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"CSI" - "19 Down" - Dec. 11, 2008

We hear a woman crying and moaning and see a man with a remote control. The noises of distress are coming from the TV. He's telling another man "see it's just like I told you, really brings back the good old days." He asks how much the other man thinks the tape is worth. A lot apparently, as the other man, shrouded in shadow behind the couch, grabs the first man from behind and chokes him. He then loads his corpse into a trash bag and drags it off to a waiting SUV. (He's wearing gloves and all black.) He drives out to a wooded area and dumps the body in some water. We see inside the bag and the body as it becomes bloated in the ditch and pieces fall off of it. It's super-gross.

Some time later Grissom is reading something in his office. He puts that down and picks up a crossword puzzle. (19 Down is a six-letter word: ??A???, possibly STARED, based on {S}OLUTE, {T}RENDS, {A}, EM{R}E, SP{?}LICANS, HEL{D}.) Which he then discards. He enters a room and starts handing out assignments: remains at the dump for Riley (a 425), a recovered stolen vehicle for Greg (a 411A), a possible arson for Nick (a 402), and a 419 for Catherine. He also announces that he knows it's been a tough year and that he's quitting. He says Catherine will become the supervisor and that a new Level 1 will be hired so they won't be shorthanded. Everyone looks stunned. His phone beeps and he's got a case now too, also a 419.

Out at the ditch Grissom is examining the corpse bag. A cop informs him that some hikers discovered the bag on the off-the-beaten path trail. He tells the cop to call the coroner since he's got soup to go.

Cut to the bones being taken out of the bag by Nick, Catherine, and Hodges. They are chewing over the Grissom news - Hodges is bereft- and examining what's left: jeans, t-shirt, sneakers, a star of David necklace, brown and blonde hairs.

Robbins is giving us info on the deceased: male, 25, strangulation for cause of death. He asks if Grissom's really leaving. He says he is. Robbins wonders if he's running away from or running to something. Grissom says he's running to his office. Robbins says to the empty room that he's never going to retire.

Grissom feeds the data into the missing persons database and gets 48 hits on the info they have. He adds the Star of David pendant and gets one: Joel Steiner, a suspected victim of the "Dick and Jane Killer," Nathan Haskell who is suspected of killing 14 people in Nevada, California, and Arizona in the mid-'90s.

Grissom is explaining to the team: Haskel was busted at a sobriety checkpoint and is serving a life sentence without parole. He got his nickname from killing couples. The women were never found and he refused to discuss the female victims but the men were eventually found with an ascending number of post-mortem stab wounds. (Two on the first body, three on the second etc.) The theory was the first couple were never found. This victim could be the man from the first.

The parents come in to speak to Brass. They recognize the pendant. Brass also wants DNA from them.

Grissom tells Hodges he wants to talk to him. Hodges petulantly says it's too late for that and tells Grissom to have a nice life.

Hodges is examining the decrepit clothes: Levis jeans. T-shirt, sneakers.

Wendy's got a DNA match on the hairs to Haskell. She says her goodbyes and gives her thanks to Grissom. He says she earned it. Hodges come up and informs him that the sneakers were made at a custom outfit 2 years ago and that Haskell has been in jail all that time. Wendy wonders how Haskell's hairs got on Steiner's body then.

Catherine and Grissom are looking at the custom sneaker site as she regales him with a tale of shopping with Lindsey at a similar place for jeans. They're getting a warrant for the customer records. Grissom apologizes for surprising her with the announcement. She says she knew, in fact, knew before he knew. The sneakers were designed by a Gerald Tolliver, the man we saw getting choked and dumped in the pre-credit sequence. They check missing persons. He's missing and has a record as well. Turns out he was an informant to the Reno PD and was reported six months ago.

Nick and Greg go to visit the Reno PD. The cop who busted Haskell shows them into the house where Tolliver was whacked. Even though there wasn't a body, they matched the blood drops to Tolliver's DNA. There was also a partial shoe tread in Tolliver's blood. The Reno guy says Tolliver was 17 when Haskell was killing people, so he wonders what the connection to the Dick and Jane Killer is. Nick says they don't know yet. They look around and notice he was a collector of sorts and wonder if he's into murderabilia, and how he got his hands on Joel Steiner's Star of David pendant since his body was never found.

They continue searching the house and upload photos of items they find which Riley then matches to other victims from Haskell: a pair of glasses, a letter from a letterman jacket, a Pearl Jam concert ticket.

Grissom is telling Stokes and Catherine that Haskell's attorneys were arguing that another person was involved during the trial and that was when Haskell changed his plea to guilty. They now think Gerald Tolliver might have been an accomplice.

Greg is examining the tread from the scene and comes up with a match to the S&M murder from a few weeks back that went unsolved. He tells Grissom, Stokes, and Catherine, he thinks it's a DJK copycat since the guy in the S&M case had 9 post-mortem stab wounds. Nick thinks it's weird that this guy also killed a DJK accomplice that no one knew existed until now.

Brass is telling Grissom he's pulled all the info on the DJK- apparently he gave a lot of TV interviews- and the detectives are going through it. He does the so long, farewell shuffle with Grissom. A cop comes in with info about DJK doing a video conference criminology seminar at a university. Grissom is going in to observe as a "visiting professor" and they'll keep his real ID under wraps from the actual professor who is ... Dr. Raymond Langston (Laurence Fishburne).

In the classroom Langston welcomes all the other "murder freaks." He tells them that serial killers are generally white males under 35, but he regales with the tale of a mother and daugther who killed and ate babies and a pair of chimpanzees appears on the video screen. At the prison Haskell is being brought into a room for the conference. He unveils the "face of evil" as Haskell comes up on the screen.

Langston asks about his dad. He was a mean, miserable, son of a bitch. His mother? Was that the lady who lived with them? He killed his first small animal, a cat, at 9. Langston reprimands him for playing games. Haskell says he will be honest. He says he didn't like Haskell's book. (I thought Haskell said he did not like Langston's book) Langston asks about his first kill. Haskell says it's too intimate for this stage of their relationship. A student asks about his selection process. Haskell says nobody knows, but something spoke to him. Another asks about pre-meditation fantasies. He says he had them. Grissom asks if he shared any info with a buddy. Haskell says he had no buddies. Langston looks askance at Grissom. Haskell says these days he mostly has fans. Haskell says he knows Grissom isn't a student. Grissom claims he teaches sociology. Langston asks him his definition of fun. Haskell says taking something away from somebody, like a nice Jewish girl.

Greg is explaining that the guy from the S&M case had tickets to three consecutive Paramore concerts and Nick points out one DJK vic had recently attended a Pearl Jam show. So, Catherine says, maybe the killer picks his vics at concerts. Nick checked with an online ticket service and the Paramore tix for the first night weren't used but were for another night, after S&M guy was dead.

Back at the seminar Haskell says no one ever asked him where the female vics were. Langston says to tell them now, what's he got to lose. He says when he took the women they stopped being who they were and became what he wanted, his. He's asked if any tried to resist or fight back. A couple did say Haskell. A young man asks how he controlled them. Haskell's eyes widens at the young man and says not with force and that he's returning to the Jewish theme even though he also killed Catholics and atheists. He talks about the Holocaust and how the concentration camp victims were handled by being given false hope, since most people will grab onto that and then you can do whatever you want. And he did.

A phone rings, Langston answers. The seminar ends for the day and Langston looks again at Grissom. A young man asks a female student if she wants to get a drink. She agrees.

Greg and the video guy are looking at clips from the Paramore show that the killer presumably attended. They know where the tickets were and look in that area. They find dudes who work at a car wash. They go and ask where they got the tickets. They say a scalper: some skinny white dude. One has the ticket stub.

They run the stub at the lab and come up with several prints. They get a match for the dead S&M guy and another dude, a criminal named Curtis Keesey. They go to his trailer and find him dead, covered in maggots.

Examining him at the lab Grissom is psyched about the maggots and insects. David says Grissom's going to miss this. Grissom says there are bugs everywhere but that he will miss David. David gets teary and walks out.

Catherine and Nick are matching Keesey's tire tracks to the S&M murder. He was likely the wheel man, not the killer, since his shoeprints don't match.

Catherine, Greg, and Nick are trying to put the pieces together between the DJK copycat murder of the S&M couple and the ones of the people associated with them: Tolliver and Keesey. They think maybe the new murderer was an old DJK accomplice who was doing time and when he got out was annoyed that Tolliver, also an old helper had become a police informant. He killed Tolliver and got the "taste" again, especially since his master, Haskell, was in jail.

At the second day of the seminar Langston asks Haskell about what he did right and wrong. Haskell says he didn't want to get caught. Grissom calls him careless, saying someone as meticulous as him wouldn't be so careless as to let himself get caught at the sobriety checkpoint. Haskell asks if there are any other questions from anyone else. Grissom continues saying Haskell is of average height and weight and not overly muscular and says his male victims were big, how was he able to overpower the men while controlling the women. Haskell says Grissom should tell him since he clearly has a theory. Grissom says he thinks he had help. Haskell says the works of great men are hard to comprehend. Langston presses him about the accomplice thing. Haskell details his torturous evils and says he did them alone and Joel Steiner's mother barges in and starts yelling at Haskell asking where her son is. Haskell says he's not going to tell and that Joel is in the perfect place. She starts to cry. Grissom asks again about accomplices saying if they knew who they were they might be able to upgrade him from solitary. Haskell pegs him for a cop. Langston kills the feed.

Later he reads Brass the riot act about letting Grissom into his class. He's mad saying he should've known and he would've been willing to help find this new copycat killer. Grissom says he's sure that's true and that he'll keep him informed. Langston leaves grumpily. Grissom exposits to Brass that Langston is an M.D. from back east who was a staff pathologist at a hospital where a doctor performed "angel of death" services on 27 patients before getting caught. All the morbidity info came across Langston's desk but he didn't connect the dots.

In his office that night Langston gets a call from Haskell, who says it's his lucky night. He tells Langston to look out the window. He says he's in the parking lot. Langston looks and Haskell says "made you look." Haskell says he wants to talk about Mrs. Steiner. Langston makes an excuse and calls Grissom, Haskell is on to him but talks anyway saying that looking at the scared faces in the classroom made him yearn to be out in the world and when Mrs. Steiner had her moment it got him thinking about closure which is what they'll find at the corner of a stretch of highway in Hasbrook. As we hear him talk about the location we see cops racing to the scene and discovering a skeleton. Joel Steiner. And if they're lucky, says Haskell, something else. Nick calls Grissom away from the skeleton and they discover a fresh body with ten stab wounds. Brass, leaning over, says he guesses Grissom won't be leaving just yet.

To Be Continued...


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