19 Down...
Season 9
Number 9
Writer Carol Mendelsohn
Director Naren Shankar
Original Airdate December 11, 2008
Previous Episode: Young Man with a Horn
Next Episode: One to Go

19 Down... is the ninth episode in Season Nine of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.


When a new murder leads to a connection with an infamous serial killer, Grissom secretly joins the class of well-known criminal pathologist Dr. Raymond Langston to gain access to the killer and get a crack in the case.


Victim: Gerald Tolliver (deceased)

On the case: entire team

The episode opens with a man watching a video of some sort with someone else behind him. He asks his friend what he "thinks it's worth" before being violently grabbed from behind and choked to death. His unknown guest then stuffs his body into a plastic bag, drags it into a car, drives into the wilderness, and throws the bag down a hill, where it remains for a long time, the body inside decomposing.

Back at the crime lab, Grissom assigns his team their cases before making a surprise announcement: he'll be leaving the lab. Afterwards, he gets called to a 419 on Mt. Charleston—the man in the plastic bag. He remarks that, considering the conditions, the bag might've been there for years. When the remains, which have decomposed to the bones, are examined at the lab, Nick finds a Star of David pendant on the body. There's a mix of blonde and brown hairs on the body, which Catherine gives to Hodges for analysis. Based on the skeletal remains, Doc Robbins describes the man as being a Caucasian male who was at least 25 years of age and approximately 5' 9" tall. The broken hyoid bone suggests that the cause of death is strangulation. As they work, the team and lab workers all wonder what Grissom will do when he quits and say their goodbyes to him.

Grissom inputs the physical description for the body in the bag into a missing persons database and narrows the possibilities down to one man: Joel Steiner, who disappeared in 1997 and was suspected of being a victim of the "Dick & Jane Killer," Nate Haskell. Haskell, a serial killer who targeted couples, was suspected of killing at least 14 people in Nevada, California, and Arizona in the mid-'90s. Upon being stopped at a sobriety checkpoint, he was arrested when the police found DNA evidence both on him and in the car that linked him to two of the male victims. In the middle of his trial, he changed his plea to guilty. He got two life sentences without parole and is serving it in Ely, Nevada. Though seven male victims were found strangled and their wives or girlfriends disappeared, Haskell refused to discuss the female victims. Each male victim had postmortem stab wounds; the first had two, the second three, the third four, etc. Because of this, it was suspected that his first victims were never found. Joel Steiner and his girlfriend, Tiffany Cohen, were suspected to have been killed by him since they disappeared before any of the other couples and lived in the area.

While Grissom briefs his team, Brass talks to Joel Steiner's parents. They identify the Star of David pendant as his and give DNA samples to help identify Joel. In the lab, Hodges, who is resentful of Grissom for quitting, examines a pair of sneakers found on the body. After Wendy identifies the blonde hairs found in the bag as belonging to Haskell, Hodges learns that the body is definitely not Joel Steiner; the sneakers were made only two years earlier, but Joel has been missing for 11 years. The shoes, which were custom made, are traced back to a Gerald Tolliver, who has a criminal record for drugs and theft and went missing six months earlier. Gerald had been registered as a criminal informant by the Reno Police Department before his disappearance.

Nick and Greg go to Gerald's home along with a local police officer. As Gerald had recently become an informant in a drug case, they figured he ruffled the wrong feathers and had to skip town. Though the crime scene examination only uncovered some blood stains matched to him, it also found a shoe print in the blood. As the house is searched, Nick, Greg and the detective find items that turn out to have belonged to various male DJK victims, including two Pearl Jam tickets that belonged to Joel Steiner and Tiffany Cohen.

At the lab, Grissom remarks that Haskell changed his plea because his defense was about to argue that it wouldn't have been possible for him to control the female victims while strangling the males. None of the males had any drugs in their systems except for small amounts of THC. Catherine guesses that Haskell is a narcissist who didn't want to share the spotlight with anyone else, while Grissom wonders if Gerald was Haskell's accomplice. Upon examining the shoe print photo, Greg recognizes it from the murders of Ian Wallace and Justine Stefani in Leave Out All The Rest. Ian had nine post-mortem stab wounds, which wasn't important at the time but fits Haskell's M.O. Greg figures that they were killed by a copycat who tried to continue the cycle. The question is how a copycat happened to kill a DJK accomplice that nobody knew existed until now.

Though there's no chance of getting Haskell to admit to even having accomplices, the CSIs realize that they'll never be able to question him directly. Grissom learns that Haskell will take part in a seminar at WLVU headed by Dr. Raymond Langston, a former physician who once worked alongside an Angel of Death who killed patients at the hospital they both worked at. Though the evidence was in front of him, Langston couldn't "connect the dots"; he did write a book about the experience, though. Grissom attends the seminar posing as a professor and listens in, unbeknownst to Langston. In the beginning of the seminar, Haskell tells the class his father beat him all the time and that he only has vague memories of his mother. During the Q&A part, the students are allowed to ask questions. When Grissom asks Haskell whether or not he shared his fantasies with others, he denies it. He also remarks that he never divulged the female victims' whereabouts because that would ruin his memories—his victims became what he wanted them to be. After the Q&A, the seminar ends and Haskell agrees to do it again the next day.

At the lab, the team learns that Ian and Justine had bought two Paramore tickets which were used after their deaths. Figuring the killers used the tickets themselves, they look at video footage of the concert and see two men in Ian and Justine's seats who wore caps from the same body shop. Brass questions them and learns that they got the tickets from a scalper, though they can't describe him. Back at the lab, Mandy examines the used tickets for fingerprints and finds one belonging to a Curtis Keesey. The LVPD raid his house only to find him dead. Based on insect activity, Grissom estimates that Curtis has been dead for at least a month. Though his car's tires match the ones from Justine's crime scene, the shoeprint from the scene doesn't match his shoes. The team figures that Curtis and "shoeprint man" killed Ian and Justine in a DJK copycat killing, after which Curtis tried to make money on the stolen tickets. His accomplice killed him to shut him up in case they were traced back to him.

During the next seminar, Grissom tries to get information about Haskell's accomplices again. When he brings up the fact that, considering his size, it would've been difficult for him to subdue the male victims, who were larger and stronger than him, while controlling the female victims, Haskell insists that he committed his murders alone. He then describes in great detail how he killed some of his victims. When he starts talking about killing Joel Steiner, Mrs. Steiner, who was in the audience, angrily asks him where her son is buried. Haskell only says Joel is in "the perfect place, the place where it all began" and that he would bring him some company if he could. When Grissom accidentally reveals himself to be in law enforcement and offers to make life in prison a little easier for Haskell if he tells them about his accomplices, Haskell becomes uncooperative and the seminar is ended.

At the station, Langston is furious that the crime lab "hijacked" his class. Grissom promises to keep him informed. At the university, Langston gets a phone call from Haskell, who claims that Mrs. Steiner's outburst in class made him think about closure. He reveals that he buried Joel Steiner under a rock near a concrete tunnel near Boulder Highway. The CSIs go to the location and find the skeletal remains of Joel Steiner where Haskell said they would be. To their surprise, they also find a fresh male body with ten postmortem stab wounds nearby—Haskell's copycat has claimed another victim.

TO BE CONTINUED flashes across the screen.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

Episode Title[]

  • In the beginning of the episode, Grissom is doing a crossword puzzle and is stumped on the last answer, which happens to be 19 Down. He throws the puzzle away without solving it.

Major Events[]


Gil Grissom: So, let's assume that 'shoeprint' was involved in all four murders. It's possible that he knew, Gerald, right? Is it also possible that he was an accomplice of D.J.K.?
Greg Sanders: That would explain the 9 post-mortem stab wounds in Ian Wallace. It's a continuation of the master's work.
Catherine Willows: But if he was D.J.K.'s helper, back in the day, why go quiet for 10 years then suddenly start killing again?
Greg Sanders: Maybe he was doing time?
Catherine Willows: And when he realized that his old partner turned informant, he got scared and killed him.
Gil Grissom: Maybe that's what brought the old thrill back. Once these guys get a taste, it never seems to go away.


  • Brass grabs a concert ticket between his thumb and index finger. He didn't have gloves on, but his fingerprints don't appear.
  • While designing the victim's shoe online, Catherine puts on the checkered design twice.
  • As Nate Haskell reveals the location of his first murder victim, the LVPD races to the scene: an old railway arch bridge. In the establishing shot of that arch bridge, a commuter train rolls past. The commuter train is a Metrolink train, which operates exclusively in Southern California.


  • This episode marks the first appearance of Raymond Langston, who enters the Las Vegas Crime Lab as a CSI.
  • This also marks the first appearance of Nate Haskell, who appears several times after.


See Also[]

CSI:Las Vegas Season 9
For WarrickThe Happy PlaceArt Imitates LifeLet It BleedLeave Out All The RestSay UncleWoulda, Coulda, ShouldaYoung Man with a Horn19 Down...One to GoThe Grave ShiftDisarmed and DangerousDeep Fried and Minty FreshMiscarriage of JusticeKill Me If You CanTurn, Turn, TurnNo Way OutMascaraThe Descent of ManA Space OddityIf I Had a Hammer...The Gone Dead TrainHog HeavenAll In