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In the Blood
In the Blood
Season 1
Number 7
Writer Marisa Tam
Director Christine Moore
Original Airdate November 17, 2021
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Previous Episode: Funhouse
Next Episode: Pipe Cleaner

In the Blood is the seventh episode in Season One of CSI: Vegas.

Synopsis[]

An abandoned horse covered in blood leads the CSI team to a halfway house for convicted murderers. Meanwhile, Grissom and Sara begin to circle their prime suspect in the David Hodges case.

Plot[]

Victim: Emery Hollis (deceased)

On the case: Allie Rajan, Joshua Folsom, Maxine Roby

Three partygoers arrive outside their hotel on the Strip and are surprised to a see a blood-covered horse standing yards away. Allie, Folsom and Max respond to the call from Animal Control and find the horse rearing uncontrollably. Folsom surprises his colleagues by flexing his skills as a horse whisperer, calming the horse down. He quickly concludes that the blood doesn't belong to the horse. The horse is covered in blood on both sides of its body; curiously, there's a cowboy boot in the stirrup, but no other signs of the rider.

Max recovers a partial print from the saddle, but it won't be enough to identify the rider. Allie estimates that whoever was in the saddle lost at least three pints of blood, possibly from a wound to the head, neck, or chest. Whoever it was held on for a while before slipping off. Folsom doesn't get much trace from the horse and notes how well the horse has been taken care of. When the horse performs a piaffe (a movement in dressage), they realize that it's a show horse; people who train fancy show horses usually put microchips in them. The chip is located and scanned, revealing the horse to be Kings Gambit, who has been missing for several months.

Allie and Max speak to the horse's owner, Damian Locke. He doesn't recognize the boot when shown a picture of it, nor does he know anyone who walks in a way that explains the scuff marks on the boot's heel. Damian soon reveals that he has insurance on the horse, which means he got paid when it went missing. He denies committing insurance fraud, but provides a flimsy alibi for his whereabouts the night before.

Folsom analyzes the horse's dung, finding out that the horse grazed on Blue grama and June grass; unfortunately, the Nevada desert is covered in it. The dust from the horseshoes contains gypsum, which is also relatively unhelpful. However, the dust also contained rare earth elements, which narrows down the search area to three mines. When they factor in where Kings Gambit was found, Allie determines that the horse came from the area near Sunset Manor.

Allie and Folsom ride through the desert, eventually finding the victim next to a shed. The victim suffered a gunshot to the neck; however, the blood spatter on the shed is inconsistent with a neck wound. Someone apparently beat the victim before he died. Allie finds the victim's ID, which identifies him as Emery Hollis. It's assumed that some of the blood on the horse was arterial spray that got covered up when Emery bled onto it. A flashback shows him getting shot while on top of the horse; he fell forward, and the horse started running with Emery still riding it.

Allie finds the exact spot where Emery was shot; the horse bolted, and Emery fell off by the shed. Emery's address is close by. When Allie and Folsom reach the ranch, they're greeted from afar by an axe-wielding teenager. Other teenagers emerge from a cabin, interested that the cops are paying them a visit. Allie and Folsom assure the group that they aren't cops, and the situation is deescalated by Denny Trask, the ranch's foreman. Denny informs them that the ranch is a halfway house that takes care of teenagers who are convicted killers. The CSIs now have some intriguing suspects.

Max speaks with Emery's son, Cory, who helps run the ranch. He explains that his troubled younger brother killed himself when he was 14 years old; this motivated Emery to start the ranch and save others in similar circumstances. The juvenile homicide offenders are staffed at the ranch, given a roof over their head and an honest day's work. There are three teenagers currently staying at the ranch: Jonas Reeves, May Ellen Peyton and Theo Lavelle. During the conversation, Allie finds a safe that houses several guns; however, none of them have been recently fired or even cleaned.

Folsom goes through crime scene photos on his camera, showing Max the blood spatter on the shed. There's a strange castoff pattern, and Folsom sets out to find the weapon that could've created it. His thought is that they're looking for a sledgehammer; blood hit the shed in the odd pattern as the killer twirled the weapon around.

Back in the lab, Folsom tries recreating the blood spatter pattern using different weapons; however, he's unable to replicate it. The autopsy report states that Emery was hit four times by something heavy and sharp. An interested Grissom stops by and suggests that the killer took a swing with one weapon, then three swings with a different weapon. However, this still wouldn't explain the volume problem Folsom seems to be having; in his efforts, he has yet to produce enough castoff. Meanwhile, Allie searches the rooms of the ranch's inhabitants, but comes up empty.

Allie and Folsom dig through the trash from the ranch. In the office trash, they find a tube of horse ejaculate that's used in breeding, while a bloody shirt is found in Theo's trash. Theo is brought in for questioning; Emery's death fits his M.O., as his past crime was beating his parents to death. When confronted with the bloody shirt, he claims that three weeks ago, someone t-boned Emery's truck. He used his shirt to stop the bleeding on Emery's forehead, then threw it in the laundry. Theo, who has anger issues, is irate when asked why he didn't wash his clothes for three weeks. After Max calms him down, he says that he would never hurt Emery; Max, however, doesn't believe him. Theo's story is proven to be true, though, when the blood on the shirt is analyzed and determined to be three weeks old.

The tube of horse ejaculate is a genetic match to Kings Gambit, but no other devices related to breeding were found at the ranch. Allie researches foals sired by Kings Gambit. While there was no activity when he was missing, his offspring started showing up again when he appeared at the ranch. Someone was doing unauthorized breeding, and if Damian Locke found out, it would give him motive for murder.

Allie heads back to the ranch and processes Emery's banged-up truck. She takes a paint sample from it that turns out to be from a 1995-1997 red Dodge pickup. She finds that Damian happens to own a truck that fits the description.

In interrogation, Damian admits that he was at the ranch to confront Emery. He had learned that Kings Gambit was being "pimped out" and found out who was doing it when Emery actually shipped the ejaculate straws with his return address on them. When Emery was confronted and pleaded ignorance, Damian responded by ramming his truck. Damian, however, denies committing murder, and he angrily bangs his fist on the table before leaving the room. Folsom notices something when Damian slammed his fist down; he thinks Damian is guilty, and he asks Max for more paint to prove it.

Folsom covers a dummy's head in paint and starts punching it; however, he's still unable to replicate the blood spatter pattern from the side of the shed. It's been determined that all of the blood on the shed is Emery's; none of it belonged to the killer. The blood is in an abnormal pattern, one which he can't replicate in under 15 blows; however, there were only four wounds on Emery's face. Folsom tells Allie that there were four visible wounds. He theorizes that someone hit Emery and left a bruise; once their hand got tired, they grabbed a shovel and started swinging, with the strikes covering over the other contusions. The killer's fist loosened from the constant punching, which would explain the smaller castoff on the shed; the larger drops came from the shovel. However, when the spatter is digitally recreated, there appears to be too little. Allie realizes that the missing gap is from a finger and recalls seeing a photo of the Hollis family; in it, Cory was missing a finger.

Allie retrieves the photo from ranch foreman Denny Trask. She theorizes that Cory's younger brother didn't actually kill himself; Cory was the killer, and the tragedy is why his father started the rehab ranch. Ten years later, he was still keeping Cory close.

Folsom and Max rush to the ranch. Upon arriving, they find Theo beating up Cory. Theo has put two and two together; when the cops asked for a picture of Cory, he realized that Cory was the killer. Cory's DNA was found on the horse ejaculate straw, which means he was the one illegally breeding Kings Gambit. Emery found out and lied to Damian Locke in order to protect his son. However, when Emery caught his son taking the horse out to stud, the two got into an argument. Cory shot his father, followed him to the shed, and beat him to death. The missing finger gave him away, and he tried covering his signature with Theo's so the suspicion would gravitate away from him. Folsom asks Cory if he killed his brother, but Max stops the line of questioning as the young man is hauled away.

Theo is off the hook for the beating unless Cory presses charges. He tells Folsom that Emery was the only one who ever trusted him and saw past his previous crime. Later, Folsom purchases Kings Gambit to prevent it from going back to Damian.

Under investigation: David Hodges

On the case: Chris Park, Gil Grissom, Maxine Roby, Sara Sidle

The lab has determined that Anson Wix is behind the attempted murder of Jim Brass, the murder of Martin Kline, and the framing of David Hodges. His motivation for all this was money—wrongful imprisonment lawsuits pay a lot of money, and lawyers take 40%. Meanwhile, Anson makes breakfast for his wheelchair-bound older sister, Anna. She spots a red mark on his shirt, which Anson claims is hot sauce. When he excuses himself and removes his shirt, we see that he's bleeding through a bandage; the injury occurred when he blew up Martin with a grenade.

Grissom and Sara bring Hodges and his lawyer up to speed. Sara explains that the man hired to kill Brass was paid with ransom cash from a kidnapping in the '90s—and Anson was a junior associate at the firm that defended the kidnapper. Anson also represented the man who sent the CSIs to the carefully staged storage unit rented in Hodges' name. Finally, he hired Martin to help frame Hodges, then killed him to keep him quiet. Hodges reveals that he worked for Anson as an expert witness in a few cases. Anson also seemed genuinely interested in Hodges' past, but it was a ruse for his master plan. Hodges adds that Anson doesn't make mistakes, which is why he actually tried to hire him as his lawyer.

Grissom, Sara and Chris go through the broken pieces of furniture from Martin's home. Sara finds blood on a chair and swabs it; the assumption is that the blood is Martin's. Chris does some digging and finds a grenade pin stuck to the bottom of a piece of drywall. The pin has a thread attached to it.

The green thread pulled from the grenade pin is a bamboo-blend yarn, which isn't used in commercial fabrics; however, it's not that rare, either. A search of local craft stores reveals that one place carries the exact thread in question—and the store's Yelp page is followed by Anna Wix. Based on Anna's social media profile, she suffers from Huntington's Disease and Anson takes care of her. There may be more yarn in their house, but no judge is going to serve a warrant based on who Anna follows online.

Sara gets a call from Emma Hodges; her husband is missing. Recalling an earlier conversation, Sara finds Hodges at a food truck across from the courthouse. Hodges wants to confront Anson once and for all, demanding to know why he was the target. Sara is adamant that Anson be kept in the dark; this way, it may be more likely he slips up and makes a mistake. Confronting Anson will only hurt Hodges' case, but the disgraced CSI is tired of sitting at home while everyone else handles things. Just then, the police arrive, and Sara offers to do all the talking.

Sara is able to get Hodges sent home with just a warning, playing to the responding officer's emotions by mentioning that Emma is pregnant. Grissom notes that monitoring violations get reported to all parties, meaning that Anson is going to figure Hodges was there to confront him. The good news is that there's no reason why they can't question Anna about the thread. Since there's no warrant, Anna can only be questioned via a friendly chat. Grissom wins the coin flip and will have the honor of questioning Anna one-on-one so as to not make her feel like she's being ganged up on.

Grissom visits Anna and is informed that Anson hates CSIs. Because the CSIs tell their stories in court, there's less glory for people like Anson. Anna believes that was her brother is doing is justified, as he'll finally get the recognition he deserves. She then openly admits that Hodges was chosen as the fall guy because he was the most smug expert witness Anson had, adding that Hodges would be the easiest to picture faking evidence. Grissom is in disbelief and says that the truth is what matters most, but Anna tells him that in the eyes of the world, the best story wins regardless of the truth. She even encourages the CSIs to search the house, confident that they won't uncover anything.

As he and Sara watch a TV report on the investigation, Grissom laments the fact that people don't even believe the truth in front of their own faces anymore. Facts are up for debate, while empirical science is just "someone's opinion." Sara speculates that if Anna was so confident nothing would be found in her house, it's possible Anson ran the whole frame-up from somewhere else.

Later, as she sits in her office, Max is visited by Undersheriff Wyatt. He orders her to vacate the premises in the company of two officers, who are standing in the doorway. Max contacted the head of the Washoe Crime Lab for information on how they were handling the Hodges case; this has created a conflict of interest. Effective immediately, she's no longer the head of criminalistics, will be demoted, and will be suspended with pay. Undersheriff Wyatt says his hands are tied; the orders came from on high. When Max asks who's behind the decision, the undersheriff points to a picture of Anson Wix in the newspaper.

Cast[]

Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

  • Wallace Langham as David Hodges
  • Jamie McShane as Anson Wix
  • Robert Curtis Brown as Undersheriff Cade Wyatt
  • Jay Lee as Chris Park
  • Luke Tennie as Bryan Roby
  • Chris Browning as Damian Locke
  • Joshua Brockington as Theo Lavelle
  • Eileen Grubba as Anna Wix
  • Joshua Dov as Denny Trask
  • David Paladino as Adam Tyner
  • Brennan Keel Cook as Cory Hollis
  • Kellen Joseph as Jones Reeves
  • Carly Dutcher as May Ellen Peyton

Music[]

  • Hot - VIP by FWLR, DYL
  • Nick of Time by Bonnie Raitt

See Also[]

  • Category:Images from In the Blood
CSI:Vegas Season 1
Legacy (Vegas)Honeymoon in VegasUnder the SkinLong PigLet the Chips FallFunhouseIn the BloodPipe CleanerWaiting in the WingsSigned, Sealed, Delivered


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