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Consumed
Consumed.jpg
Season 14
Number 20
Writer Tom Mularz
Director Karen Gaviola
Original Airdate April 9, 2014
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Previous Episode: The Fallen
Next Episode: Kitty

Consumed is the twentieth episode in season fourteen of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis

The CSIs track a cannibalistic killer and discover he’s not alone.

Plot

Victims: Owen Linder (alive), Dennis Hagel (deceased)

On the case: D.B. Russell, Greg Sanders, Julie Finlay, Morgan Brody, Nick Stokes, Sara Sidle

In the interrogation room, Owen Linder fills Greg and Nick in on his recent ordeal. He claims that someone grabbed him off the street, blindfolded him, and drove him to dark room "reeking of brimstone." There, the perpetrator cut off a piece of Owen's leg and ate it in front of him. Owen was able to escape and run into the night. The CSIs have an incredibly hard time believing Owen's story, as he believes Nick (then Greg) to be responsible.

Nick gets a call from Doc Robbins telling him to come to autopsy ASAP. The doc has a dismembered arm on his table that's been cut into the same way Owen's leg was. Particles around the wounds are actually seasonings of salt and sage, and the wounds seem to have been made with a serrated steak knife. It would appear that there's a cannibal on the loose in Las Vegas.

Based on insect activity on the arm's remains, the victim's time of death is put at approximately two or three days ago. Doc Robbins looks at photos of Owen's wound and notes that the tool marks are exactly the same as the ones on the dismembered arm. They're looking for the same weapon and likely the same assailant. Fingerprints identify the dismembered arm as belonging to Dennis Hagel, a former endoscopic surgery tech who was fired for stealing medication.

Greg goes through Owen's web history, finding that he frequented a website dedicated to vorarephilia - an erotic, compulsive fixation that involves eating or being eaten by other living things. Owen's interest is in cannibalism itself, and Greg wonders if he willingly allowed himself to be eaten.

When questioned again and shown his web history, Owen claims that he forgot to mention that part of the story. He tells Greg that the evening was supposed to be strictly role-playing, but things obviously took a turn. In fact, Owen's attacker reached out to him in an online forum, saying that he was a "predator" looking for some "prey." The user, who went by the name "Eater," met Owen in front of his house, blindfolded him, and drove him to "dinner." Owen swears that everything he said about his eventual escape was true. Greg shows Owen a photo of the dismembered arm, telling him who it belongs to. When he adds that the victim was an endoscopic surgeon, Owen gets serious and tells the CSI that he needs to see something.

Morgan and Sara watch a snuff film that made its way around the vorarephilia community. In the video, a scantily-clad woman named "Miss Feed" offers her viewers to "gobble her up" and has an endoscopic camera shoved down her throat. The CSIs figure that Dennis was the cameraman, as there can't be too many people with his skill-set involved with something like this. As the camera makes its way down to the stomach, a squishing sound is heard. Sara freezes the video, and they see the tip of knife entering the woman's stomach. As blood starts covering the camera, they realize that Miss Feed is dying. The video's metadata says that it was shot three days ago, but there's no way to tell where the video was shot.

Morgan blows up stills from the video and spots that the serrated knife used to stab Miss Feed has an engraved symbol on it. The engraving reads "Marilsk," which is the Cyrillic name of a Russian village. Sara, meanwhile, analyzed Miss Feed's stomach contents from the video, finding that she ingested a food combo unique to one restaurant. Credit card receipts are run from the day Miss Feed was killed and, when run through the DMV, she's identified as Brenda Waring.

Brenda's home address is in Henderson, and Morgan and Sara go to check it out. Inside the house, they find the bodies of Brenda and Dennis. The wounds on Brenda's body are similar to the other victims, and Morgan smells salt and sage on the body, as well. As the CSIs search the house, Morgan finds evidence that someone barged in recently, knocking a picture on the wall askew. Due to Brenda's meticulous nature, there's no way she would've kept the picture that way. Dennis has a single, sharp-force wound to the neck; however, Brenda was stabbed over a dozen times. The wounds are all around Brenda's stomach, so the thought is that the killer had to have known her as "Miss Feed."

There's no purse or wallet in Brenda's house, but it's soon discovered that someone used her credit card recently. Brenda's sister, Colleen, is the culprit, and she's brought in for questioning. She tells Greg that she stole from Brenda five days ago; however, she was in jail for meth possession at the time of her sister's murder. Colleen adds that she tried to warn her sister that one of the "demons" she performed for would take things to the next level. In fact, someone had scared Brenda, but she refused to tell Colleen who, only saying that it wasn't one of her clients.

Among the items in Brenda's recovered purse is an invitation to a party, "The Feast of the Cannibals." The address of the party is a foreclosed-on mansion in Seven Hills, and Finn and Nick plan to go to there to scope out potential suspects. At the party, the host gets his guests' attention and wheels out their main course - a corpse on a gurney. Finn radios the dead body to the cops stationed outside, but Nick soon finds that one of the trays of food is gelatin. When the cops enter with their guns drawn, the "corpse" rises up.

The "corpse" is more than happy to get $100 for his services, but Nick informs him that the money can be used to pay for his trespassing ticket. Nearby, Finn talks with the party's host, Gary Korlov. He insists that the party is a benign role-playing fantasy among consenting adults, and is somewhat intrigued when told that there's an actual cannibal on the loose. During the conversation, Finn notices that one of Gary's cufflinks has a symbol on it that matches the one found on the knife earlier.

Finn sits down with Gary in private, and he recognizes Brenda from her photo. He opens his shirt and reveals that he once had an obsession - being fed upon. Chunks of flesh taken from his chest match the ones taken from the other victims. He claims that Brenda helped him heal from his obsession thanks to her virtual feasts. Gary recalls that he also met "Eater" online and offered him pieces of his surgically removed flesh. The arrangement was mutually satisfying, and Gary says that he gave "Eater" the inscribed knife as a gift. Gary says that he never knew where "Eater's" place was, but he got a good look at him while he dined on his flesh.

A sketch of "Eater's" likeness is supplied to the police, but the whereabouts of his dining room are still unknown. The CSIs pull up a map, noting where Owen Linder was found. Knowing that he couldn't have gotten too far after a piece was taken out of his leg, they form a one-mile search radius of the area. Gary had remembered certain details about his visits, most notably that a train rumbled by that was close enough to disturb the dinner. This cuts the search radius in half, and Greg notes that Owen had earlier mentioned the smell of brimstone. Sulfur would cause this kind of smell, and there's an abandoned organic pesticides warehouse within the search radius.

Greg and Sara search the warehouse, noting that it would be a perfect place for "Eater" to feed. They soon come across a dining table complete with a fork and the murder weapon; he's set the table for the CSIs. Despite all this, no prints or DNA are found at the scene.

"Eater's" sketch is released to the press, but all it does is have people with vivid imaginations calling the police tip line. Suddenly, a security guard comes into the police station and alerts Ecklie that the suspect is handcuffed in his car. When Nick and Ecklie go to check, they find the inside of the car bloodied - and a dismembered hand stuck in the handcuffs. "Eater" has eaten his way out of custody.

In the lobby of the police station, Ecklie admonishes the security guard, Todd Burris, for trying to play hero. Todd claims to have seen "Eater" outside the building he patrols, so he tasered him, handcuffed him, and brought him to the station.

There are no prints or DNA on the hand, but David Phillips tells Morgan that the hand is not their suspect's. Evidence suggests that the hand was disembodied at least 24 hours ago, and tool marks on the ligament indicate that a knife was used, not teeth.

Now under interrogation, Todd denies killing anyone. He tells Morgan and Ecklie that "Eater" gave him the hand and had him stage the scene under the threat of doing harm to his young niece and nephew. "Eater" provided the hand and a bottle of blood, letting him know what he wanted the scene to look like. Todd says that the main reason he complied is because this person had a "power buzzing off of him" like he could make someone do anything he wanted them to do. As the interrogation continues, Todd suddenly starts seizing and foaming from the mouth.

Todd is rushed to the hospital, but he dies from cyanide poisoning. Greg wonders if Todd dosed himself, as he didn't want to face the music once his story unraveled. When he and Sara go through his personal belongings, they find Dennis' watch and piece of Brenda's clothing - trophies from his kills. The CSIs wonder if Todd, a "rent-a-cop," was actually "Eater" and that he spread the myth about his overwhelming power because he wanted to create his own legend.

In the morgue, Finn shows Gary Korlov the body of Todd Burris, asking him if the deceased is "Eater." Gary gives Finn the run-around, telling her that the body on the slab is merely flesh and that his description of "Eater" as a "gaunt, glinty-eyed Lucifer" was accurate. He finishes by saying that a force like "Eater" would never be captured like this.

Ecklie's conclusion is that Gary and Todd were in on it together; a murderer and his PR man, so to speak. Russell isn't so quick to agree, saying that there was no human flesh in Todd's stomach, nor was there trace from any of the victims in his house. However, Ecklie replies the last victim was attacked two days ago, so the flesh would've completely digested. Furthermore, lack of trace at the house could just mean that Todd was careful.

Russell believes that "Eater" could still be out there, but Ecklie says that he already alerted the press about the cannibal's capture. His job as sheriff, he says, is to make the public feel safe, not hide in fear. The case is closed.

Outside of the station, Russell grabs a cup of coffee. As he walks away from the stand, he spots "Eater" standing amongst a group of people. However, after his attention is briefly diverted, he looks and sees that his suspect has vanished. Is "Eater" real, a myth, or just someone who's going to permeate people's nightmares from now on?

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

  • Marc Vann as Conrad Ecklie
  • Lewis T. Powell as Officer Norman
  • Brandon Keener as Owen Linder
  • Sheldon Coolman as Dennis Hagel
  • Robert S. Martin III as Young Uniform
  • Derek Mio as Table “Corpse”
  • Steve Valentine as Gary Korlov
  • John Getz as Bill Harvey
  • Eric Petersen as Todd Burris
  • Heather Ann Davis as Miss Feed/Brenda Waring
  • Nicole Laliberte as Colleen Waring
  • Amber Bela Muse as Dispatcher

Notes

  • Jon Wellner (Henry) and Paul Guilfoyle (Brass) are credited but do not appear in the episode.

See Also

CSI:Las Vegas Season 14
The Devil and D.B. RussellTake the Money and RunTorch SongLast SupperFrame by FramePassed PawnsUnder a CloudHelplessCheck In and Check OutGirls Gone WildLost ReindeerKeep Calm and Carry OnBoston BrakesDe Los MuertosLove for SaleKiller MovesLong Road HomeUninvitedThe FallenConsumedKittyDead In His Tracks


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