CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Season 1 Episode 23

The Strip Strangler

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM May 17, 2001 on CBS



  • Trivia

    • In this episode, this is the first and last time in all of the seasons so far that we hear Nick Stokes (George Eads) call his supervisor "Gil" instead of "Grissom".

    • Goof: When Grissom first arrives at his own home, he turns on his stereo and adjusts one of the levels. In one shot, he uses his left index finger to push it up, but in the next, he is moving it with his right index finger and thumb.

    • Goof: Robbins is talking to Grissom and Nick in the autopsy room, and the latest post autopsy female lies on the table. Grissom says, "He choked her unconscious, and brought her..." and when the shot faces her head and shoulders, watch her neck - you can see the veins in her neck pumping.

  • Quotes

    • Grissom: Am I, uh, interrupting your laundry?
      Syd: I'm just doing some gym towels. (Grissom doesn't say anything. He stares at the hair on Syd's head. Syd notices it and calmly, boldly takes off his wig)
      Grissom: You were so meticulous about so many things. Shaving. The gloves. Planted evidence. That's why I don't understand why you'd bring towels that eventually could be tracked.
      Syd: I don't know what you're talking about.
      Grissom: Strong's gym. That's where the women told you to you to get lost, right? Stuffing club towels down their throat make your point?
      Syd: You know, the thing with women ... is they work out because they want us to look at them. And then they ... parade around. And you just want to ... say hello. Everybody knows white cotton fibers aren't like fingerprints. They
      can't be traced. You don't get a ... match on a towel.
      Grissom: In theory. But the truth is every object is changed by its owner. By his habits. His ... washing machine, for instance. His detergent.
      Syd (smiles): The totality of microscopic elements. It's Locard's Theory.
      Grissom (hearing the washing machine start thumping): Your towel is caught in the agitator. Now, see, that's going to leave distinctive marks on the fabric, Syd. And that's just the beginning. I've had a look at your garbage.
      Syd: You were in my apartment. Now, nothing from there's admissible in court.
      Grissom: Your garbage is in a public area ... plain sight. It's enough for me
      to get a warrant. (Syd knows that he's caught. Grissom looks towards the noisy washing machine, Syd grabs a wrench off of the table, he swings. Grissom raises a hand to block the blow to his head and gets caught in the side of his arm. He does down. Syd drops the wrench and picks up a shovel. He raises it high above his head to swing. Grissom puts up a hand to block the blow when a gun is fired, Grissom looks up and sees Catherine killed him)

    • Catherine: I guess we should have known if our guy was planting hairs he was planting semen.
      Grissom: Yeah. Probably in little hollowed-out packets of ketchup.

    • Catherine: Call Grissom on his cell.
      Greg: I thought he was off the case.
      Catherine: He is. Dial. Tell him to meet me at this guy's work address.

    • Sheriff Mobley: The FBI did me a favor being here and they have a viable suspect.
      Grissom: He's not viable, Brian.
      Sheriff Mobley: Then further investigation will prove that out. In the meantime, people will feel better about their daily lives. Now, why on earth would you want to counteract that?
      Grissom: For those who have to ask, no answer could suffice.
      Sheriff Mobley: Look, I see we've come to an impasse. If further investigation determines that Walden didn't kill those other women then you can rejoin the investigation.
      Grissom: Oh, do I get the weekend off?
      Sheriff Mobley: For starters ... and a two-week holiday ... anywhere but CSI. You brought this on yourself. Now, the next time you want to play with my career, maybe you'll think twice.

    • Grissom (about Brad Walden): You can't charge him for the other women.
      Agent Culpepper: What do you mean?
      Grissom: For the murder of his wife, maybe but I am certain that he didn't do the others.
      Agent Culpepper: Every piece of the signature is there.
      Grissom: He read the papers -- he piggybacked on top of the killer.
      Agent Culpepper: For what possible reason?
      Grissom: Who knows? Convenient way out of a lousy marriage? He's not our guy.
      Agent Culpepper: You know, this is where I like to reference the majesty and the power of the Republic of the United States of America.
      Grissom: Go ahead. Pull rank. But that hotel crime scene was staged to look like the signature's.
      Agent Culpepper: And that golfer just got lucky that the victim type fits his wife to a Texas T, is that it?
      Grissom: If you stop and think, you'll see it.
      Agent Culpepper: Duly noted, Supervisor Grissom. Duly noted.

    • Brass: What about Paul Millander? Maybe he's our guy. And, uh, he had the latex hands. And he's a serial.
      Grissom: Millander stages suicides in bathtubs with paternal figures. This guy's signature is overkill rage against young women. It's completely different.
      Brass: Maybe our brethren at the FBI have some sort of special database.
      Grissom: When did you become friendly with the Feds? I didn't think you had that in you.
      Brass: Never make an enemy when you can just as easily make a friend. FBI's okay. I've kissed worse ass. But I've got to say I don't like this decoy op the Feds are talking up. I remember when Holly Gribbs died. I sent her out in the field and she wasn't ready.
      Grissom: I told Culpepper that he could not have Sara.
      Brass: I know what you told him.

    • Agent Culpepper (as the team all walks into the breakroom): You all got my page. Good.
      Grissom: I didn't.
      Agent Culpepper: We'll get you a new battery.

    • Sheriff Mobley: Catherine, you busy? I was hoping we might be able to talk about a few things.
      Catherine: Pertaining to the case?
      Sheriff Mobley: As a jumping-off point.
      Catherine: Well, Sheriff, I'd say let's go to my office, but I don't have one.
      Sheriff Mobley (slyly): Well, that's just the sort of thing I was hoping we would discuss.

    • Grissom: You're going to bait this guy with a human being? This is your big FBI plan?
      Agent Culpepper: Before he kills again, yes. Got a better idea?
      Grissom: Understanding him first, completely, so that we can get out ahead of him.
      Agent Culpepper: And if he kills again while we're trying to understand him?
      Grissom: Well, I'm sorry, but he's not going to kill my CSI.
      Sara: I'm going to do it, Grissom. I want to.
      Grissom: You want to put yourself in the path of a psychotic killer?
      Sara: I'm trained in weaponless defense.
      Grissom: Too bad, because that's what turns him on -- women fighting back. Gives him a greater sense of power when he makes his final kill.
      Sara: Grissom ...
      Grissom: Sit down, Sara.
      Agent Culpepper: Okay. If we're to follow your line of thinking are you out ahead of him?
      Grissom: Not yet. He knows just enough about forensics to be dangerous. He thinks he's throwing us off track by planting confederate hairs. He probably shaves his head maybe his entire body as DNA protection. He may gag his victims using a garden-variety bath towel which he then takes with him as part of his murder kit. He will go after another tall brunette and the torture will be worse. But this time, he won't ejaculate. At least not at the scene.
      Agent Culpepper: At home, later. He's learning control.
      Sara: Think he knows his next victim?
      Grissom: Signature killers always know their next victim. But they don't know him (turns to Sara) ... until he tortures, rapes and kills them.

    • (Agent Rick Culpepper walks into the evidence vault and interrupts Nick's phone call to Grissom)
      Agent Rick Culpepper: The only night shift CSI I can actually find. You're tampering with evidence of the United States Government there, Mr. Stokes.
      Nick: I was just looking for a quiet spot to call my girlfriend.
      Agent Rick Culpepper: Well, tell your girlfriend she's going to have you out of a job. Best thing you could do for your boss - protect him from himself.
      Nick (innocently): Grissom? (into phone) I got to run, peanut. Love you, too. Bye-bye. (Grissom, on the other end, stares at his phone)

    • Grissom: The last time a security guard tried to help me, he ended up dead.

    • (After looking at a sperm sample that has unknown red stuff in it)
      Greg: Freaky, huh?
      Catherine: Freakiest sperm I've seen in a while.

    • Greg: You got a hot dog?
      Catherine: This one of your jokes, Greg?
      Greg: I got the ketchup.
      Catherine: I'm sure this is meaningful.
      Greg: I went back and looked at the ejaculate from the last two murders. The same thing. "Indeterminate red stuff." It's c12, h22 and o11, nacl, h2o and tomato paste.
      Catherine: Sugar, water, salt and tomato paste. Ketchup?
      Greg: Ketchup.
      Catherine: Well, does he add it after or is it organic?
      Greg: Don't ask me why, but, uh ... he adds it.

    • Catherine: You okay? (Cath picks up the prescription medication bottle and looks at it) Migraine. It's been a while.
      Grissom: I'm not used to having people in my house.
      Catherine: You just don't like it when you can't solve a case or command your troops.
      Grissom: Did you come here to tell me about your new job?
      Catherine: I told the Sheriff I'd pass.
      Grissom: You don't want to be a supervisor?
      Catherine: Well, if I get a promotion, I want it to be on merit ... not because you're politically tone-deaf. So, our guys are outside in their Tahoes. If you're a civilian, we are. Except we are putting in for overtime.

    • Sara: He's escalating, Grissom.
      Grissom: That's the pattern; it's a continuum.
      Sara: Guess he wants to get caught.
      Grissom: Signature killers never want to get caught. And they won't stop until they do.

    • Lynda Darby: I'm sorry that I scared you.
      Nick: You didn't scare me!
      Lynda Darby: You wanna tell me what you found over by the window?
      Nick: Nope.

    • Grissom: Sometimes, the hardest thing to do is to do nothing.

    • Sara: Look, this is my idea. I want to do something before another girl gets killed and ...
      Grissom: Listen to me, Sara. If we study his past, we can predict his future.
      Sara: You've been saying that for weeks. It's taking too long. Someone else is going to die and you're still going to be figuring it out.

    • Agent Culpepper: Well, listen, the FBI is here to help you and your people at CSI. Of course, uh, as SAC, the investigation will run through me. Sheriff probably already told you that.
      Grissom: No, he didn't mention that, either.
      Agent Culpepper: All rivers run through Rome so to speak. (chuckling) But, uh, you get an "attaboy". Three women dead 'cause you couldn't get the job done. There's not many guys who would hand the case over to us Fibbies.
      Grissom: I'm not handing it over. I'm willing to work in conjunction with you.
      Agent Culpepper: That's fine. We'll work the "Strip Strangler" case in conjunction.
      Grissom: The what?
      Agent Culpepper: He strangles them near Las Vegas Boulevard then removes their clothes. Strip Strangler. Why? What do you call him?
      Grissom: Unknown Signature Homicide, Metropolitan Las Vegas.
      Agent Culpepper (to the sheriff): Oh. He's not kidding, is he?

    • Catherine: When we zig, he zags.
      Grissom: Yeah, well, he's not as smart as he thinks, you know? I mean, ketchup is not going to mask the DNA in his semen.
      Catherine: All of which I'm sure you'll share with the FBI.
      Grissom (sarcastically): I'm sure.
      Catherine: Hey ... is it so bad to avail our lab to the resources of the federal government?
      Grissom (suprised): You've been to talking to our Sheriff.
      Catherine: I've been listening to our Sheriff. He says that you won't.
      Grissom: Yeah, yeah, I know. And if I don't shape up he going to have Ecklie take over the case.
      Catherine: Well, no. He preferred someone from night shift and it may be more than just this case. (Grissom turns to look at Cath and leans forward toward her into the desk)
      Grissom: Ah. Now that the trees are gone, I can almost see the forest. (Cath also leans in forward over the desk to look at Grissom)
      Catherine: Gil ... learn to be more politic.

    • Grissom: I never should have put you in that position, Catherine. I'm sorry.
      Catherine: What position? Never doubt and never look back. That's how I live my life.
      Grissom: I admire that.

    • Sara: Do we have a breakfast budget, Grissom?
      Grissom: I believe Catherine was going to requisition one.
      Sara: Good, cause our plates are up, and nobody has any money.

  • Notes

    • International Episode Titles:
      Czech Republic: Škrtič (Strangler)

    • Music:
      Waydown- Catherine Wheel
      Danke Schoen- Wayne Newton
      Darkest Dreaming- David Sylvian
      Faces- Chris Caffery
      Nobody Does It Better- Carly Simon
      Song For Olabi- Bliss
      Touched- VAST

  • Allusions

    • Brass: What about Paul Millander?

      Paul Millander was the suspect who was cleared of the murder in the "Pilot," and then framed Grissom in later episode "Anonymous."

    • Grissom: The last time a security guard tried to help me, he ended up dead.

      This refers to earlier episode "Boom" when a security guard, Dominic Kretzker, tried to help Grissom in solving a case but ends up dying a hero.

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