Scar Tissue is the second episode in Season Three of CSI: Vegas.

Csi vegas lg
Scar Tissue
Csi vegas
Season 3
Number 2
Writer Jordana Lewis Jaffe
Director Nicole Rubio
Original Airdate February 25, 2024
Previous Episode: The Reaper
Next Episode: Rat Packed


With a new piece of evidence at play, Catherine reopens an investigation from her past that never got solved after a violent attack left her hospitalized. Internal affairs begins questioning Folsom.


Victims: Officer Rick Hernandez, unnamed 911 caller and Theresa Moren (all deceased)

On the case: Allie Rajan, Beau Finado, Catherine Willows, Chris Park, Maxine Roby, Penny Gill, Det. Serena Chavez

In a flashback to five years ago, Catherine was investigating a crime scene on a boat where a 911 caller was shot to death after reporting a trespasser. On the boat was a large yellow container that Catherine wanted to begin processing. However, before she could do so, someone driving a large SUV drove into the area and ran into a police cruiser, flipping it over. Officer Rick Hernandez was killed immediately, while Catherine sustained a permanent injury to her arm.

In the present, Catherine tells the story to Max. She recalls waking up in the hospital the next day to find that her camera, the dead body, and the yellow container all disappeared. The crime scene was wiped and the case was never solved. Catherine believes that the SUV used was part of an active drug investigation involving Raphael Tarquenio and his associates. With the evidence gone, the team was never able to establish a link between Raphael and the boat. However, Catherine pulls out a boat key she lifted from Raphael's mansion when the team visited it last.

Unfortunately, Catherine discovers that the key doesn't start the boat, which is still docked at the original crime scene location. However, due to the receding water line, a fishing net comes into view—wrapped around what appears to be a prosthetic leg. She and Beau pull it from the water to confirm what they're looking at.

Back in the lab, Chris and Penny use sodium bicarbonate and water to break the algae off of the leg without destroying any physical evidence. They find that something corroded the metal inside the plastic without damaging the plastic itself. The thought is that this could only be done by some type of chromic acid, and Catherine wonders if the person attached to the leg was dissolved the same way. She also theorizes that the contents of the mysterious yellow container were dumped into the lake, leg and all. The leg's atomic pattern retains the shape of its serial number, which ties the leg to Theresa Moren, the former dean of a Las Vegas prep school. It just so happens that Raphael's daughter was a student at the same school. Theresa's obituary claims that she died in a scuba diving accident in Mexico and that her body was never found. She died the same week Catherine was almost run over by the SUV, seemingly connecting Raphael to the cold case in some way.

Catherine and Max speak with Courtney Moren, Theresa's daughter. Despite Theresa's car being found at a scuba shop in Mexico, Courtney believes her mother would never have gone scuba diving after having had her leg amputated. She recognizes the name Raphael Tarquenio, telling Catherine and Max that he's a major donor at the school.

Allie, Chris and Penny try several different acids on various prosthetic legs in an effort to mimic the destruction to Theresa's leg; however, they're initially unsuccessful. Since Theresa was last seen at the school, Allie questions whether someone working there could've cooked up a unique acid in the chemistry lab.

Catherine and Beau speak with the prep school's current dean, Paul Canto. Paul recognizes the name Raphael Tarquenio as one of the school's donors, but claims that he's never met the man. They pass by a gym in the process of being refurbished, which just happens to be getting named "Tarquenio Fieldhouse." The refurbishment began five years ago—right around the time of Theresa Moren's disappearance. During the conversation, Catherine notices one of the tattooed workers seemingly listening in.

Paul leads the CSIs to the science lab ("maker's lab"), which is where one would likely find chromic acid. There, Catherine bumps into another teacher, who is dismayed that Raphael's troublesome daughter hasn't been expelled from the school yet, all because Raphael keeps writing fat checks. The teacher doesn't believe there's any chromic acid on the premises, but does tell Catherine that it's mainly used at construction sites, It's time for the CSIs to start looking into Raphael's legitimate businesses.

Catherine and Allie collect samples of lumber from Raphael's various construction sites, discovering that it's treated with chromic acid. They're eventually confronted by Raphael at another site and are forced to hand over the sample they just recently collected. During the interaction, Catherine notices a scar on one of Raphael's hands.

Later that night, the CSIs are called back to the school's maker's lab, which is now covered in blood spatter. Despite a tremendous amount of blood, there's no body to be found. Max touches the kiln and finds that it was run recently. Its contents include a bunch of ashes and a gold watch, which Catherine recognizes as Paul Canto's. Combined with the fact that Paul didn't show up to a fundraiser that evening, the team appears to be looking at another dead dean.

The school's janitor tells Catherine and Beau that he never believed the story of Theresa Moren's disappearance and even filed a missing persons report. He recalls overhearing an argument between Theresa and Raphael Tarquenio about a month before she disappeared and assumed that she got mixed up with the wrong person.

Tests show that the blood in the maker's lab came from two sources. Chris and Penny are tasked with mapping out the blood spatter and determining the sequence of events. Preliminary evidence shows that the attacker was punching Paul Canto in the head, creating medium velocity spatter. After a long night of work, they're eventually able to determine that the person who was getting hit on the head repeatedly was only 5'8" tall. Paul was 6'2", leading the CSIs to conclude that he won the fight. If that's the case, though, how did his body end up in the kiln?

Max's effort to repair the DNA in the ashes using an enzyme solution is unsuccessful. However, in the trace lab, she and Catherine discover that the ash contains a bunch of ingredients that, when added together, create tattoo ink. There's no way Paul, the dean of a school, would have a bunch of tattoos. They reach the same conclusion that Chris and Penny did—the body in the kiln wasn't Paul's. It seems possible that someone threw the gold watch into the kiln to throw the CSIs off the scent.

Though there was no chromic acid in the maker's lab, Beau believes that there might have been ingredients there to titrate chromic acid. In the CSI lab, he's eventually able to replicate the acid that was titrated and deteriorated Theresa's prosthetic leg. His concern, however, is that neither Raphael nor his men would possess the chemistry knowhow needed to concoct this mixture.

Catherine recalls that she saw a heavily tattooed man painting the gym when she visited the school the other day. He was one of Raphael's men, likely one of several on the campus. The thought is that his skeleton was the one found in the kiln and that Paul Canto killed him in self-defense. Max questions whether Paul is actually the one who killed Theresa Moren in order to get her job and that he didn't want to stick around to answer questions about it.

The school's security footage shows that Paul never left the campus. Since it's likely he was injured in the maker's lab, it seems that he's hiding somewhere out of view of the cameras. The hunch is correct, as Paul is eventually found hiding in the cafeteria, the victim of a stab wound. When asked who did this to him, Paul replies "Who do you think?"

In the hospital, Paul admits that he started working for Raphael Tarquenio when Raphael donated $13 million for the gym renovation. However, the agreement was contingent on Raphael's construction crew doing the work for a fee of $13 million—in other words, Raphael was laundering his drug money through the school. Paul's hope is that he could fake his own death as a way of getting out of the deal. He then admits that he was targeted because he knew what Raphael did to Theresa Moren, who turned down the donation.

Paul hopes to be put into Witness Protection, but he's informed that he's an accomplice in a homicide—he mixed up the chromic acid Theresa was melted in. Though he wasn't present when the body was disposed of, he recalls that Raphael came in the next day with a bandage on his hand—and that he still has a scar from the injury. Catherine recalls seeing the same scar earlier at the construction site. She notes to Beau that keloid scars sometimes form around foreign contaminants.

A doctor slices open Raphael's scar and pulls a piece of bone from it. DNA proves that the bone belonged to Theresa Moren. While the team couldn't nail Raphael on other charges (flooding the city with drugs, sending someone to the original crime scene five years ago, ordering Jeanette Folsom's murder), they can pin Theresa's death on him. A flashback shows Raphael putting Theresa's body in the container with the chromic acid. When the chromic acid ate away the body and bone, a part of a bone flew up from the container and lodged itself in Raphael's hand.

Under Investigation: Joshua Folsom

Folsom gets questioned by Internal Affairs detective Nora Cross regarding the death of Kahn Schefter. Though he's willing to answer any questions relating to the case, he clams up when asked why he covered for his friend Trey during Kahn's murder investigation. When Folsom claims to not fully remember that night's events, Det. Cross suggests they meet the following day at the airplane hangar in an effort to jog his memory. During the questioning, Folsom briefly focuses on a handwritten Post-It Note mixed in with Det. Cross' files. When he later meets privately with Allie, Folsom says that the handwriting on the note was Det. Chavez's. Since Det. Chavez and Det. Cross have seemingly never met before, something is amiss.

Folsom and Det. Cross head back to the hangar, while Allie is invited along to present the evidence found by the CSIs who processed the scene. Allie provides Det. Cross with the following: the padlock on the hangar gate was cut, a box cutter was found on the ground with blood on it belonging to Kahn Schefter, and someone cleaned up the scene with bleach, which fluoresced when the CSIs sprayed luminol in the area. Furthermore, no other blood, DNA, or fingerprints were recovered. Someone knew how to clean up the the scene, and Det. Cross believes that Folsom possess the knowhow. When pressed, Folsom admits to he and Trey kidnapping Kahn and eventually discovering that he killed Jeanette Folsom; however, he says that they left without further incident. Det. Cross pulls Allie aside and provides her with the bloody photograph of Jeanette that Folsom was found holding, saying that she got it from Det. Chavez (who she refers to by her first name). She asks Allie to run the blood on the photograph.

Back at the lab, Allie meets privately with Det. Chavez and deduces that she and Det. Cross have a history. Det. Chavez admits that after the David Hodges case, she was hired by Det. Cross to oversee the proceedings in the lab. She hasn't told Folsom about this, and Allie gives her a day to come clean.

Max runs the blood from the photograph and finds that it belongs to Jeanette. This isn't good, as she questions where Folsom got it from in the first place. If he stole it from the morgue, he's in even more hot water. During the testing, she reveals to Allie that she knew about Det. Chavez's placement in the lab.

Det. Cross drops a bombshell and informs Max that she has to testify against Folsom, as she knows the science and can interpret the blood on the photograph. Meanwhile, Det. Chavez visits Folsom in his apartment and comes clean about being hired to oversee the CSI team. Folsom takes the news hard and escorts Det. Chavez out of the apartment.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

  • Sarah Gilman as Penny Gill
  • Kat Foster as Detective Nora Cross
  • Benito Martinez as Raphael Tarquenio
  • Christopher Redman as Paul Canto
  • Karolin Luna as Courtney
  • Lakin Valdez as Officer Rick Hernandez
  • Jennifer Lauren DiBella as Megan Twitty


  • The Scorn by ESA (Electronic Substance Abuse)

See Also[]

  • Category:Images from Scar Tissue
CSI:Vegas Season 3
The Reaper
Scar Tissue
Rat Packed