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Strip Maul
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Season 13
Number 9
Writer Carol Mendelsohn,
Richard Catalani
Director Alec Smight
Original Airdate November 28, 2012
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Strip Maul is the ninth episode in season thirteen of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis

The CSI team lends a hand to local law enforcement on the Strip with several arrests until a John Doe is found in a car. Also, things become personal for Captain Brass when he discovers some facts about his daughter.

Plot

Victims: Keith Dobson (deceased), Marko Palmisano (arrested), Bobby Reed (arrested), Adrian Dinan (arrested), Josh 'Joslyn' McClure (arrested), Heather 'Chastity' Tile (arrested), Anthony Pak (alive)

On the case: entire team

There's a full moon out in Vegas. On the Strip, Nick and Sara assist the Mobile Crime Unit in apprehending criminals. Those arrested include a hooker, a transvestite, a drug dealer and the young man he was selling to.

All units are called to a scene outside the Olympia Casino, where another young man wearing a bloody shirt is swinging around a severed head. The man swings the head wildly and knocks an onlooker to the ground. Sara finds out that the head is fake and sees a girl videotaping the publicity stunt. The man runs, but is eventually caught and arrested by Nick and Officer Kevin Crawford. As the man is handcuffed on the hood of a car, Nick sees that the person inside the car is dead, having been shot once in the back of the head.

Every transgressor rounded up on the Strip is brought to the police station. Nick tells Russell that the gunshot victim is still unidentified, as his wallet is missing. They're working on finding out who the car was rented to, and evidence shows that the killer was in the backseat. Traffic camera footage is also a dead end.

Officer Crawford takes a statement from Bobby Reed, the young man who was trying to buy drugs. As it turns out, Bobby is the son of a city attorney. Officer Crawford lets him off with a warning and a handshake agreement.

Sergeant Amanda Weiss questions a transvesite, who refers to herself as Joslyn. She claims that she started a fight with a cab driver in order to protect her unborn baby, something that's met with raised eyebrows. When Greg asks her if she's been drinking, he's met with a slap. Joslyn goes into hysterics and has to be tied down to a wheelchair.

Morgan processes Chastity, the hooker who Nick and Officer Crawford arrested. Chastity has $2300 and a stolen debit card in her purse. Morgan has her remove her clothes and personal belongings, one of which is a ring. Brass interrogates Chastity, whose real name is Heather Tile. She tries to explain away the stolen debit card, but Brass is focused on something else. The ring Chastity is in possession of has an inscription on it - from Brass to his ex-wife. Chastity admits that she bought the ring from a friend of hers for $200. The friend is a fellow hooker who goes by the name 'Jersey.' When Brass shows Chastity a photo of his daughter, Ellie, Chastity recognizes her.

In the hospital, Finn processes Anthony Pak, the man who was hit by the swinging head. His hands are covered in hives, which he believes is due to an allergy. Finn discovers that while the head was fake, the blood on it is real and is nonhuman. She calls Greg, who is talking to Marko Palmisano, the aspiring horror movie director/prankster. The prankster confirms that he used pig's blood, as all zombie movies do. Finn mentions Anthony's alergic reaction and believes the blood could contain an blood-borne pathogen. Greg tells the prankster what he's done and has him map out everywhere he went.

Nick and Sara continue to work on the case of the gunshot victim. Evidence shows that the victim was shot at close range, either by a professional or by someone he knew. A .22-caliber bullet was pulled from the victim's head; however, there's no rifling present. There's no sign of barrel modification, and Nick believes the shooter used a sub-caliber device, which would allow a large caliber gun to fire a small caliber bullet.

In one of the hallways, Joslyn is in a panic, as her "baby" is about to come. She shows the officers that her water just broke; however, everyone sees that this is just her crazy fantasy. Greg and Sergeant Weiss try to calm Joslyn down and tell her that the paramedics are going to take her to the hospital. Joslyn suddenly pushes the paramedics away from her, grabs scissors from a nearby officer and stabs herself repeatedly in the abdomen. Blood is strewn all over the windows and Joslyn dies on the scene.

Greg maps out Marko's night on the Strip, while the prankster tries to get in contact with his girlfriend and accomplice, Lydia. However, calls to Lydia's phone keep going to voice mail. Greg calls Finn at the hospital and is told that the pig's blood tested negative for a virus or pathogen. Anthony's hives have responded well to treatment and he's released. Marko is happy that he's off the hook for spreading a disease; however, Sara notices that during his trek on the Strip, he passed by the car with the gunshot victim. Marko denies being involved and says that Lydia was busy videotaping. Greg and Sara tell him that the camera Lydia was holding is evidence in a homicide and they need it...now.

The stolen debit card found in Chastity's purse was used to purchase the rental car the gunshot victim was found in. The driver's license identifies the renter as Keith Dobson, and his photo matches the gunshot victim; Keith is their John Doe. Brass questions Chastity again, and she recognizes Keith from his autopsy photo. She says she met him and a friend of his at the Tangiers, and she stole his debit card when he was in the shower. When she left Keith and his friend, they were both alive.

X-rays of Joslyn's stomach contents show that she was smuggling drugs. This would explain her psychotic break, and Doc Robbins finds at least 20 balloons in the stomach. The drugs turn out to be a cocktail of prescription drugs consistent with drugs sold on the Strip earlier by dealer Adrian Denan; he was one of the men arrested and brought to the station. Greg guesses that Joslyn was smuggling for the same person who has Adrian selling on the street.

Hodges analyzes the bullet that killed Keith, finding that it's made of unpolymerized resin and calcium carbide. This is inconsistent with a sub-caliber device, as those are usually made with brass or steel, not polymer. Hodges theorizes that the killer used a gun made entirely out of plastic. When told by Nick that such a gun wouldn't hold up to the pressure of firing a bullet, Hodges guesses that the killer only needed to fire it once.

It's revealed that Adrian's boss is Rolan Zahl, set leader for the Mad-10's gang. Under interrogation, Adrian is told that the drugs he was selling tie him to Joslyn's death which, when combined with his other crimes, could give him the death penalty. However, Adrian replies that the wrong man was arrested, identifying Bobby Reed as the dealer. Bobby, he says, has been moving drugs in clubs on the Strip. On this night, he approached Adrian with his product in the hopes of setting up a meeting with Rolan. Bobby has been selling on Rolan's turf and is hoping to go into business with the gang leader, which is more preferable then ending up dead. Adrian refuses to say where Bobby is until he can get a deal cut for himself.

Marko is finally able to get a hold of Lydia and puts her on speaker phone. Sara tells her that the police need the camera she was using in order to help solve a homicide. Lydia is reluctant, but Sara tells her she can leave the camera in a dumpster behind the Olympia Casino so she doesn't have to come to the police station. Later, after some searching, Sara finds the camera in the dumpster; Lydia came through. Morgan notices blood drops and drag marks nearby that lead the CSIs to Lydia's body. Someone else was looking for the camera and shot Lydia once in the forehead in order to try to obtain it.

In autopsy, Marko looks over his girlfriend's body and is remorseful for everything that led to this. Sara tells him it's not his fault and promises him that she'll find the killer. Doc Robbins pulls a .22-caliber bullet out of Lydia, the same caliber used to kill Keith. The wounds are identical, as are the M.O.'s; they're looking for the same killer.

Finn goes through footage from the camera, most of which is Marko's one-man show. She's able to find Keith's rental car on camera and freezes the image. Keith is seen arguing with Chastity in the front of the car, while his friend sits in the back seat. Nick identifies the friend as Bobby Reed. Chastity and Bobby are soon seen leaving the car, while Keith is still in the front seat, the position of his body identical to how he was found later.

Brass shows Chastity a still from the video that proves she was lying earlier about leaving Keith and Bobby at the Tangiers. She denies having anything to do with murder, but admits to taking orders from Rolan Zahl. Rolan asked her to keep tabs on Bobby so the two of them could have a "talk" later. Keith, however, is the one who ended up getting shot, while Bobby left the area with Chastity after spotting a friend of his. She believes it could be a case of mistaken identity, something Brass has a hard time believing. As the conversation continues, Chastity reveals that Ellie has been in town for a few months without her father's knowledge.

The two bullets pulled from Keith and Lydia exhibit not only the same trace, but identical residue patterns singed onto their surfaces. However, both bullets weren't fired from the same gun, as they would show slightly different characteristics if that was the case. When factoring in the polymer trace, Hodges believes they're looking for multiple plastic guns. He tells Russell about 3D printing and shows him a video on how it's done. The theory is that their killer printed multiple guns that are identical, disposable and untraceable. 3D printers aren't cheap, and Russell has Hodges call the manufacturer to get a list of people who purchased one.

Brass talks to Bobby's father, Dennis, and fills him on the case against his son. Dennis identifies Keith as Bobby's college roommate and Josh ('Joslyn') as Bobby's cousin. Brass tells him that his son is in trouble, as he's made enemies with a drug lord. There isn't enough evidence to bring Rolan Zahl in, and Brass says they need Bobby's help. He convinces Dennis to reach out to his son and have him voluntarily come to the police station before Rolan finds him.

Chastity's phone records show that she was texting someone about where she and Bobby were all night. The progression of the texts indicate that the killer was closing in for the kill, and Chastity got out of there before something happened. Bobby then saw someone on the Strip he wanted to talk to - Adrian Denan. This left Keith in the car by himself, and since he and Bobby look somewhat alike, the shooter likely killed the wrong person.

Hodges is able to confirm the guns were printed by a 3D printer and traces the printer to a car restoration shop that's owned by Rolan Zahl. When Hodges mentions the unpolymerized resin and calcium carbide trace, Finn realizes that she's seen the same results somewhere else. She pulls the file on Anthony Pak and discovers the hives on his hands were allergic reactions to his own gun. The team goes through Lydia's video footage again and sees Anthony walking towards the camera before being clocked by Marko's latex head. He was going after the one piece of evidence that could incriminate him in a murder.

Dennis Reed convinces his son to turn himself in. Bobby doesn't recognize Anthony from his photo, but also doesn't seem to care. To everyone's surprise, Bobby is thrilled he's become a big enough "player" that he would draw the ire of a drug lord and his hitman. He's also indifferent that three people are dead because of him and asks to sign his confession. Brass and Chastity watch the interaction from behind the glass, and she reluctantly agrees to help take down Rolan. She's afraid of what will happen after the fact, and Brass offers to give her money for bus fare back to her hometown in Pennsylvania.

Chastity texts Anthony that she's with Bobby; she's told to go to the Fashion Arcade. Nick and Officer Crawford are close by, and Greg accesses the CCTV cameras on the Strip. Soon, Anthony is seen following Chastity and Bobby, and he texts Chastity to go to the food court. All eyes are on Anthony; however, he soon ducks out of sight and nobody can see where he disappeared to. Anthony follows Chastity into an alley and points his gun at her. Chastity turns around and reveals herself to be Sergeant Amelia Weiss in disguise. Anthony is now cornered, and he gets arrested by Officer Crawford. After being detained, Anthony remains silent. With no 3D printer being found in Rolan's auto restoration shop and all evidence pointing to Anthony, Rolan's hands stay clean. He'll walk, while everyone else involved will go to jail.

Chastity is later bailed out of jail by an unidentified person (likely Rolan). She leaves behind Brass' ring along with a note saying she doesn't like bus trips. Before closing out her brief letter, she advises Brass to find his daughter.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

  • Marc Vann as Conrad Ecklie
  • Larry Mitchell as Officer Mitchell
  • Alimi Ballard as Officer Kevin Crawford
  • Inbar Lavi as Chastity/Heather Tile
  • Lilly Walton as Sergeant Amelia Weiss
  • Andrew Elvis Miller as Joslyn/Josh McClure
  • Anthony Azizi as Adrian Dinan
  • Mat Vairo as Bobby Reed
  • David Magidoff as Marko Palmisano
  • Ming Lo as Anthony Pak
  • Patrick Cassidy as Dennis Reed
  • Jabari Simba as Officer #1
  • Brian Blu as Police Officer
  • Joe Childs as Short suspect
  • Aaron Kuban as Keith Dobson
  • David Magidoff as Marko Palmisano
  • Stephanie Masoner as Harajuku Girls
  • Luciana Faulhaber as Lydia

Notes

  • Officer Kevin Crawford tells Nick that he's looking at a promotion to detective, something that becomes a reality the next time we see him in the episode Exile.
  • Brass mentions that he received a medal after he was shot, which occurred in the season seven episode Built to Kill, Part 1. He revealed to Warrick that he kept the plaque hidden in his drawer because he felt it was a bad reminder about the mistakes he made leading up to the shooting. Brass later gets a tattoo of the date he was shot under his bullet wound.
  • Hodges gets Russell up to speed on "the future" of 3D printing. He mentions that 3D printers are somewhat rare and cost about $150,000 each. Of course, that was in 2012; 3D printers are much more common and cheaper now.
  • The inscription on the ring Brass gave to his ex-wife reads: "To My Bride Nancy Brass 3/5/78"
  • The letter Chastity writes to Brass reads: "Thanks for the offer, but I don't like bus trips. You should find your daughter."

See Also

CSI:Las Vegas Season 13
Karma to BurnCode Blue Plate SpecialWild FlowersIt Was a Very Good YearPlay DeadPick and RollFallen AngelsCSI on FireStrip MaulRisky Business ClassDead AirDouble FaultIn Vino VeritasExileForget Me NotLast Woman StandingDead of the ClassShelteredBackfireFearlessGhosts of the PastSkin in the Game


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