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Secrets and Flies
WriterJosh Berman
DirectorTerrence O'Hara
Original AirdateNovember 3, 2005
Previous Episode: Gum Drops
Next Episode: A Bullet Runs Through It, Part 1

Secrets and Flies is the sixth episode in season six of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.


While the rest of the CSI team investigate the murder of a single mother unsuccessfully staged as a suicide, Grimson works hard to disprove a deceptive entomologist who has falsified scientific facts to exonerate a murder suspect in court.


The episode opens with a woman, Christina Adalian, being found dead in her house with her baby son, Joey, in the room. Because Christina was shot in the head and a suicide note is found at the scene, Catherine and Sara figure she committed suicide. However, when Catherine looks closer at her hand, she notices that there are no blood stains on it even though there is dried blood on the revolver used to kill her - Christina was murdered and her death was made to look like a suicide. When Brass talks to Christina's sister, he learns that, though Christina was a single mother, she used to be in a relationship with a man named Evan. At the scene, Warrick finds evidence that someone broke into the house through the back door. When Doc Robbins does an autopsy, he discovers that Christina, even though she had given birth, died a virgin. Joey was delivered through a C-section. Robbins figures that she probably got pregnant through dry humping, which is commonly incorrectly believed to protect from pregnancies.

Bobby Dawson confirms that the bullet found in Christina's head came from the gun found at the scene. Its last known owner was a lawyer in Henderson named Duane McWane. When some particles Catherine found in front of Christina's broken-up door are revealed to be diorite granite, which is often used in high-end bathroom vanities. Catherine and Warrick go to the only slab yard in the area that uses diorite granite and find Christina's ex-boyfriend, Evan Peters. He claims not to have seen her in months, but when he is confronted with the evidence, he admits that she called him a few days earlier when she locked herself out with Joey in the house and he helped her get back inside. When he asked her about her child, she claimed that "God got her pregnant". When Greg questions Duane McWane, he explains that he gave away the gun to one of his paralegals, Rita Day. Greg questions her as well and finds out that she lost it in a poker game years earlier to a man the others called "Cy" as in "cyclops", a reference to a huge mole he had in the forehead. When the lab's new DNA tech, Wendy, finds that Joey's DNA proves that he's not Christina's biological son, Catherine figures that Christina was a surrogate mother.

Sara finds documents connecting Christina to an organization called Project Sunflower, a pro-life organization which finds available surrogate mothers for abandoned fertilized eggs and embryos. Catherine and Sara visit the organization's local office, the manager of which is uncooperative and won't give up the records of who Joey's biological parents are without a warrant. Professor Ramdan confirms that the suicide note was written by Christina under duress. He also says he can match the flow of the pen's ink to the pen that was used. Sara learns from Joey Adalian's birth records that his birth parents are Kenli and Dan Johnson. Dan died in a car accident a year earlier after they had tried several times to conceive a child. Figuring they weren't meant to become parents, they gave up their embryos. After Joey's birth, they visited him once a month. When a piece of clothing from her laundry tests positive for gunshot residue, Kenli is questioned at the station and denies ever even touching a gun. She claims to have been at home at the time of the murder, which her mother confirms that she was - even though Kenlie says she was out at the time. When Sara finds blood spatter on a piece of clothing too big to be Kenli's, Catherine brings in her mother for questioning. Inside her purse, Catherine finds a red Coda pen that was probably the one used to write the suicide note and can be matched to the note by Professor Rambar. Catherine also sees a photo of her husband, who fits the description of "Cy". Since Kenli will get custody of Joey as per Christina's will, her mother confesses to the murder, saying that makes it all worth it.

In a separate storyline, Grissom is asked for a personal favor by McKeen and Ecklie. A man named Preston Breckman is on trial for the murder of one Joanna Whitman, McKeen's goddaughter. Though the prosecution has an abundance of evidence against him, including hairs, fibers, DNA and even a witness who saw him stab Whitman, the defense has brought in a forensic entomologist, Mark Thayer, whom Grissom describes as a "gun-for-hire" and who claims that the insect activity on the body gives Breckman an alibi. Grissom agrees to take a look at his findings to see if he tampered with the evidence. When Thayer takes the stand during the trial, he asserts that the fact that there were puparia on the body but no adult flies at the time of the discovery shows that she had been dead for exactly 15 days, placing her time of death on November 1. Breckman was in Mexico until November 3 and is believed to have committed the murder on November 4. To prove his findings, Thayer claims to have videotaped the development of black blowflies on a pig carcass in preparation for the trial. When the tape is about to be shown to the jury, the prosecutor objects since they haven't been allowed to examine it beforehand. Because they subpoenaed all related evidence and documentation but the defense withheld the video recording, the judge agrees to let the prosecution examine it.

Grissom examines Thayer's video recording, which confirms the timeline he proposed, even though all the scientific literature states that it would only take 11 days for the black blowfly to develop that far. Unfortunately, the jury will probably be more influenced by video documentation than books, which means Breckman will go free. Also, the only way Grissom can disprove Thayer's claims is to replicate the experiment himself, which will take too long for the judge to allow it. Archie examines the tape as well to see if the tape has been altered, but finds nothing incriminating. When Grissom looks at screenshots from the tape, he notices dead blowflies on the pig and sends the larvae from the experiment to Henry. On the stand, Grissom reveals that Henry's testing of the larvae show that they had digested malathion, which delayed the flies' puparia development by four days and had been sprayed onto the pig by Thayer before the experiment began to extend the flies' development cycle and give the defendant an alibi. When the court is adjourned, Thayer is arrested for perjury and obstruction of justice. When McKeen offers to repay Grissom somehow, he only asks him for some extra time to finish some personnel evaluations he has been putting off.


Main Cast

Guest Cast

Major Events

  • DNA Tech and Mia Dickerson's replacement Wendy Simms is introduced for the first time.


Henry (to Grissom): Why did the fly, fly?
Grissom: Because the spider, spied her. Catherine's daughter told me that when she was three.


  • Paramedics uniforms have their flags on backwards. The blue field with stars should always face forward (towards the front of the shirt).


  • Catherine is pro-choice.
  • Catherine now shares her office with the day shift supervisor which according to her loves water fowl.
  • In this episode, we find out that when Catherine was pregnant with Lindsey, she considered an abortion.
  • The note found at the crime scene states, "Joey is better off without me. Christine Adalian". 
  • The actor who plays Duane Mcwane, William Allen Young, is known to fans of the CSI franchise for playing one of the biggest antagonists of CSI: Miami and the personal arch enemy of Horatio Caine, Joseph Ratner, a corrupt and powerful Florida-based judge.

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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