Genetic Disorder
Season 12
Number 10
Writer Elizabeth Devine
Director Frank Waldeck
Original Airdate December 14, 2011
Previous Episode: Zippered
Next Episode: Ms. Willows Regrets

Genetic Disorder is the tenth episode in Season Twelve of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.


When a genealogist is found dead in Doc Robbins' bed, the team works on the theory that his wife may have been cheating even though she maintains her innocence.


Victim: Dan Traxler (deceased)

On the case: Catherine Willows, D.B. Russell, Greg Sanders, Morgan Brody, Jim Brass

Judy Robbins calls 911 to report that there's a dead man in her bed; she gave him CPR, but was unable to resuscitate him. There are candles lit and music playing in the bedroom, but Greg notes that they need to process the scene before jumping to any conclusions.

Judy tells Brass that she and the victim, Dan Traxler, were conducting research and sharing a bottle of wine. She left the living room to answer a call from her daughter; when she returned 20 minutes later, Dan was gone. Puzzled, she called Dan's cell phone and heard it ringing from the upstairs bedroom. It was then that she found Dan dead, naked in the bed she shares with her husband.

There are no obvious injuries to the body, and Greg finds blood in Dan's mouth, which is inconsistent with a heart attack. The liver temperature places the time of death at a few hours ago. Greg also finds a few semen stains on the bedsheets and bags a pair of expensive lingerie.

Brass fills Russell in—there was no sign of forced entry, the neighbors didn't hear anything, and Dan's car was parked a block away. His assumption is that Judy was having an affair and Dan died in bed. Russell comforts Judy and calls his wife from the backyard lanai in an effort to corroborate Judy's story. While out there, he finds a disturbance amongst the flowers. He later confirms that Judy was pruning her flowers while she was on the phone, and she has the green fingers to prove it.

Doc Robbins doesn't recognize Dan from his photo. Brass questions him, informing him that an ATM receipt was found that contains a large cash withdrawal. This leads him to conclude that Judy was spending her "girls' nights out" having an affair, something Doc Robbins vehemently denies. Brass wants the doc to prepare for the worst, but the doc tells him to broaden the scope of his investigation and to not let his own past cloud his judgment.

Day shift coroner Dr. Sylvia Sloane informs Doc Robbins that Dan was a healthy adult male who suffered no traumatic injuries. He also shows no signs of having suffered a heart attack. They see that the frenulum in Dan's mouth is torn, indicating that he was suffocated. The case is looking like a homicide.

Hodges searches the Robbins' bathroom and finds a hidden box of condoms, while Greg finds a piece of cat litter on the floor of the bedroom. Downstairs, Morgan processes the glasses of wine and finds a void in the living room carpet. She notes to Greg that there's nothing in the room that resembles the void, meaning the killer may have taken the item with them.

Judy tells Brass that Dan was genealogist she hired to help construct Doc Robbins' family tree. She once again denies having an affair and says that she's not a murderer. Morgan shows Doc Robbins a picture of the void from the living room carpet; the doc doesn't recognize it, but Judy identifies it as a briefcase that Dan brought with him. Greg runs through the case with Catherine, telling her that Judy's phone call story checks out. Based on the fact that she called Dan's cell phone two minutes later and 911 right after that, she likely wouldn't have had time to ditch the briefcase.

Greg speaks with Dan's business partner, Donna Hoppe, who claims that Dan had no enemies. She provides Greg with a list of Dan's clients and confirms that they sometimes meet with clients at night to accommodate their schedules. However, she tells Greg that she believes Dan had already finished his project with Judy.

The semen stains on the bedsheets come back as a mixture of Doc Robbins and Judy, while Dan's saliva was found on the pillow used to smother him. Interestingly, there's touch DNA on the pillow, too, indicating that the killer wasn't wearing gloves; however, the killer's DNA isn't in CODIS. Henry relays these findings to Russell, telling him that they're not quite at a dead end. They could expand the search to a family, which could give them a partial match and lead them to the killer. This, however, will require the sheriff's approval.

Morgan talks to one of Dan's other clients, Carla Duggan-Smith. She hired Dan to locate her grandfather, Samuel Duggan, so the man could walk her down the aisle at her upcoming wedding. Carla insists that Dan never behaved inappropriately towards her and says that he was recommended to her highly by Judy.

The lipstick around Dan's mouth is Judy's, which confirms her story about giving Dan CPR. Hodges also finds that the cat litter found on the bedroom floor isn't a match to the Robbins' cat, as the urine contained medication prescribed for cats undergoing prolonged medical treatment. The cat urine is actually radioactive, containing Iodine 131, which has a half-life of eight days. There was no sign of cat littler on Dan's clothes or shoes, meaning that the killer likely tracked it into the house. Greg tells Hodges to get a list of veterinary specialists and every cat they worked on in the last eight days.

A CODIS familial search uncovers the killer's first order relative—meaning their father, brother, or son. Jimmy Duggan, Samuel's son and Carla's uncle, has been serving a life sentence for armed robbery. Under interrogation, Jimmy tells Russell that he has no male relatives that he knows of outside of his father.

Greg pays Donna another visit, and they trace the Smith-Duggan family tree. She uncovers Sam and Eunice Duggan's divorce decree, which abnormally took nine months to resolve. Eunice was pregnant, meaning Jimmy could have a sibling he doesn't know about. There are no records of a Duggan being born in 1971, but a search through old newspaper articles reveals that a baby was left abandoned at the hospital that year. The baby, named Patrick, was sent to an orphanage.

Patrick, whose legal name is Patrick O'Toole, happens to have a sick cat. He's brought into interrogation, where he denies knowing Dan Traxler. This is immediately disproven, however, when radioactive cat litter is found in the treads of his boots. Dan's missing briefcase is later found in Patrick's car, and records show that Dan met Patrick several times.

Henry, believing he screwed up the DNA samples, enlists Greg's help. The samples and results are correct; however, they uncover a family secret. Eunice Duggan had sex with her own son, Jimmy, which spawned Patrick. Patrick admits that he blamed Dan for uncovering the truth about his past. He confronted Dan at the Robbins' house and forced him into their bedroom at gunpoint. There, he killed Dan and tried to make it look like an affair so the murder would be pinned on Judy. Patrick is arrested for murder, while Eunice is arrested for rape.

In the morgue, Brass apologizes to Doc Robbins for his earlier first impressions. There was also something in Dan's briefcase with the doc's name on it—a Robbins family tree that Judy was planning on giving her husband as a surprise.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

  • Wendy Crewson as Judy Robbins
  • Matthew Walker as Patrick O'Toole
  • Darin Heames as Jimmy Duggan
  • Bahar Soomekh as Dr. Sylvia Sloane
  • Tanya Fischer as Carla Duggan-Smith
  • Pamela Reed as Donna Hoppe


  • Sexual Healing by Marvin Gaye
  • I Can't Make You Love Me by Bonnie Raitt


  • George Eads (Nick) and Jorja Fox (Sara) are credited but do not appear in this episode.
  • Doc Robbins admits to Catherine that he once cheated on his wife.
  • Doc Robbins finds out that he's related to William 'Buffalo Bill' Cody.


  • This episode is the only appearance of the day shift coroner, Dr. Sylvia Sloane.

See Also[]

CSI:Las Vegas Season 12
73 SecondsTell-Tale HeartsBittersweetMaid ManCSI DownFreaks & GeeksBrain DoeCrime After CrimeZipperedGenetic DisorderMs. Willows RegretsWillows in the WindTressed to KillSeeing RedStealing HomeCSI UnpluggedTrends with BenefitsMalice in WonderlandSplit DecisionsAltered StakesDune and GloomHomecoming