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Bull
Bull.jpg
Season 8
Number 11
Writer David Rambo
Director Richard J. Lewis
Original Airdate January 10, 2008
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Previous Episode: Lying Down With Dogs
Next Episode: Grissom's Divine Comedy

Bull is the eleventh episode in season eight of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis

Two murders that happen during Las Vegas' annual bull riding rodeo are investigated by the CSIs, who find that the murders might be connected to illegal bull breeding.

Plot

Victims: Cody Latshaw (deceased), Tiffany Rigdon (deceased)

On the case: Catherine Willows, Gil Grissom, Greg Sanders, Nick Stokes, Jim Brass

At the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Finals, industry-famous Cody Latshaw gets thrown from his bull, Wintwister, and stomped on his neck. Cody is able to walk it off; however, he's later found dead in the ring with a bruise on his face. Grissom notes the bull rope on the ground and is told that there's rosin on it, allowing the riders to get a good grip with their glove. However, he notices that Cody wasn't wearing any gloves at the time of his death.

In autopsy, Catherine takes photos of the body. Doc Robbins receives photos of Cody's x-rays from after his fall and sees that his body was held together with plates and screws. He also sees that Cody suffered a hairline fracture of the C1 vertebrae after the fall. David Phillips took autopsy photos that now show a complete fracture of the vertebrae, meaning that Cody got thrown from a bull a second time.

At the arena, Grissom is approached by Wintwister's owner, Nancy Twicker, who wants her bull cleared so he can continue to compete in the finals. Grissom asks about the chute where Wintwister is kept before being ridden and is told that there's no way only one person could tie the bull rope and flank strap, mount the bull and open the chute. It's at least a two-person job, meaning Cody had help when he rode Wintwister again. With assistance, Grissom is able to get a hoof print from the bull. The hoof print contains a bloodstained fiber that matches the shirt Cody was wearing. Meanwhile, upon processing, Catherine discovers that Cody's jeans appear to have semen on them.

Greg and Nick are called to the scene of a hit-and-run. The victim, 27-year-old Tiffany Rigdon, is donning calf-length cowboy boots. Greg estimates that the driver was going at least 45 MPH when he collided with Tiffany. Her purse contains a bunch of empty miniature liquor bottles and a key card from Pike's Gambling Hall. Nick spots radiator fluid on the ground and follows the path around the corner to a parked truck. They search the truck and find that it belongs to Cody; Nick recognizes the name from Grissom's scene. There's also another key card for Pike's Gambling Hall in the truck. They quickly summarize Cody's night - he got humiliated at the arena, hit a pedestrian, ditched the truck, walked to the arena, rode Wintwister again and got stomped to death.

At the gambling hall, it's revealed that the two key cards are to the same room; the room was registered to Cody, with Tiffany having been issued a complimentary guest key. Therefore, Cody knew the girl he ran over. In the messy hotel room, Catherine finds a riding glove, indicating that Cody wasn't originally planning to re-ride Wintwister. She also finds a sentimental poem that she reads aloud. Nick finds a letter written by Tiffany, telling Cody that she's getting married and she's thankful for everything he ever did. He also remarks that records indicate that Tiffany had priors for solicitation.

Doc Robbins informs Catherine that Tiffany's cause of death was multiple blunt force trauma; however, not all of it was from the hit-and-run. Yellowish bruises on the knees indicate that Tiffany suffered the injuries at least 12 hours before being hit by the truck.

Greg and Nick process Cody's truck, finding several tools in the back. One of them is an odd tool that Greg originally mistakes for a cattle prod. After being informed by Wendy that the semen on Cody's jeans was actually bovine, they piece together the tool and find that it's a device used to help with bull breeding. Nancy tells Brass that one collection from the bull can bring in a lot of money and Brass questions whether Cody was moonlighting and collecting extra money for himself, something she denies. She recognizes Tiffany from a photo Brass shows her.

A witness to the hit-and-run comes forward; based on the statement, Tiffany was killed over an hour after Cody's body was found. Nick tells Catherine that he believes Cody had a partner, as there is a set of unknown prints in Cody's truck as well as on the "electro-love machine." She hypothesizes that Tiffany may have known something about the semen rustling and the unidentified partner ran her over to keep her quiet. Archie checks the phone records of both victims. While Cody's records don't stand out, Tiffany's show that she received several calls from her pimp, Eric "Precious Ricky" Hong. Curiously, he stopped calling her after 2:00 AM, like he knew she was already dead.

Precious Ricky is brought in for questioning. He admits to Nick that he never hit her and that he knew she was quitting and getting married. However, he denies taking Cody's truck and running her over, as he only wanted to talk her out of quitting. Tiffany stopped taking his calls, so he stopped trying. He made his calls from a country-western bar, as those places get busy when the PBR events come to town.

Precious Ricky is eventually found dead in the men's room stall of one of those country-western bars; the cause of death appears to be a shotgun blast to the neck. Coco, a prostitute friend of Tiffany's, tells Brass that Tiffany got married to someone named Troy after he defended her in a fight. A flashback shows a few female bargoers telling Tiffany to get lost because of her line of work. Troy told the girls to apologize. When they didn't, Tiffany responded by punching one of the girls, which resulted in the entire bar getting into a brawl. Troy got Tiffany to safety and was rewarded with a kiss.

Greg and Nick are told that Troy went to the wedding chapel to set up the service while Tiffany got ready back at her hotel. He waited several hours for her, but she never showed up. They're told that Troy left a little after 3:00 AM and the CSIs realize that the chapel was just a few blocks from where Tiffany was hit by the car. She was killed on the way to her own wedding.

A BOLO is put out for Troy's truck. Warrick hears the report over the radio and notices that the truck next to him in the department's parking garage is Troy's. Troy is inside the truck acting agitated and pointing a shotgun under his chin. Warrick radios the situation in and Troy is soon surrounded. Nick, now on the scene, offers to talk to Troy before things escalate; he connects with him because they're both native Texans. Troy admits to killing Precious Ricky because he wouldn't let Tiffany get married, and he sees killing himself as paying for what he did - "an eye for an eye." Nick is able to calm Troy down by offering to tell him about Tiffany and why she stood him up. Troy relents and Nick takes the shotgun from him.

Catherine, Grissom and Nick meet in the layout room and recap what they know - Cody wasn't alone when he was killed because he couldn't have opened the chute by himself. Furthermore, someone other than Cody put the electroejaculation equipment into Cody's truck and drove away, killing Tiffany later on. Whoever the guilty party is knew how to get into the arena and how to use the equipment. Hodges enters and shows them two different bull ropes that were collected. The rope collected from Cody's hotel room is polynylon; however, the rope collected from Cody's crime scene is made from a type of hemp. The hemp rope is old school and it stopped being made years ago.

Nick, Brass and an officer head back to the arena looking for Cash Dooley, one of Wintwister's flankmen. A search of Cash's truck reveals a bag of latex tubing, a couple of tubes of lubricating jelly and several glass test tubes. Cash is arrested and brought in for questioning, as he's technically in possession of stolen property. In interrogation, Brass theorizes that Cody, in need of money, collaborated with Cash to collect and sell the Wintwister's "output" for profit. Cody then told Tiffany and, since she now knew too much, Cash ran her down with the truck. Cash denies everything. Catherine interrupts and informs Brass that the prints from inside Cody's truck are not a match to Cash, meaning that they're looking for a third guy and that Cody's death was likely not an accident. Brass asks Cash who the third guy is, but Cash stays silent.

The prints from Cody's truck come back to Dustin Lightfoot, a bullfighter. At the arena, he tries to run from the police but is eventually cornered and arrested. When questioned, Dustin admits that he and Cody were trying to make a little extra money with the illegal bull breeding. A drunk Cody entered looking for a fight and found out what they were doing. A fight ensued with Cody and Dustin exchanging punches. However, due to his cervical fracture from earlier in the evening, Cody's spine snapped from the punch, killing him instantly. Cash and Dustin staged the crime scene, then took the bull samples to the buyer using Cody's truck. On the way, they hit and killed Tiffany.

Catherine and Nick discuss the life of a cowboy and who Cody's poem was about. While Catherine guesses that the poem was for Nancy, Nick believes it was for Tiffany. Grissom interjects and informs that both of the ladies' eyes were blue. He concludes that Cody's poem was actually about Wintwister.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

  • Liz Vassey as Wendy Simms
  • Archie Kao as Archie Johnson
  • David Berman as David Phillips
  • Jewel as Herself
  • Nicole Sullivan as Nancy Twicker
  • Eric Pierpoint as Cash Dooley
  • Julie Brown as Connie Dellaquilla
  • Joseph Campanella as Grissley Geezer
  • James Hiroyuki Liao as Erik Hong
  • Ty Murray as Himself
  • Patrick McGaw as Cody Latshaw
  • Chuck Hittinger as Troy Birkhart
  • Brendan Wayne as Dustin Lightfoot
  • Shane Conrad as J.J. Milton
  • Shooter Jennings as Himself
  • Robby Turner as Himself
  • Ryan Wariner as Himself
  • Bryan Keeling as Himself
  • Faren Miller as Himself
  • Garry Murray as Himself
  • Tamara Braun as Coco
  • Colin Kim as Officer Choi
  • Whitnee Patterson as Tiffany Rigdon
  • Rachael C. Smith as Buckle Bunny #1
  • Libby Mintz as Buckle Bunny #2
  • Candice Cunningham as Bride (uncredited)
  • Anna Lucinska as Cowboy Girl (uncredited)
  • Christopher J. Smith as Best Man (uncredited)

Quotes

Greg: Cowboys, cattle rustling, and now a shooting at the dance hall.
Nick: Welcome to the Wild West.

Goofs

  • Cash takes Cody's pulse with the back of his fingers on the nail-side but finding a pulse in that position isn't possible. His hand also changes from nail-side to fingerprint-side touching Cody's neck between shots.

Music

  • Rusty Cage by Johnny Cash
  • This Ol' Wheel by Shooter Jennings
  • Walk Through This World With Me by George Jones

Notes

  • Catherine used to date a bull rider.
  • Grissom is a fan of cowboy poetry.

Trivia

  • The singer performing the National Anthem at the beginning of this episode is Jewel Kilcher. Jewel's long-time boyfriend, retired professional bull rider and PBR president Ty Murray, also appears as himself in this episode.
  • Nicole Sullivan played Nancy Twicker in the episode. She has a long list of acting credits to her name, with one of the more notable ones being an original cast member on the sketch comedy show MADtv.
  • The character Eric "Precious Ricky" Hong first appeared in the season 7 episode Law of Gravity.
  • The check stub found in the dead bull rider's truck has an error. It shows the zip code for Elk City, OK as 93644, but that's the zip code for Oakhurst, CA. So 73644 would be correct zip for Elk City.
  • This was the last episode completed before the WGA strike that started on November 5, 2007.
  • The pre-production name for this episode was, "Booty and The Beast."
  • The poem: "I can't help now but wonder what your brown eyes were concealing. They just showed me reflections of all that I was feeling. Our bodies close together like my right hand in my glove. Heart pounding with excitement and dare I say it love. I know I'll never own you it's your nature to run free. But I'll pray the lord above that one day you'll come back to me. Then we'll ride off in glory until our time is done. And I will be your hero, your cowboy in the sun."

See Also

CSI:Las Vegas Season 8
Dead DollA La CartGo to HellThe Case of the Cross-Dressing Carp The Chick Chop Flick ShopWho and WhatWhere and WhyGoodbye and Good LuckYou Kill MeCockroachesLying Down With DogsBullGrissom's Divine ComedyA Thousand Days On EarthDrops OutThe Theory of EverythingTwo And A Half DeathsFor Gedda
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