair back with the stain. Warrick indicates that he can find Svetlana's face in the blob--a bowl of dye landed on Svetlana's face and when a weapon struck her head, her face landed on the back of the chair, leaving a full profile imprint. They also see a necklace and realize that it is the same one that June, the young Asian, was wearing at the police station.

The CSIs go to Andrew Melton's house and present him with a warrant. They see padlocks on everything in the kitchen. Melton locks his wife out of the fridge and pantries. He's a control freak. Brass takes the necklace off of June's neck.

Catherine examines the necklace under a microscope and finds dried blood in the clasp. She tells Warrick and Nick that it is Svetlana's blood. Warrick postulates that after Melton spent a night in jail on phony abuse charges, he went after Svetlana, killed her with a blunt weapon, then removed the necklace.

Nick mentions that Svetlana was buried in a pre-existing grave on top of another girl who had her fingertips removed with shears. The only people connected to both victims would be Chloe and Vlad.

David Phillips compares the relative of letters in Vlad's appointment book to the goodbye letter written to Ken Wellstone. There is a match.

Warrick interrogates Vlad and tells him that according to credit card records, he purchased several buckets of tar from a hardware store, two and five years prior. Vlad tells him that in Russia he worked for a family and when they wanted a body "taken care of" he would dump it in the oil fields. He tells Warrick that Svetlana was already dead when he buried her.

Vlad had walked to the back of the salon and found Andrew Melton with blood all over himself, over the body of Svetlana. Vlad helped out Andrew, removing the fingertips and cleaning up the crime scene. Then he buried Svetlana and left a note for Ken, leaving tar globs in the carpet. Andrew Melton was a "very good tipper."

Vlad explains that the other body belonged to a girl who entered the country inside a large bag. She suffocated en route to the United States. Vlad dragged the bag out to the desert, unzipped it, and dropped the body into a hole. Then he poured buckets of tar onto her. Vlad says that the girl was already dead and there was nothing he could do about it.

Brass interrogates Melton, who bitterly notes that everywhere they went men were "making love" to Svetlana with their eyes.

Melton barged into the salon and demanded to know why she told the police that he hit her. He lost his temper, picked up a curling iron and brought it down on her head, killing her.

Melton is led away in cuffs. When June asks what is going to happen, Chloe tells her that it will be okay.

Grissom finds Catherine and Ecklie going over reports. Grissom tells Ecklie that he is not going to fire Sara and that her attitude is a reflection of his management Ecklie retorts that he should fire Grissom, but Grissom calls his bluff, telling him that he won't. Ecklie tells him that Sara is his responsibility.
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