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Room Service
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Season 6
Number 2
Writer Dustin Lee Abraham,
Henry Alonso Myers
Director Kenneth Fink
Original Airdate September 29, 2005
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Previous Episode: Bodies in Motion
Next Episode: Bite Me

Room Service is the second episode in season six of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis

An up-and-coming movie star is found dead in his hotel room after partying with groupies. In another case, a dead cab driver leads the team to a string of deaths involving immigrant workers.

Plot

A man sits in the back of a stretch limo flanked by attractive women. Off to the side, one woman worriedly looks at her cell phone. As the limo drives by a taxi cab, a young Laotian man sits in the back of the cab with a bruise on his face and tear-stained cheeks. The screen splits in half following both of these men. As the man from the limo walks through a casino, he draws the attention of several other females and ends up partying with them. Meanwhile, the man from the taxi leaves without paying. When the cabbie yells out to him, he says that he's getting the money.

Victims: Unnamed taxi driver (deceased), Samay Thao (deceased), Noy Vipraxay (deceased)

On the case: Catherine Willows, Gil Grissom, Sara Sidle, Jim Brass

The cabbie is found slumped over the steering wheel with blood running down his right shoulder. Sara sees that the cabbie has suffered a gunshot wound to the neck. There is no visible gun shot residue and no shell casings. She also finds money in the visor, ruling out robbery. There are clumps of dirt on the floor in the back seat, which Grissom thinks is from the last fare. There are also two bullet holes in the passenger door. Grissom gets a hold of the dispatch log and sees the the last address written down was 7888 Oakley Street. He makes a connection and walks away from the scene. As he continues to walk, Grissom calls Catherine. To her surprise, he has made his way to her crime scene at the location from the log.

Catherine's crime scene is the murder of the young Laotian man from the taxi. Grissom tells her that drop-off from the taxi's dispatch log was this address. The dirt on the man's pants and shoes confirm that he was the last one in the cab. Catherine wonders if the same person killed both victims. If it was about money, Grissom says, the young man doesn't appear to have much.

The victim is identified as Samay Thao; he does not live close to where he was killed. Grissom counts six bullet holes in Samay's torso. When combined with the two bullet holes in the cab's passenger door and the one in the cabbie, nine total shots have been fired. There are no shell casing present at this scene, either. When David Phillips rolls the body, Grissom notices a black mark on Samay's shirt. Catherine looks up, notices the railing on the motel's second floor and thinks that the mark could have transferred from there. When they go up to the second floor, they find several blood drops on the ground. There is some metalwork in front of a door that Catherine notices is damaged. She and Grissom realize that the shooter could be behind the door. They stand to the side and call out for Brass. Brass and some uniformed officers break down the door and find a Laotian man inside holding a shotgun. The man yells out in Laotian and eventually reveals in English that he shot a burglar.

Brass finds the shooter's ID, which identifies him as Keo Vipraxay. In the motel room, Catherine examines the shotgun and sees that the cartridge holds nine pellets, which would account for all of the hits. She finds it hard to believe that one shot could take out two victims in separate locations. However, when the scene is recreated, they guess that the cabbie was waiting for Samay downstairs. After he was shot, the three bullets that missed him hit the taxi and one hit the cabbie, making him collateral damage. Grissom notes that Keo was claiming that he shot a burglar; however, he sees that there is nothing in the motel room worth stealing.

In autopsy, Doc Robbins pulls what appears to be a shard of glass out of Samay's eye and gives it to Catherine as evidence. He adds that it's a bad night for Laotians and shows Catherine the body of Noy Vipraxay, the victim of a solo traffic collision in Mount Charleston. She notes that the this victim has the same last name as the person who shot Samay; in fact, Samay caught a cab from a gas station in the same town. They may be looking at a triple homicide.

Hodges tells Catherine that the shard pulled from Samay's eye is actually part of a CD. Meanwhile, Grissom processes Noy's car. He shows Catherine a photo taken at the scene that shows Noy slumped up against the driver's window. However, there is a blood pool directly under the steering wheel, indicating that Noy bled out while he was sitting upright. Catherine wonders if someone moved the body and Grissom sees from the photo that there was mud at the accident scene. Remembering that Samay had mud on his pants and shoes, Grissom says that they need to match soil samples to possibly but Samay at the scene. Catherine presses the eject button the CD player and removes a broken CD. She tells Grissom about the fragment found in Samay's eye. Sara walks into the garage and informs them that the two dead Laotians and the shooter all worked at the same place.

Brass visits the laundry where the Laotians worked and speaks to Joe Cavanaugh, the owner. Joe confirms that they all worked for him and tells Brass that Keo and Noy are brothers. He tells Brass that Keo and Noy did not get along with Samay because they were from different parts of Laos; they were born to not get along. Brass tells Joe that Noy died in a car accident and that Keo shot Samay. Joe yells at a worker in Lao and offers to help Brass with any translating, as Keo's English isn't very good. Brass replies that he might just take Joe up on his offer.

Keo is brought in for questioning with Joe as his interpreter. Brass says that they believe Samay killed Keo's brother and tried to make it look like an accident; he asks if Keo knew about this. Joe interprets, and he and Keo converse back and forth in Lao. When they are done conversing, Joe tells Brass that Keo said he thought Samay was a robber and that is why he shot him.

With Catherine and Sara present, Grissom hypothesizes about what transpired so far. He believes that Samay and Noy went for a drive after work to Mount Charleston. There, Samay killed Noy and made it look like an accident. Samay then went to Keo's apartment, where Keo shot him in self-defense. Catherine doesn't buy the story, as Keo shot Samay from the other side of a locked door, indicating that he knew Samay was coming. Sara wonders if Keo hired Samay to kill Noy, then decided to back out of the deal. She brings up that Noy had a life insurance policy for $10,000 with half of the payout going to Joe Cavanaugh.

Since Joe was not a court-approved translator, Brass videotaped their interrogation. Another translator watches the tape and tells Brass and Grissom that Joe wasn't being entirely truthful in his translations. She reveals that Keo actually threatened to expose Joe and told him to give a story about a robbery gone bad. Joe is hiding something.

Brass heads to the laundry with some uniformed officers and speaks to Joe again in private. When confronted with the fact that he didn't interpret the conversation truthfully, Joe replies that he simply misinterpreted. Brass asks Joe about being listed as a co-beneficiary of Noy's life insurance policy; he says that he helps his workers in a lot of ways and some of them list him as a beneficiary as a way of thanking him for it. Joe tells Brass that he makes $15,000 per month managing the laundries and that he wouldn't kill someone for a measly $5,000.

Catherine tells Grissom that Keo bought a $250 shotgun a few days before Samay was killed, proving that the murder was premeditated. Brass interrogates Keo, this time with the court-approved translator present. Keo is presented with the evidence that he killed the guy who killed his brother and came out $5,000 ahead. Since the murder was premeditated, Keo is looking at murder one. Keo surprises Brass by replying in English and tells him that he brought Noy over to the United States so Noy could help him save up money to bring family over. Instead, Noy spent the money on DVD's and clothes. Keo admits to having his brother killed because his life was worthless; his death, Keo claims, is not.

Victim: Julian Harper (deceased)

On the case: Greg Sanders, Nick Stokes, Warrick Brown, Sofia Curtis

In his hotel suite, the man from the limo is found dead in his bed. He turns out to be Julian Harper, an up-and-coming movie star, which explains why everyone was taking photos of him as he walked through the casino. As Warrick snaps photos of the body, Doc Robbins puts the time of death at 3:00 AM. Warrick notices that drugs are prevalent in the room, but the doc says that Julian shows no signs of an overdose. Based on findings, Doc Robbins thinks the cause of death may be suffocation or strangulation. He finds a black fiber under Julian's chin which Warrick collects as evidence.

Sofia questions Gerard 'Blinky' Allison, Julian's best friend and right-hand man. He found Julian when he came to the room and to see if he wanted to order room service. 'Blinky' says that he didn't touch the body and that neither him nor Julian did any drugs. In fact, he says that Julian never took drugs and treated his body like a temple. Suddenly, they hear a shower running, which is odd since the scene was cleared. In the shower, they find a young woman in her underwear curled up in the fetal position. She throws up, and Warrick calls for a medic and a bag for the stomach contents.

Nick finds semen in several places in the suite, while Warrick spots vodka, cocaine and champagne. Some pantyhose are also found on the floor. Warrick opens the curtains and finds smudges on the window and footprints nearby. They guess that Julian was having sex everywhere in the room, including up against the window.

Sofia questions Julian's ex-wife turned manager, Eva. She tells Sofia that Julian had received some weird fan mail, but she didn't think any of those people would kill him. Eva says that she wasn't around when Julian was partying; Sofia gets her fingerprints and DNA.

In autopsy, Doc Robbins tells Warrick that Julian had low amounts of some drugs in his system, which goes against the whole "treating his body like a temple" thing. The doc rules out an overdose and says that the cause of death is asphyxia; however, there are no ligature marks or bruises and Julian's hyoid bone is intact. This makes strangulation unlikely. No fibers were found in Julian's nose or mouth, meaning that the killer could have used something that didn't shed fibers.

In the hospital, Warrick and Sofia visit the young woman found in the shower. She is told that her stomach contents contained traces of alcohol and a sleeping pill. Cocaine was also found in her system; she admits to doing a couple of lines, but denies taking any pills. She recalls being approached by 'Blinky' in the club and invited to party with Julian. 'Blinky' later offered her a drink. She says the next thing that she remembers is waking up with 'Blinky' on top of her. Sofia offers to assist her in reporting a date rape, but the woman is more interested in not ratting on 'Blinky' in order to get access to more clubs and parties. She is surprised when told that Julian is dead and that she was in the room when it happened. Sofia takes sample of the woman's DNA.

In the A/V lab, Nick tells Archie that he found saliva on the suite's window and ran it through CODIS. It came back to a Willie Angel, who is a Vegas resident but is not a member of Julian's entourage. Archie remembers seeing Willie on casino surveillance footage and brings it up. Willie is spotted riding up the elevator at 12:31 AM, where he got off at the VIP floor. The video is fast forwarded to 2:45 AM, and Willie is shown getting back on the elevator carrying two shopping bags. Nick wonders if Willie stole items from Julian's suite. He adds that the front desk issued two key cards to Julian's room - one to Julian and one to 'Blinky.' However, three different cards were used to enter Julian's suite. How did Willie get a card?

Nick and Sofia find Willie in the casino playing a slot machine. They get him to stand up and and an officer pats him down. On Willie's person, they find a magnetic card reader and key cards from various hotels. Nick explains that all one has to do is input a room number into the reader and swipe the card to create a new one. This allows the user to gain access to just about any hotel room in the city.

Willie is brought to the station for questioning. Nick theorizes that Willie used the key card to enter the room and hid there until Julian fell asleep. Afterwards, he tried to rob him, but Julian woke up. In order to avoid going back to jail, Willie was forced to kill Julian. Willie admits to breaking into the room and hiding there, but he says that Julian was having sex with a blonde for over two hours. When she left the room, Willie came out from hiding and saw that Julian wasn't moving. He tells Nick and Sofia to look for a girl in a red dress.

Archie scans through the surveillance video and finds the girl in the red dress on the elevator with Julian. She rode up at 12:57 AM and rode back down almost two hours later; however, when she left, she was missing her pantyhose. He tracks her through the casino; there, she is seen taking a large wad of money from Julian's manager, Eva. She is then tracked to a shop in the casino where she buys an expensive handbag. The girl puts herself on a mailing list; Archie is able to zoom in on the video and pick up her name and phone number.

The girl, Tally Jordan, is brought in for questioning. She tells Warrick that she had been a fan of Julian's since before he was famous and that she would never kill him. However, instead of getting an autograph or a picture, she got much, much more. Tally then tells Warrick that Eva handed her a wad of money and, if anyone asked, was told to say that Julian was a gentleman that treated her nicely and bought her a handbag. In another interrogation room, Sofia questions Eva. She admits to tipping every girl that Julian sleeps with in an effort to protect his image.

Hodges tells Nick and Warrick that the fibers found on Julian's chin were cotton and a polyester-Lycra blend, both dyed black. Warrick thinks about the crime scene and doesn't remember the sheets or curtains dyed being that color. Nick remembers that he collected black socks and pantyhose as evidence. As they take a closer look at the pantyhose, they find that they are tied in a knot and have burn marks on them. The pantyhose are sent to DNA.

Greg, who is working in the lab while they are looking for a new lab tech, tells Nick and Warrick that the DNA on the inside of the pantyhose belongs to Tally. There were also black cotton fibers on the outside, with the highest concentration being near the crotch. They conclude that the sock was between Julian's neck and the pantyhose and that Julian was engaging in "breath control play" - couples increasing their partner's pleasure through strangulation. Since Julian was an actor, he didn't want marks to be seen on his neck, so he used the sock as padding. But the question still remains: which female in the room killed him?

Nick and Warrick revisit the hotel suite and note that there is no fireplace in the room nor evidence of a lighter. Warrick spots a piece of burned pantyhose on a wall lamp and theorizes that someone tied Julian to the lamp with the pantyhose. They panicked when they couldn't undo the knot and pulled the pantyhose down. Warrick dusts the lamp for prints.

One of the prints from the lamp comes back to 'Blinky.' He admits to Warrick and Sofia that when he came into the room to ask Julian if he wanted room service, he found Julian strangled to death with the pantyhose that were tied to the lamp. Julian did it to himself with his sexual kinks. 'Blinky' then says he ripped the pantyhose off the lamp, laid Julian on the bed and put boxers on him. He didn't want Julian's mother to open up a magazine and see her son in that position and says that he just wanted to do right by Julian. Julian's cause of death is officially listed as accidental due to auto-erotic asphyxiation.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Stars

Quotes

Gil calling Catherine from his phone.
Catherine: Catherine.
Gil: It's Gil. How you doin'?
Catherine: I'm busy. You checkin' up on me?
Gil: Now why would I need to do that?
Catherine: You tell me.
Gil: Look I know you tend to get territorial with your crime scenes and I don't want there to be any tensions between us. So I'm giving you fair warning.
Catherine: A fair warning for what?
Gil: Hi.

Music

  • Mad World by Gary Jules
  • Have Tears, Have No Fears by Tears for Fears
  • Infamous (Instrumental) by DJ Honda
  • Look Right Through Me by Lisa

Goofs

  • When Warrick and Dr. Robbins is in the hotel room at the start, the corpse's legs alternate between open and closed.

Notes

Trivia

  • This is the first episode that features a split screen presentation of two different crimes presented during the episode.
  • While taking a picture of Julian Harper, Dr. Robbins tells Warrick that he collects photos of celebrities who died in Las Vegas for his own scrapbook. He mentions Tupac Shakur (shot to death) and John Entwistle (cocaine-induced heart attack).
  • Maite Schwartz played Kate in the episode. She also had roles in CSI: Miami (episode: Raging Cannibal) and CSI:NY (episode: Do Not Pass Go).

See Also

CSI:Las Vegas Season 6
Bodies in MotionRoom ServiceBite MeShooting StarsGum DropsSecrets and FliesA Bullet Runs Through It, Part 1A Bullet Runs Through It, Part 2Dog Eat DogStill LifeWerewolvesDaddy's Little GirlKiss-Kiss, Bye-ByeKillerPirates of the Third ReichUp in SmokeI Like to WatchThe Unusual SuspectSpellboundPoppin' TagsRashomamaTime of your DeathBang-BangWay to Go
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