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Blood Moon
Blood Moon LV.jpg
Season 11
Number 3
Writer Treena Hancock,
Melissa R. Byer
Director Brad Tanenbaum
Original Airdate October 7, 2010
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Blood Moon is the third episode in season eleven of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis

The CSI's investigate a murder involving a feud between two opposing clans, one of "vampires" and one of "werewolves".

Plot

Victim: Michael Wilson (deceased)

On the case: entire team

After a steamy hook up, Catherine and Detective Vartann are called to the scene of a vicious murder: a man's body is tied to a barb wire fence on Mount Charleston, while his head has been mounted on a long metal stake. Langston initially dismisses the notion that it's a cult killing, as there's no sort of "sign" - until he notices that there's a blood moon up in the sky.

There are no visible tire tracks or footprints at the scene and no form of identification on the victim. Nick recovers a longhorn beetle and a hair from the victim’s mouth, while Langston notes ligature marks on the victim’s wrists that are consistent with chains. Based on the abrasions on the victim's body, they conclude that the victim ran into the fence and the killer turned him around to look him in the eye when he did the deed.

In autopsy, Langston and Sara examine the man's body, finding symmetrical scars on both palms. Langston notes that this would be in line with the cult theory, as bloodletting is a common practice. Upon washing the body, they notice that the man has very little body hair, and apparently used wax to remove it. Sara pulls a piece of wax from the victim's belly button and sends it to Hodges for analysis. Though the victim isn’t in AFIS, the wax blend leads the CSIs to the Mediterranean hotel, where their victim, whom the hotel identifies as Michael Wilson, was a guest. He was in town from San Diego to attend a convention.

In Michael's hotel room, Langston and Nick find signs of a struggle and a discarded yellow contact lens on the floor. Langston finds wedding vows and a ring in the pocket of Michael's suit jacket, while Nick comes across receipts that show that the wedding is happening as they speak. The CSIs head to the chapel, only to find several people dressed as vampires, apparently in the middle of a ritual. A woman, Julie Crenshaw, identifies herself as Michael’s fiancée and is devastated to discover he’s dead. Langston notices scars identical to the ones Michael had on Julie’s hands, as well as those of Thomas Stewart, who was presiding over the ceremony.

Back at the lab, Greg and Sara determine that Michael was likely killed with an axe or a hatchet, prompting Langston and Nick to pay a visit to the vampire and werewolf convention at the hotel. They come across an armory dealer who has a wide variety of weapons for sale, including an axe. Langston and Nick take it back to the lab, where they try whacking away at several dummies, noting the copious amounts of blood on their clothes as they do so. They decapitate the dummy with 16 whacks; Doc Robbins' report stated that Michael was struck no less than 18 times. Langston looks at photos of Michael's skull, seeing that he was hit from all sides. The CSIs envision two attackers, with one standing on each side of the fence.

Hodges identifies the hair from Michael's mouth as belonging to a wolf and tells Catherine that vampires and werewolves have had a long-standing feud through history. Greg is able to identify the wolf, Timber, and his owner, Kurt Francis, who has several priors in the system. The team learns Kurt is at the convention, and Langston and Nick track him down and find him with a group of men that identify as werewolves. After a brief scuffle, Langston subdues Kurt and gets him to pass out. Langston and Nick later question Kurt, telling him that it was his contact lens that was found in Michael's hotel room. Kurt claims he “shifted” the night Michael was killed and only remembers waking up in his car in the Mediterranean parking garage.

Sara and Greg go over Kurt’s truck, finding dog chains consistent with the ligature marks on Michael's wrists. They also find blood on the outside of the truck, but not inside. Greg analyzes vomit trace from inside the truck and finds that someone drank Michael's blood and threw it up. Langston figures that another vampire drank the blood, as it's something werewolves are not known to do. Greg adds that the vomit contains drugs used to treat porphyria, meaning that their suspect is sick.

Langston and Nick head back to the hotel and barge in on one of the vampire rituals. When they expose the vampires to direct light, they find out that Thomas Stewart has an allergic reaction to it, a symptom of porphyria. Under interrogation, Thomas claims that he found Michael already dead and drank his blood to keep a part of him alive, but Nick wonders about him hitching a ride back into town with Kurt afterwards. The CSIs question why Thomas would turn on one of his own, with Nick wondering if it's about Julie. Thomas clams up and asks for a lawyer.

The yellow contact lens from Michael's room is a match to Kurt, and blood on his truck puts him at the scene; however, Catherine tells Langston that they can't charge either Kurt or Thomas without a murder weapon. Langston notes that when he and Nick slashed at the gelatin dummy earlier, they ended up covered in blood. Langston and Sara test Kurt and Thomas' clothes for blood spatter, but curiously only find a small amount. The team figures that there was another suspect at the scene who took most of the whacks at Michael. Hodges interrupts and informs the team that the cloak Michael was wearing contains a flowering herb found in a certain area on Mount Charleston away from the crime scene.

Nick and Sara return to Mount Charleston and eventually find the location where the chase began. Along with tire tracks and a disturbance in the dirt, Nick finds a ripped up photo of Kurt. Nearby, Sara uncovers a hatchet. In the lab, Catherine and Nick see that the photo was taken at the previous year's convention - and that Michael was part of the werewolf pack. Nick theorizes that Michael, a werewolf, fell in love with Julie, a vampire. The only way for him to be with Julie was to switch sides and become a vampire. They figure that Kurt recognized Michael, now a vampire, at the convention and confronted him in Michael's hotel room. An altercation led to Kurt losing his yellow contact lens. Kurt then told Thomas about the betrayal and, for one night, the two joined forces to kill a common enemy.

Langston and Sara process the handle of the axe used to kill Michael and find an impression on it from a Celtic knot ring that's identical to Julie's engagement ring. Under interrogation, Julie tells Catherine and Langston that Thomas called them to Mount Charleston for a "pre-wedding ritual." However, upon arriving, Thomas forced Michael to give up his contact lenses and fangs, while the wolf pack emerged from behind the trees. Michael ran, but was eventually captured and tied to the barb wire fence. Kurt showed Julie that Michael used to be a werewolf, and Thomas forced her to choose a side. Feeling betrayed that Michael lied to her, she took the axe and decapitated him. After she confesses to her crimes, they tell her that if she testifies against Kurt and Thomas, she would be able to avoid the death penalty.

In her office, Catherine tells Vartann she’s happy with where their relationship is currently and turns down his offer to move in with him. Nick and Langston sit and eat, watching a horror movie. They chat and Nick's beeper goes off, a triple homicide at the Tangiers. "Let's go hunt some monsters," Langston says.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

  • Alex Carter as Louis Vartann
  • Max Beesley as Thomas Stewart
  • Laura Breckenridge as Julie Crenshaw
  • Michael Graziadei as Kurt Francis
  • Thad Luckinbill as Michael Wilson
  • Arjay Smith as Ethan
  • Dawson Zuiker as Dawson

Music

  • River Styx by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
  • Comatose by Cinephile
  • Drum Song by The Temper Trap

Notes

  • Paul Guilfoyle (Brass) is credited but does not appear in the episode.
  • When told that their suspect might be suffering from porphyria (a blood disease) , Nick remembers a case the team worked on ten years ago. He says that their murderer chopped up her victims and turned them into protein shakes. This references the season one episode, Justice is Served, where Dr. Susan Hillredge drank human blood in an effort to cure her disease.

Trivia

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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