Boned is the thirteenth episode in Season Two of CSI: Vegas.

Csi vegas lg
Csi vegas
Season 2
Number 13
Writer Dave Metzger
Director Erin Feeley
Original Airdate February 9, 2023
Previous Episode: When the Dust Settles
Next Episode: Third Time's the Charm


The CSI team investigates the death of an archaeologist found near the breakthrough discovery of an ancient civilization. Also, Max locates another cryptic note written in familiar silver ink after a woman kills her attacker.


Victim: Harrison Cantwell (deceased)

On the case: Allie Rajan, Beau Finado, Joshua Folsom, Maxine Roby, Det. Serena Chavez

A teenaged girl wanders away from a gold prospecting tour looking for something more exciting to do. The guide eventually catches up to her and informs her that the area isn't safe, as recent flooding has softened the ground. Suddenly, the girl spots a skeleton nearby; the skeleton appears to be holding a skull.

The skeleton's left leg has been severed below the patella. Folsom observes that the rate of decomposition is different on the two specimens and there's still some skin left on the skeleton. Based on the characteristics of the bodiless skull, it's estimated that it belongs to a female in her late teens or early twenties. The skeleton is identified as Harrison Cantwell from his driver's license. When the skulls are separated, a piece of stone is found sticking out of the skeleton's eye socket; there are also stab wounds to the chest. A tarantula falls out of the skeleton when it's rolled over. Based on normal timeline of insect activity, Harrison's time of death is placed at 40 to 50 days ago.

The stone pulled from the skull's eye socket resembles a spearhead, but it's not Native American. Allie identifies it as a Clovis point, which dates back 12,000 years to the end of the Ice Age. The tip of the point matches a wound on the skull, and Allie deduces that both objects are from the same time period. This leads to the quick conclusion that both Harrison and the mystery skull were killed with the same weapon 12,000 years apart.

Folsom tells Max that Harrison's fingers were curled inside the skull's occipital opening, as if he was marveling at a discovery. The prospector guide is insistent that Harrison didn't die on his tour, reiterating that the previous night's rain caused a flash flood. Therefore, he was killed somewhere else and drifted downriver. A Google search of Harrison Cantwell reveals that he was an amateur archaeologist turned author who had an honorary seat at the Natural History Museum of Clark County.

The museum's employees and board members tell Allie and Det. Chavez that Harrison would immerse himself in his research and go off-grid for months a time; therefore, his being missing for 40 days is no surprise. Dr. Logan MacArthur says that Harrison's latest expedition was in search of Clovis artifacts. He and fellow archaeologist Dr. Laura Qadiri are blown away when they're shown the skull discovered by Harrison. It's described as the "find of the decade"; however, for now, it's being taken back to the lab as evidence.

Back in the lab, the Clovis point is analyzed, and it's determined that it was used as the murder weapon on the Clovis skull. There are fragments broken off from the Clovis point; since there's no weathering on the broken edges, it's determined that it was pulled out of the skull recently. A flashback shows someone attacking Harrison with the point. The assumption is that Harrison and his killer were arguing about the discovery because they knew the value of such a find. Allie confirms that the skull is actually 12,245 years old; wherever Harrison found it is where the original crime scene is.

In autopsy, Jack determines that Harrison was stabbed five times with a stone object; the killer likely held the weapon in their hands, as the wounds are too shallow. Surprisingly, the stab to the eye wasn't the fatal blow; instead, Harrison was stabbed near the right ventricle, which caused a hemorrhage into the torso. Broken bones indicate that Harrison got into a fistfight and tried to defend himself by fighting back. As for the missing leg, Jack tells Allie and Folsom that it occurred postmortem, likely from a wild animal ripping it off the body. Allie spots something that looks like sand in the skull's ear canal and takes a sample for analysis. The hope is that it will tell the CSIs where Harrison was before he was killed.

Folsom and Det. Chavez head back to where the body and skull were discovered. Based on the speed of the river's current and factoring in the heavy rain, Folsom determines that Harrison's body started approximately six and a half to eight miles upriver. Using a drone, they're able to find a shoe right at the six and half mile mark. There's no blood on the shoe, nor are there any signs of a struggle in the surrounding area. The missing tibia is also located, meaning that they've found the spot where Harrison's body laid before it was washed downriver. The original crime scene's location is still a mystery.

Folsom pulls a cactus needle out of the shoe and bags it. He and Det. Chavez figure that after his big find, Harrison was either killed and dragged to the river's edge or he limped there under his own power. Either way, he died while grasping his prized discovery. Folsom and Det. Chavez soon come across a coyote that's been shot to death; it has Harrison's skeletal foot in his mouth. The assumption is that someone saw the coyote holding a person's leg and shot it in fear that they would be next. There's a GPS tracker around the coyote's neck; if the coyote picked up Harrison's blood trail from the crime scene, then the tracker might be able to tell them where the primary crime scene is.

Rose Cantwell tells Det. Chavez that contact with her husband was infrequent, as he would be out on expeditions for months at a time with his satellite phone powered off. She curiously inquires about the cause of death and asks to have the death certificate expedited, explaining that she was in charge of Harrison's money. In other words, she would financially benefit from his death, giving her motive to kill him.

The material found in Harrison's ear canal is identified as granite, which seems to be out of place in the river valley. However, it might be able to tell the CSIs something about where Harrison was digging when he was killed. Meanwhile, the GPS tracker is linked up to the computer; it shows where the coyote walked in the months leading up to its death. Beau notes that granite is only found in river tributaries and points out the five closest ones to the coyote's travels. The cactus needle Folsom pulled from the shoe belongs to a cactus that's typically found in elevations above 800 feet. This narrows down the mystery site to one specific area; sure enough, Harrison's dig site is soon located. Allie and Folsom soon discover that Harrison unearthed a complete Clovis skeleton, which may be the first of its kind. One of the ribs has blood on its tip, leading Folsom to conclude that the fight to the death occurred right on top of the skeleton.

Folsom observes that the blood on the bone has been cleaned off with hydrogen peroxide, which essentially eradicates DNA. Nearby, Det. Chavez locates Harrison's satellite phone; the last call on it was made 47 days ago to Dr. Qadiri's office at the museum. If Harrison told her about his big find, it could be something two archaeologists might fight over.

Allie and Det. Chavez visit the museum to speak with Dr. Qadiri; however, the doctor's office door is surprisingly locked. Dr. MacArthur has a key and lets them in. Allie finds an envelope on Dr. Qadiri's desk that was sent by Rose Cantwell; it's postmarked after Harrison died. When speaking with Det. Chavez earlier, Rose had conveniently left out that she knew Dr. Qadiri. The opened envelope contains Harrison's notes, which have been edited by at least two different people. The thought now is that the two women worked together to cash in on Harrison's discovery. In the lab, it's determined that both Rose and Dr. Qadiri left their prints behind on Harrison's notes.

The two women are questioned separately. Rose admits to Det. Chavez that she and Dr. Qadiri had been working together for a few months. Harrison and Rose were working on a book, and Dr. Qadiri was asked to assist. In order to elevate Harrison's credibility, they all worked out a deal—Dr. Qadiri would help research the book and write the forward, while Rose would be allowed to publish anything Harrison found in the academic press. Harrison gave his blessings to both parties. As for their whereabouts on the day Harrison died, both women confirm that they were in Chicago meeting with a publisher. Max privately tells Folsom that they have no hard evidence to connect either woman to Harrison's murder.

Allie, Folsom, Max and Det. Chavez have a late night brainstorming session. Det. Chavez notes that Harrison's last phone call lasted just over two minutes and that someone at the museum answered. Everyone at the museum had access to Dr. Qadiri's office, and every archaeologist would likely want a piece of Harrison's discovery. In other words, tying the murder to someone specific is going to be a little tricky. Allie comes to a realization and asks to analyze the blood found on the rib. Despite the fact that the hydrogen peroxide destroyed the DNA, Allie explains that they don't need DNA for her test. Results show that the blood sample from the rib lacks basophils, a type of white blood cell. The absence of basophils also means that there's a lack of histamines. All of this points to one thing—their killer has cold urticaria, a minor immune disease, and Max knows who the culprit is.

Dr. MacArthur is brought in for questioning and poured a cold glass of water. It's brought up that Dr. Qadiri's office is actually is his old office, something he mentioned earlier at the museum. Therefore, there's a strong chance he was on the other end of Harrison's phone call. Upon receiving the call about the discovery, Dr. MacArthur raced out to the dig site and confirmed its authenticity. Harrison was a novice archaeologist who had discovered something Dr. MacArthur never could, and he was going to become famous for doing so. The two men fought, with Harrison pushing Dr. MacArthur into the open Clovis grave; this is how Dr. MacArthur impaled himself on the exposed rib. Dr. MacArthur then stabbed Harrison with the Clovis point. Harrison stumbled away, but Dr. MacArthur was too wounded to pursue him.

Dr. MacArthur refuses to show the scar that he received from the impalement on the rib and insists that he both loved and respected Harrison. He believes that there isn't any proof that he committed murder, but Max sees otherwise. There are splotches on Dr. MacArthur's left hand, which is a telltale sign of cold urticaria; he got them from touching the cold glass of water. Det. Chavez explains that he went back to the scene and cleaned the rib with hydrogen peroxide. While the DNA was destroyed, the blood cells (and the disease they're fighting) stayed behind. Allie had noticed Dr. MacArthur's condition earlier at the museum.

Dr. MacArthur breaks down and says that he didn't want any of this to happen. He was upset that Harrison was going to take full credit for the discovery, even though the museum used their resources to help him. In fact, Harrison would've never found the site if it wasn't for Dr. MacArthur's help. Harrison refused to share his glory and was killed for it. Dr. MacArthur is arrested.

Det. Chavez, who has clearly been having a hard time with the case, eventually reveals to Max that she worked a case a long time ago involving a missing runaway girl. The girl's body was never found, only her skull. Despite her best efforts, Det. Chavez wasn't able to solve the case, something that stuck with her for a long time. Folsom and Det. Chavez bring the Clovis skull to the museum and give it to Dr. Qadiri. After doing so, Det. Chavez breaks down in Folsom's arms.

Victims: Molly Tate (alive), Lucas Tremaine (deceased)

On the case: Allie Rajan, Maxine Roby, Penny Gill, Det. Serena Chavez

Recapping previous episodes, several cases the team has investigated involve an unseen person forcing people to commit murders. This person writes unintelligible symbols in silver ink; Max recently received a postcard written in a similar manner. The victims not only shared the same child psychologist, they also shared a current one—Dr. Diane Auerbach. While going through Dr. Auerbach's old patient files, the team comes across doodles that seemingly match the ones written in silver ink. Dr. Auerbach is currently out of the country at a conference.

Max and Penny are called to the residence of Molly Tate, where a man armed with a gun lies dead in the front yard. Based on the blood evidence, Penny correctly deduces that the victim drove up to the house and blocked Molly's car in. He then brought his gun to the front door, planning to kill Molly; however, she was also armed and fired three shots into the victim's chest. Molly's story of self-defense seems to be ringing true. While Max and Penny are looking over the scene, Molly can be seen and heard in the background arguing with the paramedics. Her fear is that the people around her are reading her mind. As Molly tries to re-enter her house, Max spots scars on her temples and correctly guesses that the woman received childhood therapy in a mirrored room—a common element with the silver ink killer case. When Max and Penny search the trunk of the victim's car, they find a card typed in silver ink ("KEEP YOUR SECRETS. CULL THE ROTTEN FRUIT.") that's identical to the one found at the other scenes.

Molly is brought in for interrogation despite the proof that she acted in self-defense. She's not being charged for anything, but Max wants to dig deeper into the note found in the victim's trunk. Molly refuses police protection and is still insistent that the CSIs are putting thoughts in her head. She has no idea why someone would want to kill her and denies getting a card and dossier instructing her to kill someone else. Because she's not being held for anything, she's allowed to walk out of the interrogation room. Knowing that they're not going to get anything useful from Molly, Max tells Penny that the evidence they need is on the card itself.

Penny analyzes the handwritten postcards and the typed cards. The typed cards are made of the same card-stock and printed in the same metallic ink. Unfortunately, the only DNA and fingerprints on the cards belong to the man Molly killed. There still seems to be some confusion as to why the blackmailer would handwrite the postcards but type and print out the other cards. Penny has also determined that the cards were printed on a consumer inkjet printer using real silver for the ink. The tiny flecks of silver are pointy and left behind microscopic punctures in the print head. This, in turn, has caused the printer to make the same error over and over again while printing. Everything the killer prints will contain the same errors because the printer now has its own distinctive fingerprint. Unfortunately for the team, the only people who have received these cards are either in a mental hospital, prison, or dead. The only accessible person is Molly, who refuses to talk to the police.

Max visits Molly at her home to speak with her in a more private setting. Molly is still convinced that people can read her thoughts, and she doesn't want Max getting the wrong impression and locking her up in a psych ward. Max sympathizes with the woman, telling her that she was attacked months ago and had a hard time recovering from it. Because she killed her attacker, Molly believes she's in the clear; however, Max warns her that the man was working on orders from someone else. When asked about a card with silver ink and a dossier, Molly finally relents and hands Max a stack of papers she had been hiding away.

Penny goes through Molly's dossier, which contains an astounding 453 pages of blackmail material. It turns out that a few years ago, Molly confessed to a few non-violent crimes—and she confessed to her therapist, Dr. Diane Auerbach. The handwriting in the dossier sent to Molly matches handwritten notes Dr. Auerbach made during one of other sessions; however, Max points out that handwriting analysis won't hold up in court. Fortunately, the case won't be tied to handwriting, as the notes Dr. Auerbach printed from her printer contain the same flaw as the cards with silver ink found at the crime scenes. Since she's the only one allowed to have those notes by law, all of this points to Dr. Auerbach being the mastermind behind the murders.


Main Cast[]

  • Paula Newsome as Maxine Roby
  • Matt Lauria as Joshua Folsom
  • Mandeep Dhillon as Allie Rajan
  • Ariana Guerra as Det. Serena Chavez
  • Jay Lee as Chris Park (credited only)
  • Lex Medlin as Beau Finado
  • Marg Helgenberger as Catherine Willows (credited only)

Guest Cast[]

  • Joel Johnstone as Jack Nikolayevich
  • Emily Althaus as Molly Tate
  • Sarah Gilman as Penny Gill
  • Arye Gross as Dr. Logan MacArthur
  • Shelly Bhalla as Dr. Laura Qadiri
  • Jud Tylor as Rose Cantwell
  • Michael DeMarco as Tad
  • Mike Kopera as Harrison Cantwell
  • Tom Beyer as Prospector Guide


  • Chemicals by SG Lewis
  • Second Chances by Gregory Alan Isakov


  • Marg Helgenberger (Catherine) and Jay Lee (Chris) are credited but do not appear in the episode.
  • Max tells Molly Tate that she was attacked in the field and had a long recovery process. The attack occurred in the episode Story of a Gun.


See Also[]

  • Category:Images from Boned
CSI:Vegas Season 2
She's GoneThe Painted ManStory of a GunKoalaIn Harm's WayThere's the RubBurnedGrace NoteIn the White RoomEyeballsTrinketWhen the Dust SettlesBonedThird Time's the CharmAshes, AshesWe All Fall DownThe Promise