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Cold Blooded
Cold Blooded.jpg
Season 11
Number 6
Writer Tom Mularz
Director Louis Milito
Original Airdate October 28, 2010
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Previous Episode: House of Hoarders
Next Episode: Bump and Grind

Cold Blooded is the sixth episode in season eleven of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis

A college student suffers a death at the hands of an animatronic dinosaur from a Las Vegas show, while the death of a man whose daughter and friend disappeared years ago is tied a new lead on the locations of their dead bodies.

Plot

Victim: Brian Lister (deceased)

On the case: David Hodges, Raymond Langston

A T-Rex is seen opening its eyes as a nervous man looks on. The dinosaur chomps down and the next time the man is seen, he's dead in the desert. David Phillips puts the time of death at four to eight hours ago, while Langston finds a nylon bag in a tree nearby. No wallet or identification is found on the body. When they roll the body over and lift the man's shirt, they find extremely large puncture wounds. Since the puncture wounds are uniform, it's likely they came from an animal - a very large one.

In autopsy, Doc Robbins tells Langston that their victim didn't die from the puncture wounds, but rather from having his brain rattled around in his head. Based on the size of the bite, Langston figures that the animal that made it has been extinct for 65 million years - until today. Hodges traces the nylon bag to a manufacturing company who builds simulated muscle, and there just happens to be a new show in Las Vegas: Walking with Dinosaurs at the Las Vegas Arena.

Langston and Hodges speak with the tour's manager, Kyle Adams, who doesn't recognize the victim from his photo and is also surprised when told that one of his dinosaurs ate someone. A swab of the T-Rex's teeth comes back positive for human blood. Kyle explains that it takes three people to operate the dinosaur and that the control rigs are locked up after each show. He doesn't believe there was anyone in the arena when the crew went home for the night. Henry calls Langston with an identification on their victim: WLVU paleontology student Brian Lister, who was specializing in herbivorous dinosaurs.

Brian’s tearful fiancée, Jane Lewis, tells Langston that she and Brian both studied herbivores and went to see their beloved Brachiosaurus brought to life. She says that after the show, Brian took her back to her dorm, and that's the last time she saw him. However, Langston shows her surveillance footage from the show of her kissing another guy when Brian left his seat. Jane says that she was swept up in the moment and insists she was devoted to Brian.

Langston runs a lab experiment and concludes that Brian's wounds didn't come from the bite of a T-Rex. However, Brian's blood was in on the dinosaur's bottom teeth, and the teeth are a perfect match to his wounds. Remembering the brain injury Brian suffered, Langston figures that Brian fell from a great height onto the bottom teeth of the T-Rex. Langston and Hodges return to the exhibit. Using an elevated lift, Langston rides up to the Brachiosaurus and finds fibers from Brian's shirt embedded in the dinosaur's mouth. They conclude that Brian fell from the same elevated lift and onto the T-Rex.

The man Jane was kissing at the show is identified as Travis Kilborn, who happens to be a fellow paleontology student. Dirt in the tires of his car is the same dirt from the desert, and blood was discovered in his back seat. Furthermore, fingerprints on the Brachiosaurus controls come back to Jane. The two admit that Brian wanted to see the Brachiosaurus up close, so he went up on the lift and talked Jane into moving the dinosaur’s head closer and closer to him. However, Jane moved it too far, bumping it into Brian, knocking him off the lift and onto the bottom teeth in the T-Rex’s open mouth. Brian, still alive, then dislodged himself from the teeth and fell to the ground.

There was one other thing found in Travis' car - a burger wrapper with lipstick on it. Jane claims that the fast food place was out of veggie burgers, but Langston wonders if Brian was standing in the way of her appetite for red meat. Jane scowls at Langston and asks for a lawyer.

Victim: Phil Kohler (deceased)

On the case: Catherine Willows, Greg Sanders, Nick Stokes, Frankie Reed

Greg and Nick meet Detective Frankie Reed at the house of Phil Kohler. Phil is lying dead in his study with a gunshot to his temple; he's also holding a gun in his hand. Nick recognizes Phil as the father of a murder victim from a case he worked five years ago: Whitney Kohler, a teenage girl who went missing from a shopping mall with her best friend, Rachel Beck. The girls’ bodies were never found, but a man named Eli Holt was convicted of the murders, as blood was found in his van. There are divorce papers on Phil's desk, filed by his wife, Sharon. Based on the absence of stellate tearing around the wound, Greg concludes that whoever killed Phil was standing at least a foot away from him, which rules out suicide. He also finds a brunette hair on Phil's body. Nick notices that the gold watch Phil's wearing in all the pictures in the room is missing from his wrist.

Catherine questions Sharon, who has no idea what happened to Phil or his watch. Sharon listed adultery as the grounds for her filing for divorce. When asked about the other women in Phil's life, Sharon mentions one: Carly Beck, the mother of Whitney's friend, Rachel. Greg test fires Phil's gun and finds that it had to have been at least 36 to 48 inches from his forehead when it was fired, which again rules out suicide. Henry informs Greg and Nick that the brunette hair found on Phil belongs to Carly.

Nick and Detective Reed pay Carly a visit, but find nobody home. A search of Rachel's room finds it untouched, save for a few removed items. There's a package of photo paper on the bed, but no computer or printer in the room. Nick spots a photo on the floor near the bed - it's of a dug-up skeleton wearing a purple sweatshirt. He tells Detective Reed that neither of the missing girls had ever been found, but that Whitney was wearing a purple sweatshirt when she disappeared.

Carly's in the wind, as she has no employer and her vehicle hasn't been located yet. Fingerprints on the photo Nick found come back to both Carly and Phil, and it was printed on the same paper found on Rachel's bed. Catherine wonders why Carly would bring Phil a picture of his dead daughter, and theorizes that Carly may have been after money. Despite Carly being in possession of a photo of Whitney's body, Nick denies that she's involved and is convinced that Eli Holt kidnapped and killed the girls by himself.

Doc Robbins tells the team that based on the skeletonization and mummified tissue in the photo, it's possible Whitney has been in that state of decomposition for the last four and a half years. This means that the photo could have been taken at any point during that time span, which is also the whole time Eli has been in prison. The team wonders if he told someone about where the body was buried.

Nick sets out to question Eli, but finds out from Brass that he's been in a coma for ten days after attempting suicide in prison. Communication records show that Carly was sending him a lot letters pleading for the location of her daughter's body. Meanwhile, Greg takes a closer look at the photo and finds a billboard in the background. The billboard is traced to a remote desert location, where Greg and Nick find Whitney's body.

In autopsy, Doc Robbins tells Nick that Whitney's cause of death was strangulation and that her killer tried to cut off her fingers. Based on the marks on the bone, he guesses that the tool used was a band saw. Greg, Nick and Detective Reed head to Eli's uncle's house, which has fallen into disrepair. The garage contains a wood shop and when the area is searched, the team finds human blood on the band saw and on the floor nearby. Nick observes the tools and notes that one of the shovels is newer than everything else; he guesses that Eli used it to bury the girls. Under a table, Greg finds a pink purse with the letter 'R' on it, likely having belonged to Rachel.

Detective Reed plops a box of items down on Catherine's desk; they're all items Carly sold to a pawn shop, including Phil's watch. The pawn shop owner also said that Carly came in a week before and sold him $5,000 worth of stuff. Catherine wonders what Carly has gotten herself into, as she blew threw that amount of money in just a week. Among the pawned items is a camera that is without it's memory card.

Nick tells Catherine that the blood in the garage is a DNA match to both Whitney and Rachel. A broadcast on Carly's vehicle eventually reveals that she sold it to a used car lot for cash, then walked away from the lot. Carly is soon spotted in a park on her way to a locker. The police catch up to her, tackle her to the ground and handcuff her. As this is going on, Carly drops the backpack and money flies out of it. She repeatedly tells the officers that this is her "last chance."

Under interrogation, Carly insists that she didn’t kill Phil. She explains that after sending Eli all those letters, he finally wrote back. He remembered where he buried both girls, but doesn't know which girl is in which grave. For $5,000, he’d give her a map to the location of one of the girl’s bodies, and for $10,000, he’d give maps for both. Carly scraped together $5,000, but the location she got led her to Whitney’s body, not Rachel’s. She brought the photo to Phil, who had ended their romance, and he didn’t want to hear any more. He gave her his watch to pawn, but told her he was done. She got a call from a friend of Eli's and had to tell him that she didn’t have the money. When she explained that she tried to get it from Whitney’s father, she got hung up on. Carly tells Nick that Eli sent her the map three days ago, but Nick and Brass gently inform her that Eli has been in a coma for ten.

Nick and Brass visit Eli’s prison cell and find a notepad with three pieces of paper torn from it. They ask the name of the responding officer and learn it was a guard named Jason Richter. Greg, Nick, and Detective Reed go to Jason’s house and catch him trying to flee, leaving a burning map in the trashcan. Nick grabs the map, but not before the outer edges burn away. Jason found Eli hanging himself, and discovered maps to the girls’ bodies at his feet. Figuring he could make some money off of them after finding Carly’s letters, he contacted the grieving mother. When he learned she’d gone to Phil for the money, he broke into the man’s house and shot him. A shirt is found in Jason's crawl space covered in Phil's blood.

Nick struggles to identify the location on the half-burned map, but Hodges’ soil analysis of dirt on the shovel narrows it down. While Greg helps to dig up Rachel’s body, Nick goes to tell Carly her daughter’s body has been recovered.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

  • Jon Wellner as Henry Andrews
  • Katee Sackhoff as Detective Frankie Reed
  • Larry M. Mitchell as Officer Mitchell
  • Jessica Hecht as Carly Beck
  • Michael Bowen as Jason Richter
  • Nora Kirkpatrick as Jane Lewis
  • James Immekus as Travis Kilborn
  • Nate Hartley as Brian Lister (victim)
  • Brett Tucker as Kyle Adams
  • Marta Martin as Sharon Kohler
  • William R. Moses as Phil Kohler (victim)
  • Matthew R. Staley as Eli Holt

Goofs

  • When Carly Beck talks on the phone to the friend of convicted murderer Eli Holt, she is told to take the second $5,000 to the "same locker at the park." Earlier, we are shown the letter form Eli, which says to "put the cash in the garbage can at North Vegas Park," not a locker. The only other communication was the map Eli sent her after she made the first money drop.

Notes

  • Jorja Fox (Sara) is credited but does not appear in this episode.
  • The disappearances of Whitney Kohler and Carly Beck occurred "off-camera" and not in a previous CSI episode. Furthermore, a flashback of Carly Beck confronting Nick at the police station also took place "off-camera."

Trivia

  • Wallace Langham (Hodges) plays Dr. Grant Seeker in the preshow of the theme park attraction Dinosaur at Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom, in which his character attempts to send guests back in time to retrieve a live Iguanadon. It's unknown whether Hodges' fascination with dinosaurs in this episode is a nod to Langham's work in the attraction.

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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