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Sweet Jane
Sweet Jane.jpg
Season 7
Number 12
Writer Kenneth Fink,
Naren Shankar
Director Kenneth Fink
Original Airdate January 18, 2007
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Next Episode: Redrum

Sweet Jane is the twelfth episode in season seven of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis

A new CSI, Mike Keppler, joins the Las Vegas team in the investigation of a serial killer who has been killing since the 1970s without his crimes being connected.

Plot

Victim: Veronica Sorensen (deceased)

On the case: Catherine Willows, Greg Sanders, Mike Keppler, Nick Stokes, Sara Sidle, Warrick Brown, Jim Brass, Sofia Curtis

Various girls are shown throughout the years stepping out of the bus station and gazing upon the wonder that is Las Vegas. In the present day, the most recent of those girls is found dead in abandoned lot. Catherine approaches the body, carefully stepping in the footprints made by the responding officer. There is no sign of the victim's personal effects. The killer brushed the dirt around the body with a palm frond in order to remove evidence. Mike Keppler, a CSI fresh from Baltimore, arrives on the scene.

Keppler immediately breaks protocol by brushing the victim's hair out of her face, something not done until the coroner arrives. The victims has relatively fresh bruising around the neck, but there are no other obvious wounds on the body. Patchy discolorations on the skin lead Keppler to believe that the victim suffered from dehydration. Catherine removes a white fiber from the victim, which Keppler guesses is cotton. He also notices that the body looks like it was swabbed down with something, possibly alcohol.

David Phillips finds a broken fingernail on the victim; however, based on the fact that the nail is jagged, it's likely she bit it off rather than broke it off while defending herself against her attacker. Keppler collects soil and vegetation samples, but figures their killer is too neat to have tracked in dirt from another location.

Upon returning to his office, Keppler finds several messages on his desk from a person named Frank. He then joins Catherine in autopsy, where she is washing the body. They notice that there are no defensive wounds on the body, nor are there any ligature marks on her wrists or ankles. This leads Keppler to believe that the victim was drugged and that the killer wanted to take his time. Catherine sees that the victim has both highlights and lowlights in her hair, a process that isn't cheap. Hair growth indicates that it's been two months since the victim had her hair done.

The victim's fingerprints are taken and her information (blonde hair, blue eyes, iguana tattoo) is entered into the missing persons database. A positive match is found - Veronica Sorenson, seventeen years of age, last reported in Victorville. Sofia walks in on Veronica's parents watching a news report about their daughter's body being found. They deny that the victim is their daughter until Sofia mentions the iguana tattoo. Despite Veronica's parents not giving their permission for an autopsy, Sofia tells them that it's necessary due to the case being a homicide.

Doc Robbins tells Catherine and Keppler that Veronica was choked and released three separate times, consistent with sexual asphyxiation. The sexual assault kit reveals that the killer used a condom. Veronica's blood was positive for ecstasy; however, no other drugs were found in her system. Keppler guesses that the killer has done this before and figures that he has a type. They enter Veronica's defining characteristics (Caucasian female, age 16-21, blonde hair, blue eyes) into the unsolved homicides database. Three results are found, one each from 1975, 1989 and 1999. All three victims bear a striking resemblance to each other and are posed the same way with their right hand up near their head, palm up.

Catherine, Keppler, Nick and Sara lay out the victims' photos and go through the case files. Jane Doe 1999 was likely washed before she was dumped. There were no traces of alcohol or cotton swabs. Nobody was interviewed and the detective's report was less than a page long. The cause of death was confirmed as asphyxiation by strangulation; however, no follow-up was performed. Jane Doe 1989 was found in a vacant lot, stripped of her clothing. There were several perimortem bruises and, due to the victim having crimped hair, the killer didn't wash the body down. The cops didn't come up with a single suspect in the case. Jane Doe 1975 was found in an alley fully clothed. There were isolated contusions on the neck, arms and shoulders, and cause of death was labeled as a heroin overdose. Catherine figures that this case could be a coincidence, but Keppler believes otherwise. He lays out his theory about the killer, but Catherine tells him that he's a CSI, not a profiler.

Sara speaks with Detective Paul Browning, who was the detective on the case for the 1999 Jane Doe. He explains to her that his wife gave birth to his son the day Jane Doe was discovered. When he returned to work a few weeks later, his captain told him to forget about the case and work on more current ones. He figures that based on where the body was found, she was homeless and looking for drug money.

Hodges runs a fixed-tissue sample from Jane Doe 1999 and finds that there was chloral hydrate in her system, but no ecstasy. Since chloral hydrate wasn't found in Veronica's system, Catherine and Sara figure that the killer is still sedating his victims, but whatever he's using isn't leaving a trace. Elsewhere in the lab, Keppler maps the locations where each body was found, and Warrick notices that the location each body was found in at the time had the highest crime rate in the city.

Nick questions Jake Daniels, who worked the 1989 Jane Doe case. Jake shows him the hair analysis report and is convinced that the hair shown is the killer's. The hair was found in the victim's navel and, since the crime was a sexual assault, he figures that the hair could only be from the killer. Nick notices that the hair has a tag, but Jake tells him that they didn't run DNA because DNA testing was in its infancy back then. Jake did preserve the hair and log it into Central Property. There, Nick is able to locate the box. Upon opening the water-stained box, he finds shredded paper and baby rats inside. Back in the lab, he goes through the box's contents; the glass slide containing the hair is cracked, but he finds a largely intact film negative.

Needing to know what killed Jane Doe 1975, the team has her body exhumed. In autopsy, the doc notes that the original medical examiner didn't even perform an autopsy in 1975. The hyoid bone on the victim is fractured, proving that she was strangled to death. Keppler notices that the victim had a silver amalgam filling on the gum line and says that doing it on the outside of the tooth is taking the cheap way out. Catherine notes that Veronica had a similar filling in her mouth, and Jane Doe 1999 had traces of chloral hydrate in her system, something dentists use as an anesthetic. It seems their serial killer may be a dentist.

Keppler searches for dental practices that have been in business since at least 1975 and finds five hits. On the computer, he marks the spots where the bodies were found and places a spiral on some of the offices, as the killer likely spiraled outward with each kill. Keppler gets a hit with the Colebert Dental Group, as the spiral encompasses all locations where a body was found.

Catherine and Keppler visit Colebert Dental Group. The manager confirms that Veronica was a patient there and that Dr. David Lowry was her dentist. They meet with Dr. Lowry at a café nearby while he's on lunch. Dr. Lowry remembers Veronica and recalls the work he had to perform on her. He doesn't recognize the girls from the photos Catherine shows him and with no names, it's even harder for him to remember. When asked if he uses chloral hydrate, he replies that nobody uses it anymore, as it was found to be too dangerous. Dr. Lowry adds that he feels guilty because he thinks that by brightening Veronica's smile, he might have attracted her killer.

Nick looks over the damaged film negatives and scans them into a computer. Upon converting the negatives, he finds a bruise on the body of Jane Doe 1989. When he clears the image, he sees that the bruise is actually a bite mark. There is a pretty distinct impression of the six upper teeth along with small gap between the two front teeth. Catherine and Keppler visit Dr. Lowry in his office and get an impression of his teeth.

Back in the lab, Keppler compares the molds of Dr. Lowry's teeth to the bite impression on Jane Doe 1989. Despite there being some matches, they don't have enough for a conviction. Catherine notes that the killer's left incisor is misaligned, while Dr. Lowry's smile is perfect.

Dr. Lowry is brought into interrogation. Keppler shows him the bite impression they're using in Veronica's case, and Dr. Lowry confirms that there are similarities, but they aren't conclusive enough. Brass tells Dr. Lowry that they subpoenaed his medical records; Keppler notes that the doctor had surgery in 1989 to repair a sizable gap between his two front teeth. Using the x-rays taken before the surgery, a dental model was made of Dr. Lowry's teeth configuration pre-surgery; the new overlay matches up perfectly with the bite impression on Jane Doe.

Dr. Dave is caught; however, he refuses to name the three other victims when their photos are placed in front of him. When told that he'll get the death penalty, he says that he'll die before then. Revealing the victims' names, he says, will degrade the sweetness of his memories, and his memories are all he has left. The unbothered doctor says that he's lived a long, wonderful life and he has no remorse for what he's done. All three Jane Does will remain unidentified.

In his office, Keppler opens his phone and finds that he has seven voice mails, presumably from the "Frank" mentioned earlier, while Catherine drops Lindsey off at school and watches her for a bit. Elsewhere, another young female gets off the bus at the bus station and looks around her at the wonders of Vegas.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

  • Liev Schreiber as Mike Keppler
  • Wallace Langham as David Hodges
  • David Berman as David Phillips
  • Kay Panabaker as Lindsey Willows
  • Ned Beatty as Dr. David Lowry
  • Vince Grant as Mr. Sorensen
  • Laura Leigh Hughes as Mrs. Sorensen
  • Taylor Nassauer as Veronica Sorensen
  • Chris Bauer as Detective Paul Browning
  • Tom Wright as Jake Daniels
  • Jonathan Walker Spencer as Court Clerk
  • Sandy Martin as Office Manager
  • R.C. Bates as Street Guy
  • Pat Crawford Brown as Female Dental Patient
  • Kelsey Sanders as Jane Doe 1975
  • Stevie McKinley as Jane Doe 1989
  • Kristi Clainos as Jane Doe 1999

Quotes

Doc Robbins: I reviewed that Jane Doe autopsy from '75.
Keppler: That was fast.
Doc Robbins: Well I'm sure the original examination was too. M.E. was a hack named Sam Bernard. He, uh, retired a little while after I started. Once saw him do a Y with a scalpel in one hand and a hot dog in the other.
Keppler: Take it he wasn't known for his, uh, rigorous analysis.
Doc Robbins: He was known for liking hot dogs.
(Keppler chuckles)

Goofs

  • By allowing Dave to assist in preparing his own dental impression, it would be considered compromised evidence.
  • When the CSI's are questioning Dr. Dave about his dental impressions, they show him the "modified" overlay. He slaps his hand down on top of it - this is not Dr. Dave's hand. Notice how the hand is much thinner and has longer nails. Dr. Dave's hand a very pudgy and has very short nails.
  • When Catherine is washing the body of Veronica Sorensen, you can clearly see the dead girl's iguana tattoo on her right ankle. Sofia also tells the parents that "there was a tattoo on the her right ankle." However, the missing persons report for Veronica Sorensen says the tattoo was on her left ankle.

Music

  • Sweet Jane by The Velvet Underground
  • Sweet Jane by Cowboy Junkies

Notes

  • William Petersen (Grissom) is credited but does not appear in the episode.

See Also

CSI:Las Vegas Season 7
Built to Kill, Part 1Built to Kill, Part 2Toe TagsFannysmackin'Double CrossBurn OutPost MortemHappenstanceLiving LegendLoco MotivesLeaving Las VegasSweet JaneRedrumMeet MarketLaw of GravityMonster in the BoxFallen IdolsEmpty EyesBig ShotsLab RatsEnding HappyLeapin' LizardsThe Good, The Bad, And The DominatrixLiving Doll
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