Minor Character: Las Vegas
Name Melissa Winters
Gender Female
Family Victor Winters (husband; deceased)
City Las Vegas
Occupation Prosecuting attorney
Pathology Shooting
Modus Operandi Murderer
No. of Victims 1 killed
1 framed
Status Incarcerated
Portrayed By Elizabeth Mitchell
First Appearance One Hit Wonder

Melissa Winters is an attorney and a murderer of her abusive husband Victor Winters.


Melissa was a celebrated prosecutor and a dear friend of Sara Sidle. Melissa was also in an abusive marriage and wanted out, always afraid of the stigma from just coming forward. She had a handgun she used to shoot her husband Victor while he was sleeping. However, Victor wasn't dead and grabbed the gun shooting Melissa in her neck. She hid the gun under her table to delay the investigation and divert suspicion from her. After she was rescued, the bullet was lodged in her neck and left there to keep her from dying, leaving her permanently paralyzed. She manipulated a retiring CSI to take the case to not suspect her, telling the police and intruder shot her and her husband. Coincidentally, a petty criminal named Roger Wilder Melissa got convicted for assault had broken in and ransacked her home afterward, finding the gun and stealing it when it fell out of the table. Melissa continued to pursue legal work, restricted to a wheelchair for the rest of her life.

The bullet, however, had travelled to her heart and caused an aneurysm. Her odds for living to clip the swollen blood vessel and remove the bullet were extremely slim, but Melissa was ready to die and escape justice on her own terms, agreeing to the surgery anyway. She delivered an opening argument to a jury before transferring the case to another attorney. She was then scheduled and later went into the operating room. Against all expectations, including her own since she was ready to meet her maker, Melissa miraculously lived, her heart being repaired and the bullet being removed, which Sidle was eager to put into evidence to serve the investigation into the shootings crucially.

The ballistics was matched to Wilder, who was already in prison for using the gun to shoot up a liquor store during a robbery months before the episode. He alleged to never know her, but Sidle knew he was prosecuted by her and threatened payback against her, swearing to get him executed if he was guilty. Wilder admitted to his burglary of the house, which is how he found the gun and stole it. Checking the evidence of blood spatter and the posing of the crime scene revealed Melissa was lying, as she said her husband was sitting, yet blood pooling under him showed he was lying down when shot.

In a confrontation, Melissa confessed to everything, admitting she was afraid of embarrassment if she revealed the abuse. Sidle was despondent, being let down by all of Melissa's talks of justice not applying to the murder she committed. Melissa still affirmed her believes, but Sidle insisted to know if she planned on living through the surgery. Melissa admitted she was hoping to die. Sidle coldly told her they'd meet again in court, arresting and eventually incarcerating her on premeditated murder.

Modus Operandi[]

Melissa shot her abusive husband while he was sleeping. When her husband grabbed the gun and shot her neck, Melissa hid the gun under one of the tables in the home to delay the investigation and prevent her from being suspected. It was conveniently stolen by robber Roger Wilder when he ransacked her house to use later in a robbery. Melissa hired a CSI retiring shortly after the case to manipulated to not investigate her for the murder and believe her lie that a home intruder shot them both.

Known Victims[]

  • Victor Winters (her husband, shot while sleeping; hid the gun under a table in the home)


CSI:Crime Scene Investigation