Gum Drops
Season 6
Number 5
Writer Sarah Goldfinger
Director Richard J. Lewis
Original Airdate October 20, 2005
Previous Episode: Shooting Stars
Next Episode: Secrets and Flies

Gum Drops is fifth episode in Season Six of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation


Nick becomes the lead on a case where a family of four is missing, but three pools of blood are found in their home.


Victims: Jude McBride, Nina McBride, Jeremy McBride (all deceased), Cassie McBride (missing)

On the case: Catherine Willows, Greg Sanders, Nick Stokes, Sara Sidle, Warrick Brown

In a whispered voiceover, it's explained that someone came to the house of Jude McBride looking for something and got into a fight; however, the perpetrator couldn't find what they were looking for. The inside of the house is littered with pools of blood and bloody footprints. Nick is then seen standing alone in a little girl's room.

Outside of the house, a sheriff explains to Nick that someone anonymously called 911 to report the crime. The sheriff believes that everyone that lives in the house is dead—Jude McBride; his wife, Nina; his son, Jeremy; and his daughter, Cassie. Nick tells him that with no bodies, he can't confirm that anyone is dead. Based on the amount of blood in the house, the sheriff disagrees.

Sara arrives on the scene and informs Nick that Grissom is away teaching a class. Based on the coffee maker automatically running (and set to run every morning Monday through Friday), Nick guesses that whatever happened in the house happened over the weekend. Since the blood pools are dry, the crime scene is at least 12 hours old. Nick identifies three separate blood pools and tells Sara that the McBrides' cars, keys, wallets and cell phones are all accounted for. This would also seem to rule out robbery as a motive. Greg and Warrick arrive at the house to assist further.

Sara processes the different bloody shoe prints and, based on the shoes that everyone wore, identifies which ones belong to Jude and Nina. However, there are no prints from the kids. Sara wonders if the kids were shot first; therefore, there would be no blood to walk through. She also hypothesizes that Nina took Cassie upstairs and both bodies were penetrated by one bullet, which would explain the lack of a fourth blood pool. There are three other shoe prints and sizes, two of which continuously go back and forth from the front door to the kitchen. The other set of prints went upstairs.

In the master bedroom, Warrick finds a gun in the nightstand. Outside, Greg photographs some tire treads and notes that one of the treads is an odd size, possibly from a hitch. As he walks a little further, he finds some marijuana on the ground. Near the front steps, he photographs an unwrapped piece of bubble gum. Meanwhile, Nick looks through Cassie's room. There, he finds some bloodstains on the floor as well as a hair stuck in the mattress. He looks under the bed and finds a half eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwich, an empty bottle of cough syrup, and a single shoe. Nick reaches under the bed and grabs the shoe; inside, he finds some of the cough medicine.

As Nick looks at Cassie's wall of achievements, he's interrupted by what sounds like her laughter. He walks into Jeremy's room, where Warrick is pressing down a key on a keyboard that's labeled "Cassie's laugh." Warrick goes through the papers on the desk and finds that Jeremy was writing term papers for fellow students and getting paid for it.

Sara dusts the kitchen for prints and, based on the incomplete chore calendar on the bulletin board, guesses when the crime took place. Greg enters and goes through the unopened mail; in there, he finds an electric bill for a whopping $2,000. Sara excuses herself, telling Greg that the print dust is getting to her. As she walks through the house, she finds blood on the mat in front of the cellar door. The lock is curiously missing from the door, as well. When she opens the door and goes downstairs, she finds a marijuana farm complete with an artificial light. This would explain the high electric bill. It's also motive.

While, Greg, Nick and Sara process the pot farm, Warrick finds evidence that the lock to the cellar door was shot. In the cellar, Greg notices that the intruders only took the dried marijuana and not the new growth; this would seem to rule out a territory war. Sara wonders if one of the customers just got greedy, and Warrick says that the price of an ounce of marijuana can be anywhere from $200 to $400. The team finds it odd that the McBrides would do this with two young kids in the house.

Outside, Nick goes through the family's phone records and finds that Jude received several calls on Sunday night from the same number. The number also happens to be the one that made the anonymous 911 call, and it traces back to a Dr. Malcolm Parker. Sara and the sheriff visit Dr. Parker, who tells them that he had a standing Sunday night appointment with Jude to buy some marijuana. He called Jude when he got no response at the door and called the police when he looked in the house and saw all the blood. Dr. Parker adds that Jude rarely sold to people in town and moved most of his product out of state.

Back the McBride house, Nick is sitting on the front porch when a woman pulls up and asks for Nina. The woman identifies herself as Sage, a coworker of Nina's, and tells Nick that Nina went to a concert over the weekend, but never showed up at work afterwards. She then focuses her sight on Nick's third eye and asks him if he's having visions or hearing voices. After Nick tells her no, she adds that he's radiating a crazy feminine energy.

Catherine calls Nick and tells him that one of the prints lifted from the kitchen came back to a Mark Horvatin, who is one of the names on the papers that Jeremy was writing. Nick and the sheriff visit Mark at school. Mark throws his football gear in the backseat of his car, which Nick finds odd since most kids put their gear in the trunk. Nick confirms that they're on school grounds and has Mark open the trunk. Inside, they find several trash bags full of dried marijuana plants. Mark is later interrogated and asked where the bodies are, but no response is given.

In the garage of the sheriff's department, Greg processes Mark's car. Inside, he finds no evidence of blood and figures that there's no way four bodies could fit in such a small space. He finds an ATM slip that fits the timeframe of the murders, as well as another piece of unwrapped bubble gum, which he tells Warrick he found at the house. Having trouble comparing the marijuana samples from the house and Mark's car, Warrick instead compares the trash bags. He finds that the striations on the bags match, meaning that they came from the same roll. Nick enters and tells them that they have a problem—Mark has stopped talking, and his father is a lawyer. Their search and seizure has been challenged as, although they were on school grounds, they had no probable cause to search personal property.

In the lab, Catherine lays out the photos of the blood evidence from the scene and recounts the events of the crime into a tape recorder—Jeremy was shot first, his father ran in and was shot second, and his mother came down the stairs and was shot third as she ran back up. However, none of Cassie's blood is at the scene, meaning that her death was either a bloodless crime or she's still alive. Catherine relays this information to Nick, who relays it to the rest of the team.

Greg, Nick, Sara and Warrick sit in a park eating breakfast and discussing the case. Sara asks how Mark Horvatin knew that the McBrides had marijuana, and Warrick guesses that Jeremy told other kids in school in an effort to be more popular. The sheriff arrives and tells them that they got a lead on the ATM—the account belongs to Jim Locke, and he has a son named Peter who is the same age as Mark. Warrick offers to take the surveillance tape back to Archie in the lab and leaves for Vegas. When Greg and Sara get up from the table, Nick stays behind with a contemplative look on his face. Sara can immediately tell that Nick thinks Cassie is still alive; she tells him that he needs to be prepared to recover a body, not rescue a person.

Greg and Sara head to the Locke residence; there, they find a boat in the driveway. There's some plant material in the boat's hitch that's similar to what was found in the McBride's driveway, and the wheelbase is similar to the tread that was found there, as well. Peter's mother confirms that her son had access to the bank account and also took the boat out the other night with his friends. Sara finds some trash bags on the boat and guesses that this helps explain the lack of blood. Meanwhile, Nick, who has stayed behind in the park, is looking over photos of Cassie. He notices that Cassie is chewing gum in half of her pictures and also sees that she was in a school play of Hansel & Gretel. He calls Sara and asks if she found any gum on the boat; she confirms that she did. Nick theorizes that Cassie was leaving a trail of gum behind everywhere she went, like the kids leaving behind a trail of bread crumbs in Hansel & Gretel.

Peter Locke is brought to the police station for questioning; a quick flash shows that he was the coach of Cassie's swim team. The sheriff tells him that his prints were found on the bottle of cough medicine under Cassie's bed and that he should be smart and start talking. Meanwhile, in the Vegas lab, Archie works on the security tape from the ATM machine and is able to find that Cassie was in the back seat of the car sucking her thumb. He forwards the photo to Nick, who then barges into the interrogation room, picks Peter up, and slams him against the wall demanding to know where Cassie is. Tears start rolling down Peter's cheeks.

Nick, Sara and some uniformed officers head to a pier. They believe that the guys went to the ATM to get cash in order to fill up the boat's gas tank. There was 3/4 of a tank left, meaning that they used 1/8 of the tank out and the same amount back. Based on the mileage on the boat, it's estimated that the boat traveled three miles from a specific launch point. As they get ready to go search for Cassie, Sara lifts her shoe and finds a piece of unwrapped gum stuck to it. She shows it to Nick.

A while later, Nick and Sara are on a patrol boat with some officers. They reach the three mile line in the lake and drop an underwater camera down. They eventually find Jude, Nina and Jeremy McBride at the bottom of the lake wrapped in garbage bags and tied to an anchor. An officer tells Sara that only three bodies were found.

In the morgue, Doc Robbins tells Warrick that the three McBride family members died from gunshot wounds—Jeremy was shot up close, his father had a gunshot wound through his hands and into his chest from possibly trying to wrestle the gun away from his shooter, and his mother was shot twice in the back from a fair distance away. Warrick picks an extracted bullet up and sees that it's a .22 caliber. He notes that the four bullets plus the two in the lock to the cellar door might be why they didn't find Cassie's blood—the shooter ran out of bullets. Warrick runs the bullet and calls Sara with the information that the .22 caliber revolver was entered into IBIS after it was used to shoot wildlife. The gun belongs to a Chris Daniels.

Sara and the sheriff pay a visit to Chris and confirm that he owns a .22 caliber revolver. Chris' son, Luke, emerges from the house and we see that he has a fresh cut on his forehead. Luke is hauled away and put in a police car while Nick watches from across the street. Sara shows him that they recovered a bloody hunting knife and a pair of bloody sneakers.

In the police station, Sara sits down next to Luke and tries to get him to open up by giving her theory on what happened at the McBride house. Luke, Mark and Peter went to the house to score some marijuana and were under the impression that only Jeremy was home. When Jeremy tried to escort them out because his parents were still home, Luke pulled out his gun and threatened him. Luke shot Jeremy, then shot his father when he came out to see what was going on. The mother was shot, as well, when she came downstairs to find out what the commotion was about. Peter went upstairs to deal with Cassie, but couldn't go through with killing her. He gave her some cough medicine that she ended up dumping in the shoe.

Downstairs, Luke and Mark bagged the marijuana and put the bodies in garbage bags. They went to the ATM, picked up Peter's boat, went back to the McBride home and put the bodies on the boat. Later, when it came time to kill a passed out Cassie, Peter still couldn't do it. When Luke offered to do it, Peter punched him in the face, which explains the cut on Luke's forehead. Luke is last seen holding a knife to Cassie's neck.

Later, at night, Nick and an officer are still on the lake looking for Cassie. As Nick shines his flashlight along the shore, he sees something and tells the officer to stop the boat. He gets out of the boat, wades through the water to the shore, and finds Cassie's body. Her face is pale and dirty, her eyes are closed, and she has a cut across her neck. Nick checks for a pulse and finds a gum wrapper in her fist.

Cassie is later shown alive in a hospital bed; she's coloring when Nick enters. She hands him a card that thanks him for finding her and writes in her notebook, asking where her family is. When Nick sugarcoats it, she writes that she doesn't want to be babied. Nick tells her that they're in the coroner's office. He then has Cassie slowly go through the details of what happened to her family. It's revealed that the whispering we've heard throughout the episode is Cassie recounting the events to Nick.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

  • Archie Kao as Archie Johnson
  • David Berman as David Phillips
  • Melora Walters as Sage
  • Michael McGrady as Dennis Brackett
  • Scott Paulin as Dr. Malcolm Parker
  • Mary Matilyn Mouser as Cassie McBride
  • Jennifer Savidge as Jill Locke
  • Matt Funke as Mark Horvatin
  • Trever O'Brien as Peter Locke
  • Lindsey Ginter as Chris Daniels
  • Chase Ryan Jeffery as Luke Daniels
  • Hunter Parrish as Jeremy McBride
  • Don Michael Paul as Mark Horvatin Sr.
  • Mark Pellegrino as Elliot Perlota
  • Mark Vanselow as Driver


  • When Nick has an altercation in the interrogation room, a single tear falls down from the boy's left eye. When the shot changes to a different angle, the tear is coming down from his right eye.


  • William Petersen (Grissom) and Paul Guilfoyle (Brass) are credited but do not appear in the episode.
  • At the beginning of the episode Nick tells the officer: "Begin at the beginning." At the end of the episode, he says the same thing to Cassie: "We'll begin at the beginning." Thus, the circle is closed.
  • This is the first time that Nick gave the final one-liner before the opening theme.
  • Once again, the whole crime scene had not been checked by the police before the CSIs were called, thus leading to Sara finding the marijuana room downstairs on her own.
  • Cassie's handmade card to Nick reads: Thanks for finding me! From: Cassie. To: Good Guys. About: Bad Guys.


  • The plot of the episode was originally going to be how Grissom was convinced that Cassie was still alive. However, when William Petersen's nephew died, he flew home and was unavailable for the filming of the episode, so it became Nick that was convinced that Cassie was still alive.

See Also[]

CSI:Las Vegas Season 6
Bodies in MotionRoom ServiceBite MeShooting StarsGum DropsSecrets and FliesA Bullet Runs Through It, Part 1A Bullet Runs Through It, Part 2Dog Eat DogStill LifeWerewolvesDaddy's Little GirlKiss-Kiss, Bye-ByeKillerPirates of the Third ReichUp in SmokeI Like to WatchThe Unusual SuspectSpellboundPoppin' TagsRashomamaTime of your DeathBang-BangWay to Go