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Assume Nothing
Assume Nothing.jpg
Season 4
Number 1
Writer Danny Cannon,
Anthony E. Zuiker
Director Richard J. Lewis
Original Airdate September 25, 2003
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Previous Episode: Inside the Box
Next Episode: All For Our Country

Assume Nothing is the first episode in Season Four of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis

When a couple is murdered after meeting another couple in a bar, Grissom and his team suspect it is the work of a pair of serial killers. Nick jeopardizes the case when he gives an old friend some information on the case and it later turns up on the local news.

Plot

Victims: Alice Dominguez, Checco Dominguez , Wendy Laggerman , Fred Laggerman (all deceased)

On the case: Entire team

Kent and Natasha Rifkin are gambling in a casino. While gambling, he notices another couple and makes eye contact with them. After a big win, they cash out and go to the bar, where Kent once again notices the same couple in the lounge. The other couple notices the two at the bar and return eye contact. Eventually, the Rifkins walk over to the couple in the lounge. The following morning, a housekeeper enters a hotel room and finds a dead brunette woman with her throat slashed.

Catherine and Grissom are on the scene. He notes that the woman's throat has been slit with what appears to be a very sharp object. The room has been completely stripped—no bedding, sheets, or towels. Grissom finds the victim's wallet and ID; her name is Alice Dominguez. Robbery is ruled out. Catherine tells Grissom that the room was registered under the name "Parker." Alice is wearing a wedding ring, so they need to locate her husband. Grissom is able to hear the vibrating of Catherine's cell phone, as his hearing has returned to normal after surgery.

Brass tells Nick and Warrick that the hotel room was paid for on a stolen credit card by a "Mrs. Parker," a 75-year old living alone in Henderson. Nick notes that the room is the closest one to the exit, allowing for a quick escape. There are no security cameras in the hallway, but Brass will get the tapes from the cameras in the elevator. Back in the room, Catherine finds the crime scene odd—Alice was not slashed from behind and the cut is not very deep. She also has no ligature marks or defensive wounds. Grissom believes her murderer was sitting in a nearby chair and Alice may have let that person just slit her throat.

Sara gets information from the front desk and tells Warrick that Alice checked into the hotel with her husband the day before. Their room was two floors away from where Alice's body was found, and the husband has not been located yet. Warrick tells Sara that Mr. Dominguez had signed for a $5,000 cash deposit, leaving his fingerprint on file. They go to check the Dominguez's suite.

Brass is going door to door looking for witnesses. He speaks to a hotel guest who heard a couple arguing and a door slam. In a flashback, the guest looks through his peephole and sees the Rifkins arguing as they walked down the hallway. The guest says that this took place at 10:35 PM. In the exit to the stairwell, Nick lifts a print from the door handle. He works his way outside, where he talks to the valets. One of the valets recognizes Nick and identifies himself as Kenny Richmond; the two of them apparently played baseball together a long time ago. Kenny tells Nick that all of the valets are talking about what happened up on the 10th floor.

In autopsy, Doc Robbins tells Catherine that the wound on Alice's neck isn't as deep as he was expecting. Her injuries lead Catherine to believe that Alice's neck was sliced gently. Doc Robbins says that this is possible because Alice's blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit and her blood work showed heavy traces of ecstasy. The doc finds a square-shaped piece of glitter between Alice's toes and recognizes it as being from a strip club called "Shimmer."

Back in the hotel, Sara and Warrick check out the Dominguez's suite. The bed is untouched, and Mr. Dominguez's clothes are still there. Warrick finds a wallet with some receipts and tells Sara that the registered vehicle is a Ford Explorer with California plates. They eventually find the car in the parking garage with Mr. Dominguez dead in the driver's seat. His throat has also been cut; however, Nick and Warrick note that it looks like it was slashed from the back and not the front. Sara finds a bloody knife in the backseat.

In the lab, Jacqui Franco lifts a print found on the knife. Nick hands her the cash advance check with Mr. Dominguez's fingerprint as a reference point, and asks her to compare the print to the one found on the exit door and the knife. She does a manual comparison and concludes that the prints on the door handle and knife both match Mr. Dominguez. Greg interrupts and says that he found blood from both victims on the knife. It's possible Mr. Dominguez killed his wife, but who killed him?

At the Shimmer night club, Catherine and Grissom talk to a stripper who recognizes the Dominguezes from their driver's license photos. She says the Dominguezes were there with another couple who was paying for all of the lap dances and drinks. This other couple sat and watched the action, but never partook. They also were drinking non-alcoholic beverages. Catherine gets a call to go to the courthouse; there is evidence pertaining to the Sam Braun case.

In the A/V lab, Archie shows Sara security camera footage from the elevator. They see the last footage of the Dominguezes alive along with another couple that cannot be identified. Based on the witness statement Brass got, Archie fast forwards the footage to 10:35 where the Rifkins are seen alone in elevator arguing with each other. However, 20 minutes earlier, they rode up in the elevator with the same mystery couple that was seen with the Dominguezes. Sara has Archie get a still of the Rifkins and she sees that Kent is holding a room key to the Tangiers.

Nick and Warrick are watching a TV report about the murders. The reporter gives what seems to be inside information and uses words and phrases that Nick recognizes. It's the same thing he told Kenny Richmond when he spoke to him earlier. Warrick tells Nick to fess up to Grissom before things get out of control, and Grissom walks into the room at the tail end of the conversation. Meanwhile, Catherine visits the courthouse where Sam is being walked out in front of a bunch of reporters. Based on the reporters questions, it seems that he is on his way to beating his murder rap.

Grissom and Brass go to the Tangiers and interview the Rifkins. They identify the mystery couple by their first names—Mandy and Cameron. The Rifkins admit that they had been drinking and went up to Mandy and Cameron's hotel room looking for some excitement. Cameron repeatedly asked Kent Rifkin how much he loved his wife in a creepy tone. When the response was a lot, the Rifkins were asked to prove it. When they started arguing, they were kicked out of the room. Grissom notes that the arguing might have saved their lives.

In the station locker room, Catherine is distressed about the Sam Braun case. Warrick lends his ear, and she tells him that when she suspected Sam was her father, she used blood evidence from the case to test her DNA against his. This technicality caused the case to be kicked out of court and Sam to beat the charges.

Grissom and Brass are called to another crime scene at a run-down motel called The Fez. In the motel room, Grissom flicks on the light switch, but nothing happens. In the middle of the room is a woman in a chair with her throat slit. There are no sheets on the bed—all of this is reminiscent of the first crime scene. Brass ID's the woman as Wendy Laggerman and Grissom notices a wedding ring. They are once again looking for a missing husband. Outside, Grissom thinks he found the husband dead in the driver's seat of his car; however, the man wakes up, startling Grissom. Not soon after the false alarm, a body is found in the motel's ice machine. Assuming the victim to be Wendy's husband, Grissom notes that this is different than the first murders and that something isn't right.

Grissom calls the rest of the team to the scene and they empty all of the ice from the machine into buckets. As he is emptying the ice, he finds a knife. Grissom also finds a bloody fingerprint on the ice machine and has Sara and Warrick process it. He calls Nick over and has him follow him. They enter the motel room where Wendy's body was found. Nick believes he is in trouble for talking to someone about the original crime scene, but Grissom is more focused on seeing the room the way the killer left it. As they search the room, Grissom notices that one of the wall outlets has been fried. He then notices the "magic fingers" attached to the bed and guesses that, due to the killer's appetite for sexual persuasion, they might have overloaded the circuit by feeding quarters into the machine. If so, there could be fingerprints on the coins that help with the case.

The quarters are dumped out and dusted for prints. Catherine wonders why the crime scene was downgraded from The Sphere to The Fez. Grissom asks Nick for his opinion, and Nick replies that a reporter got inside information and the killer probably heard about himself on the news and switched his M.O. As Grissom continues to glare at Nick, Nick offers to get the coins back to the lab and process them.

In the lab, Nick is running the fingerprints from the quarters through the computer. Greg interrupts and tells him that the blood on the ice machine came back to two donors—one from the victim (Fred Laggerman) and one from an unknown person. Nick surmises that the unknown person is probably the killer.

Outside of the motel room, Grissom sums up what he thinks the case is about. The killer lures the couple to a room with the promise of sex. However, he forces the husband to prove how much he loves his wife by killing her instead. When Catherine asks why the husband would do this and not just say no, Grissom guesses that the husband might have a gun to his head. If he doesn't kill his wife, then something worse will happen to her, such as rape or torture. A flashback is shown of the husband with a gun to his head being told that if he doesn't kill his wife, then both of them will die.

They walk over to the ice machine, and Catherine says that neither Fred or Wendy Laggerman were registered at the motel and they didn't have a car. Grissom thinks that the absence of a vehicle led the killer to improvise. A flashback shows the killer asking Fred where his car is, and Fred replies that they took a taxi. The killer is then shown beating Fred's head against the ice machine, sticking him in the machine, slitting his throat, and leaving the knife behind.

Back in the lab, Nick is able to get an ID off a fingerprint. The print belongs to Mandy Klinefeld; Nick finds that her husband's name is Cameron. The motel owner didn't recognize the Klinefelds, so there is an APB out on the couple. Nick believes he is back in Grissom's good graces, but Grissom tells him to assume nothing regarding the case.

The Kleinfeld's car is found at a hotel, and Grissom and Brass go to check them out. They are in a cabana talking to another couple. Brass tells the Kleinfelds that they checked into The Fez the night before under a false name. He is also suspects them of identity theft and felony fraud at The Sphere. Cameron admits to being at The Sphere, saying he bought a hooker while Mandy watched. Grissom notices a piece of glitter stuck to Cameron's shoe. It's the same type of glitter found at the Shimmer club. Grissom and Cameron then exchange lines of Shakespeare, showing Cameron to be somewhat of an intellectual.

The CSIs are sitting around the conference room table recapping the case. Sara recaps the Dominguez case—the blood on the knife belonged to Alice Dominguez, with the likelihood that her husband was forced to slit her throat. Mr. Dominguez's fingerprint was found on the exit door to the garage, where he ended up being killed in his car. Glitter from Shimmer was found on both Alice and her husband, as well Cameron Klinefeld; it's possible the Kleinfelds picked up the Dominguezes in the club.

For the second murder, fingerprints were found on quarters from the "magic fingers" machine, and a mixture of blood was found on the outside of the ice machine. However, the ice melted away any usable prints on the knife found inside the ice machine. Catherine says that they are going to have to get into the Kleinfeld's house in order to find any evidence linking them to the murders.

Grissom and Brass visit the courtroom and are flabbergasted when the clerk says that the judge won't issue a warrant for the Kleinfeld's arrest. They speak to Judge Slater, who tells them that the affidavit lacks probable cause. He tells them DNA is not enough to invade the Kleinfeld's right to privacy. Grissom tells the judge that he has issued warrants for less, but the judge is more intent on getting things 100% right with no circumstantial evidence. His goal is to move up in his career, not have cases overturned.

While looking over casino security footage in the A/V lab, Nick magnifies the footage of the Kleinfelds and Rifkins sitting together. There are four clear drinks ordered, which means the Kleinfelds probably ordered themselves club sodas. Catherine and Nick see Mandy Kleinfeld stick her tongue in Kent Rifkin's ear. They believe that if Mandy is a creature of habit, she likely did the same to Mr. Dominguez and to Fred Laggerman. Fred's body is still in autopsy. Catherine calls down to David Phillips, but gets no answer. They rush down to autopsy and stop David before he washes the top of Fred's body.

Catherine and Nick swab Fred's ears and Nick takes the swabs up to the DNA lab. The results come back affirmative for female DNA. They also match the unknown sample found in the blood on the ice machine. Grissom confidently says that these results should get them their warrant.

Grissom, Brass, and a pair of uniformed officers visit the Kleinfeld's home with a warrant. When they get to the front door, they notice that the door is ajar. Grissom and Brass work their way through the house, where Mandy's body is found with a gunshot wound to the back. Grissom finds Cameron's body in another room with a gunshot wound to the chest. Someone has gotten to the killers before the police have.

TO BE CONTINUED flashes across the screen.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

  • Archie Kao as Archie Johnson
  • David Berman as David Phillips
  • Scott Wilson as Sam Braun
  • Romy Rosemont as Jacqui Franco
  • Terry Bozeman as Attorney Brad Lewis
  • Paula Francis as News Anchor
  • John Doman as Judge Slater
  • Rudolf Martin as Cameron Klinefeld
  • Brian Bloom as Kent Rifkin
  • Nichole Hiltz as Natasha Rifkin
  • John Kassir as Hotel Guest
  • Moon Bloodgood as Stripper
  • Josh Holloway as Kenny Richmond
  • Scott Alan Smith as Stuart Gardner
  • Michael Azria as California Kid
  • Lydia Blanco as Maid
  • Garcia-Hyde Sue-Ling as Alice Dominguez
  • Sandra Hess as Mandy Klinefeld
  • Jim Jenkins as Reporter #1
  • Brandon Kirsch as Officer Almada
  • Michael Lopez as Checco Dominguez
  • Maureen Muldoon as Reporter Lynda Darby
  • Breck Wilson as Fred Laggerman
  • Melanie H. Gassaway as Wendy Laggerman (uncredited)
  • Mikos Zavros as Valet (uncredited)

Featured Music

  • Breakbeat Suckers by Cirrus.
  • Dragon Lounge by Cirrus.
  • Truth or Dare by N.E.R.D.

Trivia

  • Kenny Richmond the valet is played by Josh Holloway, who would later be recognized for his role as James "Sawyer" Ford in the TV series Lost
  • The stripper from the Shimmer nightclub is played by Moon Bloodgood, who starred in the TV series Falling Skies as Anne Glass. 
  • The TO BE CONTINUED text that flashed before the credits is probably the first time it has been shown on an episode where the case is left unresolved.

See Also

< Inside the Box (season 3)
CSI:Las Vegas Season 4
Assume NothingAll For Our CountryHomebodiesFeeling the HeatFur and LoathingJackpotInvisible EvidenceAfter the ShowGrissom Versus the VolcanoComing of RageEleven Angry JurorsButterfliedSuckersPaper or PlasticEarly RolloutGetting OffXXBad To The BoneBad WordsDead RingerTurn of the ScrewsNo More BetsBloodlines
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