Page Turner
Season 5
Number 2
Writer Trey Callaway
Director Frederick E.O. Toye
Original Airdate October 1, 2008
Previous Episode: Veritas
Next Episode: Turbulence

Page Turner is the second episode in Season Five of CSI: NY.


CSI connects two radiation poisoning deaths to a dead librarian and the rare books collection at the New York Public Library. However, the life of the medical examiner is in the balance after he comes in contact with one of the bodies.


A fight breaks out at a free Maroon 5 concert in Central Park, forcing police to intervene, shooting unruly concert-goers with bean bags. A woman named Liza Carpenter ends up dead, her trachea crushed, leading Mac Taylor to suspect the rounds may have been fatal for her. Sid Hammerback autopsies the body and makes a frightening discovery: Liza died of radiation poisoning of some sort. He immediately quarantines the morgue, but quickly falls ill himself. Hawkes accompanies him to the hospital, while Mac assigns Stella and Danny the task of finding out if the paint on Liza's body was the source of the radiation. Adam traces the art to a Kenneth Blamford, known as "Ka-Blam". The CSIs investigate his studio, but find no evidence of radiation anywhere in the paint he's using. Lindsay and Hawkes examine Liza's body at New York's Exposure Control Facility, and discover she was poisoned with Thallium 201, likely through skin contact. Hawkes calls the hospital and recommends a course of treatment for Sid. Danny discovers mold on Liza's shoes, but he and Stella are interrupted by a call: another victim of radiation poisoning has turned up.

Mac, Stella and Flack stand over the body of horror director Dante Gunther who was in town to receive a lifetime achievement award at a horror film festival. In his hotel room, techs discover a small silver sliver of material in the cuff of his pants that's highly radioactive. Hawkes also discovers a note written on old paper with a reminder about festival dates and an address. The Mylar strip, the age of the paper Dante's note is written on and the mold lead the team to the New York Library's special collections room. Once there, they're able to trace the radiation to one book: a copy of The Tibetan Book of the Dead. Mac pays Sid a visit in the hospital, and Hawkes informs him it's too early to tell if the treatment is working. On the television set, Mac notices a lawyer, Joel Paulson, announcing he's filing a wrongful death suit against the city and the library on behalf of Liza, Dante—and his wife, Molly Paulson. Mac pays the man a visit and he tells the CSI that his wife, a librarian who worked in the special collections department at the New York Library, died several months before. He had been told by the doctors that she died of Lupus, but her symptoms and her proximity to the radiation lead him to suspect that she died of thallium poisoning. After showing Mac a picture he painted of his wife, he gives the CSI permission to exhume her body.

Flack has zeroed in on a suspect: Timothy Pram, who visited the special collections room twice in the last month and who happens to have a prior for breaking and entering into Three Mile Island. Flack and Stella question Pram, now a Buddhist monk going by the name of Lhamo Vadhana, but he claims his criminal days are in the past. The CSIs look in another direction: Lindsay finds trace from a sea sponge with a red substance on it on the book, while Mac and Hawkes confirm that Molly Paulson died from thallium poisoning, but that unlike their other two victims, she ingested the deadly isotope. Flack learns that Molly had an assistant, Lawrence Wagner, who she wrote up several times for not showing up to work. After her death, he stopped showing up altogether. Danny discovers traces of radiation by his desk, and Flack locates the man at his mother's address. They find him in the shed, building a small nuclear reactor. They're sure they've got their guy, until none of the many radioactive isotopes in his shed are revealed to be thallium. The red substance on the sea sponge holds the key: it's paint, but not the type Ka-Blam was using. Mac recalls the portrait Joel Paulson painted of his wife, and confronts the man. Joel, tired of working as a lawyer, found a foolproof scheme to get rich: kill his wife for the insurance money and then tie her death to the library—and several other deaths—so that he could sue the city and retire a rich man. The case closed, Mac, Hawkes and Flack return to the hospital to see Sid, who is well on his way to a full recovery.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

  • Jonathon Trent as Ka-Blam/Kenneth Blamford
  • Edward Kerr as Joel Paulson
  • Ramon De Ocampo as Lhamo Vadhana
  • Tyler Poelle as Lawrence Wagner
  • Matt Zogaric as Boy In Movie
  • Heidi Johanningmeier as Girl In Movie
  • Helena Barrett as Liza Carpenter
  • Justin Marchert as Dante Gunther
  • Adam Levine as Himself (Maroon 5)
  • James Valentine as Himself (Maroon 5)
  • Jesse Carmichael as Himself (Maroon 5)
  • Mathew Flynn as Himself (Maroon 5)
  • Michael Madden as Himself (Maroon 5)


  • Goodnight Goodnight by Maroon 5
  • I've Seen Enough by Cold War Kids
  • Can't Stop by Maroon 5


  • The library poisonings are inspired by “the great book scare”, an obscure hysterical panic where books were assumed to transmit diseases.
  • The crimes themselves are based on product tampering copycats after the Chicago Tylenol murders, most notably Stella Nickell and Joseph Meling.

See Also[]

CSI:NY Season 5
VeritasPage TurnerTurbulenceSex, Lies, and SiliconeThe Cost of LivingEnoughDead InsideMy Name is Mac TaylorThe BoxThe TriangleForbidden FruitHelpRush to JudgementShe's Not ThereThe Party's OverNo Good DeedGreen PiecePoint of No ReturnCommunication BreakdownPrey (NY)The Past, Present and MurderYahrzeitGreater GoodGrounds For DeceptionPay Up