CSI: Crime Scene Investigation s03e06 Episode Script

The Execution of Catherine Willows

(phone ringing) Let's go! We have a stay of execution.
We've got 30 seconds to revive him.
Grissom a stay.
New evidence appeal: Hair analysis.
I already overnighted the six pubic hairs found on the victim to Norfolk Department of Criminal Justice for mitochondrial DNA analysis.
Defense thinks DNA's a magic pill for exoneration.
I doubt if it's going to change the outcome.
You don't know what I'm talking about.
Not really.
People v.
John Mathers.
Western LVU.
I was a rookie Three dead coeds? All sexually assaulted, but no semen was found.
Suspected he wore a condom.
Dumped in garbage bags.
Case with the strongest evidence was victim number three: Charlene Roth.
Mathers, a campus security guard, got Murder One for that.
When are you going to get the test back? I put a rush on it.
Is this your first one? First to exhaust all of his appeals and get an execution date.
How many have you had? Two.
So, how do you feel about it? Mathers was convicted and sent to death row by a jury of his peers.
I played a small part.
I presented my findings Nonresponsive.
I haven't figured out how I feel yet.
It's just about evidence.
It's not up to you whether he lives or dies.
A case has no face.
Oops did a welfare check on this residence.
A girl, 17, didn't show up for work, and they found Dad passed out on the sofa in a blood-soaked T-shirt.
Did he have anything to say about his daughter? Mr.
Reston, uh can't remember what day it is.
Claims he was in a bar fight.
"Pass" test? His blood alcohol level is.
Ooh alcoholic.
Lucky me.
(loudly) Hey, buddy, this is Sara Sidle of the Las Vegas Crime Lab.
She's going to ask you some questions.
Sir, I need your shirt, and I need to see your hands.
Shirt and hands! (TV playing) Hey.
People are pigs.
Don't insult the pigs, Nick.
They're actually very clean.
And this would be the girl's room.
Doesn't even seem like the same house.
Dead bolts on her bedroom door.
Trying to keep something out.
A bedroom refrigerator? There's milk, fruit A toaster? Guess they weren't much on family dinners.
Nick? A Gi and a black belt.
Trained in the art of self-defense.
(sighs) I'll bag it.
I heard Mathers had an I.
In his arm, and everything, when that call came in.
Never had a death penalty case get that far.
Just working it all out? Yeah.
Old case, new eyes, new technology.
This evidence was processed, what, 15 years ago? That was before DNA.
Now that the case has been reopened, I can reevaluate all three murders.
We always thought Mathers was good for the other two but, if they overturn Charlene Roth with the new DNA, we can go back and try Mathers with the other two murders with the new evidence.
Keep Mathers in prison.
You pro or con? Pro, if he did it.
The applications sucks, though.
There's a lot of brown skin on that row.
What about you? I try not to give it much thought.
I stick to the work.
Really? Campus police found the victim Charlene Roth in this trash bag.
Trash bag, yeah.
I was looking at that.
Processed with superglue, rhodamine, laser.
No prints found though.
Who's working the print lab tonight? Franco.
Just off of days.
Hey, I hear you're cheating on me with an out-of-state DNA analyst.
Apples and oranges, Greg.
hair samples, no roots, room- temperature storage.
Room temp? Yeah.
That's how we stored hair evidence back then.
Microscopy was king.
Really? I thought Elvis was king.
And you are how old? Age is irrelevant in our relationship.
Maybe so, but face it, Greg you just don't have the equipment.
The government results won't give you an individual profile, and you can't put them through OODIS.
Well, maternal lineage is good enough on this one.
No one else on Mathers' mother's side is a suspect.
So, if it's a match, the stay is lifted, he's back in the chamber.
If not, we're back in court.
Jacqui, I'm so glad you're back on nights.
Got a good one for you.
Trash bag? Love it.
Give it some vacuum metal deposition.
Hottest thing going for plastic.
If there's anything to be found, my machine'll find it.
And, um super-rush.
You're in a race with the federal lab.
Make my night; love to compete with the Feds.
You and me need to catch up.
How's Lindsey? Second grade, tons of homework.
Lucky for her she got your smarts, not Eddie's.
Now I know why I missed you so much.
So, page me as soon as you're done.
Putting you up first.
You owe me a beer.
Somebody's been digging.
Laser sight.
Slide's missing.
Reston was a bit of a garage tinkerer.
Drunks with guns.
Empty box.
He didn't have any kind of weapon on him.
Okay, we're into it.
I'm going to take Reston's shirt back to Greg.
Do me a favor? Inside bloody towel, bagged and tagged.
You got it.
Oof! After this place, I need a shower.
(board creaks) There's our M11.
Two remaining.
One in the chamber.
Modified to fully automatic.
Up to 14 rounds expended and unaccounted for.
Missing girl's old man's got blood all over him.
Blood in her room I think it's time for dear old dad to go to detox.
I would like a vanilla ice soy blended latte, please.
Willows? Yes? Sally Roth.
My husband, Tom, heard from a friend that you came here.
I'm sorry.
Do I know you? We're Charlene Roth's parents.
And Mrs.
I'm sorry.
I didn't recognize you.
We were just wondering if you had any news.
You know, any news has to go through the Attorney General's office.
I can't divulge any information on an open case.
He was convicted.
It is not an open case to us.
I was confident at trial.
I'm still confident.
The evidence is solid.
If the court overturns the conviction We just can't go through another trial.
(phone rings) Uh well, you will have an answer very soon.
I'm sure of it.
Excuse me.
I need to go.
What's going on? I'm not on call.
I know.
I called you because your name's on the memo.
Which memo? Young female, bound, trash bag.
Copycats come out of the woodwork every time there's an execution.
Mather's attorney is going to have a field day.
Come on, Cath.
Everybody liked Mathers for the Kent and Reese cases, but the DA wouldn't file because he already had a slam dunk with Charlene Roth.
How many times can you fry a guy? Right.
Maintenance guy thought it was trash.
He picked it up, it ripped open.
Body dump.
Just like 15 years ago.
(buzzing) You ready for me? Not yet.
May I? Sure.
What do you think this is? That's Grissom's bailiwick, not mine.
That's what I was thinking bug.
What you got? Two-fer.
Looks like some kind of a bug casing, and black fibers.
She's all yours, David.
Okay, guys, let's clear.
How come I get you? Grissom says it's precautionary in case Mathers gets overturned and you get swamped.
Well, I'm glad to have the help.
This looks familiar.
A little too familiar.
Let's figure out how she got here.
(beeping) (beeping rapidly) Hey, Gris.
Found a density change.
The screen's showing something.
What's your depth estimate? Two and a half feet.
Oh, dear.
Shovels and screens, chutes and ladders.
A little more.
There we go.
She's in rigor.
At least 12 hours.
Get out your ten card and print her.
But look out for this blue paint.
Catherine's going to need to see it.
Well, we got something else to hold Reston on: Illegal burial of a domestic animal.
I'll cover him back up.
So Debbie Reston never showed up at work, and she's not buried in the backyard.
Where did Debbie go? I don't know her schedule.
She works, goes to school.
I hardly ever see her.
She's 17.
She lives in your house.
You're going to have to do better than that.
Stuck-up bitch is ashamed of me.
Can't wait to graduate high school and move out.
She's already got a job: Coffee shop.
Got a car.
What kind of car? VW convertible, blue.
And, as a concerned parent, you're going to ask me to put out a broadcast, aren't you? Whatever.
Is the car in her name or yours? I'm going to need a license plate number.
Are you listening to me? I just left Greg in DNA.
Blood on Reston's shirt is his own.
Blood on the towel? Eight markers match.
Family member.
There's only two people in the house.
It's probably Debbie's, but there isn't that much blood on the towel.
So what? Innocuous injury? That's what I'm thinking.
You got kids? They think it's all about them.
Like I owe her.
Well, you owe your daughter more than being a drunk.
You know, I think maybe jail might be the best thing for you right now.
I think she just took off like her mother.
Can you believe this guy? I wouldn't blame his kid if she just took off.
Catherine and I got a case at the university dead female.
Prints just came back.
Matches your missing girl, Debbie Reston.
Brass just put a broadcast out on her car.
Then my guys will find it.
They're posting her now.
Crazy world out there.
Sorry I'm late.
So, where are we? Debbie Reston, 17.
She was taking a night class at Western LVU.
Prereq for early admission.
So, technically, she was a Western LVU student.
Just like Mathers' other victims.
Thought Mathers was on death row.
Doc, you were here back then.
Tell me why this one's different.
Suspect must be intimately familiar with the minutiae of the prior cases.
What's identical: Cause of death strangulation.
Bruising on her wrists, plastic zip tie, navy-blue paint.
There is one new element: Defensive wounds on the hands.
Whatever she grabbed onto shattered and caused these lacerations.
Is that before or after she got the paint on her hands? After.
One of these cuts sliced right through the paint.
The paint was there first.
It's still wet.
She's been dead at least 12 hours, right? Right.
What kind of paint doesn't dry in 12 hours, I wonder.
(whirring) Ms.
Willows? I heard you're investigating the murder at Western LVU.
Female, young, bound, dumped in a trash bag.
(clearing throat) You know that I can't confirm or deny any information regarding an active investigation.
Excuse me.
Willows, my client's life is on the line here.
We've always maintained John Mathers' innocence.
Campbell, I have no personal opinion about your client.
I tested the evidence in his case, and that evidence failed to exonerate him.
Before DNA.
Before the real killer struck again.
You are going to test the pubic hair sent to the federal lab against the new suspect What suspect? I can't help you.
You CSIs are biased for the prosecution.
You decide ahead of time how you want the evidence to come out.
Campbell, I am only an interpreter of the evidence.
I know how to make the evidence speak to me.
I don't care about the outcome.
How about guilt or innocence? John was 15 seconds from execution.
Sure you're not biased? I hear the same evidence speaking.
You know what it's telling me? The killer's still out there.
It's Debbie Reston's car.
Looks like you and I are officially running with the same case.
Yeah? It's got to be the cleanest tape lift I've ever seen.
There's no stains of any kind in this car.
Whatever happened to her happened after she left her car.
Debbie Reston was taking Economics 101, Never missed a class before last night.
Well, this is my alma mater.
Econ 101 that's Sabian Hall.
It's a long walk from here, but I know the way.
(beeping) I'll have to catch up with you.
It's still wet.
What's the first thing you'd do if you got paint on your hands? Wash it off.
We found glass in the lacerations on her right hand.
I'll see if I can get a match from this.
He painted the railing and just waited by the water fountain.
Victim was like a fly in a spiderweb.
We just learned something we didn't know about the prior murders.
What the paint was all about.
And, if we just learned about it now, how did the copycat killer know? Looks like Debbie isn't the only one who got paint on her hands.
Well, maybe he was waiting till he saw the girl he wanted.
That's creepy.
I'll call the fire department, get a circular saw, take this back to the lab.
I've got a backpack.
Wallet Debbie Reston.
Credit cards money, keys.
Not what he was looking for.
What are you doing? I found pieces of this in the victim's hair.
What's it look like to you? What does it sound like? With the exception of the termite queen, the cicada is the longest-living insect.
Spends 17 years dormant underground, and then the cicada nymph emerges and sheds its skin.
As adults, they flit around for about five weeks of activity in the hot sun, and then they die.
They spend their whole lives waiting for the end.
Not unlike death row.
(high-pitched whirring) This is the spot.
You can see the path and the rail.
Well, and if she was trying to clean off her right hand in this fountain, she would have had to be in this position.
And he waited till her back was turned came up behind her.
I found some more glass.
Looks polarized.
Well, lightbulb glass isn't polarized.
Eyeglasses are.
You know, she was a black belt.
Maybe she fought back.
That would explain why she had defensive wounds and none of the other victims did.
(yelling) Sorry about the "no print" results on the Mathers' case.
Make it up to me.
I got a new case.
New bag.
(electrical crackling) It's only a partial, but I've gotten a hit off less.
Hey, you know that black fiber that Catherine pulled from Debbie Reston's hair? Yeah.
It's trilobal.
Vehicle upholstery.
It's not from her car.
The upholstery is gray.
That's good for us.
She was killed at the water fountain, but the body was dumped at the library.
You can't carry a body in plain sight on campus, even at night.
Odds are decent we're looking at a fiber from the killer's vehicle.
Generic Chevy.
Well, that kind of narrows it down.
The glass on the left is not polarized.
There's no color change.
What, from the busted security light? Yeah.
The one found in the path.
Not the one found in her hand.
Okay, the guy broke the bulb on purpose.
Gives him an advantage cover of darkness.
I'll buy that, but the glass on the right was the one extracted from the cuts on her hand.
And it matches the glass that Catherine found near the water fountain.
Confirms that Debbie fought with her attacker.
Suspect's minus one point two five.
What is that, 20/80? That's like half of mine.
It's not much of a correction.
We're looking for a guy with a 20/80 prescription who drives a Chevy with black interior.
Got your report from the Feds.
Why did it come to you? Because they returned the DNA evidence to me.
I took a look at the results.
Didn't think you'd mind.
I do.
All six hairs are a match to Mathers.
He raped and murdered Charlene Roth.
Dead bang.
Good night, John.
How are you coming with that twist tie, Greg? The new case? Yeah.
Working on it.
Keep working on it.
Slam dunk on Mathers.
The paint on Debbie Reston's hands Yeah? oil-based blue.
Oil-based? That's for canvases, not railings.
Not only that.
It was mixed with 30-weight motor oil.
Which isn't a component of any commercial paint.
As an additive, however keeps paint from drying.
Okay he knew what he was doing.
Expanding his window of opportunity.
Hopefully from his paintbrush.
And the paint matches Western LVU shade of blue.
He knows a lot about paint.
He knows a lot about that campus.
I don't know what I can tell you.
I've only been here since '95.
Well, is there anyone in the art department who was here when the first murders took place? A couple of the guys predate me.
I'll ask around.
Are any of these brushes made with badger hair? We artists covet our brushes.
That's Russian blue squirrel Japanese synthetic badger.
In the oil paint sample we collected, we found both badger hair and nylon bristles.
Anyone who's studied art would never use nylon with oils unless they were using the paint for something else.
When brushes age, they shed hairs.
Then, if they used a nylon brush the next time Say I wanted a badger hair paintbrush where would I buy one? Student Union sells them.
Most art stores.
You can get them cheaper on the Internet.
I was admiring your frames.
The results are back on the zip tie you removed from Debbie Reston's wrists.
No foreign epithelials, but I did find an errant hair, DNA tag still attached.
It's not Debbie Reston's.
Catherine asked me to cross-check everything with the old cases.
It actually belongs to Janet Kent.
Janet Kent the first victim? I know.
So Janet Kent's killer saved some of her hair and planted it on Debbie Reston 15 years later on the night that John Mathers was set to be executed.
John Mathers is the copycat.
And the original killer's still out there playing a really twisted game.
Mathers' execution's back on.
The Roths have asked me to sit with them.
Is that a good idea? I just need to do it.
Why? It's like your first autopsy your first murdered child.
You can make it through that, you can keep doing this work.
All the paints match all the victims except for Charlene Roth.
See, being capable of matching paint samples that are 15 years apart that's why I keep doing this work.
Well, that's the difference between you and me.
Dean of the art school came up with a name a Cody Lewis.
He was a grad student at WLVU in the late '80s, same time the three girls were murdered.
He left just after the Roth case for a post-doc in Louisiana.
Where is he now? WLVU since September.
He's an assistant professor there.
So you like to paint dead girls? I paint what I feel.
Yeah, sure.
You know, you're an artist.
So back in '87, when you painted this girl, what were you feeling? That you wanted her to die? What's the subject matter this week? More dead girls? I haven't been doing a lot of painting lately.
So it's just a coincidence that another coed gets murdered right after you show up in Vegas, right? Listen, I painted that Right after that second girl was murdered Marjorie something.
Really affected me.
Affected everyone.
Yeah, but it affected you more because you knew the first victim.
Janet Kent.
Yeah, I knew Janet.
Come on, Cody, man.
You two had a thing.
We had a date.
I took her to a Springsteen show.
We had drinks afterwards, and that was that was it.
So, what, did she reject you? Did she give you the, "Cody, we can still be friends"? That speech? No.
Never got that far.
I was just wondering because some guys can't take "no" for an answer.
But that's not you, right? Okay, I'm getting this to Trace.
Hey, check out the vehicle's upholstery.
It's black and it's a Chevy We got nothing.
Nobody cleans a car this good.
There is no evidence that Debbie Reston was transported in this vehicle.
Still doesn't rule out Cody Lewis as a suspect.
You got to wonder when a guy gives it up this easily.
Prints, DNA, his car Yeah, well maybe he's thinks he's some kind of smart guy, you know, covering all the bases.
Or maybe he didn't do it.
What's that? His prints don't match the partial on the Debbie Reston trash bag.
Ammonia in case anyone starts to feel unsteady.
I keep racking my brain, going over these unsolved murder cases.
And I keep coming back to the fact that they're 15 years apart.
That means he's either out of town or in the joint.
Why wouldn't he take his business to some other college if it was only about young girls? It's got to be personal.
He wanted to kill those girls.
(heart beating) (steady tone) I mean, I don't know much about bugs, but most animals hunt in their own backyard.
True of insects, as well.
You know why? It's where they feel most comfortable.
And where they can blend in the best.
This guy had ties to Western LVU.
He paints a railing on a campus walkway.
I tried it; took me about five minutes.
My guys were all over that school.
Nobody remembers seeing anything.
Probably because there wasn't much to see.
He must've looked as though he belonged.
Like the insects, he blended in.
(sighs heavily) Yeah.
You off the clock? I guess.
(protesters yelling) He's going to kill again.
And all we've got is a partial fingerprint and an M.
That may lead us in the right direction.
You know, sometimes, in this job, I'd rather be lucky than good.
Maybe, next time, we'll get lucky.
I don't believe in luck.
My only real purpose is to be smarter than the bad guys, to find the evidence that they didn't know they left behind, and make sense of it all.
Makes me very uncomfortable to realize that this guy may be smarter than me.