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No More Bets
No
Season 4
Number 22
Writer Dustin Lee Abraham,
Andrew Lipsitz
Director Richard J. Lewis
Original Airdate May 13, 2004
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Next Episode: Bloodlines

No More Bets is the twenty second episode in Season Four of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis[]

The CSIs investigate when two young gamblers are found dead shortly after scamming several of Sam Braun's casinos. Grissom is forced to take Catherine off the case because her father is a suspect in their murder.

Plot[]

Victims: Davis Mullins, Teddy Keller (both deceased)

On the case: Entire team

In a dark room, a young man is questioned under a spotlight by two unseen people; he's asked if he knows what happened to people like him back in the day. The young man is sweating bullets while this interrogation is going on. He insists that he it's illegal to hold him; the interrogator replies that there's no law in the room. The young man is later found dead in a neon graveyard with two shots to the back of the head. Catherine, Grissom and Brass are on the scene; Grissom notices that the victim is wearing a wig and a fat suit. Brass finds the victim's ID, which identifies the victim as Ernie Menlo. Robbery is ruled out for the time being since there's a still a Rolex on the victim's wrist.

Later on, Catherine gets off of the phone with Brass and relays the information to Grissom that there's no Ernie Menlo in the system; the ID is fake. Grissom bags the wig as evidence and notes that there's gunshot residue in the wound tract; the shots are close range, but non-contact. Because she's unable to find any shell casings, Catherine wonders if this was a professional hit and that the hitman picked them up. David Phillips looks over the body and notes that there are major fractures and lacerations on both of the victim's hands. Lividity is consistent with the body's position; however, Grissom believes that this wasn't a body dump. He bags some of the nearby gravel and glass as evidence. There are tire tracks in the dirt indicating that a vehicle made a three-point turn; Catherine photographs the tracks and whips out a tape measure to measure the wheelbase. Meanwhile, Grissom finds a receipt in the victim's pocket; the victim had won $436,278 at the Rampart Casino the previous morning. He shows the receipt to Catherine and wonders if robbery may be a motive, after all. When Catherine offers to go to the Rampart to speak to Sam Braun, Grissom tells her that she can't. Since Sam is her father, she's off the case due to conflict of interest. Catherine begrudgingly hands him her equipment and walks away.

In the morgue, Sara and Warrick process the body. Sara removes something from the victim's forehead and bags it as evidence, while Warrick works on the victim's lacerated hand. David starts bagging the clothes as evidence, as well. Sara removes the victim's Rolex and finds that it's authentic; since the logo sticker isn't worn down, the watch could be new. Warrick figures that the victim won the jackpot and celebrated by buying himself some expensive stuff. He then finds that the victim is wearing air conditioned socks and that one of them has three holes in it.

Grissom and Brass head to the Rampart. While Grissom looks up at the "eye in the sky," Brass tells him that he talked to the pit boss that signed the victim's W-2 and that the pit boss remembers the big winner. Soon thereafter, Sam Braun appears; before Grissom and Brass can get a word out, Sam says that the "fat kid" was cheating. Grissom asks Sam if he took the victim to the "box"; Sam replies that it's now called "The Holding Room."

Sam brings Grissom to the room, which looks like the room the victim was sitting in earlier. Grissom notes that the room smells like the cleaning staff just left. Sam admits to Grissom that the victim was brought to the room at 2:00 AM where they talked for an hour; the victim was then released. He tells Grissom that the security camera in the room recorded everything, and Grissom replies that they'll look at the tapes later. Grissom searches the room for evidence of blood, but doesn't find any. While he's doing this, Sam tells him that the victim was cheating at roulette and that he questioned the victim as to how he was doing it. When Grissom suggests that one of Sam's men was on the take, Sam responds with an antagonizing question: "What bothers you more? The fact that you couldn't pin a murder on me or that Catherine cashed my check?"

Back in the morgue, Doc Robbins tells Warrick that bruises on the victim's heel correspond to the holes in his sock. The victim has a fat lip, which Doc Robbins believes occurred an hour or two before death. Two bullets are removed from the victim's brain; Warrick says that they look like .22 caliber bullets, which Doc Robbins notes is a hitman's bullet of choice. The doc also says that the bruises and fractures to the hands also occurred before death. Warrick guesses that the object used to fracture the hands was a ball peen hammer due to the fact that it was used back in the day to discourage cheaters.

Warrick goes over the victim's clothing and looks over one of the shoes. On the underside of the shoe, he finds shards of colored glass embedded in the treads. He removes the slip from the shoe and finds an elaborate series of buttons and switches tied to a battery. Warrick finds Grissom and tells him that, as far as he can tell, the device is a wireless receiver. The receiver picks up a signal and solenoids drive the points up against the victim's foot, revealing what to bet on. As of now, Warrick is unsure as to how the victim would know what to bet, as the spin of a roulette wheel is random. Grissom notes that if there's a receiver, there's a transmitter. Sara interrupts them and tells them the victim's real name is Teddy Keller; his name and home address had been recorded when he bought the Rolex.

Warrick and Brass visit Teddy's apartment complex; the manager, Joseph Greene, tells them that Teddy has a roommate named Davis Mullins. They enter the apartment, which Warrick notes is freezing. There's a regulation roulette wheel on a table and various charts and graphs indicating that the roommates had a cheating system in place. Brass searches the apartment and finds Davis lying dead in the bedroom. Davis has also received two gunshots to the back of the head. Warrick notices a blood smear on the Davis' shirt, as well as a white mark on his shoulder. Meanwhile, Brass finds wigs and cosmetics in the closet and a box full of wireless receivers nearby, one of which has a print on the clear plastic covering. Outside of the apartment, Grissom finds shards of colored glass at the bottom of a stairwell.

Catherine is on a date with Chris Bezich when Sam walks up on them. As they speak privately, Catherine tells Sam that she can get fired just for having this conversation, but he says that it's a small town and he's always running into someone he knows. Sam tells Catherine that some people think he's a murderer, but she angrily replies that some people know he's a murderer. He puts a hand on her shoulder and tells her that he didn't kill those kids, implying that he knows that there's more than one. Sam eventually gets into his limousine; Catherine notices that it makes a three-point turn before it departs.

David Hodges tells Grissom that the glass found in the apartment complex stairwell is consistent with the glass found at the first crime scene, connecting the two murders. Meanwhile, in the locker room, Nick tells Sara that he's been recommended by Grissom for the key CSI position; however, the position was cut, as the department opted to spend the money on a bio robot instead. Sara processes this information as Nick tells her it was just an honor to be nominated.

Grissom and Warrick look over all of the roulette evidence gathered from the apartment. Warrick says that he's seen people beat casinos every which way; however, using their toes is a new one. He then mentions to Grissom that he was reading up on a group of people that used physics to gain an advantage on the roulette wheel. Grissom can see how; the wheel is a fixed mass in a known orbit. However, every roulette wheel is different, as they vary in tilt, wobble, and bounce. Warrick guesses that the guy with the transmitter did the calibration and noted the position of the ball, and that the computer could play out the spin in milliseconds, predicting the result. The transmitter would then send the code to the receiver, allowing the other person to place their bet. Warrick says that this system gave Davis and Teddy a 44% advantage over the house, whereas the house usually has a 5.26% edge. In other words, the cheaters were winning $2,200 per hour for every $100 they bet. Nick walks in and says that they got a hit off of the print recovered from the transmitter in the shoe; the print belongs Seth Landers, an electrical engineering grad student at WLVU. Seth has a record, having gotten arrested a few years back for making fake IDs.

Nick and Brass go to the WLVU campus looking for Seth, but find his doom room empty. As they're walking away, they spot a student unlocking his bike. Brass calls out Seth's name, and Seth takes off running. When Seth is caught, he yells out that he doesn't want to be killed and that he'll do whatever Sam Braun wants. Seth is brought to the station for interrogation. There, he tells Warrick and Brass that the scheme was Davis and Teddy's idea and that he didn't even get a cut of the winnings, he just wanted to build the device to see if the plan could work. The plan was to win $20,000-$30,000 per night, but Davis and Teddy got greedy. They hit three different Sam Braun-owned casinos since they're low-tech and were less likely to cause interference with the transmitters. Seth admits that he saw Teddy get taken to the "box," but he thought they were in the clear when Teddy emerged with the money still in his possession. However, he says that shortly after that, Teddy was apprehended again, and that's the last time Seth saw either Davis or Teddy.

Catherine stops by Grissom's office and tells him of her run-in with Sam. She lets him know that Sam got into a limousine with a wide turning radius and convinces Grissom that he should use his good character to get a warrant for the vehicle. Grissom and Sara process the limousine; they find that the distance from front tire to rear tire is 20 feet. Sara finds shards of colored glass in the rear tire treads, indicating that it was at the neon graveyard. They spray the back of the limousine with luminol and Grissom finds traces of blood. While this is going on, Sara questions Grissom as to why Nick received the now-cut promotion and she didn't; Grissom replies that it's because Nick didn't care whether he got the promotion or not. This answer isn't good enough for Sara.

Warrick and Brass go to the Rampart. They find Sam, and Brass places him under arrest for the murder of Teddy Keller. In the interrogation room, Grissom tells Sam and his lawyer that the tire patterns found at the scene of Teddy's murder are consistent with the wheelbase and turning radius of Sam's limousine. He also mentions that the shards of neon glass were found in the treads of all four tires. Additionally, the blood found in the backseat was a match to Teddy. Brass guesses that Sam waited until Teddy cleared the security cameras and had his staff escort him to the limousine. There, Sam hit Teddy with the back of his hand, drawing blood. They then took Teddy to the neon graveyard to show what happens to cheaters—they leaned him up against one of the signs and beat his hands with a hammer. Sam whispers something to his lawyer. The lawyer then tells Grissom and Brass that Sam simply offered Teddy a ride home; they took a detour to the neon graveyard to have a chat about the ethics of cheating and defrauding a casino. Brass notes that Teddy left the casino with the money, but the lawyer says Teddy returned the money as a sign of respect.

Warrick walks around the Rampart with a miniature frequency counter to take some electronic noise measurements. Back in the lab, he meets up with Grissom and tells him that the casino floor was a mess of interference and that electronics in old casinos aren't shielded. He believes that Seth would've known better than to use the old casinos for the scam and that maybe he and his friends had it out for Sam Braun. Meanwhile, Hodges determines that the white smudge found on Davis' body was an interior paint with the color Navajo White.

Warrick searches for Seth in the computer and brings up his driver's license. He recognizes a past address; it's the apartment complex where Davis and Teddy lived. Ironically, the apartment manager, Joseph Greene, has the same address. Warrick and Brass find Joseph in a convenience store playing a slot machine. He reveals that Seth is his son and wants to know if he's okay. As Joseph goes to pull the slot machine lever again, Brass notices an injury to his hand. Joseph says it's an old injury; when Warrick asks him if Sam Braun did that to him, he replies that he doesn't know who that is. Nevertheless, Joseph is brought to the police station for questioning.

At the station, Sam Braun is escorted to the waiting room and given a seat next to Joseph. Joseph stares long and hard at Sam while Grissom and Brass watch the interaction from a distance. Brass tells Grissom that Joseph (aka Joseph Landers) and Sam are "old friends." An officer comes in to escort Joseph to interrogation; Sam notices the bruises on Joseph's hand and gleefully asks him if it hurts when it rains. Once again, Joseph feigns ignorance and pretends to not know who Sam is.

In interrogation, Brass brings up the fact that Joseph was banned from all casinos for cheating in the past. In fact, he had been caught cheating in one of Sam Braun's casinos, and Sam was the one who gave his name to the gaming commission. Joseph claims that he didn't cheat, he simply beat the casinos. Brass guesses that the plan the boys hatched was actually Joseph's plan and that he put his son, Seth, in the middle of it. He even wonders if Seth killed his two partners because he got caught. Joseph categorically denies this and says that they should be looking at Sam for the murders.

Nick is called to the WLVU campus, where a .22 caliber revolver has been found in the dumpster outside Seth's dorm. The gun has four expended rounds and is wrapped in a bloody green t-shirt. In the lab, test shots are fired from the gun; Warrick finds that the test bullet matches the bullet found in Teddy's skull. However, Warrick is still unsettled about the case—why would Seth come up with a plan to scam the casinos and kill his partners, but dump the gun at his dorm? Furthermore, the .22 caliber revolver is a small weapon for an up-close-and-personal hit. There were two different types of ammo in the gun; Nick and Warrick are able to do some backtracking and determine that Davis was actually killed in his apartment before Teddy was killed at the graveyard. Their timeline is off.

Greg informs Grissom that the blood recovered from the t-shirt in the dumpster belongs to Davis Mullins; however, epithelials on the inside of the shirt belong to Seth. Grissom is seemingly disappointed with the results, as this means that Sam is innocent...this time. Warrick visits Seth in his cell and asks him what he did after Teddy was hauled away. Seth recalls that he waited outside of the casino for an hour; when Teddy didn't show up, he went to Teddy's apartment to look for him. There, he found Davis dead in the bedroom. He touched Davis' body and got blood on his hands, which he absent-mindedly wiped on his shirt. When confronted with the fact that the gun was found wrapped in his bloody t-shirt, Seth insists that he's never fired a gun in his life. Seth is also surprised that the shirt was found outside of his dorm. Warrick has Seth retrace his steps, and Seth remembers that he came to his father in a panic and handed him the bloody shirt. Seth comes to the realization that he was set up by this father. He admits that he just wanted his father to like him and he went to scam Sam Braun as a way of proving himself to him.

Grissom and Warrick head to the apartment complex to look for evidence that incriminates Joseph. They find nothing in Joseph's apartment; however, Grissom finds traces of white paint on a key ring handle, as well as one of the keys. The key opens the door to an apartment that's in the process of being painted. Warrick finds a paint can in the middle of the floor and notes that the color is Navajo White, the same paint that was on Davis' shirt. In the closet, Grissom finds a backpack full of money from both Pike's Casino and the Tangiers; additionally, there are paint and blood smears on the backpack. Warrick wonders why Joseph would kill the kids when they were making him money and helping him get revenge on Sam. Grissom guesses that when Joseph saw the opportunity to frame Sam for murder, it stopped being about the money. A flashback shows Joseph getting a call from Teddy telling him that Sam was on to the scam. Joseph went to their apartment and shot Davis, then went to the neon graveyard where Teddy was waiting for him and shot him, as well. He then beat Teddy's hands with a hammer and propped him up against a sign.

Catherine meets up with Sam and offers to buy him dinner as an apology. She learns that Sam has hired Seth, giving the young man an opportunity to work off his debt. "You want to catch a cheater—hire one," he tells Catherine. Before he leaves, he adds that one way or another, he always gets his money's worth.

Cast[]

Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

Notes[]

  • Sam Braun taunts Grissom by asking him what bothered him more—the fact that Grissom's team failed at putting him away for murder (Inside the Box) or the fact that he gave Catherine a check that she cashed (Jackpot).
  • Grissom had recommended Nick for a promotion in Eleven Angry Jurors, an episode from earlier in the season. In this episode, it is revealed that the position was cut and that Sara was mad at Grissom for not being the one who was recommended.

See Also[]

CSI:Las Vegas Season 4
Assume NothingAll For Our CountryHomebodiesFeeling the HeatFur and LoathingJackpotInvisible EvidenceAfter the ShowGrissom Versus the VolcanoComing of RageEleven Angry JurorsButterfliedSuckersPaper or PlasticEarly RolloutGetting OffXXBad To The BoneBad WordsDead RingerTurn of the ScrewsNo More BetsBloodlines
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