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Lying Down With Dogs
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Season 8
Number 10
Writer Christopher Barbour,
Michael F.X. Daley
Director Michael Slovis
Original Airdate December 13, 2007
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Lying Down With Dogs is the tenth episode in season eight of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis

The world of illegal dog fighting is explored by Grissom and the rest of the team when they take on the case of a wealthy socialite who was murdered. Meanwhile, Warrick struggles to clear his name in the recent exotic dancer murder case.

Plot

Victim: Elizabeth Rodriguez (deceased)

On the case: Catherine Willows, Greg Sanders, Nick Stokes, Sam Vega

Greg and Nick are called to a dump site, as a dead body was called into the police. There, they find several dead dogs. The victim, a female wearing a red dress, is found nearby covered in bite marks. Ligature marks and contusions indicate that she was tied up and beaten before the dogs attacked her. They quickly conclude that whoever dumped the body there also knew about the dead dogs.

In autopsy, Catherine photographs the body and notices some white trace on the victims' heels. When she and David Phillips roll the body, they find an injection mark in the middle of the back. David wheels the body to Doc Robbins and complements him on his band's performance the previous night, which he heard about through the grapevine. The doc recognizes the victim as Elizabeth Rodriguez. She and her husband Felix were honored as Humanitarians of the Year at the event the doc's band was playing at.

Det. Vega questions Doc Robbins for more details. The doc remembers that Felix left the party first after receiving a phone call. Elizabeth left around 10:30 PM; a flashback shows someone whispering something into her ear. He tells Catherine that the bite marks Elizabeth suffered occurred right around the time of her death.

Under interrogation, Felix tells Vega that Elizabeth was out every night at a charitable function. He would tag along against his will on the condition that he would get to go home early each time. Vega tells a shocked Felix that Elizabeth is dead. As Greg takes his fingerprints, Felix denies killing his wife. Meanwhile, the white substance from Elizabeth's feet was an insect repellent also used in flea dips. Felix's tuxedo came back negative for flea dip, dog hairs and blood, exonerating him as a suspect.

The bite marks on Elizabeth's body contained dog saliva. Since a dog's DNA is put in the system anytime one gets impounded in a criminal case, Wendy uses Canine CODIS to try to identify the dog responsible. She's able to get a hit to a pit bull named Hannibal, a dog confiscated from a drug raid and held for three months at Del Santos Kennel until it was returned to its owner. The owner is Gino Aquino, a member of the D Street Killers. Since the Rodriguez Outreach Center is nearby, Nick wonders if Elizabeth made enemies with the gang.

Nick, Vega and a uniformed officer pay Gino and his girlfriend a visit. Gino denies hanging out near the outreach center and says that he never got Hannibal back after he was arrested. However, in the backyard, Nick finds chains tied to wooden stakes and cinderblocks. Behind a curtain in the shed, he finds a few treadmills, dog carriers and bowls filled with water. He tape lifts some dog hairs for evidence. Inside the house, Gino defends himself poorly and is arrested.

Felix appears on television and offers $100,000 for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of his wife's killer. Henry informs Catherine that Elizabeth died from an overdose of two drugs that, when used in combination, are used to euthanize animals. Catherine notes that the drugs are controlled substances, so their sales should be registered. Henry, one step ahead of her, already has a list of buyers in the area - one of them is Del Santos Kennel.

Catherine and Nick visit the kennel. Nick spots a photo of Elizabeth with the owner, Steve Card. One of the employees, Tommy Halpert, says that Elizabeth is friends with Steve and helped bankroll the place. In the exam room, Steve confirms that he has the only key to the cabinet that contains the controlled substances. He tells Catherine that he is a licensed vet tech who can perform surgeries on dead dogs in order to harvest their organs, and further explains that most of the dogs that come to the kennel are problematic and aggressive; most don't make out alive. Catherine searches the controlled substances cabinet and finds a hidden camera in the back pointed directly at a wooden contraption in the adjoining room. The contraption has restraints tied to it that match the bruises found on Elizabeth's body. There's a lot of blood on the floor and, furthermore, there are red hairs on the contraption that don't look like they belong to a dog.

As Steve is arrested, Nick asks Tommy more questions. Tommy is unaware of the wooden contraption, as he's not allowed in the back room. When told that Gino never got Hannibal back, Tommy says that's a lie, as he was present when Gino came by to pick him up. Nick asks to take saliva samples from all of the dogs at the kennel. Upon doing so, he sees that most of the dogs are in bad shape; some have been in fights, while others are shaking out of fear.

At the station, Steve is informed of the evidence against him - Elizabeth's hair and blood at the scene and her overdosing on drugs that only he had access to. When shown the hidden camera that was found, he denies knowing anything about it and also denies killing Elizabeth since she was his business partner. He does, however, admit to cleaning up the crime scene when he spotted it upon coming into work. To the surprise of Catherine and Vega, Steve reveals that Elizabeth was a champion dog fighter who fought dirty. He figured that her murder was revenge for cheating the D Street Killers out of $50,000. When asked about the wooden contraption, he says that it's a breeding stand. The sport has a high mortality rate and tying the aggressive dogs down is the only way to breed more fighters. Steve's lawyer puts a plastic bag on the table filled with evidence; they're willing to give the cops everything, but continue to deny that Steve killed Elizabeth.

The information given to the police is where the dogfighting is taking place. Vega and some uniformed officers storm the place while a dogfight is taking place. Some of the gang members start shooting at the cops, while Gino tries to escape with Hannibal in tow. He gets shot during the scuffle and is eventually cornered and arrested. The next morning, Nick arrives at the scene and is told that the dogs involved will be put down because the law says they're dangerous. This doesn't sit well with Nick, as the real perpetrators will walk away with a slap on the wrist.

The bullet pulled from Gino's shoulder is a .25 caliber, meaning he got shot by one of his own guys. Nick and Vega pay him a visit in the hospital and tell him that a witness is fingering him for Elizabeth's murder because of the cheating. Gino correctly identifies the witness as Steve and says that he respected Elizabeth because she played fair. Steve, on the other hand, thought he had immunity because he was working with her. A flashback shows Steve cheating by putting a substance on the dogs. When Elizabeth found out, she slapped him several times and paid Gino because they were illegally fighting. Nick asks Gino about the dead dogs found next to Elizabeth's body, but Gino refuses to answer that line of questions.

The plastic bag given to Nick and Vega contained all of Elizabeth's personal effects, which Greg sifts through. Among the items, he finds a key with the number 6128 on it; the same key was among Steve's personal effects. He realizes that Elizabeth also had a key to the drug cabinet; a print on the key comes back to Tommy.

Nick is told that Tommy is a confidential informant and that the district attorney was investigating everyone involved with the dogfighting ring. His job was to get the dogs fighting on tape, something he couldn't do because the fight venues were always changing and Elizabeth never told him where they were going to be. A tearful Tommy tells Nick that the dogs were trained on treadmills and fed small dogs and cats to increase their blood lust. Finding out that Elizabeth received a humanitarian award was the last straw. After she arrived at the kennel, Tommy hit over the head, tied her to the contraption, euthanized her and let the dogs attack her. He says that he at least had the decency to euthanize her before throwing her to the dogs.

Something is still bothering Nick: Elizabeth might still be alive if her husband hadn't left her alone at the party. Since witnesses saw Felix receive a phone call at the party, his phone records are subpoenaed. Nick and Vega inform Felix that Tommy killed his wife, but they also reveal that the phone call he received was also from Tommy. Tommy revealed Elizabeth's actions to her husband and told him to speak to her about them; if not, it was going to get ugly. Felix says that he never confronted Elizabeth about the dogfighting despite knowing that Tommy meant her harm. Nick tells Felix that because of what he knew, he let his wife's murder happen.

Under investigation: Warrick Brown

Warrick is questioned by Internal Affairs regarding the previous night's events. He confirms that he visited the Pigalle Boulevard Strip Club on his own time as part of an investigation despite being told by Undersheriff McKeen to drop it. There, he met Candy, an exotic dancer who later ended up dead in the backseat of his car. Warrick says that he's no longer taking the medication he was taking the day before.

Despite being in a haze the night before, Warrick vividly remembers taking Candy to a motel, having sex with her and waking up to find her gone. He took a cab back to the strip club and found out she was dead. Warrick swears that he didn't kill Candy, but he knows who did.

That someone would be Lou Gedda, who just happens to be at the station to visit with Brass. Gedda provides Brass with the phone number of Candy's mother so she can be notified; Brass tells him that it's already been done. According to Gedda, Candy's mother wanted her to quit working at the club and Candy wanted Gedda to call her and give her "the talk." He says he never gets involved in things like that and that he's providing this information in order to be a "good citizen." After Warrick leaves the interrogation room, he passes Gedda in the hallway and stares at him; Gedda smiles as he walks by. Meanwhile, Brass watches the interaction from outside his office.

In his office, Brass tells Grissom that he should have driven Warrick home instead of putting him in a taxi. Grissom replies that he trusts the people he works with and that Warrick was off the clock when he was in the strip club. Brass informs Grissom that he knows (not thinks, knows) Gedda has someone from the department on the inside, which is how he keeps getting away with murder and extortion. Warrick later meets up with Grissom and tells him that he was cleared by Internal Affairs. Grissom won't let him work this case, but he is put back into the rotation.

Mandy runs the prints from Warrick's car and finds a print that doesn't belong to him. It belongs to Richard Dorsey, the homeless man that Warrick talked to outside of the strip club. Warrick relays this information to Grissom and is told that he'll be suspended if he keeps pursuing the case. He agrees to back off but shows Grissom that Richard's prints were found under the broken window in the car. Richard is clearly being framed by Gedda.

Richard is found sleeping under a highway overpass. After he's arrested, Grissom looks over the living space. He finds a pink cell phone with Candy's photo on it along with a bloodied knife.

Richard is brought to the station for questioning and incoherently tries to explain how he ended up with Candy's phone and the murder weapon, settling on the fact that he robbed her because he needed money. When shown the photo of Candy's body, Richard claims he had nothing to do with it and that it was "them." Warrick, who has been watching from behind the glass, barges into the room and demands the truth. Richard pins the murder on Warrick while Warrick gets escorted out by Grissom. In the hallway, Grissom suspends Warrick for two weeks. Warrick continues to argue that Gedda killed Candy and pinned the murder on Richard. Grissom tells him to take the suspension or he's fired.

As Warrick leaves, a shadowy figure in the department calls Gedda and fills him in on the situation. Gedda is quite happy with the result.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

  • Erik Jensen as D.D.A. Jeffrey Sinclair
  • David Berman as David Phillips
  • Sheeri Rappaport as Mandy Webster
  • Jon Wellner as Henry Andrews
  • Terry Bozeman as Attorney Brad Lewis
  • Geoffrey Rivas as Detective Sam Vega
  • Larry Mitchell as Officer Mitchell
  • Vincent Laresca as Gino Aquino
  • Zack Ward as Steve Card
  • Jesse Borrego as Felix Rodriguez
  • Mark L. Young as Tommy Halpert
  • Jamie Luner as Elizabeth "Liz" Rodriguez
  • John Capodice as Lou Gedda
  • Dennis Christopher as Richard Dorsey
  • Rebecca Budig as Joanna "Candy" Krumsky
  • Tim Kelleher as IAB Investigator
  • Chris DeRose as Animal Control Officer
  • Roy Jackson as N.D. Officer
  • Nelson Mashita as E.R. Doctor
  • Fernando Negrette as Dogfight Referee
  • Maria Russell as Deena Aquino
  • Maxie J. Santillan Jr. as Homeless Man
  • Robert Esser as Waiter

Quotes

Grissom: Hey! As of right now, you're suspended for two weeks.
Warrick: Grissom, you and I both know that Gedda killed that girl and pinned it on that bum. They gave him drugs, got him high, and planted the evidence. You just got to give me a chance to prove it.
Grissom: You've had all your chances. You take the suspension or you're fired.

Goofs

  • In the beginning of the episode when they turned over the body of the dead girl, hair across her eyes can be seen clearly, during the next shot the hair across her eyes is no longer there but right after that, again we see the hair across the girl's face as David's hands brush it away.
  • When Mandy gets a hit on a fingerprint from Warrick's car, it comes up as Richard Dorsey's print. The information shows that his date of birth is June 21, 1959. It shows his age as 49. He should only be 48.
  • Catherine remarks on the presence of phenytoin in the victim's blood, which is used to treat seizure disorders such as epilepsy. However, she pronounces the name of the drug as fen'-a-toyne (with the last syllable rhyming with coin); it is actually pronounced fen-a-toe'-in in the US and fen-ee-tone' in Britain.

Trivia

  • The "fighting dogs" were actually playing and it was through editing and sound that aggressive behavior was portrayed. These two dogs were brought up together and trained to do this all under the supervision of the American Humane Society. In addition for the PSA, William Peterson had his dog, Bruno, appear in it.
  • The "Homeless Box City" is actually under an approach to The 5, The Golden State Highway in Burbank.
  • The dog graveyard was made up of all foam cast animals. Production had to bury a bone under the rubber cast body of the woman so that the dogs would "attack" it, otherwise they would just run about with their tails wagging. Also, The "dying" dog in the fight was filmed at high speed slowing down the action to give the illusion that the dog was barely moving.
  • The pre-production title name was, "Life's a Bitch."
  • The IAB officer who interrogates Warrick is the same one who investigated the officer David Fromansky in "Paper Or Plastic?" in season four.
  • Zack Ward played Steve Card in the episode. Ward's most famous role is that of Scut Farkus in the well-known Christmas movie A Christmas Story.

See Also

CSI:Las Vegas Season 8
Dead DollA La CartGo to HellThe Case of the Cross-Dressing Carp The Chick Chop Flick ShopWho and WhatWhere and WhyGoodbye and Good LuckYou Kill MeCockroachesLying Down With DogsBullGrissom's Divine ComedyA Thousand Days On EarthDrops OutThe Theory of EverythingTwo And A Half DeathsFor Gedda
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