The Past, Present and Murder
The Past
Season 5
Number 21
Writer Sam Humphrey,
Daniele Nathanson
Director David Von Ancken
Original Airdate April 15, 2009
Previous Episode: Prey (NY)
Next Episode: Yahrzeit

The Past, Present and Murder is the twenty-first episode in Season Five of CSI: NY.


A man is killed when he falls out a window in media mogul Robert Dunbrook's building, but did Dunbrook throw him? During the investigation, Mac discovers that the case is connected to an earlier case involving a missing flash drive.


Media mogul Robert Dunbrook pushes a man through the window of his high rise office and calls his son, Connor, telling him to get a hold of his lawyer. When he looks out his window again, the body is gone. When the CSIs arrive on the scene, Dunbrook insists the act was one of self-defense. Stella and Hawkes puzzle over the absence of the body, finding several teeth and certain that the man couldn't have survived the fall. Danny lifts prints from the biometric security system, noting a strawberry smell on the device. He also recovers a box cutter from the office and a magazine chronicling Dunbrook's empire's success. Danny confirms the only prints on the security system are from Dunbrook and that it doesn't appear to have been wiped down, but Mac can't shake his suspicions of the mogul. Stella recovers a piece of trash bag art with blood on it stuck in a subway grate near where the body fell and takes it back to the lab. Danny doesn't recover any prints from the box cutter, but he does find sucrose on it. Flack tells Mac that the last person before Dunbrook to touch the security system was Ann Steele. Mac is shocked—Ann was a consultant who was murdered seven months ago. The body of the man Dunbrook pushed out the window turns up at Pier 40, with grate marks on his face and his fingerprints cut off. In the morgue, Sid recovers his last meal: red, strawberry-flavored candy of some sort—with fingerprint ridge detail on it! Stella runs the prints and matches them to Ann Steele. When she shows Mac, they posit that the man must have replicated Ann's prints in candy and used them to gain access to Dunbrook's office—and then ate them to hide the evidence. Mac recalls that Ann was on Dunbrook's payroll.

Dunbrook drops by Chief Brigham Sinclair's office to request Mac be pulled from the case. Sinclair is sticking up for the department when Mac comes in and asks Dunbrook about Ann Steele. Dunbrook offers that Ann was probably just not removed from the security system after her death and tells Mac to stop focusing on him and instead look for the man who tried to kill him. After Dunbrook leaves, Sinclair points out that all the evidence indicates Dunbrook acted in self-defense. Dunbrook goes outside and begins to speak to the press about the attack. Just as Mac joins him outside, shots are fired and Mac pulls Dunbrook to safety. As Dunbrook assures the press he's okay, Mac gets control of the scene and recovers the bullet fired at Dunbrook. He takes it back to the lab, where Stella identifies it as a .38. Danny brings Mac the results of the bloody print on the trash bag art: it's a match to FBI Agent Johnson, who, along with his partner Agent Walsh, pulled Mac aside about the theft of Ann Steele's flash drive six months ago. When Mac looks at the facial reconstruction Hawkes is performing on the computer on the man from Dunbrook's office, Mac recognizes him as Agent Walsh. Mac, Stella and Hawkes go over the flash drive case, recalling the sensitive information on the drive, the theft of the drive six months ago and the murder of property clerk Kevin Cross. Mac speaks with FBI Agent Ellis Park, but the man stonewalls him, only letting slip that Johnson and Walsh were fired six months ago.

Hawkes crosschecks news stories run in Dunbrook's publications with scandals he recalls from the flash drive, and finds seven that were published after Steele and Cross' deaths. Danny is able to match ink from the magazine in Dunbrook's office to trace found in the gunshot wound that killed Cross. Mac takes the evidence to Sinclair, but the Chief says it's not enough for a warrant. Frustrated, Mac confronts Dunbrook, but just as the man is about to kick him out, Sinclair comes in with a search warrant. The two find a .38 in a safe. Back at the lab, Stella isn't able to match the striations on the bullet she fires from the gun to the one that killed Cross. She finds degraded DNA on the gun which matches Dunbrook. Flack calls Mac: Agent Johnson has been in a car crash. Mac rushes to the scene, where a dying Johnson tells the CSI that he and Walsh were set up. Agent Park finally comes forward to tell Mac that Agents Johnson and Walsh were building a case against Stiegel Tech—and that it got them fired. Stella goes back to the gun and finds it's been scraped up inside. She's able to get a striation pattern from deep inside the gun, and it matches the bullet that killed Cross. When Dunbrook's alibi for the time of Cross' murder checks out, the team turns back to the DNA from the gun and find it matches Dunbrook's son, Connor. Connor is arrested despite Dunbrook's protests. The team still isn't able to find the flash drive which, unbeknownst to them, fell from Walsh's hand through the grate to the subway tracks below.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

  • Mykelti Williamson as Chief Brigham Sinclair
  • Craig T. Nelson as Robert Dunbrook
  • Thad Luckinbill as Connor Dunbrook
  • Brian Oblak as FBI Agent Walsh
  • Laurie Searle as Reporter #1
  • Nicholas Warnock as Reporter #2
  • Ian Anthony Dale as FBI Agent Ellis Park
  • Leith M. Burke as FBI Agent Johnson
  • Parisa Fakhri as Uni
  • Kevin Ko as Henry
  • Amber Mead as Ann Steele

See Also[]

CSI:NY Season 5
VeritasPage TurnerTurbulenceSex, Lies, and SiliconeThe Cost of LivingEnoughDead InsideMy Name is Mac TaylorThe BoxThe TriangleForbidden FruitHelpRush to JudgementShe's Not ThereThe Party's OverNo Good DeedGreen PiecePoint of No ReturnCommunication BreakdownPrey (NY)The Past, Present and MurderYahrzeitGreater GoodGrounds For DeceptionPay Up