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Kill Me If You Can
Kill Me if You Can.jpg
Season 9
Number 15
Writer Bradley Thompson,
David Weddle
Director Nathan Hope
Original Airdate February 26, 2009
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Kill Me If You Can is the fifteenth episode in season nine of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis

CSIs are called to three different crime scenes in one night: Langston and Wendy investigate a drowned curator who sold fake art pieces, Greg and Catherine look into a homicide of a woman (presumably from California) in a motel room, and Nick and Riley are called to investigate a dead body which an old man found in his car.

Plot

A drunk man stumbles to his car in a casino parking lot and drops his keys before he can unlock the driver's side door. When he gets his keys and looks inside, he sees a dead body in his car. At a motel, a maid sweeps up debris on the sidewalk, only to find that it's a pile of maggots. She follows the maggots to a hotel room and discovers a dead female lying face up on the bed. Elsewhere, a pool cleaner spots a blood pool and finds a body floating in a swimming pool. At the first two scenes, a magazine called Society Watch is found; the dead body in the pool is the man on the cover of the pamphlets.

The episode is divided into three segments.

Title: "Lifestyles of the Rich & Felonious"

Victim: Carsten Pennington (deceased)

On the case: Raymond Langston, Wendy Simms, Jim Brass

Langston, aided by Wendy in the field, investigates the death of the pool victim, a wealthy art dealer named Carsten Pennington. He has been killed by having his head bashed into the ground near the pool. His fiancée, Darcy Farrell, mentions that they hosted a party the previous night which ended when Carsten burst out of a room and told everyone to leave. In one of the rooms, Langston and Wendy find a smashed vase, possibly as the result of a struggle. There are other ancient artifacts in the room along with their certificates of authenticity. Curiously, there are also several containers of yogurt nearby.

At the lab, Archie goes through surveillance video from the party and confirms Carsten kicking all of his guests out. Carsten is seen talking with someone for seven minutes before his blow-up. Elsewhere, Wendy discovers that the broken vase may have been stolen from the national museum in Iraq and that the thief may have used plastic wrappings and "Made in China" labels to smuggle it into the country as a cheap fake. The man Carsten was arguing with is identified as Jeffrey Luvan, an employee of the Marrakesh Casino tasked with acquiring ancient artifacts for the casino's owner. Under interrogation, Jeffrey admits that he was at the party and spoke with Carsten, upset that the artifacts were illegally brought into the country.

After Wendy puts the vase together, Langston reveals that the vase is fake, saying that Carsten's cat, Gareth, gave it away by licking a fragment. Langston's research revealed that the vase was covered with a mix of the yogurt and Iraqi minerals, artificially aging it to make it look real. A flashback shows Jeffrey meeting with Carsten and smashing the vase on the floor knowing that it was a fake. Langston and Brass talk on the phone, with Langston believing Jeffrey is innocent of murder since killing Casten wouldn't get his boss' money back. Brass reveals that Carsten withdrew $100,000 from the bank the day before he died.

At the house, Darcy tells Brass that she was unaware of Carsten's withdrawals. A search reveals that she had tried to wash a great deal of blood off of one of her dresses, suggesting that she may have killed Carsten after learning that he had withdrawn the money from their account and was planning to leave. After she asks for a lawyer and is arrested, Langston and Wendy congratulate each other on a job well done.

Catherine calls Langston to show him a video clip of a movie producer named Tripp Linson, who bears a striking resemblance to Carsten Pennington. Tripp is a suspect in the homicide at the motel.

Title: "Hooray for Hollywood"

Victim: Jena Mackin (deceased)

On the case: Catherine Willows, Greg Sanders, Louis Vartann

Catherine and Greg examine the motel crime scene. The victim is Jena Mackin, who has been dead up to 48 hours. Her cause of death is two bullets fired through her chin while she sat upright on the bed. The slugs are .38 caliber, possibly fired from a revolver; they are also slightly oxidized. On a table, Greg finds two circles left by wine glasses, suggesting that Mackin wasn't alone; however, there is no wine or no wine bottles in the room. The blood pool on the floor has an oddly shaped void. Under the bed, Catherine finds a live tortoise, which appears to be what left the void in the blood.

The autopsy confirms that the gunshots were the cause of death, but also reveals vaginal abrasions suggesting that she was either raped or had rough, consensual sex before being killed. On the tortoise, Mandy finds a fingerprint in blood that belongs to Mickey Ross, a Hollywood actor who was married to the victim. They bring him in for interrogation and take a sample of his DNA. In his possession, they find that he has a .38 revolver and ammo of the same kind and with the same level of oxidation as the ones found at the crime scene. When Det. Vartann asks him where he was at the time of the murder, he tries to claim he was in L.A.; however, when Vartann reveals that the tortoise, Gareth, places him at the scene, he puts on crocodile tears and admits that he visited her and brought the tortoise. Mickey claims that he found Jena dead with the gun in her hand and cleaned up the scene because it would have reflected badly on their relationship. He tries to claim he loved her, but a voicemail he left on her phone suggests otherwise.

While in interrogation with Vartann, Ross tells him about Tripp Linson, a movie producer who conned him into investing $200,000 in his next movie and, insult to injury, seduced Jena. A few days earlier, she had broken up with Mickey and was going to run away with Tripp. Mickey tracked her down through her credit card records and found her at the motel, in tears because Tripp had dumped her and pretended not to know her during their last meeting. Jena is seen in a flashback tearfully looking at a Society Watch magazine with Tripp (but rather, Carsten Pennington) on the front with his wife. Afterwards, she and Mickey had sex and, he claims, she shot and killed herself. When Vartann remarks that Jena was shot twice, Mickey insists that he only heard one shot. Greg ultimately proves that he was telling the truth when he finds strange markings on the slugs found in the ceiling above Jena. They show that the gun malfunctioned after the first shot and the gunpowder failed to ignite, trapping the slug in the barrel. When she pulled the trigger again, both bullets were fired because the second launched the first.

After the case, Catherine watches a video clip of Tripp Linson and notices that he is very similar to Langston's victim, Carsten Pennington. Nick then joins the group as well with a photo of a man named Ryan Morton, who also looks identical to Carsten and Tripp.

Title: "The Son He Never Had"

Victim: Shawn Hagan (deceased)

On the case: Nick Stokes, Riley Adams, Chris Cavaliere

The third segment covers the victim found in the car, Shawn Hagan, a private investigator from Tahoe. Nick and Riley are on the case. Shawn's body has been shoved under the steering column, but there is no immediate evidence of foul play. They find the rental agreement in the car that indicates it was picked up in L.A. four days earlier and was expensing it to a client, a Dr. Paul Anton. There's also a Society Watch magazine in the front passenger's seat.

Dr. Anton is brought to the station for questioning. He explains to Det. Cavaliere that he hired Shawn to track down a business associate of his, a real-estate developer named Ryan Morton; he figures that Ryan is the killer. The doctor also hands Det. Cavaliere a rectangular CD labeled "Ryan Morton, CEO, Royal Tahoe Ventures, LLP."

While examining the body, Nick and Riley find a contact lens Shawn's clothes. When Riley removes one of his gloves, she finds a small gunshot wound that went through the hand. Doc Robbins' autopsy reveals that the bullet did go through his hand, after which it grazed his arm before entering the chest and ricocheting between bones inside and finally being lodged in the spleen. The recovered bullet is a .22 caliber, which is a high-penetration round.

Nick and Det. Cavaliere watch the CD they were given, which is a Ryan Morton sales pitch, complete with his dog, Gareth. When the gun is found in a dumpster a few blocks from the crime scene, it turns out to be registered to Dr. Anton himself. He claims to have given it to Ryan as a gift years earlier. At first, Nick and Det. Cavaliere accuse him of killing Shawn in a dispute over his bills, but then Dr. Anton reveals that Morton befriended him and tricked him into investing $175,000 in a non-existent real-estate project. He didn't report it to the police out of fear that it would reflect badly on his judgment as a cardiac surgeon. As the team converges over their three cases, Wendy runs a DNA analysis on the contact lens found on Shawn and discovers that it's a sibling match to Carsten Pennington, a.k.a. Tripp Linson, a.k.a. Ryan Morton.

Title: "The Brother He Never Wanted"

On the case: Greg Sanders, Nick Stokes, Raymond Langston, Riley Adams, Jim Brass

As the whole team bands together to investigate their cases, they discover that Ryan Morton has a brother named Gareth (who also served as the namesake for Carsten's cat, Tripp's tortoise and Ryan's dog) who is in the wind. Security camera footage from Carsten's house reveals that Gareth was present at the party. Catherine figures that Jena Mackin saw Carsten on the cover of a Las Vegas magazine and sought him out. Since he had changed identities by then, he claimed he didn't know her. Out of grief and despair, she then killed herself. After being found by Shawn Hagan, Gareth, likely by accident, shot and killed him in the car. Later that night, he went to his brother's mansion and wound up killing him after a confrontation. Luckily, Gareth is arrested after being pulled over for speeding. During interrogation, Gareth claims Shawn visited him in Tonopah four days earlier and tried to force him to give up his house, half of which was legally owned by Ryan, to repay the $175,000 Ryan had stolen, though he denies killing Shawn. After Ryan's party ended, Gareth went to his mansion and tried to convince him to give up his half of the house. Ryan turned him down, mocked him for his weakness, and Gareth then left peacefully.

However, evidence found in Gareth's car suggest a different story altogether. Not only do they find a case of contact lenses with one missing, they also find almost $100,000 in cash hidden under the trunk of the car. Stranger yet, they find that Gareth was wearing expensive Burberry underwear when he was arrested, yet all the underwear in his luggage is cheap Dempseys; however, when they hauled "Carsten" out of the pool, he was wearing Dempseys.

When asked about the $100,000, Gareth tries to claim that Ryan gave them to him and he didn't tell about it because he didn't want to pay taxes on it. While being questioned, Gareth accuses Darcy of killing Ryan out of anger that he gave him the money. However, Darcy, who is overhearing the interview, reveals that Brass isn't talking to Gareth, but the man she knew as Carsten. On the night of his murder, she saw Gareth chew his brother out for not being in touch with their late mother. Ryan, in a moment of anger, shoved Gareth to the ground, accidentally killing him. Afterwards, they undressed Gareth, threw him in the pool and Ryan put on his clothes and stole his identity (though it's not explicitly stated, that also explains Shawn Hagan's death, as the DNA the crime lab thought was Gareth's was actually Ryan's).

After coming clean about his identity, Ryan tells Brass how he once returned to Gareth and their mother and tried to give them some money, but Gareth refused them. Though Brass is skeptical about the story, Ryan says he will stand by it, even if it never happened.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

Episode Title

  • The title of the episode is likely a play on the 2002 movie Catch Me If You Can, which starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks. The film is based on the life of Frank Abagnale, who, before his 19th birthday, successfully performed cons worth millions of dollars by posing as a Pan American World Airways pilot, a Georgia doctor and a Louisiana parish prosecutor.

See Also

CSI:Las Vegas Season 9
For WarrickThe Happy PlaceArt Imitates LifeLet It BleedLeave Out All The RestSay UncleWoulda, Coulda, ShouldaYoung Man with a Horn19 Down...One to GoThe Grave ShiftDisarmed and DangerousDeep Fried and Minty FreshMiscarriage of JusticeKill Me If You CanTurn, Turn, TurnNo Way OutMascaraThe Descent of ManA Space OddityIf I Had a Hammer...The Gone Dead TrainHog HeavenAll In
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