Curse of the Coffin
Curse of the Coffin
Season 5
Number 6
Writer Sunil Nayar
Director Joe Chappelle
Original Airdate October 23, 2006
Previous Episode: Death Eminent
Next Episode: High Octane

Curse of the Coffin is the sixth episode in Season Five of CSI: Miami.


When a believer in Santería, a mix of Catholicism and African voodoo, is found murdered in front of her shrine of animal sacrifices, bizarre incidents start happening around the CSI lab and people speculate that the lab is cursed. However, the case takes an unexpected turn when the CSIs discover that the victim may have been murdered over a tangled plot involving stolen gold.


A young woman runs to a car and frantically tries to start it, only to have it go into lockdown mode, trapping her inside. When an officer arrives, she tells him her friend is dead and fears her killer may still be inside. Alissa Valone lies dead in her living room, her body still warm. Beside her is a small coffin. Alexx determines that she was beaten to death with a golf club. Ryan speaks with Officer Michael Lloyd, the patrolman who discovered the young woman, Alyssa's best friend Danielle Madison, in the car. Lloyd is from the auto theft detail, and he tells Ryan the car was a decoy, rigged to lock up if anyone tried to steal it. Danielle claims her own car was in the shop and that she fled Alyssa's house after trying to revive her. Delko and Ryan investigate the house, and Delko is spooked when he and Ryan discover a shrine of sorts in a closet; Alyssa was a practitioner of Santería, a blend of Catholicism and Voodoo. Delko refuses to handle the severed goat head in the closet.

Calleigh and Tripp trace the golf club to Alyssa's estranged husband, Trevor, who tells them it's been weeks since he's spoken to his wife. He claims she was holding his golf clubs hostage, and that the one used to kill her was worth ten thousand dollars. He insists had he been in the house, he never would have left the club behind. Ryan heads down to the morgue to talk to Alexx, and is thrown when he sees a body move—and then sit up. He calls Alexx, but when he brings her to the body, it's no longer moving, and Ryan is thrown when the man doesn't look like the body he saw. Valera gets a match for epithelials under Alissa's nails, and Ryan is shocked to recognize the man, Ed Smith, as the body from the morgue. When he pulls Ed's file and brings it to Alexx, he's shocked to discover his hands are completely numb. Alexx discovers tetrodotoxin, or blowfish poison, powder on his hands, and Ed's folder and the gurney he was on. Ed, who stole four million dollars in gold and was scheduled to go on trial for the theft, apparently used the poison to fake his own death.

Calleigh visits the Botanica, where Alissa purchased her Santería supplies. The store owner recognizes Alissa, and recalls her boyfriend Jeremy made purchases as well. The CSIs question the man, and Jeremy tells them the goat was a prosperity sacrifice. When questioned about Alissa's death and the coffin found near her, Jeremy becomes agitated and begs them to burn it. Alexx discovers Trevor, a doctor, signed Ed's death certificate, and Alissa's husband is again brought in for questioning. Trevor admits he felt bad for Ed, a childhood friend who seemed to be getting a bad break, and helped him fake his death. He also explains Ed's skin under Alissa's fingernails: Ed went to reason with her about the divorce and she scratched him while trying to throw him out.

The CSIs pay a visit to Alissa's ad agency, and are surprised when her computer bursts into flames. Dan Cooper is able to recover data from it, including a threatening email from Danielle Madison. Danielle admits to being angry when Alissa passed her over for a promotion, but sticks to her story about finding Alissa dead. The CSIs turn back to the car Danielle was caught in and look at the video footage from it and find prints on it that are matched to a man named Javier Revez. Revez claims he was looking for change in the car, but Horatio doesn't buy it. Alan Solner, the man Ed Smith stole the gold from, confronts Delko about Ed's escape, angry that his gold has never been recovered.

Delko learns Alissa and Trevor were feuding over twin burial plots they bought during their marriage. Suspecting Trevor and Ed stole the gold together and hid it in one of the plots, but when they venture to the cemetery, they discover Ed's body, an axe buried in his chest. They also discover a sound recorder on one of the nearby graves. Delko brings Valera the axe and she matches epithelials on it to Jeremy Fordham, Alissa's boyfriend. The CSIs arrest him and theorize that Alissa told Jeremy about the gold, and that they figured out it was buried in the grave. Dan Cooper analyzes the recorder from the grave and discovers another voice on it, indicating Jeremy had an accomplice. The CSIs return to the gravesite and find blood in a mausoleum not far from the plots that belonged to Trevor and Alissa.

Tripp discovers that while Javier Revez doesn't have a record, his brother Carlos does, and Carlos was about to be put in jail for trying to steal the same car Javier was caught in. Horatio suspects Javier might be involved in meth manufacturing like his brother was, but examination of his hands reveals traces of an explosive, not meth. Horatio discovers a bomb in the car intended for the officers that arrested Carlos, and drives it to the safety of a nearby beach where the bomb detonates. Natalia is subjected to a much smaller explosion when the glass table in her lab, irritated first by Delko dropping the axe on it and then by the centrifuge's motion, shatters, causing the vials containing blood samples to burst and contaminate the lab—and Natalia. When the blood sample from the mausoleum comes back as female DNA, the CSIs turn their focus back to Danielle. They realize she conspired with Jeremy to kill Alissa and steal the gold. They trace her car only to find it abandoned in front of Alan Solner's house. Solner has his gold back, and he gave a promised million dollar reward to the woman who returned it. That woman, Danielle, is far from Miami, lounging on a beach—the small coffin from Alissa's house under her chair.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

  • Boti Ann Bliss as Maxine Valera
  • Brendan Fehr as Dan Cooper
  • Heather Stephens as Danielle Madison
  • Lauralee Bell as Alissa Valone
  • Matt Battaglia as Trevor Valone
  • Ryan Hurst as Detective Michael Lloyd
  • Daniel Travis as Ed Smith
  • Kristoffer Polaha as Jeremy Fordham
  • Dondre T. Whitfield as Alan Solner
  • Jorge-Luis Pallo as Javier Ravez
  • Yvonne Delarosa as Clarisa

See Also[]

CSI:Miami Season 5
RioGoing UnderDeath Pool 100If Looks Could KillDeath EminentCurse of the CoffinHigh OctaneDarkroomGoing, Going, GoneCome As You AreBackstabbersInternal AffairsThrowing HeatNo Man's LandMan DownBroken HomeA Grizzly MurderTriple ThreatBloodlineRushJust MurderedBurnedKill SwitchBorn to Kill