Bad To The Bone
Season 4
Number 18
Writer Eli Talbert
Director David Grossman
Original Airdate April 1, 2004
Previous Episode: XX
Next Episode: Bad Words

Bad To The Bone is the eighteenth episode in season four of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.


The CSIs investigate when a single man beats another man to death in a casino parking garage. They quickly discover that their extremely short-tempered suspect may be responsible for another murder.


Victim: Tony Sciarra (deceased)

On the case: Entire team

Inside of a casino, a man in a leather jacket is looking around. He soon locates a man in a blue shirt and begins to follow him through the casino, shoving a patron out of the way in the process. The man in blue shirt exits to the parking garage, while the man in the leather jacket angrily pushes the exit door aside and follows him.

The man in the leather jacket is next seen dead with a bloody face that took quite a beating. Grissom and Brass are kneeling over the body. Brass finds chips in the victim's jacket, excluding robbery as a motive. Grissom notices blood and hair in the victim's fingernails, indicating the he tried to fight back. Brass finds the victim's wallet and ID - the victim is Tony Sciarra from Philadelphia.

Catherine and Warrick arrive on the scene; Warrick takes crime scene photos while Catherine bags loose teeth as evidence. Brass informs Grissom that Tony had just checked into the hotel and hadn't even unpacked yet. Catherine notices that there is low-velocity blood spatter with no castoff; Warrick wonders if the victim was killed via hand-to-hand combat and not with a weapon. Nick and Sara visit casino security to get a look at the surveillance tapes. The tape is rewound to the point where Tony is playing craps next to a shorter man in a blue shirt. While Tony is rolling, the man in the blue shirt is stealthily taking chips from Tony's pile. Tony notices this after the third time it happens. He and the man in the blue shirt get in each other's faces, with the shorter man not backing down from a fight. Sara has the security tech get a still of the man in the blue shirt's face.

In autopsy, Doc Robbins tells Grissom that Tony suffered multiple fractures to his face. He's also missing six teeth, four more than were found at the scene. There's one tooth at the back of Tony's mouth, and the doc assumes that he swallowed the other three. Doc Robbins sees no evidence of foreign toolmarks, which backs up Warrick's theory that Tony was beat to death with fists. There are no defensive wounds on Tony's hands or forearms, indicating that Tony was restrained. Based on the bruising patterns, Grissom guesses that one man inflicted the beating, as there wouldn't be enough room for other attackers to get their hits in.

Brass speaks to a housekeeper who saw the man in the blue shirt enter the bathroom and wash blood off of his hands. She tells Brass that she sees the man now; he is in the coffee shop across the way getting something to eat. However, he is wearing a white shirt now, whereas the description was a blue shirt and jeans. Nick, Brass and some uniformed officers approach the man, where they see that he has a scar on the back of his head and cuts on his neck. Brass has him stand up with his hands locked behind his head. The man does so; when he turns around, it is the same man they were all looking for. The man stares at Brass.

In the police interrogation room, the man, whose name is Walter Darian, sits silently while Grissom and Brass look on. Brass talks softly into Walter's ear, telling him about Tony. As Brass does this, Walter gets angrier and clenches his handcuffed fists. Brass then accuses Walter of having a lover's quarrel with Tony; Walter replies that he isn't "soft." When Brass asks Walter what he said to Tony at the craps table, Walter replies that he told Tony to "give him a reason." Grissom goes to collect evidence from under Walter's fingernails and is taken aback by how hot they feel. He asks Walter if he has a fever, then continues to collect evidence. Walter suddenly lunges at Grissom and starts choking him. Uniformed officers quickly come in and start trying to subdue Walter. At first, they are largely unsuccessful, as Walter is unable to fight most of them. He is eventually beaten with a club and subdued. When the dust has settled, Walter is dead.

David Phillips takes Walter's liver temperature and finds that it is 101.5 degrees. Catherine tells him to check it again, as it can't be right; however, David says he already has. As the uniform officers tend to their injuries, Sheriff Rory Atwater appears at the station to assess the damage. Brass tells him that it's not as bad as it looks, but the sheriff replies that a suspect dying in custody is never good. Catherine tends to Grissom and sees that he has a bruise on his neck. She tells him Walter's liver temperature and Grissom notes that this means Walter's temperature was 103 degrees when he was alive. He tells Catherine that when he touched Walter's skin, it felt like it was on fire.

Nick and Sara look over Walter's car, which was found in the casino parking lot and brought to the CSI garage. The car is packed full of garbage, leading them to wonder how Walter was able to even drive the it. In the trunk, Sara finds a bloody blue shirt and a bloody pair of jeans; she notes that Walter didn't even try to hide the evidence of his crime. The jeans test positive for blood. Amongst the garbage in the car, Nick finds a box full of casino chips and estimates that there a few thousand dollars worth there. Sara wonders if Walter's crimes weren't about money, as she finds clothing with the original tags still on them. Nick digs deeper into the car and finds a waitress's blouse. The nametag on it indicates that someone named Libby worked at the Roadside Diner. He notices two burn marks on the blouse, as well. Sara wonders what Walter could have done to Libby, given that he was capable of taking on a bunch of armed police officers.

Grissom visits Doc Robbins in the morgue once again, this time to find out about Walter. The doc tells Grissom that Walter's cause of death was a cardiac arrhythmia and that he had no visible prior conditions that could have led to this. The only slightly abnormal thing about Walter was that his heart was a little on the large side. Grissom notes that Walter's temperature was 103 degrees and that he was pumped up before his fight. Doc Robbins says that the tox report is pending, but Walter's body showed no signs of drug abuse. As of right now, there was nothing physically wrong with Walter.

Sheriff Atwater speaks to Beth Darian, Walter's sister. He relays to her what happened, but she only concludes that her brother died in police custody. When Grissom enters, she notices the bruise on his neck and knows that Walter was responsible for it. Beth surprises Grissom and Sheriff Atwater when she says that she is relieved it's over. She says that Walter hurt a lot of people and that, if he saw something he wanted, he took it, regardless of whether someone was in his way. Grissom mentions that Walter was hot to the touch, and Beth says that he had been that way ever since they were children. She apologizes to Grissom for the bruise on his neck; Grissom tries to cover it up with his shirt collar.

Grissom and Warrick visit the No Vacancy Motel, which was owned by Walter. Warrick says that the case is closed - the blood on Walter's clothes was a match to Tony, while the hair in Tony's hands was a match to Walter. Grissom, however, is intent on looking further into Walter's character. They find Walter's office full of different items he never threw away, quite similar to his car. Warrick finds a broken mirror that looks like it was punched, while Grissom looks out the window and sees a long piece of plastic blowing in the wind. They head outside and remove the plastic to find a wheelbarrow with some supplies in it. Warrick finds a large block of cement in the ground, possibly in the shape of a makeshift coffin.

Nick and Sara visit the Roadside Diner and talk to one of the waitresses. She eventually remembers Libby and tells them that she worked at the diner eight years ago. Libby was a dish washer who was clumsy at her job. She burned herself on her first day, which also happened to be her last day. The waitress doesn't recognize Walter from his photo.

Back at the backyard of the motel, Warrick breaks apart the cement with a jackhammer. He and Grissom remove the pieces of cement until they reach dirt. They do this into the night. Later, as Warrick is digging, he hits something. He brushes away the dirt to reveal a human skull. Brass arrives at the scene a later on and sees that Grissom and Warrick have revealed a human skeleton. There is a wedding band on one of the fingers, but Grissom tells Brass that this doesn't necessarily indicate that the body is Libby's. From the smell of the skull, Grissom estimates that the body has been buried for more than three years (he tells Brass that if a skull smells bad, it's usually under three years). Warrick brushes away more dirt and reveals a knife. Brass says that this doesn't fit, as Walter seemingly liked to fight with his hands. Grissom points out that they didn't know Walter for that long.

The skeleton is brought to autopsy, where Doc Robbins tells Warrick that it belongs to a Caucasian female that never gave birth. The victim's height was approximately 5'4" who was in her late teens or early twenties, since her wisdom teeth hadn't' developed yet. The cause of death was strangulation; her hyoid bone was fractured. The victim has facial fractures as well as a fracture to the ulna, indicating that she was possibly hit repeatedly in the face and tried to shield herself with her arm. Doc Robbins takes tissue samples from various parts of the body to try to get an ID.

Grissom is at his desk reading a book when Catherine enters. She asks him how he knew that there was a body at the motel, but he replies that he didn't. He tells Catherine that the tox and histology results came back on Walter - he had no drugs and no diseases. Greg interrupts and brings them both to the DNA lab. He informs them that clean tissue samples were taken from victim's molar and femur, but there were no hits in CODIS. This indicates that Jane Doe was never reported missing. Greg surprises them by telling them that there was a mixture of male DNA in the tissue sample taken from the pelvis. The DNA has 13 alleles in common with Jane Doe; since she never gave birth, the DNA belongs to her father. Greg wonders how the sample got there, as it wouldn't have been able to survive buried in the ground for all that time.

Nick has Archie reconstruct Jane Doe's face via computer using the standard measurements for a Caucasian female around 20 years of age. Meanwhile, back at the motel, Catherine and Warrick take pictures of all junk in Walter's office including a typewriter, while other forensic team members put in a truck to be a hauled away. Catherine finds a hole in the wall that looks like it was made by a fist, while Warrick comes across a box that contains women's scarves and a small baseball cap. Inside the cap, he finds some hairs, which he collects as evidence. In the closet, Catherine finds a suitcase that contains women's maternity clothes and a ripped photograph of a man and a pregnant woman. The back of the photograph reads "And baby makes three! Love, Sean." Catherine digs deeper and finds a wallet with a driver's license belonging to a Marissa Cleary.

Meanwhile, Archie has reconstructed the face of Jane Doe and it is revealed that she looks very similar to Marissa's driver's license photo. Jane Doe is Marissa Cleary, but Libby is still unaccounted for. Catherine tells Grissom that the male DNA in Marissa's pelvis was from her son. Grissom says that there were no indications that Marissa gave birth, but Catherine tells him that there are other ways to give birth besides the birth canal. A flashback shows Marissa giving birth in the motel and Walter standing over her with a hunting knife. Catherine says that there could still be DNA in the umbilical cord, while Grissom notes that Walter never threw anything away, including the knife.

Catherine and Brass question Marissa's husband, Sean. He hadn't seen Marissa in eight years and didn't know she was dead. Sean reveals that they were dating for a few months when Marissa got pregnant; after that, all they did was fight. They eventually broke up and Sean never saw her again. The only thing he got from Marissa was a typed letter that he memorized: "You're not who I thought you were. You don't want me. You don't want this baby. We don't want you. Marissa."

Ronnie Litre shows Catherine the signature on Marissa's driver's license and compares it with her signature on the note she sent to Sean. They are not even close to a match; Catherine guesses that Walter forged the signature. Ronnie also tells Catherine that the letter was not typed. It was printed off of an inkjet printer, but all of Walter's printers are dot matrix.

Meanwhile, Greg ran the DNA on the hair found in the baseball cap and tells Catherine and Grissom that it came back to Marissa's son. Catherine notes that the kid would be eight years old now if he were still alive. Sara walks into the DNA lab and tells everyone that the postmark on the envelope sent to Sean was from Henderson. Walter's motel, however, is in Sloan. Grissom states that Walter wouldn't go all that way to mail a letter.

Catherine and Grissom are then shown interviewing Walter's sister, Beth. She doesn't recognize Marissa from her photograph, but immediately assumes that Walter killed her. A flashback shows Marissa arguing with Sean and creating quite a ruckus. An irate Walter banged on the wall, then entered Marissa's room and started strangling her. Beth rolls up her sweater to reveal some burns; she says she got them from an old job she had. Grissom guesses that she used to be a dish washer that went by the name "Libby." Beth asks Grissom how he knows this, as nobody had called her Libby in years. Grissom says that Walter kept the uniform she wore on the job.

Just then, a school bus stops in front of the house and a blonde kid runs through the front door, greeting Beth as "Mom." Beth tells Catherine that her son, named Martin, is going to be nine years old next month. Back at the station, a DNA sample is taken from Martin and from Sean Cleary. It is revealed that Sean is Martin's father, but Beth is not Sean's real mother.

In interrogation, Beth tells Catherine and Grissom that Walter showed up to her house one night with a baby. He handed her the baby and left. She says that Walter told her the baby's mother was a runaway and that she didn't want the baby. A scar on Martin's forehead appears to have come from the tip of the hunting knife Walter used to cut the baby out of Marissa.

Catherine and Grissom know that Marissa didn't sign the note she wrote to Sean and it's unlikely that Walter wrote it. Beth tells them that she found Walter's suitcase and found the photo of Sean and Marissa inside of it. She admits to writing the note so that the father (Sean) didn't have to suffer. Beth tells Catherine that Walter giving her the baby was the only good thing he ever did, and that he surely didn't do it out of the goodness of his heart.

Grissom leaves the room and starts to process all of the evidence that was brought in from Walter's motel.


Main Cast

Guest Cast

  • Xander Berkeley as Sheriff Rory Atwater
  • Archie Kao as Archie Johnson
  • Eric Stonestreet as Ronnie Litre
  • David Berman as David Phillips
  • Megan Follows as Beth Darian
  • Josh Stewart as Sean Cleary
  • Erik Passoja as Walter Darian
  • Dale Dickey as Waitress Cassie
  • David Hall as Martin Cleary/Darian
  • Amee Jean McClure as Marissa Manning Cleary
  • Angelica Pulido as Louise Madison

See Also

< XX
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