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The Good, The Bad, And The Dominatrix
Good.jpg
Season 7
Number 23
Writer Jacqueline Hoyt
Director Alec Smight
Original Airdate May 10, 2007
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The Good, The Bad, And The Dominatrix is the twenty-third episode in season seven of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis

Grissom becomes worried about Lady Heather when she is nearly strangled to death at a Western theme park.

Plot

Victim: Heather Kessler (alive)

On the case: Catherine Willows, Gil Grissom, Sara Sidle, Jim Brass

A cowboy walks down the main drag of Oakley's Old West Town. He enters the saloon and finds Lady Heather waiting for him, dressed in old west garb. The cowboy then takes some rope from his belt and strangles Heather with it until she passes out; all the while, he's telling her to "say it."

Catherine meets Brass at the scene and is told that Heather was found by the night watchman, Vernon Porter. After placing an evidence marker next to some tobacco spit, Catherine wonders why Heather would entertain a client here instead of in her house. She also wonders how things got out of control, as Heather is a dominatrix, not a submissive.

Vernon tells Brass that he runs regular security checks every two hours and locked the front gate when he arrived. However, a little after 2:00 AM, he found the front gate unlocked and heard music coming from the saloon. There, he found Heather and called it in.

In the saloon, Catherine bags a broken bottle of whiskey, noting that a family theme park wouldn't be serving something like this. Sara asks what Heather is like, which leads Catherine into a long answer complimenting Heather and saying what a good pair her and Grissom are. A jealous Sara finds a shot glass on the floor that contains lipstick around its rim.

In the hospital, Heather tells Brass that she was planning an old west party and checking out the premises after hours with the permission of the owner, Jack Oakley. She refuses to name her attacker, give up her clothes as evidence or submit to a rape kit. Sara enters the room, introduces herself and photographs the rope marks on Heather's neck. While this is going on, Grissom appears in the doorway, much to Heather's delight and Sara's...uneasiness.

Heather recalls to Grissom that the last time they met, she was trying to kill the man who killed her daughter. She denies that she's protecting the person who assaulted her before she goes into shock. Grissom tells a nurse that Heather is diabetic, something she withheld from the doctors upon being admitted.

At Old West Town, Brass talks to owner Jack Oakley and his son, Benjamin. Benjamin admits to giving Heather access to the park after hours, saying that she called the office and wanted to rent out the saloon for a private party. He personally let her in because he wanted to meet her; however, he didn't stay, only telling her to lock up when she was done. Meanwhile, in one of the bathrooms, Catherine finds a pair of men's underwear plugged into a toilet and a tissue crumpled on the floor next to it. The tissue tests positive for bodily fluids.

Catherine confirms that the substance found outside of the saloon was chewing tobacco, which leads them to Vernon. Brass informs her that Vernon is an ex-police officer who was fired for assaulting a woman while off-duty. This seems to fit the murderer's profile, and Brass wonders if Vernon waited until Heather's client left and then attacked her. However, Catherine knows that Vernon wouldn't be able to afford Heather's services and asks why she would cover for him.

Sara tells Grissom that all of the prints in the saloon come back to Heather; however, she hasn't tested the lipstick around the shot glass. Grissom notes that Heather can't drink because of her diabetes, and this could explain her hypoglycemia and shock. Sara presents the evidence that Heather might have been sexually assaulted, but to Grissom's surprise, she refused a rape kit. Heather had no defensive wounds and Sara notes that there are three were three separate strangulation attempts on her neck. Grissom wonders why Heather didn't fight back.

Catherine and Brass head back to Old West Town and find the front gate unlocked again. As they make their way down the road, they find Vernon dead with a gunshot to his back. On Vernon's person, Catherine finds a gun that hasn't been fired, while Brass looks at Vernon's cell phone and sees that he recently called Heather.

Sara notes that a bullet hole in the saloon's window wasn't there the day before, and there's a bullet in an animatronic poker player. Since Vernon was shot in the back, he was facing away from the saloon. The other bullet had to have been fired from the opposite direction, meaning that the CSIs are looking for two shooters. The bullet in the poker player is lead, which indicates that it was fired from a revolver. Catherine and Sara head across the way to the Gun Slinger Museum and find a display case containing several revolvers. The case is unlocked. Sara offers to process the ammo boxes, while Catherine gets to process the guns.

In autopsy, Doc Robbins tells Sara that Vernon didn't die from the initial bullet wound. The bullet found it's way through his system and ended up in his lung, a process the doc says is called "bullet embolus." The bullet recovered is a 9mm, meaning that it wasn't fired from the revolver.

Catherine and Brass go to question Heather's residence and question her about her whereabouts the night before. There, they Grissom by her side, where he's been the whole night, making him her alibi for Vernon's murder. When confronted by Catherine about spending time with a suspect, Grissom says that he was only paying Heather a social call because he thinks something is wrong with her.

Brass questions Heather and accuses of her of hiring someone to kill Vernon. She replies that she helped Vernon get his job at Old West Town and that she hired him to locate someone for her. When asked if she was threatened by Vernon, Heather pulls out her cell phone and replays a non-threatening voice mail from him. Heather continues to insist that she was at Old West Town on business; Brass tells her it's that business that got Vernon killed.

Wendy informs Catherine and Sara that the bodily fluids found on the tissue in the bathroom didn't come from Vernon. Additionally, the underwear found in the toilet wasn't Vernon's size. Prints from the ammo box in the Gun Slinger Museum end up belonging to Benjamin Oakley, the owner's son. After Catherine leaves, Grissom enters and tries to explain himself to Sara. Sara brushes this off and tells him to do what he needs to do.

After his talk with Lady Heather, Grissom does some digging and learns that her daughter, Zoe, gave birth to a child before she died, and that the child's with Heather's ex-husband, Jerome. Grissom pays Jerome and his granddaughter, Allison, a visit. Jerome tells him that Heather left him before giving birth to Zoe and didn't even tell him he had a child. Jerome won sole custody of Allison, but Heather recently sent him money for the girl's college fund.

Sara questions Benjamin. He denies taking a shot at Vernon and instead admits he was aiming at his father, Jack, after learning Jack had emptied out the company account. It was Jack who killed Vernon - and nearly Heather, as well. Brass goes back to Heather, having put it all together: Jack hired Heather to try to kill her during sex. Heather, who has been depressed since Zoe's death and losing custody of Allison, decided to find a unique way to end her life and make money for Allison's college fund. Brass tells Heather to get help, and Grissom brings her hope: he brings Allison to meet her.

Victim: Faith Maroney (deceased)

On the case: Nick Stokes, Warrick Brown, Sofia Curtis

Nick and Warrick are called to the scene of a young woman found in an alleyway; she has a decent-sized head wound. Warrick opens her purse and finds several wallets and driver's licenses inside, leading them to believe that the woman is a pickpocket. The woman is eventually identified as twenty-five year old Faith Maroney.

Doc Robbins lists Faith's cause of death as blunt force trauma to the head, resulting in a skull fracture. The type of weapon is still unidentified, but the doc found yellow paint chips embedded in the skull. Warrick wonders if Faith was hit by a car; however, the only wound she has is on her head, and she shows no signs of being hit in the lower extremities or run over. Since Faith wasn't standing or lying down, Warrick guesses that she was somewhere in between.

Back at the scene, Nick finds more yellow paint chips on the ground. Suddenly, a station wagon comes around the corner and smashes into the police car parked behind Nick. A man gets out of the passenger's seat and stumbles towards the street before Nick intercepts him. While Officer Mitchell tends to the driver, Nick sets the man down on the curb, transferring blood onto his shirt.

Sofia tells Warrick that there were no security cameras in the area and that Faith had recently been released on court-ordered rehab for kleptomania. Warrick says that if he killed someone for taking his wallet, he would take it back before leaving. This would seem to eliminate the theft victims as suspects. Among the items Faith stole are some receipts, one of which is from a steakhouse not too far from the crime scene. The receipt, which is for a Bloody Mary, was printed at 9:52 PM, a little over an hour before Faith's body was found. Sofia leaves to check out the steakhouse and backtrack from there. Meanwhile, Hodges finds that the paint chips are colored engine black over canary yellow and are from a Ford. It would appear that Faith was indeed hit by a car.

The steakhouse called a cab for Faith, which helps Nick and Warrick track down the cab company. All of the cars in the garage are yellow and black, which doesn't narrow things down any. Based on the trip sheet, the dispatcher leads Nick and Warrick to a cab driven by Chandru Kambhatla. They examine the cab, which has a camera inside over the rear view mirror. Outside, Nick finds blood on the front bumper and discovers that there's yellow paint under the black paint.

Nick questions Chandru, who claims that he doesn't recognize Faith from the photo taken inside the cab. When presented with the evidence found on the outside of the cab, Chandru recalls picking Faith up and dropping her off near the Monte Carlo. In the A/V lab, Archie blows up the photos from the cab's camera. When the background is clarified, Nick spots a bench that's located on the street where Faith's body was found. Chandru is lying. Warrick notices that when Faith got out of the cab, she was carrying a black wallet; however, her wallet was white. As they progress through the photos, they realize that Faith stole Chandru's wallet and he quickly found out. Later on, Faith's prints are confirmed to be found on Chandru's wallet.

Hodges tells Nick that the paint in Faith's skull matches the paint from Chandru's cab; however, the paint chips collected on the street are not a match to the paint chips from Faith's skull. While the paint from Chandu's cab is yellow and black, the paint chips from the street contain white, along with several clear coats. The two samples were sandwiched together, with one half belonging to Chandru's cab. Hodges says that the other cab is a white Ford that's been painted yellow and black.

At the cab company, Nick and Warrick find out that the company acquired seventy-five white cabs from another company that went bankrupt. Nick eventually finds a cab that has a scratched car door and scrapes the paint down to its white base. The cab belongs to a Gus DiFusco.

Nick, Warrick and Archie go through the footage from Gus' cab camera and see that he got into an accident with Chandru's cab. They figure that Chandru was dispatched to the steakhouse; however, Gus was already there staging and stealing Chandru's fare. The paint chips found on the ground prove that the two cabs smashed into each other. Their air bags didn't deploy because they were going less than fifteen miles per hour. Since Chandru's cab is eventually out of frame on Gus' camera, they guess that Gus rear-ended Chandru when he was stopped. The collision propelled Chandru's cab into Faith, but getting hit with a bumper at a low speed wouldn't be enough to kill her.

Under interrogation, Warrick tells Gus that he was in the wrong because he was staging fares. Gus says that he went after Chandru because he was going to report him and he couldn't afford to lose his job. He adds that Chandru is the one that hit Faith, not him. Meanwhile, Chandru tells Nick that Faith, scared from the road rage, demanded to be let out of the cab. She refused to pay for the ride and after she left the cab, Chandru realized that she stole his wallet. A flashback shows Faith tripping over the curb and falling just as Gus rear-ended Chandru, with Chandru's cab being pushed forward into Faith.

Chandru says that Gus told him he was at fault for hitting a pedestrian. Nick assures him that Gus is at fault for rear-ending him and pushing him into Faith and asks him to tell the truth. Chandu says that he and Gus made a deal - in exchange for not reporting Gus for staging and hitting him, Gus promised to keep quiet about killing Faith. Nick informs Chandu that, despite his coming clean, he's under arrest for obstruction, fleeing the scene and being an accessory to murder. "You made a deal with the wrong guy," he tells a despondent Chandu.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

Notes

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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