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Boom
Boom.jpg
Season 1
Number 13
Writer Josh Berman,
Ann Donahue,
Carol Mendelsohn
Director Kenneth Fink
Original Airdate February 8, 2001
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Previous Episode: Fahrenheit 932
Next Episode: To Halve and to Hold

Boom is the thirteenth episode in season one of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis

Grissom, Sara and Warrick investigate when a bomb goes off in a Vegas office building, killing a security guard. The prime suspect is another security guard, who is over-helpful and also has the knowledge to make a bomb. Elsewhere, Kristy Hopkins is killed after Nick spends the night with her. With his DNA and fingerprints on the scene and Ecklie on the case, Nick's career is on the line.

Plot

Victim: Jake Richards (deceased)

On the case: Catherine Willows, Gil Grissom, Sara Sidle, Warrick Brown, Jim Brass

In the lobby of the Hansen Business Building, security guard Jake Richards hears a ticking sound and notices an unattended suitcase next to the front desk. When he leans in for a closer look, the suitcase explodes, killing him and injuring others in the vicinity.

Upon arriving, Catherine and Grissom observe that Jake had both of his ears blown off, indicating that he was looking directly at the bomb when it detonated. This would mean that either something drew his attention or the bomb was contained in something that seemed benign. They notice the smell of sulfur in the area and confirm that gunpowder was used as the propellant.

Knowing that the bomb fragments are strewn all over the lobby, Grissom has his team collect all evidence and bring it back to the lab. The thought is that if they can find the bomb and put it back together, they can identify the bomber. Catherine finds a gear piece with the letters "FP" etched into it amongst the mess.

Upon walking outside, Grissom is met by Dominic Kretzker, another security guard for the building. He tells Grissom that he was across the street when the bomb went off; otherwise, his face would be all over the news instead of Jake's. Dominic mentions that he has an extensive knowledge about bombs, and a suspicious Grissom enlists the guard's help in order to keep a close eye on him. Of course, the "FP" Catherine found on the gear piece doesn't match Dominic's initials.

When Warrick and Brass interrogate Dominic, he quickly asserts that he gained all of his knowledge of bombs through trial and error, completely oblivious to the fact that he's under suspicion. The public defender arrives and orders Dominic to cease any communication with the police, and Warrick encourages him to take her up on the offer.

Catherine and Sara examine the evidence, surprised that the victim stayed in one piece, save for his ears. The "FP" is still unidentifiable, as Catherine found no results when running the initials through the ATF's bomb database. Grissom shows them a balance wheel from a clock, which indicates that the bomb was time-delayed. The wheel has an orange substance melted to it, and Sara is tasked with finding out what the material is.

Grissom collects a bunch of clocks in an effort to identify the timing device, and Sara ruins his fun when she relays that the most recent timing device of choice amongst bombers is a TimeTell SnoozeWell alarm clock. Warrick, meanwhile, is tasked with finding out what instrument etched the "FP" into the gear.

The exterior container has been identified as an aluminum briefcase, and the CSIs know the timing device (SnoozeWell) and the propellant (black gunpowder). There's only one piece left of the bomber's signature: the pipe containing the powder. Grissom and Sara head out to the desert to blow up sample bombs, which have been scaled down five-to-one. Through experimentation, they determine that the bomb was housed in a thin container of galvanized steel. Brass arrives and informs them that Dominic has purchased seven SnoozeWell clocks in the last three months.

Grissom and Brass visit Dominic at his home in the desert. When shown the SnoozeWell clock, Dominic admits that he buys them because they "house a nice little detonator." He also admits to making bombs in his backyard all the time using the clock in question. Brass roots through the living room and finds a piece of the bomb from the Hansen building. Dominic says that he kept the piece as a souvenir, not knowing that he was keeping a key piece of evidence from the police. Believing there's now enough evidence against Dominic, Brass has him arrested. As Dominic is escorted to the squad car, a puzzled Grissom wonders whether the man is brilliant or crazy.

Back at the lab, Sara tests the melted orange substance from the bomb fragment and finds that it contains polyethylene and terephtalete. Meanwhile, Grissom visits Dominic in jail and tells him that the evidence found raises questions about his involvement. Dominic proclaims his innocence, calling himself one of the "good guys." As Grissom leaves, Brass informs him that another bomb just went off ten minutes ago.

Grissom, Sara and Brass go to Thrift-Right Car Rental, the site of the most recent bombing. Brass relays that there was one fatality, a person on the check-in line who died on the way to the hospital. As Grissom sifts through the rubble, he finds a mousetrap partially coated in the same orange substance found earlier. The mousetrap was used as a detonator; when someone picked the bomb up, the motion tripped the mousetrap, which set off the timer, which set off the bomb. Sara spots the manager and collects the orange jacket he's wearing. She notes to Grissom that the jacket is orange and made out of polyester (polyethylene-terephtalete).

Grissom personally releases Dominic from jail, telling him that he can't discuss the ongoing case. Dominic guesses that the second bomb was built differently than the first one; otherwise, he'd still be a suspect. As Grissom leaves, he warns Dominic to not be so trusting, telling him that he doesn't need to be a hero.

Tests show that the orange substance in question is a match to the Thrift-Right jacket. Sara also learns that Thrift-Right’s regional headquarters is located in the Hansen building, and that a Norman Stirling was let go last year. When he was let go, the former manager caused a commotion at headquarters and filed a lawsuit against the company. Norman has been out of work ever since. When confronted at his house, Norman denies any involvement in the bombings; however, Sara notices some orange jackets hanging up in the garage. Norman asks to call his lawyer as he's arrested and brought to the squad car.

Warrick discovers that the tool used to etch “FP” into the gear piece was an electric etcher sold to the high school attended by Norman's son, Tyler. Grissom and Brass question him, and he confesses that “FP” stands for “fair play,” a phrase Norman constantly shouted around the house after he was fired. Tyler admits to sending the bombs as revenge for his father being wrongfully terminated, and he's under the belief that his father would support this. Instead, Norman is horrified to learn that his son is responsible for the bombs and demands to know if he made any more. Tyler tells them about a bomb at his high school.

Dominic learns of the bomb through his police scanner, but rushes out of his house before hearing that the bomb is trigger-activated and motion-delayed. He rushes to the school and finds the bomb in Tyler's locker; when he picks it up, he sets off the timer. As the police arrive, Dominic carries the bomb out of the building and proclaims that everything is under control. Grissom yells out that the bomb is active, but it blows up before Dominic can get it out of his grasp.

Dominic is hailed as a hero, and Grissom attaches a newspaper article about his bravery above the other fallen officers on the bulletin board.

Victim: Kristy Hopkins (deceased)

On the case: Catherine Willows, Conrad Ecklie, Ray O'Riley

As he exits a casino with a college friend, Nick sees Kristy Hopkins arguing with a man, Jack Willman. After breaking up the skirmish, he drives Kristy home. She's insistent that not every john is like the guy Nick saw her with. He encourages her to find a new line of work, and she replies that she's going back to school to study communications. Kristy invites Nick inside and they have sex.

The next morning, Nick calls Kristy, but he's unable to reach her. He returns to her house and is shocked to find crime scene tape surrounding the property. An officer tells him that Kristy was found dead. The day shift is working the case, and Ecklie is leading the investigation.

Now panicked, Nick tells Grissom everything and says that Ecklie will find his fingerprints and DNA all over Kristy’s house. He admits to spending the night with Kristy and leaving her house around 4:00 AM. When he offers to explain everything to Ecklie and admit to his being at the crime scene, Grissom orders him to keep his mouth shut, saying that he'll talk to Ecklie instead. Grissom notes that even if Nick is cleared of the charges, simply being arrested is enough to earn him an automatic dismissal from the lab.

Catherine visits autopsy to get a first-hand look at Kristy's body. There are ligature marks around her neck, and evidence suggests that she didn't go down without a fight. Doc Robbins tells Catherine that no murder weapon has been found yet and that he hasn't started looking for fingerprints on the body. He knows that Catherine is there on Nick's behalf and cautions her that he may find his fingerprints.

Unable to find Grissom, Ecklie tells Catherine that Nick's fingerprints were all over Kristy's house, including on a wine glass and on a bedside table. Nick suddenly arrives and interrupts the conversation. He confirms that he had sex with Kristy, informing Ecklie that his DNA will be found on a used condom. Nick fills Ecklie in about the fight Kristy had with Jack, and surveillance footage from the casino picked up the license plate of the car Jack was driving. Ecklie replies that he'll look into it, but he seems to already have his mind made up regarding Nick's involvement.

In the morgue, Nick gets one last look at Kristy's body. When told that she has no family and nobody claimed her for burial, Nick offers to pay for the burial himself, telling Doc Robbins that he doesn't much care about his career at the moment.

Jack is located and brought in for interrogation. He tells Det. O'Riley that he saw Nick kill Kristy, claiming that he stopped by her house to apologize for their earlier altercation. When he looked through the window, he saw Nick arguing with Kristy and getting violent with her. Jack says that he didn't interfere because he knew Nick worked for the police and carried a gun. Catherine, who has been watching the interrogation, immediately sees that Jack is lying; however, both Ecklie and Sheriff Mobley believe that Jack is a credible enough witness. She convinces the sheriff to give her twelve hours to clear Nick, gaining access to the crime scene and the evidence.

Catherine examines a frozen sample from Nick's condom, discovering that there's a lag between the time Nick and Kristy had sex and the time she was murdered. Unfortunately, this doesn't disprove Nick's presence at the crime scene.

Catherine goes to Kristy’s house and searches the trashed living room. Upon spotting the curtains, she whips out the autopsy photos and determines that the murder weapon was one of the tie-back cords. Greg runs tests and finds that the DNA of the epithelial cells on the cord matches Jack. Nick was framed.

Jack is arrested and Nick confronts him in the hallway of the police station. When Nick pins him against the wall and asks why he killed Kristy, Jack reveals that he was actually her pimp. He lies to Nick and says that Kristy was actually going back to school to recruit more girls and start her own racket. Jack killed Kristy to prevent her from leaving him, and Nick informs him that he'll be spending a minimum of 25 years behind bars.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

Major Events

  • Kristy Hopkins, a prostitute with a relationship to Nick, is murdered. Nick narrowly escapes being charged with the crime. 

Notes

  • This episode marks the final appearance of Krista Allen as Kristy Hopkins.

Trivia

  • Mark Valley, who played Jack Willman, also appeared in the final season of CSI, playing private investigator Daniel Shaw.
  • Dominic Kretzker is based on Richard Jewell, a security guard who discovered the bomb at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. While Jewell's actions saved lives, his overzealousness lead him to be a suspect before the identity of the bomber, Eric Rudolph, was discovered.

See Also

CSI:Las Vegas Season 1
PilotCool ChangeCrate 'n BurialPledging Mr. JohnsonFriends & LoversWho Are You?Blood DropsAnonymousUnfriendly SkiesSex, Lies and LarvaeI-15 MurdersFahrenheit 932BoomTo Halve and to HoldTable StakesToo Tough to DieFace Lift$35K O.B.O.Gentle, GentleSounds of SilenceJustice is ServedEvaluation DayStrip Strangler
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