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Assume Nothing
Assume Nothing
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's 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, Checo Dominguez , Wendy Laggerman , Fred Laggerman (all deceased)

On the case: Entire team

While playing roulette in a casino with his wife, Kent Rifkin 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 soon locks eyes with the Rifkins; feeling "frisky," Kent and Natasha Rifkin approach the mystery couple. 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, as there's still cash in Alice's wallet. Catherine tells Grissom that the room isn't Alice's, either; it 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.

Warrick notes that there are two reasons why people get murdered in a casino—sex or money. On the money end, the hotel room was paid for on a stolen credit card registered to a "Mrs. Parker," a 75-year old living alone in Henderson. Nick observes 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 offers to get the tapes from the cameras in the elevator. Back in the room, Catherine finds the crime scene odd—Alice wasn't slashed from behind and the cut isn't 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 hasn't been located yet. Warrick tells Sara that Checo Dominguez had signed for a $5,000 cash deposit, leaving his fingerprint on file. They go to check the Dominguezes' suite.

Brass is going door to door looking for witnesses. He speaks to a hotel guest who recalls hearing a couple arguing and a door slamming. In a flashback, the guest observed the Rifkins arguing through his peephole as they walked down the hallway. The guest says that this took place at 10:35 PM; he knows the exact time because he was just starting to watch a pay-per-view movie. 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 everyone's talking about what happened up on the 10th floor. Nick corrects some misheard facts about the case, filling Kenny in on the cause of death and the hotel room's location.

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 Checo Dominguez's clothes are still there. Warrick finds a wallet with some gas 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 Checo dead in the driver's seat. His throat has also been cut; however, Nick and Warrick note that it looks like he was slashed from the back and not the front. Sara finds a bloody knife in under the driver's seat.

In the lab, Jacqui Franco lifts a print found on the knife. Nick hands her the cash advance check with Checo'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 Checo. Greg interrupts and says that he found blood from both victims on the knife. It's possible Checo 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's evidence pertaining to the Sam Braun case. Later, when she visits the courthouse, she sees Sam being walked out in front of a bunch of reporters. Based on the reporters' questions, it seems that he's on his way to beating his murder rap.

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 can't be identified, as they have their backs to the camera. Based on the witness statement Brass got, Archie fast forwards the footage to 10:35 PM, where the Rifkins are seen alone in the 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 information from sources inside the crime lab, using words and phrases that Nick recognizes, such as "murder central." Nick immediately knows 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.

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 how much he loved his wife in a creepy tone, while Mandy asked the couple to "prove it." As the sexual escapades progressed, the Rifkins started arguing, which led to them being kicked out of the room. Grissom tells them that the arguing probably 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 darkened 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 24-year-old Wendy Laggerman and Grissom notices a wedding ring; they're once again looking for a missing husband. Outside, after a false alarm (a man sleeping in his car), a body is found in the motel's ice machine. Assuming the victim to be Wendy's husband, Grissom notes that this is different from 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 before it melts. As he's emptying the machine, he comes across a knife and spots a bloody fingerprint on the machine's lid, which he has Sara and Warrick process. He calls Nick over and has him follow him to the motel room where Wendy's body was found. Nick believes he's 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 sees 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, making him change 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 killers lure a couple to a room with the promise of sex. However, they force the husband to prove how much he loves his wife by killing her instead. When Catherine asks why the husband would go along with this bizarre request, 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, and an APB is put out on the couple. Questioning why a local couple would stay at a motel, Nick believes he's identified the killers. However, Grissom tells him to assume nothing regarding the case.

The Klinefelds' car is found at a hotel, and Grissom and Brass go to check them out. They're found in a cabana talking to another couple. Brass tells the Klinefelds that they checked into The Fez the night before under a false name. He also suspects them of identity theft and felony fraud at The Sphere. Cameron admits to being at The Fez the previous weekend, 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 in exchange for his freedom. Checo 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 as Cameron Klinefeld; it's possible the Klinefelds picked up the Dominguezes in the club. Unfortunately, nobody at the club was able to identify the Klinefelds.

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. Catherine says that they're going to have to get into the Klinefelds' 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 Klinefelds' arrest. They speak to Judge Slater, who tells them that the affidavit lacks probable cause. He tells them DNA isn't enough to invade the Klinefelds' 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 Klinefelds and Rifkins sitting together. There are four clear drinks ordered, which means the Klinefelds probably ordered themselves club sodas. Catherine and Nick see Mandy Klinefeld stick her tongue in Kent Rifkin's ear. They believe that if Mandy is a creature of habit, she likely did the same to Checo Dominguez and to Fred Laggerman. Checo's body has already been autopsied; however, Fred's body hasn't been fully cleaned and processed yet. 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 Klinefelds' 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 Checo Dominguez
  • Maureen Muldoon as Reporter Lynda Darby
  • Breck Wilson as Fred Laggerman
  • Melanie H. Gassaway as Wendy Laggerman (uncredited)
  • Mikos Zavros as Valet (uncredited)

Episode Title[]

  • After finding Mandy Klinefeld's print on a quarter, Nick excitedly tells Grissom that they've found their murderous couple. Grissom's simple reply: "Assume nothing, Nick."

Major Events[]

  • Catherine admits to Warrick that she used blood evidence from Sam Braun's murder case to test against her own DNA. This technicality caused the case to be kicked out of court and Sam to beat the charges.

Music[]

  • Breakbeat Suckers by Cirrus
  • Truth or Dare by N.E.R.D., Kelis, Pusha T
  • Dragon Lounge by Cirrus

Notes[]

  • Nick brings up the fact that the hotel room is where the murder took place is located in "murder central"—the room closest to the exit that gives the murderer a quick escape route and less chance of being heard. The phrase was first used in the season two episode Organ Grinder.

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 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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