Pool Shark
Pool Shark
Season 11
Number 2
Writer Dustin Lee Abraham
Director Michael Nankin
Original Airdate September 30, 2010
Previous Episode: Shock Waves
Next Episode: Blood Moon

Pool Shark is the second episode in Season Eleven of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.


When the CSI team investigates a shark attack in a casino hotel's pool, the case brings Catherine back to memories of her father, due to the casino owner being an old friend of his. As the CSI team delves deeper, they find that the attack may actually be a case of casino rivalry.


Victim: Desiree McQuire (deceased)

On the case: entire team

A group of young people party in the Golden Nugget's hotel swimming pool, which is adjacent to an aquarium. One partygoer spots a shark in the pool, but the shark is able to claim a victim before everyone can vacate. The victim, later identified as casino employee Desiree McQuire, had one of her arms bitten off by the shark. Among the witnesses is Drops, an old friend of the CSI team.

The shark is eventually pulled from the pool, but Catherine has bigger problems—Ecklie is asking for information on the case, while the casino's owner, Earnest Boozell, is unhappy that there's a dead body in his casino. Catherine introduces herself, and Earnest recognizes her as Sam Braun's daughter. He accuses her of always getting her way thanks to Sam's clout before he's escorted from the scene.

Dr. Holloway, the casino's aquatic veterinarian, tells Catherine and Sara that all of the tiger sharks in the aquarium are accounted for, meaning that someone slipped the shark into the pool from the outside. In the casino, Earnest puts pressure on Catherine and Sara to solve the case and re-open his club. After a brief argument, he leads the CSIs to the surveillance room, where Sara finds that half of the pool is covered in a blind spot. She relays this information to Nick, who says that the partygoers are now going to the pool across the street at a place called Macklin's. They wonder if their suspect knew about the cameras, which would indicate that this was an inside job. When they look around, they find a door to the pool area, which would provide easy access for their suspect. Nick also finds a blunt on the ground.

Langston, with cane in hand, pays Doc Robbins a visit in autopsy. The doc finds a shark tooth embedded in Desiree's wound; however, there's not a drop of blood on it. There's also no blood in the puncture, indicating that blood wasn't flowing through the tissue when Desiree was bitten. Blood had to have been flowing, though, since Desiree bled out in the pool. Langston and Doc Robbins question how both diagnoses can be true.

The DNA on the blunt comes back to Drops, who gets interrogated by Nick and Brass. When told that the blunt puts him in the spot where the shark could've put into the water, Drops explains that he works for Earnest promoting his day clubs. This gives him access to anywhere on the property, and the area behind the pool is where they bring in the DJ equipment. Drops reveals that he used to work across the street at Macklin's until he was fired. Nick mentions that Macklin's also has an aquarium and wonders if Drops was paid off to look the other way when the shark was smuggled in. A closed pool at the Golden Nugget means more business for Macklin's.

Catherine speaks with Earnest, who doesn't believe that Drops would betray him. In fact, the business for his day club went through the roof after Drops came on board. Catherine gives a verbal history of the long-standing rivalry between Earnest and Danny Macklin. Earnest eventually puts two and two together, concluding that Danny put a shark in the pool in order to increase his own business.

Back in autopsy, Langston and Doc Robbins are still confused regarding their earlier discussion. They conclude that Desiree was already dead when the shark bit her arm off; the bite severed an artery, causing blood to gush into the pool. This means, however, that they don't have an official cause of death. Upon taking a closer look at the body, they find an injection mark in the middle of Desiree's back. There's a coral fiber in the injection point, which is the same color as the raft Desiree was on. A flashback shows someone swimming under Desiree's raft and injecting her through the bottom of it; the blood then attracted the shark. It appears that Desiree was singled out by the killer—and the killer is still in the wind.

Henry informs Langston that Desiree's cause of death is actually a heroin overdose. Meanwhile, Nick goes through the video surveillance of the casino pool and is unable to find many shots of Desiree or her killer. He and Langston notice that Desiree was wearing a lot of jewelry when she was floating on the raft; however, when she was pulled from the pool, she wasn't wearing any of it. The CSIs figure that the jewelry may have ended up at the bottom of the pool while Desiree was being thrashed around by the shark.

Henry and Hodges are tasked with excavating the jewelry from the pool. As they get dressed for the excursion in the locker room, they're interrupted by Wendy. After Henry leaves to give them privacy, Wendy tells Hodges that she's gotten a new job working in the field with her sister—in Portland, Oregon. She tearfully tells Hodges that she's leaving the lab and that Hodges is the last to know because she knew he would try to get her to stay. Before Hodges can reply, she hugs and him and leaves.

Catherine pays Danny a visit in his casino. He insists that none of his sharks are missing and says that it wouldn't surprise him if Earnest put a shark in his own pool in an effort to put the blame on him. Catherine tells Danny that he's the prime suspect, as he's gaining business due to the pool closure across the street.

Henry and Hodges have a fight in the pool regarding Wendy's departure, which leads to Henry inadvertently finding a syringe at the bottom of it. In the lab, Nick recovers a print from the syringe, which comes back to Anya Sanchez, a young woman with a long rap sheet.

Anya is brought to the station for interrogation; she's in possession of a large amount of stolen jewelry, some of which belonged to Desiree. After unsuccessfully trying to bribe Nick and Brass, Anya admits that the swiped the jewelry from Desiree. Nick tells her that her fingerprint was found on the syringe and figures that she injected Desiree with heroin in order to knock her out and rob her. Unfortunately for Anya, Desiree died from a heroin overdose, meaning that Anya is guilty of felony murder.

Anya's credit records show that she was renting out cabanas at every pool party in town to aid her in her kleptomania. However, Catherine and Nick believe that she had nothing to do with the shark, meaning they're still chasing the person who put the shark in the water. Whoever did so is on the hook for attempted murder on everyone in the pool.

Dr. Holloway assists Langston and Doc Robbins with the shark's autopsy. A search of the shark's stomach (which includes eel and squid) leads Dr. Holloway to believe that the shark was from the wild, possibly transported to Vegas by a collector. However, after Dr. Holloway leaves, both Langston and Doc Robbins state that he was lying, as most aquariums get their sharks from captive breeding programs, not the wild. A further search of the shark's stomach reveals pieces of freshly-cut fish, something the shark can't find in the ocean. Doc Robbins notes that sharks in captivity have to be tagged, and when Langston touches the smooth part of the shark's fin, its roughness leads him to the conclusion that the "serial number" was sanded off.

Langston's hunch is proven correct, as he's able to recover a "serial number" from the shark's fin. There are only a handful of aquariums in Vegas that have sharks, and Catherine cross-references the list with known suspects in their case. It's revealed that the shark did, in fact, belong to Danny Macklin. Under interrogation, he admits that he had Dr. Holloway get rid of the shark because it had a tapeworm and was eating all of the other fish in the aquarium. The interrogation is interrupted by Earnest, who barges in and accuses Danny of putting the shark in his pool.

Nick and Sara go looking for Dr. Holloway, who is working at Macklin's. They're unable to get in touch with him by phone and soon find out why—the doctor's body is floating in the aquarium as onlookers stare and take pictures. In autopsy, Nick and Doc Robbins note the pinkish hue of Dr. Holloway's body, which indicates some kind of poisoning. Nick eyes Dr. Holloway's scuba tank and gives it to a depressed Hodges for processing.

Hodges identifies the poison gas in the scuba tank as carbon monoxide. He also found hydrocarbons and nitrous oxides, which are both byproducts of an internal combustion engine. This means that someone filled Dr. Holloway's scuba tank with car exhaust. The team meets to run over the case, and Nick puts forth two hypotheses—1) Danny paid Dr. Holloway to drop the defective shark into Earnest's pool in order to attract customers to his own casino, and 2) Earnest found out what the pair did and killed Dr. Holloway in revenge. The team figures that they need to test the exhausts of both Danny's and Earnest's cars, with Hodges telling them that the ratio of contaminants in the exhaust point to an older car.

One of Earnest's cars ends up having the same hydrocarbon and nitrous oxide ratios as the ratios found in the scuba tank. Under interrogation, Earnest claims his innocence, telling Catherine that he couldn't leave his casino without being watched by the cops. He also says that he and Danny made peace the night before over dinner.

In her office, Catherine recalls a conversation long ago with her father, where he tells her that just because someone says a conflict is "squashed," doesn't mean that it's true. With her focus put back on Danny, she and Sara go to Macklin's casino and speak to a valet. As they search the area, Catherine and Sara find a long hose that smells like exhaust. The valet says that he didn't see anyone using the hose, but Catherine notices that they have a witness—an ATM across the street.

Photos from the ATM's camera shows Danny transferring exhaust from Earnest's car into Dr. Holloway's scuba tank. Danny stays silent, but Brass summarizes the case. After buying the tapeworm-ridden shark, Danny had Dr. Holloway file off the "serial number" and put it in Earnest's pool in order to try to attract business and recoup some of his losses. Something went wrong with their financial arrangements, so Danny killed Dr. Holloway and attempted to frame Earnest in the process.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]


  • Some Chords by Deadmau5
  • Forget You by Cee Lo Green


  • Ray changes the side to which he has his cane.
  • During the close-up of Dr. Holloway's dead body floating in the aquarium, the fingers of his left hand move about in a manner that shows they're made of rubber or another soft material with no 'bones' inside. There's also a slight fold crease visible on the inside of his right hand/wrist in the lower left hand corner of the screen.


  • This is Liz Vassey's final appearance as DNA tech Wendy Simms.
  • David Phillips claims he's still a little jumpy from booby-trapped bodies, referring to the previous episode, Shock Waves.
  • Sara's hand is still in cast, which is also carryover from the previous episode.


  • Deadmau5 appears himself as a DJ at the pool party. He's a famous Canadian producer, DJ and musician known for wearing a helmet that resembles Mickey Mouse.

See Also[]

CSI:Las Vegas Season 11
Shock WavesPool SharkBlood MoonSqweegelHouse of HoardersCold BloodedBump and GrindFrackedWild Life418/427Man UpA Kiss Before FryingThe Two Mrs. GrissomsAll That CremainsTargets of ObsessionTurn On, Tune In, Drop DeadThe ListHitting for the CycleUnleashedFather of the BrideCello and GoodbyeIn a Dark, Dark House