Season 6
Number 14
Writer Naren Shankar,
Dustin Lee Abraham
Director Kenneth Fink
Original Airdate February 2, 2006
Previous Episode: Kiss-Kiss, Bye-Bye
Next Episode: Pirates of the Third Reich

Killer is the fourteenth episode in Season Six of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.


In a CSI first, a crime is shown from the killer's perspective. The CSIs investigate two deaths, both linked to the same suspect. As the evidence starts to overlap, the CSI team begins to move in on the murderer.


Victims: Clayton Nash (deceased), Ally Sullivan (deceased)

On the case: entire team

A shadowy figure walks down an alleyway smoking a cigarette. When finished, he throws the cigarette on the ground and puts it out with this foot; however, before walking away, he picks it up and puts it in his pocket. He then climbs into an open motel window and awakens a man sleeping in bed. The man recognizes his intruder as "Red" and begins to converse with him. Before the one-sided conversation gets too deep, Red shoots the man three times with a silenced pistol and departs.

Red gets in his car and leaves the scene. As he crosses an intersection, he's t-boned by another car that ran the red light. An inebriated teenage girl gets out of the car and apologizes to Red, admitting fault for the accident. Not wanting the police to get involved, Red convinces the girl to refrain from calling 911, get back into her car, and drive home like nothing happened. However, as he's about to get back into his car, he catches the girl dialing her phone. He shakes his head disappointingly and seems to have come to a decision.

The girl is soon found dead next to her wrecked car. She's identified by Brass as Ally Sullivan, the car's registered owner. David Phillips finds a seatbelt contusion on the body, indicating that Ally survived the crash. Her cell phone is flipped open and "999552" is inputted into it. Grissom notes that, based on the position of her car, Ally caused the wreck. Red is next seen at home shaving off his beard and getting into bed with his wife.

Jack Sullivan tells Brass that his daughter was interested in the club scene, but wasn't a party girl. She had her sights on becoming a VIP hostess, and the best way to do so was to visit clubs and make herself known. Jack says that he raised his daughter to be polite, respectful, and to help anyone in need; he's deeply troubled that whoever killed Ally would leave her in the street to die without calling for an ambulance.

In autopsy, Grissom examines Ally's body and finds some fibers caught in her necklace. Sara is able to lift some prints off of the car windshield as well as the plastic cup next to the driver's seat. She also takes some blue paint scrapings as evidence. Doc Robbins later tells Grissom that Ally's cause of death was a ruptured vertebral artery, but that the accident likely didn't cause the injury. He says that the injury was more consistent with a stranglehold. Meanwhile, Red makes breakfast with his young daughter and sees an article about the crash in the newspaper.

The prints on the plastic cup come back to a Trent Hall, who has a record for date rape. In the interrogation room, he tells Brass that he knew Ally and that she offered him a ride home from the club the night she was killed. He adds that he and Ally never really talked and that she was into texting. Grissom, who is watching the interrogation from behind the glass, remembers Ally's cell phone and flips through his notes. He enters "999552" into the text messaging section of the phone; the result comes back "yka."

In the Trace lab, Hodges tells Sara that the blue paint scrapings from Ally's car came back to a 1991-1996 Ford. Under the microscope, he shows her that the mystery Ford was painted with blue house paint and had exposed primer. Grissom enters and says that he believes a disoriented Ally was trying to enter the license plate number (Y-K-A) of the other car from the scene; however, instead of putting it in a text message, she dialed it like a phone number. Sara believes that this is a long shot, but Grissom replies that it's still a shot.

The body of Red's first victim is found in the motel. The manager tells Sofia that he doesn't know the victim's name, as he deals with cash, not names. Sofia sees a discarded gun and shell casing on the floor, not far from the victim's bloody hand. She opens the wallet on the nightstand and sees that the victim's name is Clayton Nash. Meanwhile, in a casino bar, Red watches a news report about Ally's death. The reporter encourages anyone with information about her death to call a toll-free number on the screen.

Catherine and Warrick are the CSIs called to Clayton's scene; both feel that they've called to the motel numerous times. It's determined that Clayton has been dead for at least 20 hours. Based on the locations of the shots as well as the gun and ammo used, they believe that this was a professional hit. The gun has also been cleaned, another mark of a professional. Warrick sees that Clayton was part of the 12-step program and had made it to step nine—making amends. He also finds a large footprint by the window, providing the CSIs with the killer's point of entry and his shoe size. Meanwhile, Red watches from a distance as Ally's father opens his mail and finds a package with a wad of money inside.

Hodges tells Grissom that the fibers found in Ally's necklace were made of lambskin and rabbit fur. In the CSI garage, a car is brought in matching the license plate and color they were looking for. However, the car has been crushed into a cube. The smell of gasoline indicates that the killer torched his car near a junkyard so that it would be found and disposed of. Grissom notices a metal strip on the car that contains some pineapples and the letters "AL."

The location turns out to be Aloha Auto Sales. Sara talks to the manager, who has horrible eyesight and is wearing thick, black horn-rimmed glasses. He remembers selling the blue Ford Taurus, but obviously doesn't remember what the buyer looked like. He knows that the buyer got off the bus, handed him a wad of cash, and drove the car off the lot 15 minutes later. In the office, the manager eventually finds the file on the Taurus and its buyer; unfortunately, the photocopied driver's license is blurred and obscured.

The bullets recovered from Clayton match the Walther PPK found next to his body; however, Bobby Dawson finds additional threading inside the gun's muzzle, indicating that the killer used a silencer. An imperfect silencer would explain the scratch marks found on the bullets. Warrick says that silencers are illegal to buy and difficult to make, and Catherine wonders if they can match the killer's tool marks, assuming that the silencer is homemade and they're able to locate it. Meanwhile, Red researches Clayton Nash's name and finds a website speculating that his death and Ally Sullivan's murder are related. When Red leaves the room, his wife finds that she's unable to unlock his computer with the usual password.

Archie scans the blurry driver's license photo and is able to digitally restore some of it. Meanwhile, Sara notes the time their suspect purchased the Taurus, remembers that he got off a bus, and traces the route to see where the suspect may have originated from. The bus driver recognizes the suspect from the blurry photo and tells Brass that she remembers him getting on the bus at a stop in the desert.

In the desert, Sara relays the information to Greg and Nick that the name on the blurry driver's license is fake; however, the assumption is that the photo is real. A few hundred yards from the bus stop, Nick finds a pile of black ash and burned clothes. ATV tracks indicate that the killer may have ridden the vehicle there, ditched it, and took the bus.

Hodges tells Grissom that the gloves found in the debris are made of the same material as the fibers found in Ally's necklace. As Grissom goes through the pile of burnt clothes, he finds a silencer.

Sofia fills Catherine in on Clayton's past—he had a long rap sheet that included extortion, armed robbery, and loan sharking. She shows Catherine an FBI surveillance photo of Clayton with a bunch of men in baseball caps; one of the men is highlighted. It turns out that every person in the photo is a bank robber and they would get together once a year to talk shop. Clayton was the group's driver and lookout. When he got busted for an armored car heist, he testified against everyone he worked with, which explains why someone would want to kill him. Sofia says that most of the men in the picture are dead or in prison; Catherine is more interested in who's still alive.

Red sits at the same casino bar he was at earlier. When his friend greets him, Red grabs him by the shirt collar and threatens him. He then gives him a list of things he needs, such as credit card blanks and DMV license blanks. The friend, who turns out to be his lawyer, tells Red that he doesn't have access to these things, but Red believes the friend's clientele does.

Bobby Dawson compares a bullet test fired from the silencer and finds that it matches the bullet from Clayton's murder. The CSI team now realize that their cases are connected. They theorize that their killer took a bus to the car lot, bought a car, and killed Clayton. However, as he drove away from the scene, his car was crashed into by Ally. Their suspect then killed Ally to keep her from identifying him. Catherine mentions that there are three guys Clayton testified against that served their time in prison and are free. Sara shows the team some unidentified prints she lifted from Ally's car and says that there isn't enough detail in them to run them through AFIS. However, since their suspect is almost certainly a felon, his prints should be in the system.

Grissom realizes that one of the unidentified prints is actually the base of a palm. A flashback shows the killer strangling Ally and resting his gloved hand against the car window; however, the base of the palm was exposed and made contact with the glass. Grissom compares the partial print with the palm prints of the three suspects and finds that it matches a Karl Cooper, who was only known by the viewer as "Red" up to this point.

Karl's wife discovers his stash of fake driver's licenses and credit cards and confronts him. Based on his late night ATV rides, she believes that he's planning another heist. He denies this, but admits to killing Clayton for ratting him out seven years ago. Karl's wife eventually forgives Karl since "Clayton had it coming to him," but he soon admits to killing Ally because she was going to call the cops following their accident. Remembering Ally from the news reports and knowing that she was just a kid, Karl's wife kicks him out of the house.

Catherine tells Grissom that Karl was a former Army Ranger who turned into one of the most successful bank robbers in U.S. history. He pulled off dozens of heists without ever killing a single person, and was known to his bank-robbing buddies as "Red" because he was always in debt. His last known address is a federal penitentiary; after being released, he dropped off the face of the earth.

Nick discovers that the ATV tire treads from the desert are specific to a model that has only been on the market for a year. He cross-references the names of people in Vegas that purchased that particular model and finds that the only person with the last name "Cooper" is a female—Janice. Catherine remembers that Karl had a girlfriend in Ohio with the same name and guesses that they could be married now. The Cooper's address is listed on the form.

At the Cooper residence, Janice tells Brass that Karl isn't there. Nick finds an ATV in the garage along with a workbench that contains materials used for building a silencer. Karl calls Janice from a bus station and asks if the police are at the house and if they're threatening to take away his daughter. When Janice replies in the affirmative to both questions, Karl walks up to a police officer and turns himself in.

At the police station, Grissom gets Karl's fingerprints and palm prints. When Karl asks where he went wrong, Grissom tells him that he killed two people.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]


  • Good Times Roll by The Cars


  • Cooper is inspired by multiple real-life historic bank robbers. The most notable one is Ed Davis, a military veteran and career bank robber who associated with other historic criminals and eventually escalated to murder.
  • This is the first episode in the CSI franchise that's from the point of view of the killer. The only other episodes to do this are Living Doll and Working Stiffs.

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