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All That Cremains
All That Cremains.jpg
Season 11
Number 14
Writer Dustin Lee Abraham
Director Jeffrey Hunt
Original Airdate February 10, 2011
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All That Cremains is the fourteenth episode in season eleven of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis

CSI investigates the discovery of a dead body with cremated remains in his mouth, and whose body parts were cut up and placed in thrift store boxes. Meanwhile, Langston's ex-wife comes to him with a surprise announcement.

Plot

Victim: Ronald Pose (deceased)

On the case: Greg Sanders, Nick Stokes, Raymond Langston, Sara Sidle, Frankie Reed

A head and a foot are found wrapped in pickup boxes on trolley in a thrift store. Nick and Sara arrive at the scene and are told by Det. Frankie Reed that the boxes were just brought in and are provided a list of address on the driver's route. The boxes and trolley are brought back to the lab. Nick processes the head and finds cremated human remains (or "cremains") in the mouth. He, Sara and David Phillips go through the rest of the boxes and eventually cover the rest of the body parts.

In autopsy, Doc Robbins determines that some sort of flexible saw was used to cut up the body parts. Marks on the arms and legs indicate that the victim was restrained by something narrow. There are also faint contusions on the victim's chest. Due to the enflamed epiglottis, Langston concludes that the victim was alive when the cremains were shoved down his throat, which Doc Robbins labels as the cause of death. Henry interrupts and informs Langston that the victim had alcohol and zolpidem in his system, rendering him unconscious when fed the cremains.

Nick and Hodges sift through the cremains and find a screw, gold tooth and what appears to be the remnants of a hip replacement. Since these things survived the cremation, Nick says that the crematorium wasn't doing their job right, as everything should have melted if the heat was turned up high enough. The DNA on the gold tooth comes back to Joe Malton, a death row inmate who died of a heart attack two years ago. His cremains are mixed with an unknown female, likely due to the shady work of the crematorium, who was burning more than one body at once,

Greg, Nick and Det. Reed head to the crematorium, where they find two workers shoving more than one body into the furnace. Caught red-handed, the workers try to escape, but are eventually knocked to the ground by Greg.

The female cremains belong to Sabrina Pose, who died two years ago in a car accident; she was cremated the same day as Joe Malton was. She shared a house with her husband, Ronald, who is identified as the dismembered John Doe from the thrift store. Ronald lived with his 13-year-old daughter, Camryn, who has yet to be located. Sara notes that while their house wasn't on the thrift store pick-up list; however, the house across the street was.

As he and Sara go through the house, Nick spots a void on the mantle, which is likely where Sabrina's urn was. In the master bedroom, they find coughed-up cremains on the bedside lampshade, ligature marks on the bedposts and more cremains in the bed. They've found the scene of the crime. Drag marks indicate that the body was dragged off the bed and into the bathroom, where it was dismembered in the bathtub. This is confirmed when Sara finds blood in the bathtub drain; she also recovers fingerprints from one of the bedposts. In the garage, Nick finds a wire saw that he figures was used to dismember the body.

Nick tells Det. Reed that the killer killed Ronald in his own bed and dismembered him in the bathtub. The killer then cleaned up, boxed the parts in the garage and put the boxes on the neighbor's curb for the thrift store to pick up. Camryn eventually arrives home from school on her bike, and Nick has to give her the bad news about her father.

The prints from the bedpost come back to a Sydney Preston, a professional dancer - and Ronald's ex-girlfriend. Since women's clothes were found in some of the boxes at the thrift store, Langston figures that Ronald and Sydney had less than an amicable breakup and that maybe she sought revenge. Sydney is found rehearsing for a show, is told of Ronald's death and is brought to the station for questioning.

In interrogation, Sydney tells Langston that she moved out of Ronald's house two weeks ago after she found out he was cheating on her. She claims that she left her clothes behind because she didn't want to risk going back to the house and running into Ronald. When told that Ronald's body was dismembered and put in the boxes, she says that she still loved Ron and would never do something like that. Sydney's main concern is Camryn, and she offers to have Camryn live with her instead of being in custody of Child Protective Services. Langston takes a sample of Sydney's DNA and releases her.

Ronald's ex-neighbor, a minister, tells Greg that Sydney spent a lot of time with Camryn and bonded with her. Everyone in the family was happy until the night Sydney broke up with Ronald and drove off. The screaming match upset Camryn, while Sydney went to church the next day and told the minister about sex videos that Ronald kept.

Greg, Nick and Sara go over the evidence in the case. All of the blood and fingerprints recovered are explainable, as most belong to either Ronald, Sydney or Camryn. The blood in the bathtub is also all from Ronald. Nick guesses that Sydney's the guilty party, as she found out about the sex tapes and went through the ugly break-up. Noting that the house hasn't been released yet and the tapes have yet to be recovered, Greg heads back to the house and finds a hidden safe. The safe contains tapes of women auditioning for dancing gigs; they're labeled 1-30, but Greg finds that number 15 is missing.

The tapes came from Trufant Productions, and producer Vince Trufant is brought in for questioning. He tells Sara and Det. Reed that the tapes were actually auditions to be Ronald's girlfriend, and the women were under the impression they were auditioning for a musical. Vince has backups of the tapes and provides number 15 - which happens to be Sydney's "audition." Sara theorizes that Sydney found the secret stash of tapes, realized she had auditioned to be his girlfriend and enacted her revenge.

In the video, Sydney pulls out a guitar, which is the same guitar found earlier in one of the thrift store boxes. The guitar happens to be missing four strings - the same number used to tie Ronald to his bed. Nick gets back the infrared photos from autopsy and spots odd bruises on Ronald's chest. The bruises are consistent with knee pads, which Sydney just happened to be wearing in her "audition" video.

Sydney is visiting Camryn at Child Protective Services when she gets hauled back to the station for more questioning. Nick tells a tearful Camryn that it will be OK and offers to stay with her. At the station, Sydney admits that she found out about the tapes, which resulted in the break-up. Langston tells her that the knee pads recovered have DNA from two contributors, Sydney and Camryn. However, Camryn is the major contributor. The question is: why would Camryn be the major contributor on Sydney's knee pads? Langston puts forth two theories - either Sydney killed Ronald herself or Camryn helped her. When Sydney denies this, Langston has a third theory - Camryn killed her father with no help.

Camryn has been brought in for questioning and Sydney offers to go talk to her. After some questioning, Camryn admits that her father caught her playing with Sydney's guitar and ordered her to get rid of her stuff, telling her that Sydney was "dead." She says that she had been neglected for most of her life until Sydney showed up and snapped when Ronald bad-mouthed her. Hating both of her parents, she tied her father up and poured her mother's ashes down his throat. She then dismembered the body, packaged it and set it across the street. When Sydney doesn't believe her, Camryn pulls her mother's urn from her backpack.

Langston and Nick have been watching in shock from behind the glass. A horrified Sydney sits alone in the hallway. Langston sits down next to her and tells her that, if convicted, Camryn will be in juvenile detention until she's an adult; afterwards, it will be up to the courts to decide her future.

Meanwhile, Langston's ex-wife, Gloria, visits the crime lab and tells him that she's going to be getting married. She invites him for a drink where he meets the man, Phil Baker. Langston accepts an invitation to the wedding and is dressed up to go to it at the end of his shift. Before he leaves, Nick insists that he take his wedding ring off.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

Music

  • I Fall to Pieces by Willie Nelson

Notes

  • Marg Helgenberger (Catherine) and Paul Guilfoyle (Brass) are credited but do not appear in this episode.

Trivia

  • At the opening of the episode we hear Willie Nelson singing "I Fall to Pieces" - a song made famous by Patsy Cline. Cline's most famous song, however, and the #1 jukebox hit of all time was "Crazy," written by a struggling songwriter who at the time was going by the name of Hugh Nelson, aka Willie Nelson.
  • Tracee Ellis Ross, who played Langston's ex-wife Gloria, is the daughter of legendary singer Diana Ross. She's also recognized for her work on the television show Black-ish.
  • Christina Milian played Sydney Preston in the episode. Aside from acting, she's also an accomplished singer and songwriter.
  • Dean Norris played Phil Baker, fiancée of Langston's ex-wife, Gloria. He is most recognized for his role as DEA Hank Schrader in the hit AMC show Breaking Bad, and previously played juror Bob Durham in the season three episode Eleven Angry Jurors.

See Also

CSI:Las Vegas Season 11
Shock WavesPool SharkBlood MoonSqweegelHouse of HoardersCold BloodedBump and GrindFrackedWild Life418/427Man UpA Kiss Before FryingThe Two Mrs. GrissomsAll That CremainsTargets of ObsessionTurn On, Tune In, Drop DeadThe ListHitting for the CycleUnleashedFather of the BrideCello and GoodbyeIn a Dark, Dark House
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