Season 5
Number 23
Writer Josh Berman
Director Richard J. Lewis
Original Airdate May 12, 2005
Previous Episode: Weeping Willows
Next Episode: Grave Danger, Part 1

Iced is the twenty-third episode in Season Five of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.


With Grissom in court, Sara and Greg investigate the deaths of two students in a dorm room. Meanwhile, Catherine, Nick and Warrick investigate a man found dead in a crop circle. Elsewhere, Ecklie is forced to investigate the death of a man from New Jersey whose body disappears from the morgue.


Victims: Paula Levine and Trip Wilmont (both deceased)

On the case: Greg Sanders, Sara Sidle, Jim Brass

Two college freshmen, Paula Levine and Trip Wilmont, are going at it hot and heavy in Trip's dorm room. We flash forward to the next day, where Brass tells Grissom, Greg and Sara that the two freshmen were found dead. They enter the room and find the two students dead on the floor in their underwear. David Phillips examines the bodies and sees that their bodies have a pinkish hue to them, which could indicate carbon monoxide poisoning. Vomit next to Trip's body is also consistent with the diagnosis.

Grissom gets a call to go to court and testify on a case, leaving Sara in charge. He tells her that since there's no common source for the carbon monoxide, she'll have to use a detector. Meanwhile, Brass talks to Zack Capola, who lives next door to Trip. Zack admits that he and Trip weren't really friends, but they took a Spanish class together. He had also jimmied open Trip's door on a few occasions when Trip would get drunk and lock himself out.

Greg and Sara process Trip's room. She finds no trace of carbon monoxide, while Greg finds evidence of semen on some door handles; he explains that males put their used condoms on door handles to display as trophies. Just then, an explosion and screaming is heard from down the hall. In the bathroom, Greg and Sara find an exploded toilet and water on the floor. Thinking it might be part of their case since it isn't far from Trip's dorm, Sara has Greg process the bathroom.

In autopsy, Doc Robbins tells Sara that both kids were in perfect health and adds that two things can turn a body pink postmortem—carbon monoxide (which has been ruled out) and cyanide. He says that not everyone can smell cyanide; the ability to do so is a genetic quirk. To Sara's surprise, Hodges enters and reveals that he has said quirk. He sniffs the stomach contents of the two victims, but finds no evidence of cyanide.

Greg processes the toilet from the bathroom and finds no evidence of explosive powders or a detonation device. Sara enters and informs him that this was an isolated incident; maintenance had no other reports of exploding toilets. She hypothesizes that it could be methane gas that caused a pressure buildup, but Greg says that he already checked and has ruled it out.

In the lab, Mia Dickerson tells Sara that the semen found on both Trip's doorknob and his neighbor Zack's doorknob belonged to Trip. She theorizes that Trip put his trophy condom on Zack's door, then transferred the semen to his own door when he opened it. Greg interrupts and tells Sara that he found out that Zack had filed several grievances against Trip in the past.

Greg and Sara speak to Zack, who is surprised that his grievances weren't confidential. He tells them that he had problems with Trip playing loud music, banging on the walls and leaving used condoms on his doorknob. When asked why he didn't mention this earlier, Zack says that he didn't want to badmouth the dead. This time, however, he states that Trip was an ass.

Sara gets a page from Henry Andrews, who she notes usually works the day shift. Henry tells her that Paula and Trip were drunk at the time of their death, something Sara already figured. However, he adds that he found blood in Trip's vomit and that the carbon dioxide levels were at 8%, which is lethal. Sara points out that carbon dioxide would replace oxygen in one's system, causing them to suffocate to death. Henry says that the carbon dioxide doesn't explain the pink color of the bodies, as only carbon monoxide would have that effect.

Greg and Sara pay another visit to Trip's dorm room. There, Greg finds Trip's sex journal that lists all of his conquests. Wondering how carbon dioxide could've been pumped into the room, Sara moves Trip's bed away from the wall and finds a hole in the wall. The splinters around the hole indicate that the hole was drilled from the room next door. They head next door to Zack's room; there, Sara finds a matching hole in the wall. Zack insists that he didn't know there was a hole there and Sara has him escorted from the room, as it's now a crime scene.

Zack is questioned yet again and tells Greg and Sara that he was out of town for four days visiting his boyfriend. When he returned, Susan the R.A. was banging on Trip's door, concerned that he had missed his basketball game. Zack jimmied the door open with his pocketknife. Sara notices a burn mark on Zack's finger, and he says that when he returned, he saw something on the floor and picked it up. Whatever it was burned his finger, and he threw it in the garbage. Greg checks the garbage but finds nothing that could cause such an injury. After they let Zack go to class, Sara asks Greg what can burn skin but also disappear into thin air. He guesses that it's dry ice, and Sara adds that when dry ice sublimates, it releases carbon dioxide.

Greg and Sara conduct an experiment, with Sara stacking dry ice up in Zack's room and Greg monitoring the carbon dioxide levels in Trip's room. It's determined that 30 pounds of dry ice would've had to have been used to get the carbon dioxide amount to a lethal level. Since carbon dioxide is one and a half times heavier than air, Sara believes that Paula and Trip would still be alive if they were sleeping on a bed and not on the floor. Greg concludes that the bodies turned pink because the dry ice significantly lowered the temperature in both rooms, and a drastic decrease in temperature can turn a dead body pink. If Zack was telling the truth, they're still looking for the person who put the dry ice in his room. Greg says that he'll have the police run credit card checks to see if someone bought a large quantity of dry ice.

Greg brings a discarded toilet to the lab and puts dry ice in it for his experiment. His theory is that the killer flushed some dry ice and it got caught in the drain trap. When the dry ice sublimated and released gas, it built up and caused the toilet to explode. The experiment is a success, as the toilet does indeed explode, much to the his and Sara's amusement. Sara tells him that Zack's alibi checked out; furthermore, nobody in the dorm bought dry ice with a credit card. She wonders if the dry ice was actually taken from the university science lab, as they would have it on hand. This thought proves to be correct.

Susan the R.A. is brought in for interrogation. Greg shows her the sex journal Trip kept and mentions that Susan's name is in there three times. Susan admits to having sex with Trip, something she says she's not exactly proud of. Sara brings up that Susan is a materials science grad student, so she would have access to the dry ice and be aware of its chemical properties. Susan replies that she uses dry ice as part of her thesis, but Sara confirmed with her professor that she would only need two pounds of it for her experiments.

Sara guesses that Trip broke Susan's heart. Knowing that Zack was out of town, she broke into his room, drilled a hole in the wall and filled the room with dry ice. Susan breaks down, saying that she didn't know Paula would be in the room and that she didn't mean to kill Trip. She had calculated the dimensions of Trip's room and used exactly the amount of dry ice to make him sick, which would've happened if he had been in his bed. Susan insists that Trip shouldn't have been on the floor, knowing that he only slept there when he had a girl over and that he never had sex before a big game. Her calculations were perfect, but she underestimated one thing—the sex drive of a college jock.

Victim: James Billmeyer (deceased)

On the case: Conrad Ecklie, Louis Vartann

Det. Vartann walks around the lab looking for assistance, but is unable to find anyone. He runs into Ecklie and finds out that both shifts are tapped out; Grissom and Sofia are unavailable, as well. Vartann tells Ecklie that there's a dead body at the Tangiers that has been there over an hour with nobody to process it. He then remembers that Ecklie is qualified to process a scene and asks him to lend a hand. Ecklie accepts and goes to get his kit.

Ecklie meets Vartann in the parking garage of the Tangiers, where a male victim lies dead on the floor with a pool of blood next to him. Vartann finds the rental car agreement that identifies the victim as James Billmeyer from New Jersey; James isn't registered at the hotel. There's a bloody shoeprint near the body that Vartann says belongs to Mrs. Vivoldi, the woman who found the body and called 911. They question her, and she tells them that she was walking back to her car when she stepped in blood and saw the body. Ecklie notices blood on the tops of her shoes and tells her that he needs them as evidence.

Ecklie pays Doc Robbins a visit and asks for information on his victim. The doc says that preliminary reports indicate that James suffered a laceration to the scalp that didn't penetrate too deeply. The laceration didn't kill James, but Doc Robbins says he'll know more when he opens the body up. However, when he goes to retrieve the body, he finds the drawer empty. He searches several more drawers and finds no evidence of James Billmeyer. Ecklie offers up some suggestions as to what could've happened, but Doc Robbins dismisses each one of them.

David Phillips is called into Ecklie's office. He runs through everything he did to prep the body for autopsy and says that he hasn't seen the body since. Despite David's insistence that he didn't do anything wrong, an angry Ecklie tells him that this will go on his record if the body isn't found and orders him to leave. Meanwhile, in autopsy, Doc Robbins has called every mortuary and funeral home in the city with no luck. He tells David that he knows that they didn't mislabel or misplace the body and theorizes that they're dealing with a body snatcher who was after this particular body.

Vartann and Doc Robbins go through James' personal effects hoping to find evidence of why someone would want to steal his body. Two pairs of clothes indicate that James was staying in town for two days. Doc Robbins finds a note written on an airplane cocktail napkin; the note was written by a Jacinda Hendler, encouraging James to give her a call. Vartann offers to track down Jacinda.

Jacinda is brought in for questioning. She tells Ecklie and Vartann that she met James on the flight to Vegas, adding that James said he was flying into town to party with some friends from high school. James had offered to invite her; when she never heard back, she figured she had been blown off. She doesn't know who could've killed James or would want his body in its current condition.

James' body is finally found, propped up on a bench with a cigar in his mouth and wearing a party hat. Ecklie tells Doc Robbins to process the body ASAP, which the doc sarcastically says he will. Grissom, on break from court, walks by and heckles Ecklie, giving him pointers on how he should go about collecting and processing the evidence.

In autopsy, Doc Robbins tells Ecklie that James had a heart that weighed 500 grams instead of the normal 300 and that he died from hypertensive cardiovascular disease. In other words, James was a ticking time bomb. A flashback shows James leaving his car, keeling over and hitting his head on the pavement. A tox report shows that he was taking medication for his oversized heart, so he was aware of his condition. Doc Robbins also mentions that he found evidence that James chugged a beer after he died; obviously, someone poured it down his throat.

Lab tech Neil Jensen and Hodges process the party hat and the cigar, respectively. Hodges finds that the cigar is a very high-end brand and, in an effort to suck up to Ecklie, tells him that he spoke to a cigar distributor who sold it a guy from Seven Hills. Neil interrupts and informs Ecklie that four prints were recovered from the party hat; they belong to a Preston Hayburn from Henderson. He adds that Preston is a paramedic, so he would've had access to the morgue. Ecklie recalls Jacinda mentioning that James was going to a party in Seven Hills, so he figures he'll start there.

Ecklie and Vartann visit the residence of Charlie Jackson in Seven Hills. Inside, they find evidence of a party that includes the same brand of high-end cigar that James' body was found with. Charlie admits that he, James and Preston went to high school together. They all knew that James had a bad heart, so they flew him out to Vegas for one last hurrah. Unfortunately, James died before that could happen, so Preston stole the body from the morgue and brought it back to Charlie's house in order to give James the epic party they had planned for him. Vartann tells Charlie that he's under arrest for obstruction of justice and conspiracy to commit theft, punishable by one to four years in prison. Charlie accepts this and says that James would've done the same for him.

Before leaving for the day, Doc Robbins checks on James' body, which is safely stowed in the morgue's freezer this time.

Victim: Kevin Staniland (deceased)

On the case: Catherine Willows, Nick Stokes, Warrick Brown

Catherine and Warrick are called to a scene where a body has been found in the middle of a field. They meet David Phillips, who identifies the victim as 30-year-old Kevin Stanliand from Reno. David notes that the body is in the middle of a crop circle and tells Warrick that he might want to photograph it. The victim has a blindfold on, and lividity indicates that he died in this spot. David adds that the only path made to the body was made by the paramedics. So, how did the body get into the middle of a crop circle? David has an idea and looks to the sky; however, he offers to keep his idea to himself.

In autopsy, David mentions to Nick and Warrick that there are grass stains on the victim's jeans. Warrick finds this odd, as the grass around the victim was undisturbed. The victim's underwear is also soaked in urine; it's undetermined whether it happened pre- or postmortem. Warrick glances down at the body and finds a tapeworm crawling out of the victim's mouth. Nick collects it as evidence.

In autopsy, Doc Robbins tells Catherine that he doesn't have a definitive cause of death. Cuts and abrasions on the body are superficial and there's no obvious anatomical defect. The only thing left to check is to see whether Kevin suffered from a cardiac arrhythmia, which is quite unusual for someone his age.

Nick talks to Catherine and discusses theories that people have come up with in the past regarding crop circles. One theory that holds merit is that a "crop circle" could be caused by a helicopter hovering above the ground and pushing the grass below it outward. He brings Catherine into the A/V lab, where Archie has set up the radar surveillance from the last 48 hours. They spot something holding steady in the air around the time of Kevin's death; Catherine says that they need to find the owner of the helicopter.

Catherine and Warrick visit the owner of the helicopter. He knows about Kevin's death and offers to give up everything in exchange for immunity. The host of a reality show is brought into interrogation. A video is shown where he was convincing Kevin to jump out of the helicopter blindfolded and without a parachute. Although the chopper was just four feet in the air, Kevin was under the impression that they were a thousand feet up; he even wet his pants out of fear. The host pushed him out and laughed at his prank, bragging to the camera that you can't script something like this. However, the camera panned down and Kevin was lying dead in the field.

The host and the chopper pilot left the scene without alerting authorities. Nick tells him that he scared Kevin to death, causing him to have a heart attack. The host insists that Kevin signed a waiver, but Catherine says that he'll be tried for second-degree murder, which can put him in jail for 25 years to life.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

Major Events[]

  • This is the first appearance of Henry Andrews.

Episode Title[]

  • "Iced" is a slang term that means "murdered," and refers to the murders of Trip Wilmont and Paula Levine by carbon dioxide poisoning from dry ice that are investigated in the episode.


Greg (while looking through Trip's dorm): Ah, a sex journal. Lists of girls, dates and sexual activities.
Sara: Boys and their conquests.
Greg: I've never even heard of some of these.
Sara (surprised): Really?
Greg: Never mind.


  • When Catherine, Warrick and David Phillips are in the crop circle and the camera shows Warrick looking up, you can clearly see the boom mic reflected in his sunglasses.
  • The murderer kills the two students by drilling a hole through the adjoining wall of the victim's room at floor level, placing 30 pounds of dry ice next to the hole, and allowing the sublimating carbon dioxide to pass through the hole into the victim's room, creating a toxic atmosphere. Since the two rooms are at the same air pressure, the only possible way for the CO2 to move from one room to the next is to be pumped through. The melting dry ice would fill up the vacant dorm room where the murderer was before it would flow to the victim's room.
  • As has been noted, the problem with pressure differentials will make it impossible to flood someone's room with CO2 from sublimating dry ice anyway, but there's another problem. Dry ice sublimates at -78.5 C. That gas is going to be very, very cold and it will rapidly bring the temperature of the room down to a very uncomfortable level. Before a sleeping person suffocates, they would be awakened by the freezing cold.
  • Only Zack's index finger was burned by the dry ice; however, he would've had to use more than one finger to pick it up. His other fingers and palm seem unaffected.


  • When the topic of crop circles is discussed, Nick brings up the "alien autopsy" case, a callback to the the season premiere episode Viva Las Vegas.


  • Jon Wellner's first appearance as Henry Andrews is in this episode. He was previously appeared as Sam Tracy in the episode Unbearable from earlier in the season.
  • Billy Gardell, who played Charlie Jackson, is an actor and comedian perhaps most recognized for his lead role in the show Mike & Molly, in which he starred opposite Melissa McCarthy.

See Also[]

CSI:Las Vegas Season 5
Viva Las VegasDown the DrainHarvestCrow's FeetSwap MeetWhat's Eating Gilbert Grissom?FormalitiesCh-Ch-ChangesMea CulpaNo Humans InvolvedWho Shot Sherlock?SnakesNesting DollsUnbearableKing BabyBig MiddleCompulsionSpark of Life4 x 4Hollywood BrassCommittedWeeping WillowsIcedGrave Danger, Part 1Grave Danger, Part 2