CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Season 6 Episode 21


Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Apr 27, 2006 on CBS

Episode Recap

Tonight's episode opens with a bride and groom being driven away from their wedding ceremony. They're riding in the back of a convertible, much like you would see in a parade. The friends and family look on and cheer as the two proceed down the driveway. After a few seconds of joy, the camera focuses on several friends and family members who are yelling in horror. The camera immediately pans down to find a woman being dragged behind the car, her head hitting every rock in the driveway.

We cut to Nick Stokes, who's arrived at a diner to meet up with Greg Sanders and Sara Sidle. He joins them inside and begin complaining about the crime scene they just finished processing. Interviewing over two hundred eyewitnesses takes a long time, for them, it took eleven hours or so. When the subject of tradition comes up, Sara can't help but throw in her opinion on marriage, "ah tradition, like becoming property exchanged between your father and your husband." In the parking lot, we see a large delivery truck pull in and then a newswoman comes onto the TV and talks about the woman who was killed at the wedding. She was a prominent defense attorney in the Las Vegas area and recently defended a man charged with the murder of a casino mogul. Nick asks Greg to pass the cream for his coffee, and Greg does so. He then looks outside and notices Nick's SUV is gone. He quickly asks "dude, where's your car?" Nick and Sara both look up and outside and are shocked to see it's gone.

We cut to UnderSheriff McKeen pulling into the parking lot of the diner, while Grissom tells Nick, Sara, and Greg to keep quiet and look apologetic. Brass, Grissom, Greg, Sara, and Nick look on as UnderSheriff McKeen steps forward and surmises what just happened. We've got Nick driving his personal vehicle to the crime scene, ALL of the physical evidence they found was placed inside of Nick's SUV and not an official crime scene vehicle, Nick not securing the evidence at the lab, but instead stopping for food, and now the vehicle with all of the evidence has been stolen. Grissom adds some important things to the list such as since the vehicle is no longer in their hands, the chain of custody has been broken so no judge will allow the evidence into a court case should the evidence be found. Also, they released the crime scene, so it's now also contaminated by now, making it useless to them now. Clearing all of that up, UnderSheriff McKeen gets back into his car and speeds away, knocking over police cones, clearly angry at the situation at hand.

After the credits, we join Jim Brass interviewing Nick. He says they had visual access to his SUV, but there was a brief time when a delivery truck pulled in for a few minutes, obstructing their view of the SUV. While the interview proceeds, Sofia Curtis approaches the two men. Nick goes on to tell Jim that he's got an alarm on his truck but it didn't go off. He's also got a tracking device installed and that he called it in as soon as it went missing. Sofia notes that there wasn't any broken glass, no broken bolts on the ground, not really any evidence at all. As Brass and Sofia walk away, Nick embarrassingly asks them for a lift.

At the lab, Grissom walks into the break room and tells Nick, Sara, and Greg that they need to stay there all day, writing down their accounts of the entire event for Internal Affairs. Grissom asks to write down as much as possible, interview notes, evidence collected, everything. None of them are feeling enthusiastic about this. Grissom walks away and is joined by Catherine in the hall. She's curious how the wedding went. They compare notes on evidence, which sadly there is little of now. Grissom tells Catherine that every wedding now has a videographer and they need to get the video ASAP.

We cut to David Phillips in the morgue, examining the deceased woman from the wedding. He checks her mouth and then moves to her hands. He scrapes for anything that may be under her fingernails and he's able to find a little bit of material, so he collects it in an evidence envelope for the CSIs to go over. He then makes his way down to the woman's feet. There are obvious dark colored marks on her ankles where she was tied to the back of the car. He photographs the marks and then begins shaving away some of the woman's hair, particularly the back of the head, which received most of the damage. Grissom walks in to get an update from David. He tells Grissom that the ligature marks on her ankles indicate she was likely alive when she was tied up. He also tells him that most of the trauma was to the back of her head, but he won't know more until the autopsy is completed.

We cut to Brass and UnderSheriff McKeen talking in the halls. McKeen isn't sure how just to spin this to the media. The dead lawyer spent her career tearing the CSI's evidence apart, and in her murder, all of the evidence is stolen. It makes the CSIs look either incompetent or they were paid off by someone.

Back to the break room, Sara, Greg, and Nick are talking about all of the evidence they collected at the scene. They're not sure they can remember it all, so Sara suggests they talk it out and maybe they'll be able to account for everything they found. They start with Sara, who swept the "Just Married" convertible and she claims to have collected fingerprints. We continue to Sara's account of that day. She starts off by walking by David Phillips, who's examining the body of the lawyer, as she lies in the driveway. Sara makes her way through an archway, covered in flowers. She notices the flowers are fake and ponders the question, "Can the love be real when the flowers aren't?" After exiting the archway of flowers, Sara walks past a few of the women attending the wedding, and Sara clearly doesn't think too highly of some of them. She then approaches Bryce Gundy, who's friends with the groom and he and his buddies have clearly had too much to drink. They have a funny little chat and then she asks him for his fingerprints. Unfortunately, he's a little tipsy and isn't able to give her his prints. The best man, Mikey Shoemaker comes over and introduces himself to Sara. He flirts with her a little and she seems to enjoy it, but she's not there to get with someone.

We cut to Catherine and Sofia in one of the other lab rooms. Sofia comes in with the tracking device from Nick's truck. The Fatellis are suspected of stealing the truck, and they certainly would know about removing tracking devices like this. Sofia says the device was found in a trash can a few blocks from the diner. Catherine asks her if the device has been printed yet, but it's not since the Fatellis would have likely wiped it down or wore gloves. The value of Nick's truck isn't the truck itself, but the evidence inside.

Back to the break room, Nick pulls a napkin out of his pocket. It's from the wedding. There's a phone number (555-0174) and pink or red lipstick from a woman who kissed it. Greg looks over at Nick and smiles when he notices the napkin. Greg asks if he actually got a number from someone. Nick quickly denies it, saying she (Mindy) must have put it in his pocket. It's now time for Nick's account of that day. We start as we did with Sara's account, all the way back with David Phillips examining the groom's mother on the ground. Nick's attitude towards love and marriage is precisely the opposite of that of Sara's. He's much more upbeat certainly seems like a hopeless romantic as he strolls through the wedding archway, picking flowers. He then approaches two of the bridesmaids and asks them about the wedding. Nick gives his jacket to one of them who is really cold thanks to a cool breeze outside. From the ladies, Nick learns the mother got pretty drunk during the wedding and really started to slur her words during the toast.

Back to the lab, Catherine walks into the break room with the wedding DVD from Frank Rosetti, owner of Cupid's Kiss. She asks where she should begin, and Nick, Sara, Greg say the obvious place, the toast. Catherine hits "play" and we see the groom's mother standing up, giving a toast. She then begins to bend over and drops her speech. She seems totally out of it, but decides to wing it. She ends up totally insulting the bride, Jill. The groom tries to get her to calmly leave. The CSIs are shocked at the speech the mother gave, after which hearing, Catherine quips, "justifiable homicide?"

The guys show the wedding video to Grissom, and he's seems surprised as well. Sara thinks this may be enough motive for the bride to kill her, but Grissom doesn't think she would have had the time. This begins Grissom's account for that day. We of course begin back with David Phillips, who is examining the groom's mother. Grissom then makes his way through the wedding archway, reciting poetry and noticing the ladybug on one of the flowers. We quickly cut to the bride telling Grissom about how terrible her mother-in-law has been treating her. The toast wasn't anything new. Even though Jill was a vegetarian, mother-in-law would purposely order meat-only dishes, knowing it would upset Jill. Jill goes on to say that Diane, Adam's mother, didn't just fight with her that day, but the bridesmaids and even the caterer. We quickly cut to the caterer showing Grissom the wedding cake Diane destroyed. He admits to being scared and intimidated by Diane. The caterer goes on to explain the detailed time line for the day. As Grissom listens, he notices it would be very difficult for someone to murder someone with so little time in between every planned event.

In the interrogation room, Sofia interviews Sylvano Fatelli. She tries to get an alibi for Sylvano, who says he didn't have anything to do with Diane's death.

Back to the coroner's room, we find Dr. Al Robbins describing the wounds he found during the autopsy to Greg Sanders. Dr. Robbins was able to find a large puncture wound in the back of Diane's head. He believes it is the first wound and the one which did the most damage. The additional bumps she received when being pulled behind the car caused her to bleed even further, killing her. Dr. Robbins then tells Greg that he compared Diane's wounds to those found in the bodies the Fatellis have killed, and he doesn't think they had anything to do with the murder. They would have killed her immediately, not "mostly" killed her.

Nick then visits with Catherine in another portion of the lab. She saw a man in the shadows so he had Archie blow up the image in hopes they could figure out who it was. She shows the video to Nick and he recognizes the man's face. The video shows a man peaking into a window of a house. Nick identifies the mystery man as the groom's father. Nick said that he found him at the party and had him sent to detox.

Wanting to follow up, Brass interviews the groom's father, Ernest Chase. Before the interview progresses too far, we quickly cut to Brass interviewing the groom, Adam, at the wedding. Adam tells Brass that his father showed up but wasn't invited. He thinks the wedding in general, as well as seeing her ex-husband again, made Diane go a little overboard on the alcohol. Adam's last statement is that according to his mother, his father had a drug problem. We re-join Brass' interview with Adam's father. He's upset Diane told Adam that he had a drug problem. He goes on to say that several years ago, Diane decided to go back to work and after some time, their relationship went sour, so he began taking antidepressants. She in turn got further upset by his use of medication, saying that it wouldn't look good. Finally, Diane filed for divorce, saying the medication ruined their sex life and ultimately their marriage. According to him, they hadn't had sex for eight months prior to his first prescription, so it wasn't the medication. Brass asks him if they had an altercation at the wedding, and he admits to it. Because of the medication, he doesn't drink much anymore, but he tried to drink some to help take the edge off, but it put the edge on instead. When asked, Ernest says he didn't kill her, but that Brass may want to check to see if she's really dead, because "I don't think you can kill the devil!"

In the other room, Nick and Sara check with a lab tech, who's got blood alcohol level tests on Ernest Chase. From what he's been able to determine, Ernest was too drunk to tie his own shoes, let alone tie Diane to the bumper of the car. The tech also has results on Diane. It seems the was pretty high on Diazepam, somewhere between therapeutic and toxic. Nick finds this to be odd because according to Ernest, Diane was very anti-pharmaceutical. Since Diane is now deceased, they have access to her medical records and there is no prescription for Diazepam under her name, so she took someone else's pills. Greg then steps in and claims he may know what happened. This is now Greg's account for that day. We, of course, begin with David Phillips looking over Diane's body. Greg's version is shot in black and white, giving it an old look. Along with the look, Greg's narration gives it a very 1950's detective movie feel. He makes his way through the archway, following an attractive woman. He then finds two bridesmaids sitting down. The two women use very suggestive language, obviously made up by Greg. They even offer to swab one another's mouth for DNA for Greg. Sara interrupts Greg's version at this point, saying "they did not!" Although this scene is primarily black and white, the lipstick the two women wear show up as red. Greg resumes his story, and he questions the ladies about the last time they saw Diane. One of them tells him she saw her in the hospitality suite. She went in to fix her hair, while Diane complained of a headache. With that info, Greg heads up to the room, "behind the pink curtain, where the girls go to get glossy." He picks up one of the brushes from the counter and causes some of the rosy red powder to fly out of it, which looks great with the black and white background. He then makes his way over to a table and says that that's when he "say it." He bends over and sees a Cupid statue, with the bow and arrow. The arrow tip is red with blood on it. He then notices a few drops on the ground, but figured it may have been a nose bleed or something like that, but on the off chance, Diane slipped and hit her head on the statue, Greg collected the blood. Out of the flashback, Greg shows the wound from Diane's head. The photograph shows a diamond-shaped wound, seemingly identical to that of which the Cupid statue arrow would have left. Sara doesn't buy that theory so much because if it was an accident, why was she tied to the back of the car? Another problem is the statue was in Nick's SUV, which they don't have anymore.

Elsewhere in the lab, David Hodges drops by Grissom's office to let him know that he's moved Diane's fingernail scrapings to the top of his "extensive" queue. He's had the scrapings analyzed, but Grissom already knows what it was, sugar, egg whites, food coloring, butter, etc. It's the frosting from the wedding cake which Diane destroyed, upsetting the caterer. Hodges is surprised to see that Grissom already knew the results of the substance. Hodges then comments on how they're not the marrying kind, so Grissom asks him to leave in a rather funny way.

Catherine checks on Sara, who's starting to fall asleep. She's been up all day working on the case and writing her account for the event. To keep her awake, Catherine tells her she can process the convertible completely now.

In the garage, we find Greg and Sara processing the car. They open the trunk and find cases for the snowboards in there. Greg had apparently told Sara that the snowboards were in the suite. They begin photographing the trunk and then open a case and inside, they find bloody towels and clothing.

In the lab, Archie has been busy processing the video they have of the wedding. He's been given the task of looking at Diane's food and drink intake. He shows his findings to Catherine, and they're a little disappointing. He wasn't able to find Diane drinking very much at the table, but her exit from the room wasn't discrete. He rolls the full video and it shows her making her way over to one of the bridesmaids and talking to her about something. It's impossible to know what was said since the microphone didn't pick it up and she was facing away from the camera while talking, so you can't read her lips. While she's doing this, the best man, Mikey Shoemaker, gets up and toasts the bride and groom. He's very blunt with his comments, such as the bride and groom will be having lots of sex tonight, not exactly the appropriate thing to say at a time like this. Shortly after Diane leaves, one of the other bridesmaids leaves, following her out. Catherine notices something Mikey said, that he's a "grease monkey" and drives a tow truck. This raises a red flag for Catherine. A tow truck has the ability to drive up behind the vehicle and hook up to it without too much trouble. This would explain why the thief didn't have to break the windows of a locked vehicle to leave with it.

Catherine leaves the room and calls Brass and asks him to look into Mikey Shoemaker's criminal history and find a location of his tow yard.

Back in the garage, Greg and Sara are going through the bags they found in the trunk. Sara pulls out a dress and asks Nick to help her out. She needs her to re-print the bumper since the prints they had earlier were stolen. Nick's happy to do it, anything to keep him awake. Ge gets to work and Greg finds a newly-filled bottle of Diazepam. Surprisingly, it's nearly empty and the patient is Jill, the bride. Greg thinks maybe Jill tried to calm her mother down instead of using them for herself. A lab tech comes in and confirms the blood to the snowboard bag matches Diane's blood, which means the bag is likely the way the killer was able to move the body. Also, she was able to find skin cells to two different women on the handles to the bag. Since they don't have DNA samples to compare them to, they need someone else to collect the 200 samples. This angers Nick. He's tired of waiting for Internal Affairs and he's starting to smell apparently.

Nick walks into the locker room and finds Warrick lacing up his shoes. He vents his frustration to Warrick, who looks on and is surprised at something when Nick removes his jacket. His shirt is covered in spots of blood.

Back in the crime lab, Nick asks Wendy Simms, one of the lab techs to cut his shirt off so that he doesn't contaminate the DNA any further. He then remembers giving a woman his jacket to wear, so it must have come from her dress. After removing the shirt, Nick asks Wendy to compare the DNA with the napkin he has in his pocket. She smiles when she looks at the napkin.

Brass catches up with Catherine in the hallway and tells her Mikey Shoemaker has a prior arrest for car theft. They also recovered Nick's truck in one of the paint bays in his body shop, right next to the delivery truck, which was used in the theft. They join Nick in the garage, where he gets to see his truck and its new paint job. It's got dollar bills, dice, and a half-naked woman painted onto the size. Needless to say, Nick's not too thrilled with the new paint job.

Elsewhere in the lab, Greg is trying to compare the Cupid's arrow to the wound in Diane's head. The statue was recovered in the dumpster behind Mikey Shoemaker's body shop. Although the evidence won't be admissible in court, Greg thinks that they may be able to convince the killers that they know what happened and they'll admit to it. He asks Sara, who has just entered, to put the UV filter onto a camera and aim it at the dress Diane wore. She agrees to do so, and Greg turns off one of the lights. With the UV filter applied, we're able to see handprints on the shoulder areas of Diane's dress. They conclude someone pushed Diane down. Afterall, if she fell on her own accidentially, someone would have likely called 911.

After Sara's processed the dress for fingerprints, we find out that they match Lacey Finn, one of the bridesmaids. She's in the database because she's a cocktail waitress at Tangiers. The lab tech, Mandy Webster, I believe, tells Greg that she also looked at the prescription bottle they found, and the prescribing doctor is related to Valerie Whitehall, one of the bridesmaids, so she would have had access to them. Greg theorizes that the bride, Jill, may not have poisoned Diane, but Valerie could have, since she had the access to do so. Hodges then enters with news on Diane's suit jacket. It had hair gel on it. This rings a bell with Greg since Lacey said that she went to fix her hair.

We now join Catherine in the interrogation room. She's questioning Mikey Shoemaker about the theft of the SUV and the evidence in it. He admits to all of that, but not the murder. He says a woman offered to have sex with him if she would steal Nick's truck, so he agreed to.

In the hallway, Nick and Wendy Simms talk about the evidence. She tells him the girl who gave her the napkin matches the DNA on one of the handles of the snowboard bag.

Grissom enters the break room to get an update from Greg, Sara, and Nick. Greg says that they believe all of the bridesmaids are likely guilty, they all worked together on the murder. Grissom asks them to start from the beginning, so Greg does so. We start with Valerie getting Diane a drink. It's not just champagne, but she mixes in some crushed pills of Diazepam. She serves it to her, and during the toast, she starts to feel the affects of the drugs. By the time Mikey gives his toast, she realizes she's out of it and confronts Valerie about it on her way out. In the flashback, they theorize Diane threatened to have Valarie's husband's medical license taken away and her thrown in jail for attempted murder. Lacey, who's nearby, likely overhears this, and follows Diane out of the room. While she fixes her hair, she and Diane get into a fight and she pushes Diane down, onto that Cupid statue, not killing her, but making her incompacitated, but not dead. Lacey then comes out and tells the bridesmaids about what happened, and they all go into the suite and decide to clean things up, but they try to make it look like the Fatelli brothers had something to do with it, so they're not suspected of having something to do with Diane's murder. To get her outside, they use the snowboard bag to transport the body. They then tie the body to the bumper, toss the bag in the trunk, and quickly return to the party.

We cut to the three bridesmaids admitting to committing to the crime in the interrogation room, while Jim Brass looks on.

The show ends with Undersheriff McKeen telling the CSIs the Internal Affairs is here and he's curious who wants to go first. Grissom doesn't think it matters, they've recovered the evidence and solved the case, so it shouldn't really matter who's first.