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Unbearable
Unbearable.jpg
Season 5
Number 14
Writer Josh Berman,
Carol Mendelsohn
Director Kenneth Fink
Original Airdate February 10, 2005
Navigation
Previous Episode: Nesting Dolls
Next Episode: King Baby

Unbearable is the fourteenth episode in season five of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis

Catherine and her team investigate when a hunter and a Kodiak bear are found dead in the mountains. Meanwhile, Grissom's team looks into the death of a young mother.

Plot

Victim: Lori Kyman (missing)

On the case: Gil Grissom, Greg Sanders, Sara Sidle, Sofia Curtis, Jim Brass

An abandoned car belonging to Lori Kyman is spotted on the side of a highway. Grissom, Sofia meet Brass at the scene. Brass tells them that Lori's husband told the police that she was going out for the evening with friends and never came home. Based on how quickly a missing persons report was filed, Sofia guesses that Lori is a friend of the sheriff (or "F.O.S."). The car's doors are locked, there's no key in the ignition, and there's no sign of a struggle or foul play. Sofia notices that there is a flat tire. They pop the trunk, but there is nothing inside of it. Lori's phone log indicates that she called her husband at 9:30 PM and told him she was coming home at 11:00. They guess that, after getting a flat tire, Lori got a lift from a good Samaritan. But, where did she go?

Sara and Brass go to Lori's house and speak to her husband, Mark. Lori's best friend, Amy Maynard, is also present. Mark tells Brass that his mother-in-law was watching his young son until he got home from work at 9:00 PM. He fell asleep on the couch, woke up around 2:00 AM, and realized that Lori never came home. His first call was to Lori's cell phone, then Amy, and then the police. In another room, Sara questions Amy. Amy tells her that Lori was being hit on by a guy at the club they went to named Brad and that he didn't know how to take 'no' for an answer. Lori's mother, Diane Hoyt, arrives and asks for news about her daughter. Mark tells her that they found Lori's car abandoned on the side of the highway. She confirms to Brass that she watched her grandson until Mark came home and that they both talked to Lori at about 9:30.

Greg processes Lori's car and finds the valve stem on one of the tires was unscrewed two full turns, which would result in a slow leak. Sofia has him dust the fender for prints and a palm print is uncovered. The print matches Brad Himmel, the guy who was hitting on Lori at the club. Brad is brought in for questioning and admits that he messed with Lori's tire and followed her. He was hoping she would get a flat tire and that he could drive by and repair it to play the hero; however, she drove way off strip and the tire never flattened. Brad is shocked when told that Lori is missing and insists that he had nothing to do with it. An officer enters the room and whispers loudly to Brass that the body of a female matching Lori's description has been found. Lori's body is found in the town of Sutor, and David Phillips puts her time of death at approximately 36-40 hours ago. There are bruises on Lori's neck that indicate she was strangled. Sofia and Brass note that there was no attempt to hide the body, indicating that perhaps the killer was in a hurry.

In autopsy, Grissom and Sofia collect evidence from Lori's body. Grissom finds red and blue fibers on Lori's dress along with a brown hair that still has its follicular tag. Sofia notes that Lori's body was dumped under a tree and brushes pollen and tree vegetation out of her hair. She also finds a white powdery substance on both of Lori's palms. Meanwhile, in the garage, Sara loosens the valve stem on the tire and runs an experiment to see how long it takes to go flat. The hope is to disprove Brad's story; however, she tells Greg that the tire has been going around for over three hours and it's not yet flat. Based on Lori's time of death, it seems that she died before the tire went flat.

Doc Robbins gives Lori's cause of death as asphyxia due to manual strangulation. There are no signs of sexual assault. Grissom finds a burn on Lori's leg that Doc Robbins says occurred postmortem. He adds that the skin had to have come in contact with something that was hotter than 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, David Hodges identifies the white substance on Lori's hands as baby powder. The blue fibers found on her dress are thought to be synthetic Berber, while the red fibers are trilobal, which indicates that they came from a car. Hodges tells Sofia his is guess is that Lori was rolling around inside the trunk of a car. Based on the color, he identifies the car as a Bentley Continental GT. Sofia and Brass speak to a very forgetful and unhelpful valet at the club Lori visited. Based on the log, a Bentley parked in the lot at 8:32 PM; however, the valet doesn't remember any of the driver's characteristics.

Amy comes to the station and speaks with Sara. She reveals that the Bentley is hers, as it was a gift from her father. When told that fibers from the Bentley were found on Lori's clothing, Amy says that Lori was in her car all the time, including the week before when Mark was using Lori's car. Sara tells her that the fibers recovered were from either the floor or a trunk, but she gets no answer. Amy gives Sara her car key and gets up to leave. Sara asks if Lori washed her hands at the club, and Lori is unappreciative of all the questions. She tells Sara to investigate Mark despite her telling Sara earlier that Mark and Lori had a solid relationship. Amy had earlier revealed that Lori thought Mark was cheating on her before their son was born. Sara guesses that Mark was cheating with Amy. Amy confirms this and says that she broke up with Mark because he was abusive.

Sara examines the trunk of Amy's Bentley and finds that the carpet is black, which obviously doesn't match the red fibers found on Lori's dress. Grissom and Sofia pay Mark a visit and take a sample of baby powder for evidence comparison. Grissom also notes that the carpet in the baby's room is blue and made of Berber; he takes a sample of that, as well. Later on, back in the lab, Sara informs Grissom and Sofia that the DNA on Lori's shirt came back to mark. The baby powder on Lori's hands is also consistent with the baby powder they collected, meaning Mark lied to them. Evidence now points to Lori coming back home after leaving the club. They come up with two theories - 1) Lori came home after the club, Mark strangled her, and then drove her body out to Sudor or 2) Lori came home, had a fight with Mark, went for a drive, got a flat tire, and was eventually killed by someone driving a Bentley.

Sara tells Grissom that a DMV search revealed that there are five Bentleys registered in Clark County that have a red interior. One of those was owned by a rental car agency and its most recent leasee was Diane Hoyt, Lori's mother. The car is brought into the CSI garage to be examined by Nick, Sara and Sofia. They see that the interior of the trunk is red and that it was recently vacuumed. Sofia uses a high-powered vacuum to pick up everything that was missed. Meanwhile, Sara finds a pod from a tree near the car's engine; Sofia says that it's the same shape, size, and color of the pods brushed out of Lori's hair. Sofia laments the fact that they can't tie the pod to a specific tree, but Greg tells them that plant DNA is no different from human DNA. In fact, he says, the plant genome is larger.

Greg processes the pod and it's a match to the pod in Lori's hair and to the tree in Sudor. Diane is brought in for questioning; she tells Sofia and Brass that she rented the Bentley when her car was in the shop and let Lori and Mark drive it a few times in her presence. Errant hairs collected from the car were a match to Lori, Mark and their son, but not to Diane. It is revealed that Diane is not Lori's biological mother, and a DNA sample is taken before Diane and her lawyer leave. After they leave, Brass tells Sofia that they don't have enough evidence to arrest Diane. They still don't have the explanation as to why Lori went back to the house after the club, and Brass guesses that Diane and Mark were in on the crime together. Sofia says that went two members of the opposite sex conspire to kill one of their partners, either sex or money is almost always involved.

Sofia continues to process the Bentley and swabs a substance she finds in the back seat. As puts the swab in the box, she notices some flesh hanging off of the exhaust pipe. The substance turns out to be a mix of Brad Himmel's semen and a vaginal contribution from Diane. The flesh from the exhaust pipe came back to Lori.

In two separate interrogation rooms, Sara questions Brad while Sofia talks to Diane. Brad admits to meeting Diane at a club a few weeks before, but claims that he hadn't talked to her since. Sara shows him his cell phone records that indicate he called Diane at 11:23 PM the night Lori was murdered. Diane, meanwhile, denies knowing Brad, but this is quickly proven to be a lie. Sara and Sofia piece the crime together - Brad was supposed to strike up a conversation with Lori at the club. He then followed her, waiting for her tire to go flat. When it didn't, he called Diane. Lori came home and took care of the baby with her husband asleep at the end of the house. Diane, who never left the house after Lori came back, strangled her and called Brad to help her move the body. The two drove the Bentley to the dump site and Diane backed into Lori's leg before driving off, explaining the skin on the exhaust pipe. They then drove back to the house, where Brad took Lori's Lexus for a drive until the tire went flat; his fingerprints on the steering wheel prove this. Brad admits that Diane offered to pay him $2,000 for the setup and another $2,000 when the body needed to be moved.

Later, Greg tells Sara and Sofia that he contacted the family lawyer and that Lori's father's estate was worth over $50 million. The money was left to her newborn son and Lori was the trustee with a stipend of $2.5 million per year. Should something happen to Lori, Diane would become the trustee.

Sofia stops by Grissom's office and tells him that she's enjoyed working with him. However, the lab is a continuous reminder to her that she was undeservingly demoted. Grissom recites a quote that Sofia said earlier in the episode and asks her to dinner.

Victim: Rod Hollis (deceased), Kodiak bear (deceased)

On the case: Catherine Willows, Nick Stokes, Warrick Brown

Nick and Warrick are called to the scene of a dead hunter in the woods. The ranger shows them a dead body with tattered clothes and claw marks around the neck. David Phillips puts the time of death at no more than 24 hours before. Not too far away lies the body of a large Kodiak bear that has had its stomach cut open; however, no knife is found on the victim. The ranger notes that Kodiak bears are nonnative to the continental United States. Nick finds some torn branches near the bear's body with khaki material stuck to one of them. Since the dead hunter was wearing jeans, there must have been another person present.

Doc Robbins autopsies both the hunter and the bear. The hunter's cause of death is determined to be caused by the bear; however, the bear's death is more in depth. The bear was shot twice in the head; the first bullet left behind a copper jacket, while the second one did not. Catherine looks at both bullets and sees the fatal bullet (the second one) is lead, meaning that it came from a handgun. However, the hunter didn't have a handgun or knife in his possession. Doc Robbins tells Catherine that the bear's stomach was slashed open and the gall bladder was removed postmortem. He doesn't know the reason why.

Warrick process the hunter's clothes and finds an expensive-looking gold watch among the items. Nick enters and tells him that he ran the victim's prints, but didn't get a hit in CODIS. As the two hypothesize what happened, Catherine enters and tells them that the hunter's cause of death was a bear attack. However, things aren't quite that simple. According to the ranger, the bear had to have been smuggled into Nevada, so whoever smuggled him in could be charged with homicide because the bear is a deadly weapon.

Doc Robbins shows Catherine that he was found a microchip when x-raying the bear and he removed it. A magnetic reader shows the microchip's ID number and indicates that the bear belonged to the Clark County Zoo. There, the zoo employee, Sam Tracy, identifies the bear as "Tippy" from its photo. He tells Catherine and Warrick that he sold Tippy to an animal broker a few weeks ago; the broker said he found a home for the bear at the Columbus Zoo. Sam identifies the broker as Ken Bovitz from Chicago and that he was mailed Ken's broker's license and documentation.

Warrick does some research and tells Catherine that in the southeast Asian community, some men believe that bear gall bladders help enhance virility and that they sell for $500 each. She tells him that a representative of the Columbus Zoo has never heard of Tippy and the Department of Agriculture has never heard of Ken Bovitz, meaning his documentation is fake. Nick walks in and says that an abandoned car was found and that the plates came back to Rod Hollis, who had hunting permits for various wildlife. Nick speaks to Rod's wife, Faith, who tells him that she hadn't seen her husband in over a year due to marital problems. He tells her that Rod was mauled by a bear, but that evidence indicates someone else was out there with him. Faith doesn't know who that could be, as Rod was the only one in their circle of friends who owned a gun.

Bobby Dawson examines the two bullets pulled from the bear. The bullet with the copper jacket came from Rod's rifle; however, the other bullet was fired from a .357 Magnum revolver. Bobby runs the bullet through IBIS and tells Warrick that the gun was used in a 1998 robbery but returned to the owner after insufficient evidence. The gun's owner is Aaron Colite from Henderson.

Nick and Warrick visits Aaron's residence with a warrant, and Aaron tells them his gun is under the television. He is asked about the killing of the bear and surprisingly admits to doing so immediately. Aaron tells Nick and Warrick that he was out hunting when he spotted the bear mauling Rod. He shot the bear in order to save Rod's life, but it was already too late. Nick searches the kitchen and finds blood smears on the refrigerator door. He opens the freezer and finds the bear's gall bladder in a Ziploc bag. Aaron insists that it's not illegal to cut open an animal if it's already dead. Noting that the killer may have snagged themselves on a nearby tree, they have Aaron lift his pant leg to see if he has any cuts. Aaron complies by pulling his pants all the way down, showing that he didn't cut himself anywhere.

Catherine tells Nick that the bear's blood came back positive for ketamine. Nick puts the pieces of the puzzle together and shows Catherine a video about "canned hunts," where hunters pay a lot of money to have exotic animals flown to the United States for hunting purposes. The animals are drugged in order to make them easier targets. Since both the hunter and prey ended up dead, however, something went wrong during the hunt.

Ronnie Litre shows Catherine that someone took a license from the Department of Agriculture, scraped away the top layer of information, photocopied the documentation, and typed in bogus information. A tiny serial number in the bottom of the document identifies what exact photocopier was used to make the adjustments. The photocopier is in possession of Sam Tracy at the zoo.

At the zoo, Sam tells Catherine and Warrick that Aaron Colite used to work there until he was fired six months ago. However, the photocopier was only installed two months ago, leading them to think that Sam is the forger. They guess that Aaron came to Sam with a scheme to make some money and they organized the canned hunt. A flashback shows Aaron, Rod and Sam hunting the bear. Rod shot the bear in the head, thinking he killed it. However, when he went up the bear, it got up and mauled Rod to death. Aaron killed the bear with his revolver, while Sam ran away. Catherine and Warrick have Sam roll up his pant leg, which reveals a cut. Warrick adds that Rod's bank records were subpoenaed and that he sent Aaron a check for $16,000. Aaron, in turn, sent Sam a check for $8,000.

Sam is told that he is being arrested for grand larceny and obtaining property under false pretenses, which is punishable for up to twenty years in prison. Catherine tells him that she's recommending to the district attorney that Sam gets booked for second degree murder, as well, in Rod's death.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

Music

  • Drive Away by Gratitude

Notes

  • This is the first time Greg officially questions a suspect in the interrogation room.
  • This episode marks the final appearance of Ronnie Litre, played by Eric Stonestreet. He appeared in thirteen episodes.

Trivia

  • Jon Wellner plays Sam Tracy in this episode. Later on, he would play lab tech Henry Andrews starting Season 6 and continuing through Season 15.
  • Jane Lynch played the park ranger. She is an accomplished actress perhaps best known for her role as Sue Sylvester in the show Glee.

See Also

CSI:Las Vegas Season 5
Viva Las VegasDown the DrainHarvestCrow's FeetSwap MeetWhat's Eating Gilbert Grissom?FormalitiesCh-Ch-ChangesMea CulpaNo Humans InvolvedWho Shot Sherlock?SnakesNesting DollsUnbearableKing BabyBig MiddleCompulsionSpark of Life4 x 4Hollywood BrassCommittedWeeping WillowsIcedGrave Danger, Part 1Grave Danger, Part 2
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