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In the White Room is the ninth episode in Season Two of CSI: Vegas.

Csi vegas lg
In the White Room
Csi vegas
Season 2
Number 9
Writer Marisa Tam
Director Kenneth Fink
Original Airdate December 15, 2022
Navigation
Previous Episode: Grace Note
Next Episode: Eyeballs

Synopsis[]

When the bodies of two Regency Romantic Festival attendees are discovered, the CSI team uncovers a shocking link between their murders and previous cases.

Plot[]

Victims: Shelby Winslow and Clarence Mosely (both deceased)

On the case: Allie Rajan, Beau Finado, Catherine Willows, Joshua Folsom, Maxine Roby, Det. Serena Chavez

As moonlight shines down, a woman wearing an old-fashioned gown is chased through a golf course. She trips and falls into a sand trap, whereupon her assailant jumps in behind her brandishing a weapon. The following morning, the victim is found dead with a bullet-shaped wound to the forehead.

Folsom joins Allie and Penny at the scene and is informed that the adjacent hotel is hosting a Regency Romantics Weekend. The victim is identified as Shelby Winslow, one of the festival’s attendees, which explains her old-fashioned clothing. Footprints show that Shelby was running for her life all the way from inside the hotel until her killer caught up to her. The body was found by the head groundskeeper, but his hands tested negative for gunshot residue and his shoe size doesn’t match the prints in the sand trap. Folsom questions how the victim’s head stayed on in one piece since she was shot from close range. Based on the fact that there’s no exit wound, he guesses that the weapon used could’ve been a flintlock, with the projectile being a musket ball. He also spots a clump of hair in one of the victim’s hands; its length and coarseness suggest that it came from someone’s beard. Penny, meanwhile, has trouble getting a mold of the suspect’s shoe print and notices the smell of chlorine bleach in the sand. The thought is that the killer tracked the chemical with him. It’s then that Folsom is notified that there’s another crime scene and victim in the hotel.

Inside, Det. Chavez leads Allie to the body of Clarence Mosely, who has been found shot to death in a photo booth. The wound matches the one found in Shelby, and Allie spots footprints leading outside that are identical to the ones found in the sand trap. Due to the lack of sand and dirt in the photo booth, the conclusion is that Clarence was shot first. Det. Chavez pulls a set of photos from the booth that shows the murder taking place in real time; unfortunately, the assailant can’t be seen.

Max observes the odd powder marks on Clarence’s cheek and is informed that the same marks were found around Shelby’s wound. Meanwhile, Beau takes a closer look at the photo booth curtain; there’s a crusty substance around the bullet hole that Max believes came from the muzzle of the gun. She wonders if the killer even knew Shelby was in the booth since the curtain was obstructing his view. In the adjacent room, Allie and Det. Chavez question one of the festival attendees. The partygoer scoffs at the public display Clarence and Shelby were putting on, adding that Shelby was actually married. Her theory is that Shelby’s husband found out about the affair and killed his wife and her lover.

The analysis of the beard hair in Shelby’s fist shows that the killer was on haloperidol, an antipsychotic. However, while there was a ton of the drug in the bottom two-thirds of the hair, there was none near the root. This points toward the victim going off his meds approximately a month ago. Beau hopes to get the team closer, informing them that the crusty substance around the bullet hole in the curtain is grackle scat. There were traces of other substances in the scat, including corn, and his hope is that this will help narrow down the birds’ geographic location. In other words, they’re going to try and catch a killer by using bird poop.

Shelby’s husband identifies her body and admits to being at the party to keep tabs on her. His shoe size matches the killer’s; however, the treads don’t match and they contain no sand. When asked about his whereabouts at the time of the murders, he says he was betting at the Eclipse and provides a slip to prove it.

Sonya surprisingly determines that neither victim was actually shot with a gun, as no bullets were recovered. The only things found in the wound tracts were bone chips and small traces of bird poop. Max isn’t surprised by the bird poop revelation, relaying the team’s earlier findings. Both victims have the same powder marks around their wounds, and the characteristics of the wound canals are identical. Something both penetrated and was removed from the wounds. Max concludes that they’re looking for a bolt gun, which fires a cylindrical projectile when fired. The killer can then retrieve the projectile and use it again, which helps explain the trace found in Shelby’s wound.

An unseen figure uses a bolt gun to shoot out a lock and enter someone’s house; the occupant is beaten to death. Upon arriving at the scene, Allie recognizes the victim as Lamont Moore. Det. Chavez recalls chasing Alan Herskowitz out of Lamont’s house a few months back; Alan was soon arrested and convicted of murdering dominatrix Lynn Zobrist. The question is why someone else would want Lamont dead, as Alan is now spending time in a prison psych ward. As the team tries to piece things together, the same unseen figure sits in a white room and scribbles nonsense into his journal.

Lamont was killed with a bolt gun shot to the forehead. He was actually staying in a motel miles away from the first crime scene, as he hadn’t been home in quite a few weeks due to the earlier attempt on his life. Allie finds a shoebox full of money under the bed, while Folsom discovers that Lamont was staying at the motel under an assumed name. Outside in Lamont’s truck, Det. Chavez discovers that Lamont was working as a janitor at the same hotel where the Regency Romantics Weekend was being held.

Folsom checks out the janitorial closet at the hotel and is overwhelmed by the smell of bleach. He sprays luminol on the ground, which reveals footprints that lead into the banquet hall where Clarence’s body was found. Back at the lab, Folsom theorizes to Max that the killer confronted Lamont in the janitorial closet; however, Lamont splashed bleach on his attacker and fled. The killer followed Lamont into the banquet hall and saw someone who looked like Lamont duck into the photo booth. Because his vision was impaired from the bleach, the killer shot the wrong man. He then saw Shelby flee; knowing he made a mistake, the killer chased her outside and finished the job to keep her silent. The killer then got Lamont’s address off a work ID, tracked him down, and killed him once and for all.

Beau assembles grackles from the different geographic areas around Vegas, but finds that the contents of their scat aren’t exact matches to the scat from the crime scene. Penny notes that the scat from the scene consisted of mostly corn, which is out of place for a desert ecosystem. Combined with the fact that a bolt gun can also be used on cattle, the team starts narrowing its search down to farm areas. They also believe they can narrow things down further if they can determine the exact variety of the corn in the animal feed.

Back in the motel room, Allie and Folsom spray luminol on the floor. Only Lamont’s shoe prints are revealed, but they curiously lead to the bathroom; there are more prints in the bathtub itself. Allie sees that the cover to the overflow pipe was recently tampered with; when unscrewed and removed, they see that there’s something tied to the string fed into the pipe. The item is a dossier that shows that Lamont was being blackmailed; in fact, he was supposed to kill someone, as well. Attached to the dossier is another note that reads “KEEP YOUR SECRETS. CULL THE ROTTEN FRUIT.” To the team’s surprise, Lamont was supposed to kill Albert Santoni (aka Peter Nesicolacci), who had previously killed chef Dario Donnelly. At least three cases the team has worked on recently are connected in some way.

Allie fills Catherine and Max in on the tangled web of murders. Each victim was treated by a Dr. Leon Sarkisian, who used electroshock therapy to treat his patients when they were very young. Alan Herskowitz killed Lynn Zobrist, then went after Lamont Moore. Lamont, in turn, had a file on Albert Santoni from before a murder case was even opened. Someone ordered Lamont to kill Albert; however, Albert fell to his death before this could happen. Therefore, Lamont never acted on the instructions he was given and was likely killed for not following orders. Clarence and Shelby, meanwhile, have no connection to anyone on the board; the assumption is that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Catherine and Max visit Alan in the prison psych ward. Alan, now rather coherent, admits that he has trouble remembering why he’s in prison. Catherine informs him that Lamont is dead and asks who wanted the deed to be done. Alan refuses to answer in the fear of looking sane (which would put him on death row instead of in a psych ward); however, he begins to freak out when shown the note. Before being dragged away by the attendants, he claims that it’s “too late” and that everything is “by design.” This will lead to “more blood” and “more reckoning.”

It’s discovered that the chemical breakdown of the corn in the grackle scat has a bacteria-derived protein active against rootworm. The protein is exclusive to a specific livestock feed company, and there are only six feed buyers in the greater Vegas area.

Allie and Det. Chavez arrive at the property of Richard Ambrose Sloan; unbeknownst to them, the figure in the white room is watching them on his surveillance feed. They make their way to a barn inhabited by a plague of grackles; the assumption is that they pooped onto the murder weapon, which was lying in a truck bed. The door to Richard’s house is ajar and the women enter. As Det. Chavez makes her way through the house, she’s attacked by Richard, who holds a bolt gun to her head. He claims that the “plan is in motion” and that they must not interfere with the commands of “the Basilisk.” It’s then that we see that Richard has a beard and a partially burned face. He admits that he had to find Lamont Moore, killed the wrong people by accident, and had to clean up the mess per “the Basilisk.” Det. Chavez wrestles her way out of Richard’s grip; during the struggle, the bolt gun goes off and shoots Richard in the abdomen.

In the ambulance on the way to the hospital, an incoherent Richard rambles about the Basilisk, believing that his injuries are punishment for not obeying its commands. Back in the lab, Allie relays to Max that Richard is unlikely to survive surgery. Her research has found that the Basilisk is an Internet thought experiment about an omniscient artificial intelligence (“Siri on meth”). Supposedly, in the future, the Basilisk will torment anyone who doesn’t do its bidding. In Richard’s mind, everyone is doomed, and he believed the AI was talking to him from the future, telling him to kill Lamont Moore. A flashback shows his online game being interrupted by the AI asking about his progress with Lamont. In reality, Richard is being manipulated by someone the same way Alan Herskowitz was.

Catherine and Max go through Richard’s laptop and find the dossier he was sent on Lamont along with the blackmail letter. Suddenly, the file closes by itself. Penny arrives and hurriedly shuts the laptop, explaining that the file didn’t close on its own—someone gained access to the computer and closed the file remotely. She adds that the malware program the hacker is using can control the whole computer, including the webcam. If someone was keeping tabs on Richard, they could’ve been watching him through the camera.

The shadowy figure is seen in his white room scribbling more nonsense in silver ink. He then finds a headshot of Richard and scratches it out with a knife. The camera pans over to the person’s laptop, which shows a screenshot of the ladies in the lab—they were indeed being watched, and the figure knows they’re onto him.

Cast[]

Main Cast[]

  • Paula Newsome as Maxine Roby
  • Matt Lauria as Joshua Folsom
  • Mandeep Dhillon as Allie Rajan
  • Ariana Guerra as Det. Serena Chavez
  • Jay Lee as Chris Park (credited only)
  • Lex Medlin as Beau Finado
  • Marg Helgenberger as Catherine Willows

Guest Cast[]

  • Joel Johnstone as Jack Nikolayevich
  • Jordan Cox as Richard Sloan
  • Sara Amini as Sonya Nikolayevich
  • Sarah Gilman as Penny Gill
  • Joe Gillette as Alan Herskovitz
  • Patrick Cage as Lamont Moore
  • Karen Strassman as Prudence
  • Michael Sasaki as Grant
  • Justin Dray as Derek
  • Ronin Lee as Clarence

Episode Title[]

  • “In the White Room” is the opening lyric in the song “White Room” by Cream.

Music[]

  • Requiem in D Minor by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Notes[]

  • Jay Lee (Chris) is credited but does not appear in the episode.
  • This episode links back to several previous episodes of CSI: Vegas:
    • Alan Herskovitz first appeared in the episode She’s Gone, where he caught after murdering dominatrix Lynn Zobrist.
    • Lamont Moore was a potential victim of Herskovitz’s, but was allowed to live for the time being.
    • The death of chef Dario Donnelly was investigated in the episode There’s the Rub.
    • The white room with the mysterious scribblings was in the closing scene of the season one finale, Signed, Sealed, Delivered.

See Also[]

  • Category:Images from In the White Room


CSI:Vegas Season 2
She's GoneThe Painted ManStory of a GunKoalaIn Harm's WayThere's the RubBurnedGrace NoteIn the White RoomEyeballsTrinketWhen the Dust SettlesBonedThird Time's the CharmAshes, AshesWe All Fall DownThe Promise


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