Minor Character: Las Vegas
Name Michael 'Mike' Keppler
Gender Male
Family Amy McCarthy (fiancee; deceased)
Herb Keppler (father; deceased)
Roberta Keppler (mother; deceased)
Ex wife
City Las Vegas
Pathology Murderer

Killer cop


Cop Killer

Status Deceased
Portrayed By Liev Schreiber
First Appearance Sweet Jane

Michael Keppler was a crime scene investigator who took a temporary job for the day shift of Las Vegas' CSI unit, while Supervisor Gil Grissom was on a sabbatical. 


Michael Keppler was born in Trenton, New Jersey in the late 1960s to two loving parents, Roberta and Herb Keppler. His mother was a housewife, his father a plumber. Keppler was their only child. When Keppler was three years old, Herb was killed in a car accident. Keppler and his mother were forced to move in with her younger sister, a "hippie".

When Keppler was a child, his mother refused to allow him to watch television. Instead, he read voraciously and played sports on the streets. He was forced to grow up fast, becoming the tough Jewish kid in an all-Irish neighborhood while at school and emerging as the "man" around the house. During his sophomore year, his aunt moved to New Mexico, leaving Keppler and his mom to manage the rent and expenses alone. 

Keppler and Amy McCarthy fell in love. During his senior year, they planned to get married after she was finished with high school. He wanted them to move to Manhattan where he would become a fireman and she could raise a family. However, Amy committed suicide. In the midst of Keppler's grief, Amy's father Frank told him that Amy had been raped and that was the reason she killed herself. He later manipulated Mike into killing the man who "raped" Amy. Mike killed him and gave the gun to Frank thinking he would dispose of it. Frank later used the money he'd saved for Amy to help put Keppler through college at the prestigious SUNY Binghamton.

Shortly after his graduation, Keppler's mother was diagnosed with bone cancer. He returned home to care for her and began his life's work as a criminalist. Once his mother died, there was nothing left for him in Trenton. He accepted a job in Philadelphia and wanted to start a new life.

While there he met and married a pretty, if less than challenging, woman. Keppler settled into a suburban life for five years. It was quiet, it was comfortable, and it was shattered completely when McCarthy asked Keppler to help him cover up the murder of a Puerto Rican drug dealer named Alverez. Keppler buried the fact that the ballistics were a match to the gun of Frank's partner, Dennis Graves.

His marriage disintegrated. Nightmares led to chronic insomnia. Amidst all this, Keppler managed to lead an exemplary work life, filled with promotions and commendations. 

Las Vegas[]

Keppler joined the Las Vegas Crime Lab at a difficult stage, as a serial killer that has been raping and killing women since the 1970's, strikes again. After working with the CSI team, he eventually manages to capture the serial killer, which showed his skill to the other CSIs. He also showed off a tactic called reverse forensics to lure out the killer of Danilo Zemesca, who went into hiding, but the killer was never charged due to the tactic not being approved, but eventually convicted on a related charge.

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Keppler, aproaching the crime scene in "Sweet Jane"

Unfortunately, taking the Las Vegas job didn't help Keppler move on from his troubled past for long. The victim of a robbery/homicide at the Mirage was an old friend, Detective Dennis Graves of Trenton PD, and his hooker date, Courtney Evans; the prime suspect was Frank McCarthy, Amy's father. When Frank revealed to him that he killed them, Keppler reluctantly agreed to help cover it up. He later found out that another hooker, Suzy Gibbons, was in that hotel room and that Frank is after her now. With this, Keppler went under the radar to find Suzy and stop his old friend.

After pressuring information out of Suzy's pimp and learns she was at the Blue Siren Motel on the strip, Keppler calls Frank to lure him into Suzy's room, where the latter pulled a .45 ACP service pistol at her, but not before Keppler stepped into view with his gun aimed right at Frank's head. Keppler told Frank that he knew that he raped his own daughter. Keppler had killed an innocent man for what his own friend had done. Frank tried to reason with him, but a disgusted Keppler wouldn't stand for it.


Keppler sacrificed himself to take the bullet

Suddenly, Suzy tried to escape. Frank picked up his gun to kill her, but instead shot Keppler in the chest when Keppler stepped in to protect her. Catherine, hearing the shot and seeing Suzy run out of the room, ran in with her gun drawn. A horrified Frank raised his weapon at her, but not before a wounded Keppler plugged six shots into Frank, killing him instantly. As Catherine tried to apply pressure to his wound, Keppler managed to utter an apology to her before losing consciousness. The paramedics worked vigorously to stabilize Keppler, but it was too late as he succumbed to the gunshot wound.

Known Victims[]

  • Kevin Reeder (manipulated by Frank to shoot him with a .45 for allegedly raping Amy)
  • Eric 'Precious Ricky' Hong (intimidated, later mugged him for his cell phone and threatened to shoot him to get Suzy Gibbons' location)
  • Suzy Gibbons (used to lure Frank McCarthy out of hiding)
  • Frank McCarthy (shot six times for raping Amy and to protect Catherine Willows)


CSI:Crime Scene Investigation
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 #
Season 7 - - - - - - - - - - - X X X X - - - - - - - - - N/A 4
Total 4


  • Keppler is Jewish.
  • He has worked as a CSI in Trenton, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Las Vegas.
  • His ploy of forging a crime scene to catch a killer worked only in Philadelphia. His colleagues in Baltimore and Las Vegas figured out what he was up to.
  • Catherine brings up Keppler's name in the episode following his death (Monster in the Box); however, he's not mentioned again after this.