Who Shot Sherlock?
Season 5
Number 11
Writer David Rambo,
Richard Catalani
Director Kenneth Fink
Original Airdate January 6, 2005
Previous Episode: No Humans Involved
Next Episode: Snakes

Who Shot Sherlock? is the eleventh episode in Season Five of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.


Greg takes his final proficiency test as he, Sara and Grissom investigate the possible murder of a Sherlock Holmes fan. Warrick and Nick work on a bizarre case where a driver might have been killed before veering off the road.


Victim: Dennis Kingsley (deceased)

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

Dennis Kingsley returns home from shopping. As he enters his house, a man on a motorcycle watches him. Inside, Dennis unpacks his groceries and heads downstairs to his study, where he has recreated the residence of Sherlock Holmes. Dennis plays his violin in front of a fake fireplace, and is next seen with a bullet hole in the side of his head.

Grissom, Greg and Brass are on the scene. Brass asks Grissom what he thinks, but Grissom tells him that this is Greg's case, as it is his final proficiency. Greg looks over the scene and notes that Dennis was seated in front of a fake fire with alcohol nearby. Powder burns around the entrance wound indicate a shot at close range, so Greg's initial guess is suicide. However, there is no gun to be found. Greg then guesses that perhaps a family member found the body and took the gun in order to remove the stigma of a loved one's suicide and to collect on the life insurance policy.

Greg sifts through the brain matter on the floor and finds a bullet. Based on the characteristics of the bullet, he guesses that it came from a Colt .45; Sara, who has just arrived, agrees with his conclusion. Nearby, she sees an old-fashioned glass syringe filled with a liquid. Greg continues to work in the study, while Sara checks on other parts of the house. On the floor of the study, Greg finds a small pile of ashes and photographs it. He also finds a tiny piece of a substance and picks it up to look at it. Meanwhile, Sara finds evidence of forced entry at the back door to the house. She also finds a picture that seems to show that Dennis had a wife and child at one time. Sara relays this information to Greg, who is focused on the book The Hound of the Baskervilles, which was on a table next to Dennis. The top of the book is covered in blood; however, Greg sees that some of the page ends have blood on them, as well. This blood seems to be out of place, as the blood from the gunshot would have gone over the book, not into the side of it.

Outside, Brass canvasses the neighborhood and talks to the neighbors. He and Grissom are met by three very well-dressed individuals who identify themselves as friends of "Mr. Holmes." Grissom identifies himself as being from the crime lab, and the three believe that this is part of their planned evening with their friend. Their mood changes when they see Dennis being put in the back of the coroner's van. The three guests, dressed as Dr. Watson, Irene Adler, and Professor Moriarty, tell Grissom and Brass that they met with Dennis ("Sherlock Holmes") every Thursday night to study the Holmes text in cases and important 19th century events. They each last saw Dennis the previous Thursday night; there, he told his three friends that their final meeting would be next Thursday (now) and that it would be an evening they would each never forget. Grissom asks them all for their fingerprints.

In the morgue, Greg photographs the body and finds needle marks on the left arm. Meanwhile, Sara and Doc Robbins have photos from the crime scene laid out on a table. The doc says that the cause of death was unsurprisingly a gunshot to the temple. Greg enters and tells them that cocaine was found in the victim's urine at a level high enough to be associated with chronic users. He also says that there was morphine in the blood as well as in the syringe; based on the levels, Sara believes the dosage to be pharmaceutical level. Doc Robbins believes that an injection of such a high amount would incapacitate someone in a matter of seconds. Greg wonders how Dennis could have injected himself, put all of his materials away, and shot himself before the drugs took effect. Based on his hands testing positive for gun shot residue, Greg wonders if someone shot Dennis by wrapping his hand around the gun and firing.

Hodges informs Greg that substance he found was mother of pearl, which doesn't exactly narrow things down. He also identified the ashes as perique tobacco, which is only grown in Louisiana. There was tobacco in the victim's slipper, as well, which Grissom guesses is shag tobacco since that is what Sherlock Holmes smoked. Grissom reminds Greg that he has two suspects that use pipes. Brass and Sara collect meerschaum pipes and tobacco from Kay Marquette (Irene Adler) and Nelson Oakes (Dr. Watson) at their places of work. While talking to Nelson and crouching down to retrieve the warrant, Sara notices what appears to be blood on Nelson's shoe. He confirms that he wore the shoes to the last club meeting.

It is found that Nelson's shoe tested positive for blood and that the tobacco from his pipe was found next to the body. Nelson is brought in for questioning; there, Brass accuses him of killing Dennis so he could take over the role of Sherlock Holmes. Nelson denies this and tells Brass that Dennis was quitting the club so he could go back to his wife; therefore, he didn't need to kill Dennis in order to take over the Holmes role. Brass presents Nelson with the blood and tobacco evidence, but Nelson insists that he went right home after work and was never with Dennis the night he was killed. Elsewhere, Sara congratulates Greg on solving the case since the evidence indicates that Nelson is their guy. However, Greg observes that some of the blood on the shoe is clotted red cells, while the rest of it is pure serum. He says that it takes at least twenty minutes for blood to clot and separate; if Nelson killed Dennis, the blood drops on the shoe would all be the same. Sara guesses that the killer sucked some of the blood up at the scene with a syringe, separating the blood cells and serum. The blood then got sprayed on the shoe later. It seems that someone is trying to frame Dr. Watson, aka Nelson Oakes.

In the A/V lab, Archie scrolls through an auction website where Dennis put all of his Sherlock Holmes items up for bids. One of the items is a Colt .45 revolver with a mother of pearl handle; however, Greg and Sara are more interested in finding The Hound of the Baskervilles book. They ran the blood found on the book through CODIS, but were unable to get any hits. Archie finds the book on the site and pulls up its bidding history. Someone named "Reichenbach" unsuccessfully bid on the book three times; Archie finds this interesting since Reichenbach Falls is where Professor Moriarty killed Sherlock Holmes.

Greg and Sara go talk to Josh Frost, who was earlier dressed up as Professor Moriarty. He admits that he desperately wanted the book and was unhappy that Dennis was putting it up for auction instead of simply selling it to him. When asked to hold out his hands, Josh reveals that he has a Band-Aid around his finger. He admits to having visited Dennis the night he was killed in an effort to get the book, and he cut his finger on it when Dennis ripped it out of his hands. Josh says that he didn't kill Dennis; if he had, he would have taken the book.

Greg processes the mother of pearl chip and scrapes some dust off of it. After processing, he tells Grissom that he wants to go back to the crime scene. There, Greg says that the chip is consistent with the mother of pearl handle on the Colt .45 and that the dust collected from it was red clay dust consistent with the bricks around the fireplace. He searches the fireplace and finds the gun tied to a rubber tube hiding in the chimney.

Back in the lab, Greg tells Sara his findings—Dennis tied the gun to the chimney with surgical tubing and committed suicide. He also took morphine to help ease the pain and/or finish the job should the gun not be sufficient enough. After the deed was done, the gun recoiled back up the chimney. Greg guesses that Dennis planted Nelson's (Watson) tobacco and also drew his own blood and sprayed it Nelson's shoe at the previous meeting. Dennis, in classic Sherlock Holmes fashion, made suicide look like murder. Sara congratulates Greg on a job well done and has him type up a report to give to Grissom.

In his office, Grissom looks over Greg's report and notices that the autopsy report indicates cocaine usage, but the syringe contained morphine. He finds Greg and goes over the report. Dennis was an obsessive compulsive and tried to match every detail with the Sherlock Holmes stories; however, in the books, Holmes' stimulant of choice was cocaine, not morphine. Grissom wonders if Dennis never knew what he was injecting himself with and someone switched stimulants on him. He adds that the victim's fingerprints were on the gun, but there were no prints on the surgical tubing or syringe. This would seem to indicate murder, not suicide. In the lab, Grissom cuts open the surgical tubing and finds some tobacco leaves. He tells Greg to compare the tobacco to the type the suspects use.

Kay Marquette, aka Irene Adler, is brought into interrogation. Brass guesses that Kay didn't like her life between her job and having to take care of her ill mother. However, the Sherlock Holmes club represented an escape from that life. When Dennis told the group that he was ending the club, Kay realized what this meant for her. Brass tells her that the tobacco found in the surgical tubing was a match to her blend. He guesses that Kay snuck into the house and switched the cocaine with morphine. Since Dennis was a creature of habit, she waited for the morphine to take effect. A flashback shows Dennis passed out in his chair. Kay shoots him, and the gun recoils back up the chimney. When asked why she framed Nelson for the murder, Kay says that it was Nelson's idea that Dennis quit the club and go back to his family. She claims that Nelson wanted to be Sherlock Holmes and that he didn't care what it was doing to her. Kay slips into her Irene character and, in a British accent, tells Brass that Dennis would have wanted his murder to be the perfect puzzle.

Nick and Warrick tells Greg that Grissom wants to see him immediately. In Grissom's office, Greg finds a gel dummy with a note on it that says "YOU PASSED!" The rest of the team congratulates Greg until Ecklie breaks up the party. A confused Greg tells Grissom that he didn't get the right guy or the right manner of death. Grissom replies that he doesn't expect Greg to be correct in his interpretations all the time. He collected the evidence and had enough sense to go back to the crime scene when he felt something was missing. That's the job, Grissom says.

Victim: Cory Demayo (deceased)

On the case: Nick Stokes, Warrick Brown, Chris Cavaliere

In the desert, a jeep has missed a curve on the highway, gone down an embankment, and crashed into a tree. The victim is 25-year old Cory Demayo, the driver of the jeep. There is a contusion on Cory's forehead, which could have come from the impact. Warrick mentions that there were no skid marks up on the highway, meaning that Cory never even tried to brake. Nick sees that the key is still in the ignition, the car is in drive, and the engine isn't running. Warrick finds a joint on the floor near the passenger's seat along with a wallet. The ID in the wallet is Cory's; however, there is no money or credit cards inside.

At the station, Warrick and Det. Cavaliere talk to Cory's roommate, Lyle Davis. He claims that he last saw Cory the day before when they went to a lake. Warrick notices a bruise on Lyle's forehead that Lyle explains occurred while windsurfing. Lyle tells Warrick that he and Cory didn't drive back together because he left with a girl named Jennifer. Warrick doesn't believe this story and hypothesizes that the two guys got high, drove back from the lake, and crashed into the tree. Lyle got the bruise when his head made contact with the dashboard. Warrick also guesses that Lyle took advantage of the situation, rifled through Cory's wallet, and fled the scene. Lyle insists that he wasn't in the car and that, if he was, he wouldn't have left Cory. They ask for a DNA sample from Lyle to see if his lips touched the joint. Flustered, Lyle admits that he and Cory got high at the lake, but Cory left afterwards.

In the morgue, Doc Robbins tells Nick and Warrick that Cory was physically fit and that he had scratches and abrasions unrelated to the accident. The cut on Cory's forehead is also deemed superficial. Doc Robbins tells them that the cause of death is undetermined and that he doesn't always know how someone died.

In the garage, Nick finds that the latch to the passenger's door is busted and guesses that it could have happened during the accident. Warrick enters and tells Nick that the tox results show low levels of cannabis in Cory's system. Despite cannabis slowing down one's reaction time, Nick notes the lack of skid marks and position of the vehicle indicate Cory never even hit the brakes. They confirm that both the jeep's brakes and brake lights work. Still, there's a puzzle—the panel isn't working, the ignition was on, and the engine wasn't running. The jeep is full of gas and Cory was in good shape; the two CSIs can't figure out what happened here.

Meanwhile, Conrad Ecklie is talking to Catherine in her office. Greg and Warrick interrupt and Ecklie asks them about their progress on the case. They tell Ecklie that Cory should have been able to stop the jeep and that there are no signs of foul play; however, they feel that something isn't right. Ecklie tells them that, since there is nothing suspicious and no crime has been committed, they should close the case. After he leaves, Catherine asks them if they are satisfied and Nick says that they don't have an answer. She tells them to keep working the case until they have one and that Ecklie is her problem, not theirs.

Nick and Warrick go over the jeep again and find evidence of some kind of electrical shock, as there is a burn mark on the undercarriage amongst other things. Their immediate thought is a lightning strike; however, the sky was clear the day of the accident. They head back out to the scene where they find wire trimmings on the ground and fresh splice on some overhead wires. Warrick notes that the power company called the police about the accident, which means that they were probably out there fixing the lines. The wire could have come in touch with the roll bar; however, the jeep would have been insulated because of the tires. Nearby, Nick spots a downed road marker that is bent in the direction that Cory was driving. There is black transfer on the sign that it similar to the undercarriage of the jeep that indicates that Cory ran over it. If this is the case, the circuit would have been completed and the jeep would have been electrocuted.

Nick and Warrick make a gel dummy and place it in the driver's seat of the jeep to try to recreate the accident. They tell Catherine that the burn marks on the roll bar and undercarriage along with blown fuses and a non-working engine indicate electrocution. The fuses have been replaced, the jeep is connected to power source, and the gel dummy is hooked up to a meter. Catherine reminds them that they need a reading of at least six milliamps to prove their theory. When they first test the theory, the meter doesn't even move. Warrick realizes that the dummy isn't dressed, so he and Nick put clothes and a watch on it. On the second test, the reading is seven milliamps. It is shown that the electricity went from the jeep's roll bar to Cory's watch, across his body, and out the rivets in his shorts. A flashback shows Cory driving down the road and running over the road marker just as the wire hit the roll bar. Cory is killed, the engine is shot, and the jeep rolled down the hill until coming in contact with the tree.


Main Cast

Guest Cast

Major Events

  • Greg passes his final proficiency test, resulting in him becoming an official CSI Level One.


  • Cat Scratch Fever by Ted Nugent


  • John Krasinski, who played Lyle Davis, the passenger of the electrocuted jeep, is most famous for his role as Jim Halpert on The Office.

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