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Fallen Idols
Idols
Season 7
Number 17
Writer Marlene Meyer
Director Chris Leitch
Original Airdate February 22, 2007
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Next Episode: Empty Eyes

Fallen Idols is the seventeenth episode in Season Seven of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Synopsis[]

A star high school basketball star and his girlfriend, a cheerleader, disappear and the investigation reveals that he gave STDs to a number of girls he slept with.

Plot[]

Victims: Ryan Lansco and Megan Cooper (both missing)

On the case: Entire team

Two high school students and lovers, Ryan Lansco, the school's top basketball player, and Megan Cooper, a cheerleader, have disappeared. While speaking with Brass, the parents quickly turn against each other, but Brass is able to restore order. Megan hasn't answered her phone and it's determined that she didn't sleep over at her friend's house. Ryan has also not answered his phone, and he's apparently not the type of kid who stays out all night.

Megan and Ryan have only been missing for 14 hours, but Brass encourages Grissom to investigate. At the school, Grissom hypothesizes to Officer Mitchell that the two kids could've simply eloped to Mexico; however, when he finds blood in Ryan's personal parking space, the worst is feared. Grissom and Nick follow a trail of stuffing to the football field; there, they find what appears to be arterial spray on a tackling sled and a large blood pool on the grass nearby. Nick notes that there's a lot of blood on the field and some in the parking lot, but none in between. They spot that the door to the equipment storage shed is open and walk towards it; on the way, they find some kind of broken glass on the ground. A shoeprint on the door to the shed indicates that it was kicked in. Inside, they find a cheerleader's top and Ryan's letter jacket on top of a piece of workout machinery. The machinery itself has ropes tied to each end.

Sofia questions Sheila Latham, Megan's best friend. She only knows that Megan was supposed to spend the night at her house and would call her when she got there; however, she never got the call. During the questioning, Shelia complains about a headache and is generally out of it. She insists that she wasn't drinking the night before, telling Sofia that she went out to eat after the game and came straight home afterwards.

Catherine fills Grissom in on what she's found so far. Both kids have an ATM card, but neither card has been used. No calls were placed from either of their cell phones, with Megan's most recent calls being to her cheerleading squad before her disappearance. Ryan's call records show that his last call was to Diane Kentner, the school's photography teacher. An APB has been put out on Ryan's missing van, but nothing has turned up yet.

Hodges processes the broken glass and determines that it's optical glass from an advanced professional camera. Meanwhile, Warrick questions Diane. The conversation is steered towards Charlie Kellerman, a photography student and friend of Megan's. Charlie is "in love" with Megan, Megan is "in love" with Ryan, and Ryan is focused on his potential future in the NBA. Diane says that her photography class uses old cameras, while her mainstay is an older model, as well. Regarding Ryan's phone call, she tells Warrick that Ryan wanted copies of the photos taken at the game; this isn't out of the ordinary, as she says that her cell phone number is listed on the class syllabus.

Back at the football field, Greg theorizes that Ryan and Megan went to the storage room to make out, but when he tried to tie her up with the ropes and rape her, she ran off. Wanting to hide a rape charge and keep his bright future intact, he chased after her and killed her on the football field by bashing her head into the tackling sled. The theory is invalidated, however, when Nick gets a call from Wendy informing him that all of the blood is Ryan's. Nick's new theory is that a nearby stalker had a fantasy about making it with a cheerleader and took out his competition in order to fulfill it.

The investigators check the whole field. In the middle of the street adjacent to the field, Greg and Nick find pieces of a shattered turn signal light and a bloody shoe which matches the description of the ones Megan was wearing the night before. Close to them are acceleration marks in the direction of the evidence. Nick suggests that Megan may have been hit by the car; if she was hit hard enough to be knocked out of her shoes, there's no way she walked away from the accident. There have been no reports of anyone fitting Megan's description being admitted to area hospitals, so she could be nearby. As they search the area, they find Megan at the bottom of a hill; she's alive, but seriously injured.

Megan is taken to Desert Palm Hospital, followed by her parents. Not long afterwards, Ryan's van is found by a police patrol. There's no blood or any signs of an accident in the front, nor is there any blood in the driver's seat. This suggests that Ryan wasn't the one who hit Megan. In the back, Sara and Warrick find blood on the rear fender and more blood inside on a sleeping bag; however, there's no body. At the hospital, Megan's parents are comforted by Charlie. When questioned by Nick, Charlie tells him that Ryan frequently cheated on Megan, but she was the only one who believed Ryan would never do such a thing.

Sara and Warrick process the van, and she notes that the driver's seat has been adjusted for someone shorter than Ryan. When she pushes the seat back, she finds a pink cell phone underneath it. The battery is dead, but they figure it doesn't belong to Ryan. In the back of the van, Warrick finds a collection of panties from girls Ryan has slept with.

Catherine processes the sleeping bag and concludes from the blood stains that the body was carried inside it. She finds semen stains and Pthirus Pubis (crabs) on it, as well. Grissom tells her that STDs between monogamous couples are slim, meaning that someone else arrived to the party with them. He adds that when the crabs jump to a new host, they should contain DNA of the receiver and giver. Megan's parents have agreed to a sexual assault kit for their daughter.

The pink cell phone turns out to be Sheila's, and the question now is why it would be on the floor of Ryan's van. Sheila is brought in for questioning again. When Brass and her mother try to wake her up on the couch in the waiting room, she rolls onto the floor. The doctors arrive and attempt to revive her, but they're too late; Sheila was already dead. The autopsy reveals that she died from epidural hemorrhaging caused by blunt force trauma to the top of the skull. When Sheila was hit, blood started gathering around the injury, eventually causing her to stop breathing because her brain stopped sending her signals to do so. The amount of clotted blood indicates that she was hit around the same time Megan and Ryan disappeared. Inside her stomach, Doc Robbins finds a memory card from a camera and reveals that she had crabs.

Greg goes through Sheila's backpack and finds a camera that's missing its lens and memory card. There's also a hair wedged into the camera that he recovers. Greg measures the size of the broken lens from a photo and matches it to the camera. Archie processes the memory card, which is in a good enough condition to be viewed. On it is a video of a shirtless Ryan in the equipment storage shed, tied up with the ropes. The word "DANGER" is painted on his chest along with an arrow pointing at his crotch, referencing him spreading crabs around. Ryan is forced to read a statement warning future sexual partners of his disease. A female voice taunts him that the video will be posted on YouTube; the voice is matched to that of Sheila. Nick interviews Megan at the hospital; she's in stable condition, but is permanently paralyzed from the waist down. She doesn't remember anything concrete after the game the day she disappeared.

Warrick and Grissom take a look at Ryan's Friend Agenda page, where they find a "hit list" unlocked by the obvious password—"Megan". The list is of the women Ryan has slept with along with his assessments of their performances. One of the names on the list is Diane Kentner, who left a fingerprint on the back door handle of Ryan's van. When questioned, she claims the fingerprint was left from when he helped her move a photo enlarger to his car, since her car (which is the same kind as the make that hit Megan) was too small. She dismisses her mention on the hit list as a mere fantasy and denies having sex with Ryan. Even though she won't allow the CSIs to search her home or her car, she gives up a DNA sample.

When Archie continues processing the video, he finds Charlie in the background next to Sheila. Nick interrogates Charlie and lays out the evidence against him—his shoe impression was lifted from the storage shed's door, he's seen on camera next to Sheila, and the cue cards Ryan read from were found in the back of Sheila's mother's car. He suggests that Charlie (in revenge for the way Ryan treated Megan) recruited Sheila, who had been given crabs by Ryan, and staged the video together. When things went bad, he killed Ryan and hit Megan with the car. Charlie tells the truth: he and Sheila went to the storage shed, knowing Ryan would be there with Megan. They stripped Ryan of his clothes, tied him up, and made him read the speech on camera. Things escalated after Ryan broke free from the restraints.

Outside, Charlie and Sheila began tossing the camera between each other to keep it away from Ryan. One missed toss resulted in the camera hitting the track and having its lens shattered. When Ryan picked it up, he found the memory card had been removed. Taunting him, Sheila placed it on her tongue. Ryan angrily threw the camera at her head, causing her to swallow the memory card and causing the trauma which later killed her. In retaliation, she pushed him against the tackling sled, which led to his throat being cut on a sharp edge, killing him.

Charlie shows a great deal of remorse for what happened and tells Nick that instead of calling 911, he and Sheila put Ryan's body in the sleeping bag and dragged it into his van. Sheila then offered to drive the van, instructing Charlie to follow in his car. After that, he has no idea what happened to the body. When asked about Megan, Charlie claims she freaked out and ran away when Ryan was tied up. Nick shows him enhanced screenshots from the video. On it, Sheila is holding the camera and Charlie is holding the cue cards; however, there seems to be a third person holding the light. Charlie claims he held both the cue cards and the light and that it was only him and Sheila.

When the DNA from the crabs has been extracted and processed, the only common contributor is, not unexpectedly, Ryan. The others are Megan, Sheila, a number of unknowns and Diane Kentner. Since it proves that Diane has had sex with a minor, it's enough for a search warrant of her house. Inside, Brass finds a copy of a rental agreement for a storage facility and a key to it.

Outside of the storage facility, the LVPD find Diane's car, which shows signs of an accident in the front and has a missing turn signal light. When they enter, they find a huge photography setup devoted to Ryan. The pictures that flash by are those Diane took of Ryan at the school and also a recording she made herself of his death on the football field. In the center is a bed with Ryan's cleaned-up dead body. Next to him is the body of Diane, who has killed herself by overdosing on lithium, which she was prescribed for her bipolar disorder. Grissom and Warrick watch screenshots from her recording of Ryan's death, which clearly show Megan pushing him to his death, not Sheila. Charlie lied to protect her (it's implied that Diane hit Megan with her car as revenge for her killing Ryan, with whom Diane was visibly obsessed).

Nick questions Megan at the hospital. She once again claims to not remember what happened that night, but Nick sees through her half-hearted attempt at feigning amnesia. Megan argues hypothetically that if she killed Ryan, she's been punished enough, as she's paralyzed from the waist down and will never be able to continue cheerleading or even walk again.

Later, Ryan's parents argue with Brass for not prosecuting Megan for killing Ryan. According to Brass, the DA chose not to press charges, likely because he didn't think he would be able to secure a conviction, especially not with her injuries. When Ryan's mother asks where the justice in that is, Brass argues that everyone involved in the mess has been punished in some way—Sheila and Diane dead, Charlie is likely going to jail, and Megan is paralyzed. However, Ryan's parents aren't satisfied and feel that Megan only got away with murder. At the school, an official removes Charlie's portrait from the wall, while a shrine has been erected under Megan, Ryan and Sheila's portraits.

Cast[]

Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

Music[]

  • Good Enough by Evanescence

See Also[]

CSI:Las Vegas Season 7
Built to Kill, Part 1Built to Kill, Part 2Toe TagsFannysmackin'Double CrossBurn OutPost MortemHappenstanceLiving LegendLoco MotivesLeaving Las VegasSweet JaneRedrumMeet MarketLaw of GravityMonster in the BoxFallen IdolsEmpty EyesBig ShotsLab RatsEnding HappyLeapin' LizardsThe Good, The Bad, And The DominatrixLiving Doll
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