Killer En Route
Killer En Route
Season 1
Number 3
Writer Matt Whitney,
Brandon Guercio
Director Richard J. Lewis
Original Airdate March 18, 2015
Previous Episode: CMND:\Crash
Next Episode: Fire Code

Killer En Route is the third episode in Season One of CSI: Cyber.


The cyber team investigates when a car service company's dispatch software in Boston is hacked in order to target certain passengers.


Phishing - sending fraudulent e-mails to infect devices and steal information.

In Boston, Massachusetts, Cade Matthews uses the ZoGo rideshare app to book a ride. He gets in the back of a car and unsuccessfully tries to make small talk with the driver. It's soon evident that something is wrong, as Cade's app says the ride was cancelled. The driver keeps the doors locked and soon drives to an alleyway, where he subdues Cade with a stun gun and eventually kills him.

Word of the murder gets to Washington, as Cade was a government contractor for a private military company; this came with a top-secret clearance. His cell phone was found near the scene; however, it was completely wiped along with all other devices at his home and office.

Cade's coworkers tell Avery and Simon that Cade was one of the cyber security experts hired to locate the Boston Marathon bombers. Avery is able to deduce that Cade was having an office romance with one of his female coworkers. Despite that fact that Cade recently ended the relationship, the woman denies resorting to murder. It's also revealed that Cade was consulting on 15 classified projects for the military and NASA.

Cade's autopsy shows that his cause of death was asphyxiation and that he was incapacitated with the stun gun. There was also a small children's toy block recovered from his mouth with the number '2' on it. Meanwhile, Nelson determines that Cade wiped all of his devices himself right before he was murdered by using a text-enabled switch on his phone. It's clear that he was fearing for his life and was trying to protect confidential information.

The last three things Cade did before his death was access the ZoGo app, destroy his files, and call 911. A recording of the 911 call shows that Cade tried to mask it by pretending he was ordering a pizza. Unfortunately, the operator didn't get the location of the phone before the call was disconnected. The location can be triangulated; however, it's nowhere near the body dump site. According to his ZoGo app, Cade was picked up by five different drivers, all at the same time.

A ZoGo employee states the obvious, telling Elijah and Nelson that being picked up simultaneously by five drivers is impossible. He admits that there was system glitch less than an hour before Cade's time of death, but Nelson corrects him. The system was hacked, and the hacker wrote a script that took the unique identifier of Cade's phone and bounced it to five different drivers. In other words, the hacker turned the ZoGo system into a shell game so he could hide himself. The employee claims that he's unable to provide the last name's of the five drivers in question, as they're all independent contractors who use the ZoGo service. He adds that the company isn't liable for any of the services provided by the drivers; the only thing ZoGo does is run background checks. Elijah informs him that at least a dozen ZoGo drivers have criminal records, something that would be known if those background checks had actually been run. The employee relents and goes to get the names of the drivers.

It's found that all five drivers in question were nowhere near where Cade was picked up. Furthermore, their devices were clean and were never hacked in any way; they all have a digital alibi. The conclusion is that the ZoGo system was hacked by the target. This allowed him to divert all data onto his cell phone, masquerade as a ZoGo driver, and pick Cade up in a "ghost car." Because Cade was using the app for the first time, he was unaware of proper protocol, such as verifying the identity of the driver or comparing his face to the photo on the app. Avery soon concludes that Cade was just a random kill, as he was the unlucky passenger who got into the car during the glitch. She recalls the toy block found in Cade's mouth and figures there must be another one out there with the number '1' on it. This means that their target is a serial killer who is using the ZoGo app to find his prey.

Network diagnostics show that a similar glitch occurred in the system three days ago at 5:10 AM—the exact time as the glitch that occurred during Cade's abduction and murder. Krumitz and Raven find that three days ago, 122 people ordered a ZoGo pickup between 5:10 AM and 5:45 AM; none of those clients match any missing persons reports. Using the ZoGo passenger database, they eliminate those passengers who ordered a pickup after the glitch was fixed, who recently posted on social media, and who recently used their credit cards. This leaves them with one potential victim: Melissa Drake, who had ordered a car to take her to the airport. Calls to her phone go unanswered, and she was a no-show at her hotel.

It's already known that the target killed Cade ten minutes after picking him up. Knowing that the target wouldn't drive around for more than 20 minutes with a dead body and that he would likely avoid bridges and tunnels (traffic jams make escaping more difficult), a two-mile search radius is provided. Furthermore, if Melissa was killed three days ago and the body hasn't been found yet, it means it's off the beaten path. Sure enough, her body is found in a tunnel. Evidence suggests she was strangled to death, just like Cade. A toy block with the number '1' is found in her throat.

Nelson is able to determine the source of the hacking—someone sent an email to every ZoGo employee promoting a free tax review. When the secretary opened the email, malware was spread all over the network, which infected the entire system. This allowed the target to pose as a driver and commit two murders. Fortunately, whoever emailed the malware neglected to scrub his IP address from the header; this provides the team with a physical address. The target, a taxi driver named Patrick Murphy, is identified at his place of work; he's arrested by Elijah when he tries to run.

When confronted, Patrick admits that he hired someone to send the phishing emails, revenge for ZoGo stealing his cab company's passengers. However, he's also been vandalizing ZoGo for the last six months, which includes slashing tires and harassing drivers. Patrick says that he's been trying to drive ZoGo from Boston, but would never kill anyone. Based on clues in the vicinity, Avery deduces that Patrick has a teenaged daughter who would be way too old to be using toy blocks. Because of this, Patrick isn't their guy.

A check of ZoGo's firewall shows that 15 separate attacks were stopped in the last two weeks; however, the attacks stopped three days ago when ZoGo had its first glitch. Nelson figures that the target changed his method and infiltrated the company from within. Two theories are laid out: either the target purposely left an infected flash drive behind that someone plugged into a computer, or he disguised himself as a delivery person and delivered an infected router. That router would then pose like a trusted network, tricking all the employees' devices into connecting to it.

The twin router is identified, having been placed on the desk of an employee who is on vacation. Nelson gets their target's IP address from the router, and the team storms the apartment of Richard Davis. The apartment is clear, and a makeshift shrine to a young boy is found in a closet. As it turns out, seven-year-old Michael Davis was killed six months ago in a hit-and-run at 5:17 AM. The perpetrator was a ZoGo driver who fled the country to avoid charges, while the police dismissed the case against ZoGo. This appears to be a case of a loving father who snapped. There are four more child's blocks in the closet; however the one with the number '3' on it is missing. The team may be too late to save another victim.

Michael tries to log in to his ZoGo account but discovers that it's been closed. His car is located just one block from his apartment, and Elijah and a SWAT team surrounds it. While the car is now vacant, Elijah finds Michael's cell phone, which contains a picture of a hand and a toy block with the number '3' on it.

It's unknown whether the victim in the picture is dead, but the placement of the block doesn't fit the pattern. Avery figures that this means Michael hasn't killed his third victim yet. While there's no way he'll be able to open another account with ZoGo as a driver, it's possible he can do so as a passenger. It's then that Michael is seen getting into a car driven by another ZoGo driver.

Krumitz and Raven are tasked with finding where Michael is. They know he had to create a new account and that he's likely using a prepaid credit card to avoid detection. Furthermore, since he ditched his old cell phone, he would need a burner phone activated within the last three hours. With this information, Richard and the car he's traveling in are located.

Richard forces his driver to ditch his cell phone, ordering him to drive faster to the desired destination; this causes the team to temporarily lose his location. Nelson utilizes a cell catcher, which grabs any cell phone signal within a one-mile radius. Richard's IMEI number is tracked, and the chase is back on. Simon makes an executive decision, getting Raven to hack into the system and control all traffic lights in the area to mess with the traffic flow. The ploy is successful, as Richard's driver gets stuck in a traffic jam.

With the police closing in, Richard vacates the vehicle and runs through the abundance of cars, shooting at Avery and Elijah as he does so. He soon runs into a parking garage, but he quickly gets cornered. He yells out that someone had to pay for what they did to his son, but Avery appeals to his sense of decency and gets him to drop his gun. While he gets arrested, Richard repeatedly apologizes for his actions.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

  • Tripp Pickell as Richard Davis
  • Angela Trimbur as Francine
  • Anne Leighton as Regina
  • Jackson Davis as Cade Matthews
  • Trevor St. John as Derrick Wilson
  • Jani Wang as Receptionist
  • James C. Burns as Detective Brian Linney
  • Aaron Abrams as Patrick Murphy
  • Anthony M. Bertram as Dante Jermaine

See Also[]

CSI:Cyber Season 1
Kidnapping 2.0CMND:\CrashKiller En RouteFire CodeCrowd SourcedThe Evil TwinURL, InterruptedSelfie 2.0L0m1sClick Your PoisonGhost in the MachineBit by BitFamily Secrets