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Sin City Blue
Sin City.jpg
Season 10
Number 11
Writer Daniel Steck
Director Louis Milito
Original Airdate January 14, 2010
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Next Episode: Long Ball

Sin City Blue is the eleventh episode in season ten of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis

Langston and Nick investigate a dead body dumped in a container in the desert along with surgical waste and various body parts, suspecting that Dr. Jekyll may be responsible. Elsewhere, Catherine and Greg investigate the murder of a female con artist at a hotel.

Plot

Victim: Eduardo Gomez (deceased)

On the case: Raymond Langston, Nick Stokes, Chris Cavaliere

In the middle of the night in the mountains, a police helicopter spots a man in a pickup truck unloading something. The man tries to flee in his truck, but eventually crashes it and is arrested.

Langston and Nick arrive on the scene and are told that the place is a federal wildlife refuge and that nobody should be out there. The suspect is identified as Juan Ramirez. When Langston and Nick look in the back of the truck, they find several bags of surgical waste, human organs (a spleen, a gallbladder and a finger) and a dead boy with an incision in his chest. Langston sees that the victim was prepped for surgery, and they immediately think that Dr. Jekyll is responsible. Though Juan is unlikely to be the good doctor, they wonder if he's an assistant.

The following day, Langston and Nick go through the trash and find empty bottles of prescription medications along with a shipping order from a store called Botanica Ventura. Blood in the back of the truck tests positive for human blood, and Langston notes the different textures of the blood drops, indicating that there was more than one event.

Under interrogation, Juan tells Det. Cavaliere that someone paid him $20 to dump the garbage in the mountains, but only identifies the man as "el doctor." Meanwhile, Langston looks over the body of the young boy and draws some conclusions - the boy was a bleeder, worked with his hands and was grinding his teeth, likely because he was in pain. Doc Robbins confirms Langston's diagnosis and says that the splenectomy was a last-ditch effort to save the boy's life. In fact, the purpose of the surgery was to remove a rather large cyst; however, the surgeon couldn't remove it because the boy was a bleeder. The boy's immune system was destroying his blood platelets, inhibiting clotting, meaning that he began to bleed profusely as soon as the incision was made. Knowing that platelet destruction occurs in the spleen, the surgeon tried to remove it. Langston says that if this is Dr. Jekyll's work, he's working both inside and outside the norm - a true Jekyll and Hyde.

The bleeding victim is identified as Eduardo Gomez, who was working as a night janitor at a motel a few blocks from where Dr. Jekyll's first victim, Joey Bigelow, was found. As for the body parts, the spleen belongs to Eduardo, but the other parts came from other unidentified donors. The syringes recovered all contained a 2% lidocaine solution, a local anesthetic used for minor surgeries. Analysis of the tubing confirmed intravenous diazepam, and all of the empty medication bottles came from Mexico. Prints on the bottles haven't been identified yet. Nick wonders if Botanica Ventura is the connection they're looking for.

Langston, Nick, Det. Cavaliere and some uniformed officers visit Botanica Ventura, which is leased by a Jeffrey Hughes. Jeffrey insists that he's an herbalist, not a doctor, and that he only sells herbs, vitamins and supplements, not prescription drugs. Nick runs Jeffrey's fingerprint and finds that it's a match to the prints on the medication bottles. As Jeffrey and his assistant are escorted out of the building, Langston and Nick check the back room. Though there is no operating table nor surgical equipment, they recreate the room as if those items were there in the past. They find evidence that the floor in the middle of the room was recently bleached and the tile was re-grouted; the old grout tests positive for blood.

Wendy tells Langston that the blood in the truck bed and the trash bags came from multiple donors, both male and female. One of the donors is confirmed to be Eduardo, and it's his blood that was found in the grout. Wendy adds that contributions from a second unknown male were found in the grout, and Langston explains that he had to palpate the grout, something that can't be done with gloves on. She asks Langston for his DNA to exclude him, but he curiously refuses.

Jeffrey is brought to the station for interrogation. Langston tells him that they know Eduardo died in his care and that he tried to dispose of the body like it was garbage. Jeffrey says that he graduated premed at Harvard, but went to medical school in Mexico after falling in love with a local girl. He is also unlicensed to practice medicine in the United States. A search of Jeffrey's garage reveals that he was also smuggling drugs into the country. When pressed by Langston, Jeffrey defends himself and says that he was trying to save Eduardo's life; a misdiagnosis of Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP - excessive bleeding) led to Eduardo's death. Eduardo's mother was present and made the decision to dispose of her son's body. Langston shows him pictures of Dr. Jekyll's other victims, but Jeffrey claims to not know the men. He insists that he practices medicine to help those the system ignores, those without medical insurance.

Later, Nick informs Langston that the appendix that was inserted into Bernard Higgins was from a non-Hispanic Caucasian, while all of the parts found in the back of the truck were from Hispanics. The conclusion is that Jeffrey Hughes is not Dr. Jekyll.

Victim: Karen Jones (deceased)

On the case: Catherine Willows, Greg Sanders, Jim Brass

Catherine and Greg are called to the Mediterranean, where a young woman has been found dead in a hallway. Based on a lack of indentations on the skin, David Phillips rules out strangulation. There are no marks anywhere on the body, which indicates that the woman was already dead when she was dragged into the hallway. Noting the smooth skin and lack of body hair, Greg suggests that super glue fuming be used in the autopsy. Catherine finds the victim's purse; she's identified as 23-year-old Karen Jones. She also finds a gun in Karen's purse, while Brass is told by the hotel that Karen isn't a registered guest.

Catherine and Nick get very little help from the guests on the 19th floor, but Brass has better luck on the casino floor. The bartender remembers Karen and a brunette sitting at the bar the previous two nights. He remembers that the two women argued the night before, but is unable to remember their names.

In autopsy, Greg finds some white fibers in Karen's nostril and notes that the hotel uses white linens. He and Catherine start the super glue fuming, which involves setting up a plastic tent around the body using the vapors from the super glue to develop latent fingerprints.

Greg goes through the surveillance video from the bar at the Mediterranean and corroborates the bartender's story - Karen and the mystery brunette sat at the bar until a fight ended their evening together. After striking out trying to pick a guy up from an ATM, she got on an elevator and got off on the floor she was found on. Later, in autopsy, Catherine removes the plastic tent from around Karen's body and covers it from head to toe in blue fingerprint powder. She's able to find prints down around Karen's ankles, indicating that someone dragged her feet first.

Brass is able to find out that Karen paid for a motel room and checked in alone two nights ago. He and Greg enter the room and catch the faint smell of decomp. After searching the room, they find the mystery brunette stuffed into the broken box spring. While processing the room, Greg comes across a suitcase belonging to a Jillian Rose, and figures that she's the brunette.

In autopsy, Doc Robbins tells Catherine that Jillian's cause of death was asphyxiation, the same as Karen. There are several defensive wounds on her body along with a lump on her forehead and the doc says that Jillian was suffocated before being put in the box spring. Catherine compares the deaths of Jillian and Karen, noting that the only difference is where the bodies were found. She figures that the same person killed both women.

Greg gets more surveillance video from the Mediterranean, only this time the camera follows Jillian's movements. A few minutes after her argument with Karen, Jillian ended up making out with a guy in an elevator. Catherine recognizes him as the same guy who rebuffed Karen at the ATM earlier. Greg wonders why two prostitutes would go after the same guy, but Catherine figures that the women aren't prostitutes at all.

Catherine fills Brass in, telling him that the women were actually con artists - one would steal the mark's pin number, while the other would steal his credit card. The man from the ATM is identified as Donald Fiore, and his room is only three doors down from where Karen's body was found. Donald left his hotel key card in the room, meaning that he could have checked out at any time. Catherine and Greg search the hotel room, which has been cleaned by the maid service. Greg finds a wet pair of stilettos in a vent and recognizes them as Karen's. The CSIs figure that Donald was trying to flush the evidence; he successfully flushed the dress, but was unable to flush the shoes. They send a snake camera down the toilet and find the dress wedged in the pipe about two floors down.

Donald is located and brought in for interrogation. There, he tells Catherine that he figured out he had been conned after getting out of the shower; both Gillian and his wallet were gone. Catherine asks why he just didn't report the theft, and Donald replies that once the cops filed a report, his wife would find out he brought a woman up to his room. He mentions that he never saw Gillian again after she left. Karen eventually came looking for Gillian and held Donald at gunpoint, but Donald, seeing that the safety was on, attacked her. He admits that he flushed the dress and pulled Karen's body into the hallway, hoping that the police would think she was a prostitute and give the case a lower priority. Donald insists he acted in self-defense, a notion Catherine refutes since Karen was suffocated.

Greg processes Karen's dress and finds a gray fiber on it. He gives it to Hodges, who recognizes it as the same type of fiber from the box spring. Since the two women shared the same motel room, it's likely that the fiber is from the same box spring. This means that Karen had to have come in contact with the box spring after it was cut open, which puts her in the motel room after Gillian was dead. It even makes her a murder suspect.

Catherine and Greg search the motel room. Since there were no white fibers in Gillian's nose or throat, she had to have been suffocated by something non-textile. Greg spots the trash can liner, which he didn't process earlier because there was no garbage in it. They find a lipstick smudge on the liner along with palm prints that are too large to be Karen's. The new hypothesis is that Karen came back to the room, found Gillian dead and put her in the box spring to buy herself some time. She then went back to the Mediterranean and tried to extort money from Donald.

Donald is interrogated once again, and it's found that his palm print matches the one from the trash can liner. He admits that he went looking for Gillian and saw her at the casino next door. She then got into a cab, which he followed to the motel. He followed her to her room and confronted her. When she refused to give up the wallet, he suffocated her with the trash can liner. Donald, an actuary, uses logic and says that the best conclusion was to kill Gillian; otherwise, she would blackmail him for the rest of his life. Karen later showed up at his hotel room demanding money for Gillian's funeral, something he wasn't going to give her. As he's arrested and hauled away, Donald argues that he's a contributing member of society, while the women were just criminals. Catherine replies that he's now the criminal.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

Trivia

  • This episode marks the final appearance of José Zúniga detective Chris Cavaliere. He appeared in a total of 12 episodes from seasons four to ten.

Goofs

  • When lab tech Wendy discovers a second donor's DNA in the grout from the scene, Dr. Langston explains it is probably his epithelials from palpitating the grout, but refuses to has his DNA profiled in order to prevent the profile from ending up in a database, which Wendy will have to put in her report. He could have avoided the whole incident by simply scraping some more uncontaminated grout from between the tiles.
  • When Catherine and Greg are fuming Karen Jones' body, she has obvious goosebumps, something dead bodies don't exhibit.

See Also

CSI:Las Vegas Season 10
Family AffairGhost TownWorking StiffsCoup de GraceBloodsportDeath & The MaidenThe Lost GirlsLover's LanesAppendicitementBetter Off DeadSin City BlueLong BallInternal CombustionUnshockableNeverlandThe Panty SnifferIrradiatorField MiceWorld's EndTake My Life, Please!Lost & FoundDoctor WhoMeat Jekyll
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