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Ghost Town
Ghost.jpg
Season 10
Number 2
Writer Dustin Lee Abraham,
Carol Mendelsohn
Director Alec Smight
Original Airdate October 1, 2009
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Previous Episode: Family Affair
Next Episode: Working Stiffs

Ghost Town is the second episode in season ten of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis

A porn producer and a drug dealer are murdered in an upscale Las Vegas area, and the investigation centers on the members of the affluent neighborhood. The evidence near the peeping hole links to Craig Mason, the adopted son of the deceased bathtub serial killer Paul Millander.

Plot

Victim: Ryan Lester (deceased)

On the case: Raymond Langston, Nick Stokes, Sara Sidle, Jim Brass

As a woman is taking a shower, she's alarmed by a guy ripping open her shower curtain. Nick and Sara are called to the house and avoid bloody footprints as they head down to the hall towards the bathroom. They find a large blood pool on the bathroom floor and the guy is found dead in the tub.

The victim is identified as Ryan Lester. Brass questions Marnie Bennett, who says that Ryan was her boss and that they work in the "entertainment" field. She recalls that Ryan interrupted her while she was showering and got in with her with his clothes on. Disgusted, she left and got changed. While doing so, the power went out and when she went back to the bathroom to tell Ryan, she found him dead. As she ran away, she slipped in Ryan's blood, getting some on her shirt. She ran outside and flagged down a passing motorist, who is identified as Harvey Wincroft, the Neighborhood Watch captain.

Outside, Nick finds a print on the circuit breaker, leading him to believe someone turned off the power before committing the murder. Inside, Sara notices that the lock to the back door is broken and that the bloody shoeprints lead outside. As Nick leads David Phillips to the Ryan's body, David admits that he recognizes one of the rooms from a lusty pay-per-view website he subscribes to. They both reach the bathroom, where Sara fills them in about the shoeprints, estimating that they're size 10-12. Curiously, the shoe impressions have no detail and the cut to Ryan's jugular was clean and efficient - in other words, they're dealing with a pro.

At the station, Nick questions Harvey, who says that he didn't know Ryan very well. He also tells Nick that there's a peeping tom in the neighborhood that hasn't been identified yet. Meanwhile, Sara collects Marnie's prints and find that they match the partial print recovered from the circuit breaker. Marnie explains that she's always turning the breaker on because they consistently lose power. She also mentions the peeping tom and says he looks like singer Marilyn Manson. Greg and Nick look at footage from Marnie's webcam show and find the peeper sneaking a peek.

Outside of the house, Nick sees where the peeper cut a flap into some cardboard in order to watch Marnie in action. There's white trace around the flap that Nick thinks is makeup and there's also a hanger on the ground nearby from Diamond Star Cleaners, with the hanger having been used to jimmy the curtain to give the peeper a better look. The only household in the development that uses Diamond Star Cleaners is the Mason house; its residents are Faith Mason and her teenage son, Craig. Craig is found in his room listening to heavy metal music, his face plastered in white makeup. Nick and Sara search the room and find that Craig wears size 10 1/2 shoes. When Sara finds a rubber mask and a model of a hand beneath Craig's bed, she recalls that Craig is the adopted son of Judge Mason… aka Paul Millander, a cunning serial killer Grissom locked horns with years ago.

At the station, Brass informs Sara that a bloody straight-edge razor found in Craig's room doesn't contain Ryan's blood. She goes to take Craig’s DNA despite his mother’s protests that he’s not like his father; upon doing so, she sees that Craig has slit his wrists several times in the past. Back at the scene of the crime, a police dog gets a whiff of the bloody shoeprints and leads Greg and Nick to another body that has been cut in a way similar to the way Ryan was. Inside the house, they find evidence of a drug lab.

Doc Robbins identifies the second victim as a drug dealer named Kilo. Both he and Ryan have similar neck wounds and were killed around the same time. Meanwhile, Craig is arrested for peeping. While being hauled away in handcuffs, he denies killing anyone and asks his mother to bail him out, but she sits on the bench and sobs, upset over her son's actions.

Catherine pulls Langston off the “Dr. Jekyll” case to consult on the two murders the rest of the team is grappling with. The white trace found around the peephole at the webcam house is consistent with Craig's makeup, but there's no sign of either victim on Craig's clothes or shoes. Upon hearing the details, Langston has doubts about Craig jumping from peeping to murder. He points out that even if Craig killed Ryan out of jealousy, he had no reason to kill Kilo, as his tox panel came back clean for drugs and money was found in the drug house. Langston also poses this question: if Craig wasn't goth and his father hadn't come after Grissom, would he even be a suspect? The rest of the team glances at each other seemingly indicating that the answer would be "no."

Langston also notices that the rubber hand found in Craig's room has a congenital malformation in the thumb and forefinger – which Paul Milander didn’t have. That indicates that Craig made the mold of his own hand - and that he wouldn’t have been able to hold the knife securely enough to make the deep cuts that killed Ryan and Kilo. Langston visits Craig in his cell to test his theory. He tells Craig about his own father’s violent nature and persuades Craig to try his test to clear himself as a suspect. After Craig cuts into a gelatin dummy, Langston confirms his suspicions - Craig’s cuts don’t match the killer’s.

Nick and Sara turn to Marnie and Harvey's clothing and find arterial spatter on Harvey's shirt, indicating the blood on his clothes wasn’t secondary transfer from Marnie as they first suspected. Nick and Brass go to the man’s house. Harvey comes to the door holding his seven-year-old daughter - and a gun. Het complains about how the neighborhood has gone downhill - and with it, his property values. Furthermore, his daughter has to walk by the webcam house on her way to school every morning, something no child should have to do. Nick is able to talk him into giving up his daughter, and then his wife and finally surrendering to the police.

Sara tells Craig he’s free to go, and apologizes for making him feel like he has to pay for his father’s crimes. He tells her that his dad used to take him to Paul Milander’s shop as a child and he admired what Paul was able to do with making rubber hands and masks. Therefore, when he lost his father, he lost both his dad and his idol.

Nick views the footage of Langston talking to Craig about his father while Langston goes over his father’s belongings and finds blood on the pin of his father’s bronze star, which he swabs and pockets.


Victim: Joseph Bigelow (deceased)

On the case: Catherine Willows, Raymond Langston

Langston and Doc Robbins peer into the body of Joseph Bigelow, shocked to discover someone has neatly tied his small intestine around his spleen…without ever opening him up. They find evidence that it was done laparoscopically through the man’s belly button, but he apparently died of natural causes. Based on the type of incision and lack of any sutures, they figure that whoever did this had to have had access to medical equipment. They wonder if they're looking for a doctor, medical student or nurse.

Catherine tells Langston that she remembers "Joe Joe" Bigelow from his lounge act at the Riviera. She says that he fell on hard times and was on the streets - but that he’d never camp out anywhere that wasn’t on the Strip. Since his body was found west of I-15, she thinks that may be where the “surgeon” works or lives. Langston adds that this would imply that the "surgeon" didn't know Joseph and that he was selected at random. Later, Langston uses a pig carcass and tries to replicate the actions of the now-named "Dr. Jekyll." He is unsuccessful in his task.

Upon seeing Ecklie wearing a bow tie, Langston comes to a realization - despite wearing a tuxedo every day, Joseph didn't have a bow tie on him when he was found. He tells Catherine that he believes it's not a coincidence that the bow tie is missing and the intestines are tied into a bow. The CSI suspects Jekyll took it as a souvenir - and that Jekyll is likely on his way to being a serial killer.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

Music

  • Love Like A Sunset Part 1 by Phoenix
  • Ghosts N Stuff by Deadmau5 ft. Rob Swire

Goofs

  • When the killer puts the gun to his head, we here the sound of a revolver being cocked. In the next shot, we see the revolver in close-up with the hammer in the de-cocked position.
  • When Langston goes to see Craig in jail, the knife in Langston's hand changes position in between shots.
  • When Nick is talking to Harvey and Harvey yells at his wife, she crosses her arms but in the next shot, her arms are at her side.

Notes

  • Langston swabs the bronze star his father wore in wartime for DNA. The box it came in was sent by his ex-wife Gloria in the episode All In.

See Also

CSI:Las Vegas Season 10
Family AffairGhost TownWorking StiffsCoup de GraceBloodsportDeath & The MaidenThe Lost GirlsLover's LanesAppendicitementBetter Off DeadSin City BlueLong BallInternal CombustionUnshockableNeverlandThe Panty SnifferIrradiatorField MiceWorld's EndTake My Life, Please!Lost & FoundDoctor WhoMeat Jekyll


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