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Time of your Death
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Season 6
Number 22
Writer Danny Cannon
Director Dean White
Original Airdate May 4, 2006
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Time of your Death is the twenty second episode in season six of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis

The team investigates the death of a man with a designer suit and the keys to a Ferrari found dumped in a back alley. Their search eventually leads to a service in Las Vegas that orchestrates the 'perfect weekend' for an unsuspecting target by uncovering their fantasies and hiring actors to star and play a part in those fantasies.

Plot

Victim: Jeff Powell (deceased)

On the case: Entire team

A man is seen driving a red Ferrari down a dark highway. An attractive blonde woman is in the passenger seat. They pull up to the valet at the Palermo, where the man hands the valet a $100 bill. After a night of dancing and making out with his companion, the man is found dead in the casino loading bay.

Catherine and Grissom meet Brass at the scene. They see that the victim has contusions on his neck and knuckles, indicating that he fought his attacker. David Phillips puts the time of death at two to three hours earlier. The only thing in the victim's pockets is a room key to the Palermo. Catherine notes that the victim has nice clothes, and she and Grissom see that there is white transfer on both the shirt and pants.

The same white transfer is found on the ground of the loading bay and on the dock. Catherine spots a directionality smudge and follows it into the casino hallway. There, she discovers that the walls have recently been painted and that there are some smudges. She goes through the door at the end of the hallway and finds herself in the casino.

The casino manager runs the room key and finds that the room is registered to a Jeff Powell. He had checked in alone the day before with a corporate credit card belonging to Sheritown Inc. In the room, Catherine and Nick find two champagne glasses and some blonde hairs, indicating that Jeff was a female. Nick finds a packet in the nightstand drawer containing a white powdery substance, while Catherine finds an expensive jacket from Sasan that she notes is more expensive than the rest of the clothes in the room put together. The jacket contains a blue powder trace. They find Jeff's wallet; inside are a driver's license, a company credit card and an amateur speedway license. Nick remarks that Jeff liked fast cars, but Catherine finds keys to a Toyota. There is no cash in the wallet, and Nick guesses that Jeff was spotted winning and was an easy mark because he was from out of town. The blonde seduced him, then robbed him and killed him.

In autopsy, a red wine stain is found on Jeff's boxer shorts. Warrick finds an inspection tag in one of the pants pockets, indicating that the clothes are brand new, and David Phillips spots a callus on one of Jeff's hands.

In the A/V lab, Archie goes through the surveillance footage and finds Jeff in an elevator with their mystery blonde. An hour later, Jeff is seen riding down the elevator alone; he is not wearing his jacket. Nine minutes later, the blonde gets in the elevator and rides down, as well. Archie loses Jeff in the casino crowd, citing the amount of footage he would have to go through to find him; however, he locates Jeff fifteen minutes later in the shopping arcade. He notes that Jeff's body was found at the loading dock off the shopping arcade. They discover that there is a Sasan store in the arcade and figure that Jeff bought his clothes there. The saleswoman at Sasan recognizes Jeff from his photo and says that he paid for a full outfit in cash. The mystery blonde was with him, but he didn't buy anything for her.

Doc Robbins tells Catherine that Jeff suffered blunt force trauma to the neck and that his cause of death was asphyxiation due to an obstructed airway. UV photography revealed that the weapon used has a distinctive edge. The tox results indicate that Jeff had methamphetamine, sildenafil and oxycodone in his system.

Greg and Sara speak with the valet, who remembers the red Ferrari. He tells them that Jeff and the blonde took the car out for a few hours; when they returned, it had a dent on the front bumper and a scratch on the rear bumper. The car was in pristine condition before they went for the drive. The valet doesn't recognize the blonde from her photo and doesn't believe that she was a working girl.

Hodges tells Catherine that the blue powder trace from Jeff's jacket is talc. The crystals in the talc are silica and axolite, two abrasives. When combined with talc, they form billiard chalk. Catherine notes that Jeff had a callus on his hand, which means that he had probably played a lot of pool.

Catherine and Brass visit one of the pool halls that's located close to the Palermo. When threatened by Brass because he was taking a cut of the hall's betting action without a gaming license, the owner recognizes the blonde from the photo, referring to her as Heidi Wolff. Brass has the owner call Heidi under the guise of a being a big-time pool player. When Heidi arrives, she is confronted by the police. After claiming that she doesn't know Jeff, she becomes worried when told that he's dead.

Heidi is brought to the station for questioning. She admits to having sex with Jeff and says that the last time she saw him, he was putting his clothes on and leaving the room, saying that he would be right back. Jeff claimed that he was in love, but Heidi, wanting a one-night stand and not a lifetime commitment, put her clothes on and left. She says that she didn't take Jeff's money, but Brass believes that she drugged him and went downstairs to meet up with her partner. They then killed Jeff and robbed him. Heidi denies this and says that she's done talking.

Nick and Sofia are able to track down the red Ferrari at a rental company dealing in high-end vehicles. They find the scratch and dent on the bumpers, confirming the valet's story. The manager refuses to tell them who rented the Ferrari, as their records are confidential. Sofia tells him that the police are impounding the car as evidence. Greg sees that the interior of the car has been cleaned.

Hodges confirms that the paint transfer from the Ferrari is a black acrylic enamel. Combined with the fact that it's a GM paint and it contains traces of fiberglass-reinforced plastic, they narrow down the vehicle in question to a black Corvette. Grissom is told that Sheridan Inc., the company on Jeff's credit card, is based out of Los Angeles and run by Mick Sheridan. Greg excitedly recognizes Mick as being an action movie producer.

Grissom and Brass speak with Mick, who is devastated over Jeff's death. He doesn't recognize Heidi in the photo from the hotel elevator and figures that Jeff met her in Vegas. Jeff worked as Mick's assistant and when he helped save Mick millions of dollars on his divorce settlement, he was rewarded with a vacation to Vegas, a few hundred bucks and the corporate credit card.

The black Corvette is found abandoned between the pool hall and the Palermo and is brought back to the CSI garage for processing. There is red paint transfer on the rear bumper, likely from the Ferrari Jeff was driving. In the glove compartment, Sara finds a rental receipt from a company named Zenith. The driver is identified as Randy Bolen, and he has a local address.

Sofia interrogates Randy, who has a long rap sheet. He also has a bruise on his forehead. When asked why a local would need to rent a car, Randy says that he is sometimes short on cash. He admits that, before his fender bender with the Ferrari, he was playing pool at the same pool hall Jeff visited. In fact, he lost $10,000 to Jeff in a single game. He recognizes Jeff and Heidi from the photo that Sofia shows him and admits to chasing them down in his Corvette. The Corvette got spun around and Jeff kept driving. Randy is surprised when told that Jeff is dead and he asks for a lawyer. Sofia later tells Nick that Randy used to be a professional stunt driver, and Nick figures that losing to Jeff had to have hurt his ego.

In the A/V lab, Archie picks up Heidi on the surveillance cameras and traces the footage to where she and Jeff first met. She sat down next to Jeff at the bar looking rather upset. As Jeff consoled her, she pointed at something off camera; while Jeff's attention was diverted, she purposely spilled her wine onto Jeff's lap. Archie zooms in on the frame and sees that Heidi had a wad of money in her purse, seemingly ruling her out as a robbery suspect.

Sara surprises Catherine by telling her that Heidi rented the Ferrari, not Jeff. The reservation was held by a company called Caprice Unlimited, which also rented the Corvette. The company is unlisted, but Catherine finds their website and phone number. Her phone call to them goes straight to voice mail, but when Sara traces the phone number, she is able to find the company's address.

Grissom and Sara pay a visit to Caprice Unlimited and walk into a lovely Japanese garden. They find owner Anthony Caprice with two Japanese women. Upon meeting Grissom and Sara, Anthony says that over $150,000 has been pent on an event, and that the women will mesh well with the clients. Grissom realizes what the company does - they stage fantasies where everything seems real, but has been worked out in advance. Anthony tells them that the scenarios take weeks to plan and that he learns about his client's wants and desires without the client even knowing. Grissom asks about Mick Sheridan, but Anthony says that Jeff's night was paid for by an anonymous benefactor. When asked why Heidi and Randy would lie to the police, Anthony replies that his employees always sign a non-disclosure agreement, though he wouldn't expect them to lie to the police. He hands Grissom Jeff's scenario for the evening, meticulously planned in advance and timed down to the minute.

Mick is brought back to the station for questioning; this time he's put in the interrogation room. Brass brings up that the fact that three years ago, Mick was busted with cocaine in his luggage. He claims that the employee planted the drugs there. The belief, however, is that Mick gave the employee a car in order to shut him up and take the rap. Since an ounce of cocaine was found in Jeff's personal effects, Brass figures that he was buying drugs for Mick. He guesses that, this time, in order to shut Jeff up, he bought him an elaborate fantasy. Mick asks for his lawyer.

Sara looks over the script from Caprice Unlimited. It starts with Heidi and Randy renting their cars and Randy driving his to the pool hall. Heidi was to meet Jeff at the Palermo bar acting upset and making up a story about her abusive high roller boyfriend. Grissom points out that Anthony knew Jeff would want to help Heidi. Heidi's next instructions were to buy Jeff a drink, which she "accidentally" spills on his clothes. This, in turn, leads to her buying him new clothes that he couldn't afford on his own. Nick says that everything - the clothes, the pool, the car chase - was scripted down to the minute. Mick had told Anthony that Jeff had been shooting pool since he was a kid. Jeff was also a NASCAR fan, so the staged car chase and narrow getaway was everything he dreamed about. Partying in the hotel room was also part of the script; however, Sara notes that the script says that the evening was to end at the hotel room. A disclosure on the script states that anything happening afterwards is at the discretion of the actor/actress in the fantasy. Grissom points out that this means that Jeff was killed off-script. Nick asks why Jeff would leave the hotel room and leave Heidi behind after a night like this.

Grissom watches the surveillance tapes with Archie and notes that Jeff took fifteen minutes to get from the elevator to the shopping arcade despite the walk not being that long. Surveillance shows Jeff pointing at someone off-camera at the baccarat tables. Archie says that when Heidi first approached Jeff with her story, she pointed at someone in the same direction. A man is seen at the baccarat table playing solo with the dealer, which Grissom says is $10,000-$20,000 per hand. Jeff is seen yelling at the player as his two bodyguards try to intervene. Grissom wonders if Heidi, who was supposed to make up a story about an abusive high roller boyfriend, actually pointed someone out. The cameras follow Jeff through the shopping arcade with the two bodyguards close behind.

Catherine and Grissom say that Jeff was a winner at everything he tried that night and was also falling in love, making him believe he could do anything. In the casino, the baccarat player is identified as Dennis Kim. They find Dennis at the table with his two bodyguards. He doesn't immediately recognize Jeff from his photo, but then recalls him coming up to the table and shouting about some girl. A flashback shows Jeff defiantly telling Dennis that Heidi didn't need him or his money anymore and that he was now "the man." The bodyguards refuse to look at the photo, and Catherine spots white paint on their shoes.

The shoes are brought to the lab for processing. Catherine scans the soles and prints out transparencies; there, she finds that the void on Jeff's neck came from one of the shoes. She tells Grissom, Greg and Sara that the bodyguards dragged Jeff through the service corridor and dumped his body in the loading dock. Jeff, between the drugs and the confidence, fought back. A flashback shows Jeff doing so, resulting in one of the bodyguards kicking him in the neck. Catherine believes Jeff may have been alive when the bodyguards left.

As they conclude the case, Greg says that the fantasy idea was a great gift from a generous boss, bringing up the fact that his birthday is coming up soon. Grissom responds with an eyebrow raise. Nick enters and reveals that Jeff left the hotel room in order to buy a diamond bracelet for Heidi; it was gift wrapped, but never picked up. Catherine remembers that there was a jewelry store right across from the entrance to the service corridor. A flashback shows Jeff buying the bracelet while the two bodyguards watched him through the store window.

Nick says that the biggest fantasy in Vegas is that everything there happens by chance. In reality, the odds are set before you even get off the plane.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

Episode Title

  • The episode title is a play on the phrase "time of your life." It also refers to the fact that Jeff Powell's evening was timed down to the minute, except for the end result.

Music

  • Living for the Weekend by Hard-Fi

Trivia

  • Greg's birthday is mentioned and he suggests that he would like to have one of those "perfect weekend" fantasies like the victim for his birthday.
  • John Michael Higgins played Anthony Caprice in this episode. He is an accomplished actor in both television and film, racking up over 100 acting credits. Starting in 2018, he began hosting the game show America Says.
  • Julie Benz, best known for her roles in the television shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dexter, played Heidi Wolff in this episode.
  • Judd Nelson played Mick Sheridan. Nelson is most known for his role as John Bender in the movie The Breakfast Club. He also appeared in the CSI:NY episode The Ride-In.

See Also

CSI:Las Vegas Season 6
Bodies in MotionRoom ServiceBite MeShooting StarsGum DropsSecrets and FliesA Bullet Runs Through It, Part 1A Bullet Runs Through It, Part 2Dog Eat DogStill LifeWerewolvesDaddy's Little GirlKiss-Kiss, Bye-ByeKillerPirates of the Third ReichUp in SmokeI Like to WatchThe Unusual SuspectSpellboundPoppin' TagsRashomamaTime of your DeathBang-BangWay to Go
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