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 bearded 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 kicks 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 that he tried to fight back. Brass finds the victim's wallet and ID—the victim is Tony Sciarra from Philadelphia. He later finds out that Tony had just checked into the hotel and hadn't even unpacked yet.

Catherine and Warrick arrive on the scene; Warrick takes crime scene photos while Catherine bags loose teeth as evidence. Catherine notices that there's low-velocity blood spatter with no castoff, leading Warrick to wonder if the victim was killed via hand-to-hand combat and not with a weapon. The thought is that Tony was outnumbered and beaten to death by several people.

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 tool marks, which backs up Warrick's theory that Tony was beaten 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's in the coffee shop across the way getting something to eat. However, he's wearing a white shirt now, whereas the description was a blue shirt and jeans. Nick, Brass and some uniformed officers approach the man and 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's the same man they were all looking for. As he gets prepared to be hauled away, the man glares at Brass.

In the police interrogation room, the man in question, 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 the hands feel. He asks Walter if he has a fever, gets no response, 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're largely unsuccessful, as Walter is able to fight most of them. He's 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, a number he double-checks for accuracy. As the uniformed 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 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's 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' 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've 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 wasn't from police force. Instead, it was a cardiac arrhythmia that did him in; he had no visible prior conditions that could've led to this. The only slightly abnormal thing about Walter was that he had a slightly enlarged heart. 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. The doc remarks that some people just run hot.

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 expresses relief that 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 remarks 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 spots 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. Because Libby's stay was so short, there are no identifying documents lying around. The waitress also doesn't recognize Walter from his photo.

In 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. A little while later, Brass arrives at the scene and sees that Grissom and Warrick have unearthed a human skeleton. There's a wedding band on one of the fingers, and Brass questions whether the skeleton could be Libby. However, because there's no clothing and nothing to identify gender, the skeleton's identity remains a mystery. 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 unearths a knife. Because the knife has been buried for so long, any blood that may have been on it has been exposed to the elements. 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 to come to that conclusion.

The skeleton is brought to autopsy, where Doc Robbins tells Warrick that it belongs to a 5'4" Caucasian female who was in her late teens or early twenties. There are no pits in the pubic bone, indicating that the victim never gave birth. The cause of death was strangulation; her hyoid bone was fractured. She also had 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.

Catherine visits Grissom in his office, amazed that he knew there was another body at the motel. Grissom replies that he didn't know there was another body. Since the tox and histology results run on Walter came back clean, Grissom wanted to look into his past. 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. Grissom adds that there were no other bodies in the grave.

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 the junk in Walter's office including a typewriter, while other forensic team members put everything 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 with tags on them, 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, which 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 reminds her 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—the same one found in the grave. Catherine says that there could still be DNA in the umbilical cord, while Grissom notes that Walter never threw anything away, including the knife. If that's the case, where did the baby go?

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; they got married as a result. After that, however, all they did was fight. They eventually broke up over the phone and Sean never saw her again. He never reported Marissa missing because he didn't think she was. 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're not even close to a match; Catherine guesses that Walter forged the signature. Ronnie also tells Catherine that the letter wasn't 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 interview Walter's sister, Beth, in her home. She doesn't recognize Marissa from her photograph, but immediately assumes that Walter killed her. A flashback shows Marissa arguing with Sean over the phone and creating quite a ruckus in her motel room. An irate Walter banged on the wall, then entered Marissa's room and started strangling her. Beth removes her sweater to reveal some burns on her arm; 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 replies that Walter kept the uniform she wore on the job.

Just then, a school bus stops in front of the house and a blonde boy 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. This causes Catherine and Grissom to exchange glances with each other. Grissom also spots a scar on young Martin's forehead. Back at the station, a DNA sample is taken from Martin and from Sean Cleary. It's revealed that Sean is Martin's father, but Beth isn't Martin'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 without saying a word. She claims that Walter later told her the baby's mother was a runaway and that she didn't want the baby. Beth took the baby in and loved him as her own. The 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 after he had already killed her.

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. He removes a bloody shirt from an evidence bag; it's unknown whether the blood is Walter's or whether he claimed other victims in his 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