Living Doll
Season 7
Number 24
Writer Sarah Goldfinger,
Naren Shankar
Director Kenneth Fink
Original Airdate May 17, 2007
Previous Episode: The Good, The Bad, And The Dominatrix
Next Episode: Dead Doll

Living Doll is the twenty-fourth episode and Season Seven finale of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.


The CSIs expose the true identity of the Miniature Killer, whose need for revenge for the death of Ernie Dell will place a member of the team in mortal danger...


Victim: Trevor Dell (deceased)

On the case: entire team

In a convenience store, a janitor mops a floor and accidentally knocks over a gallon of bleach. As the bleach leaks into an adjacent aisle, a young woman backs up in fear and exits the store in a panic, trying to regain her composure outdoors.

Grissom continues to look for all of the Dell foster children, finding out that one of them died two years ago. Brass calls him with another lead—Trevor Dell. When they get to Trevor's apartment, they find him dead, while Grissom finds a miniature doll of Trevor nearby. Trevor has suffered two lacerations to the head; however, since the air conditioning is on in the apartment, an accurate time of death can't be given. Grissom shows Sara the miniature doll and notes that there's no model crime scene, nor is the doll covered in blood to match Trevor; the only thing that matches are Trevor's clothes. There's a container of bathroom cleaner with bleach next to the toilet.

Grissom compares the Trevor doll with the dolls from the other crime scenes to see if they were made by the same person. When he cuts the clothes off of the doll, he finds a fingerprint—something not left behind in the past cases.

At a business called Platinum Maid Service, the woman from the convenience store sits in the reception area and draws in her sketchbook. As she flips through the book, we see that there are drawings of Izzy Delancy, Penny Garden and Raymundo Suarez. The woman, identified by the name Natalie Davis, is called in to speak with the recruiter. It's revealed that she worked for Izzy and prefers to be paid in cash, which is why she hasn't been connected to the murders. Because the company has a deal with the municipal buildings downtown (including the police department), Natalie is told that she'll have to get their fingerprints taken, which she agrees to. After almost being turned down for employment, the quiet Natalie tells the recruiter that she has an exceptional memory and can memorize a room after only seeing it once. She then goes on to describe the reception area down to the smallest detail.

Trevor's IM and cell phone records show that he was inactive for the last 12 days, which at least helps narrow down the window for time of death. His cause of death is labeled as a cerebral hemorrhage caused by multiple blunt force trauma, while bloodstains in the bathroom indicate that there was a struggle. Grissom tells the team that the materials in the Trevor doll were consistent with the materials in the other models. While the print he found was only a partial, it did contain epithelials.

In Art Schuster's hobby shop, Natalie looks in a case, sees a model train, and has a flashback. An agitated Ernie tells her that the police know he helped her build the models, adding that he delivered the model to Penny Garden's house per her request. Natalie admits to the murders, but Ernie tells her that he forgives her if she had a good reason for committing them and makes her promise that she's done killing. A different flashback shows Grissom and Sara processing a crime scene where a red car had been overturned in an accident. Natalie watched from behind the police tape as Grissom intimately caressed Sara's arm. In the present day, Natalie is working on another miniature doll, and we see that it has Sara's likeness.

Grissom has found a thriving miniature hobbyist community online. He notes that the personalized metal bracelet on the Trevor doll is very hard to make, even for skilled craftsmen. Upon asking about people who specialize in miniature metal work, he's directed to Art Schuster's hobby shop. Wendy surprises him by telling him that the unknown DNA contribution on the Trevor doll is female. He notes that female serial killers are rare, and that delusional psychosis in women is even rarer. Unfortunately, this still isn't enough to get the Dell foster records released; they need a name.

In the morgue, Doc Robbins pulls Trevor's body out of the freezer. Nick notes Trevor's size and says that if the miniature killer is a female, she wouldn't be able to just simply overpower Trevor and beat him to death. He adds that in previous cases, the killer used unique methods to perform the murders, such as poisoning and gassing. When they look over the body, Nick finds a black spot on Trevor's foot that could possibly be related to his death.

Grissom speaks with Art, who has helped him construct his own model. Art recognizes the personalized Trevor bracelet and tells Grissom that he made it for a woman named Natalie; she paid in cash and didn't leave a last name. The cell phone number she provided is also the same one the police already have. Art gives a description of Natalie and adds that she came into the shop a few days ago to buy a battery powered micro-motor, which is used to animate a scene.

Doc Robbins determines that Trevor was electrocuted. In Trevor's apartment, Nick finds a burn mark on the bathroom floor, while Catherine sees some burned skin on the sink. A crack in the sink tests positive for electricity. Upon breaking through the wall, they find that a wire is touching the bracket that holds up the sink; water poured in, touched the bracket, and Trevor got electrocuted. Based on the setup, whoever tapped into the power line must've done it from the other side of the wall. However, they are disappointed to find out that the next-door neighbor is an overweight man who tapped into Trevor's power after he failed to pay his electric bills and had his power shut off.

With enough information (Dell foster child, first name "Natalie"), Sofia is finally able to get a court order to have Child Protective Services release records; the record shows the police that Natalie's last name is Davis. Grissom and Sofia visit the foster home Natalie stayed at way back in 1982 and speak to her foster parent. They're showed a photo of Natalie that was taken on her first night in the home. The foster parent reveals that Natalie was quite shy until she screamed her head off one day while laundry was being done; it's revealed that bleach was involved. Natalie was sent back to Child Services shortly thereafter due to her trying to injure another child.

In a casino, Catherine and Grissom look over a program for "The Great Rainone and His Little Bisque Doll." Catherine sees that the doll in the picture looks like the one found in the model crime scenes, and Grissom informs her that Natalie's biological father is Christopher Davis aka "The Great Rainone," a ventriloquist. Grissom also shows her a newspaper headline about the death of Chloe Davis, Natalie's younger sister, in 1981. Catherine and Grissom sit in on Christopher's awkward ventriloquist show, noting that the doll's name in the act is Chloe. They speak with Christopher, who retells the story of Chloe's death using his doll. In a flashback, a jealous Natalie pushed her sister out of a treehouse and watched as her father later cleaned up the blood pool using bleach. With both his wife and youngest daughter deceased, Christopher eventually gave Natalie up for adoption.

Natalie, who has been working as part of the lab's cleaning service, brings her completed model into Grissom's office. While there, she looks over the model Grissom built himself. She unpacks the model and leaves it on Grissom's desk before riding the elevator up to the parking garage. When Grissom arrives, he finds the model on his desk—an overturned red Mustang on a nondescript desert road with an outstretched hand reaching out from under it, moving slowly. When he lifts the car, he finds the Sara doll underneath it. Up in the parking garage, Natalie waits patiently, eventually calling out Sara's name.

Brass goes to the parking garage and finds Sara's car trunk open and her keys on the ground nearby; however, Sara is nowhere to be found. Grissom finds out that the only person that had been in his office recently was from janitorial services, and he discovers soon thereafter that Natalie has been working there for over a month. The rest of the team looks over the model and note that Sara must still be alive since the doll's hand is still moving. They find a VIN number on the model Mustang and trace it back to a fatality Sara worked a few weeks earlier. Upon going through the photos from the crime scene, Grissom sees Natalie standing in the crowd behind the police tape. While the rest of the team wonders what Sara has to do with everything, Grissom realizes that Natalie is holding him responsible for Ernie Dell's death. "I took away the only person she ever loved," he says, "so she's going to do the same thing to me." This statement is met with shock from the rest of the team.

Grissom remembers a user from the online hobbyist community with the name "NOTURLITTLEBISQUEDOLL." He gets an Attorney General's waiver for the user's address. Natalie's place of residence is eventually discovered and burst into by the police; however, she has just escaped out her window. After staggering around on the street below, she's eventually arrested and brought into custody. Grissom interrogates her alone and compliments her models and attention to detail. He gets Natalie to admit that Sara is alive, but when he starts asking about Sara, she grows irate. She hallucinates that she slashes his throat before going into a catatonic state. As Grissom tries to get Sara's location, Natalie plaintively recites lyrics from "I've Got a Pain in My Sawdust," a song the Great Rainone performed in his act.

The episode closes with a shot of the overturned red Ford Mustang lying in a remote stretch of Nevada desert as it begins to rain. Sara's hand reaches out from under the car and claws at the mud as puddles of rainwater begin to grow around the car.

TO BE CONTINUED flashes across the screen


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]


  • A news report in the beginning of the episode mentions the body of ex-boxer Lorenzo 'Happy' Morales being found floating in a pool. This occurred in the episode Ending Happy.


  • This is the second episode in the CSI franchise that is from the point of view of the killer. The only other episodes to do this are Killer and Working Stiffs.

See Also[]

CSI:Las Vegas Season 7
Built to Kill, Part 1Built to Kill, Part 2Toe TagsFannysmackin'Double CrossBurn OutPost MortemHappenstanceLiving LegendLoco MotivesLeaving Las VegasSweet JaneRedrumMeet MarketLaw of GravityMonster in the BoxFallen IdolsEmpty EyesBig ShotsLab RatsEnding HappyLeapin' LizardsThe Good, The Bad, And The DominatrixLiving Doll