Bully for You
Season 2
Number 4
Writer Ann Donahue
Director Thomas J. Wright
Original Airdate October 18, 2001
Previous Episode: Overload
Next Episode: Scuba Doobie-Doo

Bully for You is the fourth episode in Season Two of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.


Catherine, Grissom and Warrick investigate when the class clown from a local high school is found dead in the boy's bathroom. They soon discover that there are a lot of suspects, as their victim bullied a lot of his fellow students. Meanwhile Sara and Nick try to find out the identity and cause of death of a body decomposed to the point of liquefaction found in a leather bag.


Victim: Barry Shickle (deceased)

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

In a high school, Barry Shickle leaves his friends and spray-paints the word "stick" on someone's locker. He then makes his way to the bathroom. While relieving himself, he's shot three times by someone standing in the stall. Upon arriving at the scene, Grissom is told by Brass that Barry was an "A" student and the class clown. Grissom notes that the shooter was scared of the class clown, as they shot him in the back when he was most vulnerable.

The school principal tells Brass that it wasn't unusual for students to be in the school late, as the school is locked up when the janitor leaves around 8:00 or 8:30 PM. Grissom, meanwhile, examines the bathroom and finds a slug in the mirror, which gives him a point of reference for where the shooter was.

Upon entering the bathroom, Catherine spots an orange thumbprint on wall that matches the can of spray paint found in Barry's backpack and bagged as evidence. She believes the paint is from another source, and sets out to find who the spray-painted locker belongs to. Meanwhile, Grissom and Warrick use a trajectory string to determine where the shooter was standing. Based on the trajectory, Warrick figures the shooter was only 5'3" or 5'4". When Warrick tries to use the "Cyranose 320," an expensive device that can detect different scents, Grissom forces him to use a glass tube and an air pump. Why spend $10,000 for a fancy device when you can get the same result for $10?

In the hallway, Catherine finds a fingerprint on the freshly spray-painted locker. School counselor Julia Barrett says that the locker belongs to Dennis Fram, and that "Stick" is a way of making fun of Dennis' short and slight build. When questioned, Dennis confirms that he's about 5'3" tall and also admits to washing his hands recently. Dennis' shirt tests positive for gunshot residue, meaning he fired a gun within the last three to six hours. He admits to Brass that he went to target practice, which he does every Monday night with his sister. The questioning is interrupted by Dennis' sister, Kelsey, who accuses the police of harassing her little brother. Since Dennis is a minor, and the gunshot residue and his whereabouts can be explained, he's released.

With his new "toy" downsized, Warrick uses chalk as an absorbing agent. He explains to Catherine that air will be drawn into the glass tube and that the chalk will absorb the chemicals from the air. Back at the lab, the mass spectrometer will break the air's elements down.

In autopsy, Grissom and Doc Robbins look over Barry's body. Barry was shot three times with a .44 caliber, with the final bullet piercing his heart—which is curiously on the wrong side of the body. To Grissom's surprise, Barry had dextrocardia, where all of his organs are on the opposite side of typical placement; only .01% of the population has such a condition. A scar indicates that Barry had been attacked by a pronged instrument six months ago; luckily for him, it did little damage, as the heart was in the wrong place. Doc Robbins notes that the attack seems to have been part of hand-to-hand combat, and Grissom doesn't believe that Dennis Fram is capable of something like this.

Grissom speaks with Julia Barrett again, informing her that Barry's parents had no idea about his previous injury. She says that while Barry was very popular, he was also a bully; there are probably a dozen kids who wanted to see him dead. Some of these kids are questioned, and one boy reveals that he stabbed Barry with a fork one day; however, this didn't stop the bully. The boy says he was at boxing practice at the time of the shooting and is allowed to leave. Julia laments that she couldn't protect these kids, and Grissom guesses that she knows who the shooter is.

While Catherine tests Barry's spray paint to see how quickly it dries, Warrick runs a test on the scents he collected the bathroom. He tells Grissom that there are a bunch of chemicals present, including bubble gum, cigars, and marijuana. Grissom encourages him to find out what doesn't belong.

Brass informs Grissom that none of the kids questioned were near the school at the time of the murder; however, Dennis' story doesn't check out. Catherine reveals that she can actually put Dennis at the crime scene. At the Fram house, she tells Dennis' father that the fingerprint recovered from the locker belongs to his son. Since her tests showed that the spray paint only took 30 seconds to dry, Dennis must have been right there after his locker was vandalized. Furthermore, his orange fingerprint was lifted from the door jamb in the school bathroom. Thanks to the school janitor's meticulous records about graffiti incidents, Catherine can place Dennis at the scene of the crime.

Provided with the overwhelming information, Dennis begins to have a panic attack. His sister helps him to the bathroom, where she tells Catherine that Dennis has a bleeding ulcer caused by Barry's repeated abuse. Kelsey explains that going to school was a challenge for Dennis every day, and she was worried that he was going to kill himself. Catherine inquires about Kelsey's height, and the girl says that she's 5'4" with heels. Back at the lab, one smell is found from the boys' bathroom that doesn't belong: "Chanteuse," a high-end perfume. Catherine calls Grissom to tell him that they have a new suspect, but Grissom has already figured it out. He has Catherine get a warrant for Kelsey's perfume.

When questioned, Kelsey admits that she wears Chanteuse, as it's the same perfume her late mother used to wear. As the high-end perfume isn't likely worn by any other girls in the school, Kelsey is a suspect. Kelsey would also have motive—revenge for Barry's torturing of her little brother. Her father, irate that Barry is still haunting the family from the grave, ends the questioning and seeks out his lawyer.

Dennis surprises the CSIs by stopping by the police station. He tells Catherine and Grissom that he went back to school to retrieve a book he had forgotten. After finding the spray paint on his locker, he went to go use the bathroom; however, upon entering, he saw Barry get shot. Dennis is under the impression that his sister is the shooter and he asks if there's some sort of deal she can make. Catherine notes that Dennis didn't actually see the shooter.

Brass privately informs Catherine and Grissom that, on the night of the murder, Kelsey was "otherwise indisposed"—she was sleeping with the school football coach in exchange for him getting Barry to stop bullying her brother. With this information, Grissom asks Dennis why he thinks his sister shot Barry. Dennis recalls that the last time he was beat up, Kelsey promised to protect him and "fix things." However, her protection plan was to enlist the football coach. Grissom notes that Dennis smelled his sister's brand of perfume, and that someone else wearing the same brand could be the shooter.

Grissom visits counselor Julia Barrett at the school. He reveals that a search of her apartment turned up a bottle of Chanteuse and the murder weapon, which hasn't even been cleaned. She mentions that her students were taking boxing lessons and target practice just to protect themselves from Barry, and she feared that one of them would enter the school one day and open fire on a hallway full of kids. In her mind, taking one life is better than having someone take 20 or 30 lives.

Grissom reads Julia's file and discovers that she was the assistant principal at a school in Arizona, where 11 kids were shot and killed a few days after Columbine. The incident left her with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; however, she refuses to use this an excuse. She says that she did this for the kids, but Grissom tells her that as difficult as high school is for some kids, it eventually ends.

Julia is arrested for murder while students emerge from their classrooms and witness the event.

Victim: William Cartson (deceased)

On the case: Nick Stokes, Sara Sidle, Ray O'Riley

Nick and Sara fly by helicopter out to Red Rock. Upon descending, they are told by Emergency Services worker Hank Peddigrew that a decomposed body has been found in a bag. The bag has been there a while, as there's a wicked smell emanating from it. Sara takes a part of the bag as evidence, while the body is airlifted back to the coroner.

With David Phillips' help, Nick and Sara x-ray the bag. No gun is found, but they spot a silver dollar, as well as a medical pin and a plate in the skull. The guess is that the victim is a male, and David estimates that he's been dead for two months based on the liquification of the body.

In autopsy, David advises Nick and Sara to breathe through their mouths as he empties the bag's contents. An arm and the metal-plated skull are removed, as well as the silver dollar and a gambling chip. The bag also contains an Army-issued leather jacket, while everything else has been liquified. David tells the CSIs that the body needs to be cremated as soon as possible; otherwise, the stench will take over the whole lab. After they leave autopsy, Grissom advises them to shower with lemons in order to get rid of the smell. In an unclaimed remains vault, another coroner writes the name "John Doe" on a card and puts it in the front of a box holding the personal effects of the body from the bag. He files it among other boxes.

Sara cleans the jacket and finds a name tag with the name "W. Cartson" on it. Nick comments that homeless guys buy these types of jackets in surplus stores all the time, so they haven't necessarily identified their victim; however, it's a start. He pulls a matchbook out of the pocket of the jacket, but he's unable to tell if anything is written on it. The smell makes Sara sick—just in time for Hank to stop by and ask her out to dinner. Unfortunately, she has to take a rain check because of the case and the horrible smell emanating from her body.

Ronnie Litre processes the matchbook and is able to determine that the name "Romanini's" is written on it. Nick recognizes the place as a nightclub off the Strip. Soon thereafter, Sgt. O'Riley informs Nick and Sara that their victim has been identified as William Cartson, a second lieutenant who served in the war and got wounded in action. As a result, he had a pin put in his spine and a plate in his head 31 years ago; he was never heard from again. The three of them head to the club for more investigating.

The manager at Romanini's doesn't remember the name "William Cartson"; however, when told about the guy being down on his luck and wearing an Army jacket, he identifies him as "Moses." "Moses" would spend his time outside the club scaring away the patrons and ruining business. The manager claims that he tried to reason with "Moses" and gave him a casino chip to cash in. This occurred two months ago—right around the time of William's death.

Under interrogation, the manager admits to giving "Moses" a ride, but says that he left him on the side of the road by Red Rock. He denies zipping "Moses" up in a bag; however, Sara shows him a picture of the bag's handles with a fingerprint clearly visible. When Nick asks for the man's fingerprints, he confesses that "Moses" was drunk and rolling around the backseat, so he put him in the bag and kicked him down a hill once they got out of town. The assumption was that "Moses" would get out when he woke up.

The manager of Romanini's is arrested for homicide. He claims that he was just "doing his job," but Nick tells him that treating another human being like garbage isn't a job—it's a choice.

Later on, Sara showers with lemons and tries to get the smell of decomposition off of herself. Meanwhile, Nick goes to the John Doe box and relabels it with the name William Cartson.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

  • Eric Szmanda as Greg Sanders
  • Robert David Hall as Dr. Al Robbins
  • Christopher Wiehl as Hank Peddigrew
  • Skip O'Brien as Detective Ray O'Riley
  • Eric Stonestreet as Ronnie Litre
  • David Berman as David Phillips
  • Dublin James as Dennis Fram
  • Lisa Brenner as Kelsey Fram
  • Joseph Kell as Peter Fram
  • Jamie Martz as Barry Shickle (victim)
  • Tess Harper as Julia Barrett
  • Jameson Baltes as Bram/'Flinch'
  • Brady Bluhm as Alan
  • Thomas Crawford as Janitor
  • Josh Gilman as Dylan
  • Michael Krawic as Lt. William Cartson (victim)
  • Randy Lowell as Principal Perrin
  • Joe Basile as Manager

Episode Title[]

  • "Bully for You" refers to both storylines in this episode: bullying dynamics in a high school and a nightclub manager who bullied and ultimately murdered a homeless veteran. The phrase itself is usually used sarcastically to mean, "Good for you!" 


  • Can't Find My Way Home by Traffic
  • Rifles by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
  • Hey Man, Nice Shot by Filter


  • When timing the spray paint, there's the sound of a digital stopwatch being pressed; however, Catherine has a mechanical stopwatch.
  • Grissom incorrectly pronounces Chanteuse, a French perfume brand meaning "female singer," as "shentuus." Kelsey manages to pronounce it correctly.


  • The CSIs reminisce about their identities in high school. Catherine was a "bully," Grissom was a ghost, Nick was dependable, Sara was a science nerd, and Warrick was picked on because he wore glasses and was short.


  • The central murder case appears to be inspired by the Ken McElroy murder case.
  • "Bully for You" was the first episode of Season Two shot, but the fourth aired.
  • Actor Jimmi Simpson's headshot was used to represent an old black-and-white photo of William Cartson. He would later play Thomas Donover, a copycat serial killer and an accomplice of Nate Haskell (Season Nine).

See Also[]

CSI:Las Vegas Season 2
BurkedChaos TheoryOverloadBully for YouScuba Doobie-DooAlter BoysCagedSlaves of Las VegasAnd Then There Were NoneEllieOrgan GrinderYou've Got MaleIdentity CrisisThe FingerBurden of ProofPrimum Non NocereFelonious MonkChasing The BusStalkerCats in the CradleAnatomy of a LyeCross JurisdictionsThe Hunger Artist