CSI: Crime Scene Investigation s03e17 Episode Script

Crash and Burn

(pop beat plays) (chatting indistinctly) I need the free time I need to get away I need the free time (yelling and screaming) (glass shattering) (yelling) (furniture breaking) (siren wailing in distance) (indistinct background radio communication) Yeah, yeah.
All right.
Yeah, hold on, hold on.
Happy hour.
Joint was packed.
Two fatalities, four critical.
How about the driver? Nonresponsive.
Let's hurry it up here.
I've got a GOS of three.
I need to intubate.
She's pretty shocky right now.
Hey, Sara.
Typical Thursday.
Hank? Your wrist is broken.
Yeah, it is.
Larry, take over, will you? I've got it, Hank.
The car's dry.
This must've happened right before the rain.
What happened? I was sitting at the table.
Next thing I knew I got a heartbeat! Excuse me.
All right, I got it.
It's pretty weak.
Some happy hour, huh? I think happy hour's over.
(siren whoops) (indistinct background radio communication) (helicopter flying overhead) Mind if I take over? No, go ahead.
You okay? Yeah.
I didn't think I'd see you tonight.
So that's what all this is about.
Any time.
Listen, I got to head over to the hospital, and I'm sure you got to get back to work.
Yeah, but will you call me if you need anything? My cell will be on.
(siren blares) You and Catherine are running the evidence on this.
Warrick just got done with Internal Affairs.
He's on his way.
You need to talk to the restaurant manager, too.
Anything else? No.
Where are you going? I got gas.
Residential gas leak in Henderson.
Are you the restaurant manager? Yes.
I'm Sara Sidle, Crime Lab.
Oh, hi, Fred Lychock.
Ooh, sorry.
Um your supervisor asked for a seating chart.
Everything's computerized software program.
This here'll show you the number of people per table.
Where were you during the crash? I was at the register, behind the bar.
Did you see anything? A blurry Jaguar speeding through the intersection.
(car accelerating) I thought the car would slow down, but it just kept right on coming.
If you ask me, that's the reason why old people don't belong behind the wheel.
Yeah, l-I didn't ask you.
Thanks for your time.
I'm sorry.
I got wrapped up in Hank.
An old Jaguar with a GPS unit.
That's strange.
Yeah, not your granny's Oldsmobile.
We're cleared to go in? Yeah.
Gas company shut off the valve at the street.
Paramedics aired out the scene.
Homicide radioed in a D.
? Vanessa Arnz.
She's in the master bedroom, next to the son's room.
The gas company spikes its natural gas with mercaptan smells like rotten eggs.
I don't smell anything.
All's I smell is mothballs and stale tobacco.
Science geek.
Takes one to know one, I guess.
Hello, David.
She's hot pink, like a maraschino.
Makes our job easier.
Death was not the result of natural gas inhalation.
No, but carbon monoxide's still gas.
Right, when carbon monoxide displaces oxygen in the blood, victim asphyxiates, turns pink.
Was Mr.
Arnz in bed with her? Uh, yeah.
Paramedics said they found them both in here.
So why is she dead and he's alive? You know, Dave, when I was a CSI-One, I would've tried to answer that, but now I know "where" before "why.
" First step, find the source of the O.
I'll grab the Nighthawk, fire it up.
Arnz has been stabilized.
They're preparing him for transport.
I want to take a look at him.
I wake up in the middle of the night sometimes, if I get cold.
Vanessa steals the covers.
Uh, I woke up and my head was spinning.
I think I'm coming down with something.
Then I look over at her (gasping) Vanessa.
(clattering) (phone dialing) My wife isn't breathing.
Do you remember anything else? No, I don't remember hanging up the phone.
I must've passed out.
Next thing I know the paramedics are taking me out.
We got to roll.
Patient will be at Desert Palm.
Wait a minute.
What about my boy? Peter seems fine.
The kid's 18.
Signed an AMA.
Peter my name's Gil Grissom.
I'm with the Las Vegas Crime Lab.
You want to ask me questions.
I was in my bedroom, asleep.
I heard the doorbell.
It was the paramedics.
A few minutes later, the police showed up.
I'm very sorry about what happened to your mother.
Why are you sorry? You're not responsible.
You didn't know her.
You don't know me.
Technician to Radiology.
Technician to Radiology.
How's she doing? Doctors are working on her right now.
Doesn't look good.
Relative? Driver's been I.
'd as Diane Lambert.
That's her grandson Corey.
Hi, Corey? Hey.
I'm, uh, Sara Sidle.
I'm with the Las Vegas Crime Lab.
Do you mind if I ask you a couple questions? I don't even know why she was in Las Vegas.
We live in Laughlin.
She hates it here.
Corey, um did your grandmother own a Jaguar? Yeah (sniffles) Yeah, she won it in the, uh, quarter slots.
First two coins and bingo.
Triple stars.
She also win the GPS? No.
She hadn't been driving it much.
Uh, she got lost a couple times and it scared her, so for her birthday last month, I bought her the unit.
Can you excuse me for a second? Yeah.
And the EMT of the year award goes to Not me.
Death toll's now three.
Could climb to four.
Elaine the girl in the wheelchair she's one of the lucky ones.
You were amazing.
Eight years in the rig, first time I've actually been a part of the scene.
I can't stop it going through my head.
Yeah, you never know when your life's going to change.
Listen, I I got to get out of here.
You need a lift? No, I drove.
Hank? I'm really glad you're okay.
Plenty of tire treads, but nothing looks fresh.
So you going to tell me how it went? I got called in by Internal Affairs.
How do you think it went? Too many questions.
I wish I could've pleaded the Fifth.
Yeah, you don't answer their questions, you're looking at more days off without pay, and that blows.
It's a red light camera.
Did any of the witnesses see the driver run the red light? Nobody mentioned it, but the camera's there.
Big Brother knows.
I'll put in a call.
Motor Oil.
Now, that looks fresh.
(car accelerating) (metallic clank) Hitting the curb could've caused the car to buck.
Traffic light, intersection, curb.
Well, either the car wasn't working, or the driver wasn't.
Looks like the newspaper dispenser used to be here.
(car accelerating) (metallic clank) Catherine.
Tire treads.
That kills one theory.
Oar's brakes must've been working.
She tried to stop, but it was too late.
Let me guess: No air bags in the vehicle.
Preliminary cause of death, epidural hematoma.
Her head impacted the steering wheel.
(glass shattering) Blood accumulated between the table of the skull and the dural membrane.
Her injury is consistent with a severed middle meningeal artery.
What about pre-impact? At the risk of feeding a stereotype, she was 72.
Any indication of stroke, Alzheimer's, heart attack? I considered and dismissed all age-related factors.
No arthritis, no significant impairment of her senses.
She has had part of her colon removed, probably due to injury or prior medical condition, but, Sara, it's irrelevant to your case.
I found no physiological explanation for the crash.
Well, that's a bummer, 'cause at this point, we got no forensic one, either.
Carbon monoxide fills the air when any carbon-based substance is ignited.
(detector beeps slowly) The kid checks out, so the point of ignition's probably this room.
Now, the two most common causes for accidental household O.
Poisoning: Unvented space heaters and improperly maintained chimneys.
I don't see any heaters.
My dad's a fireman.
Last Christmas, he gave all the kids O.
(beeping faster) Would've saved this woman's life.
That's the highest reading in the room.
This is a natural gas burning fireplace.
Burns clean.
Fumes should be minimal at best.
Foreign substance.
Still warm.
There was something other than natural gas burning in here.
If the gas company hadn't shut off the gas, whatever that is probably would've burned up.
Chimneys are designed to funnel smoke up and out.
If this fireplace was the source of the O.
, the fumes should've traveled up the chimney instead of permeating the room.
Unless the chimney isn't doing its job.
(clanging) The damper's busted.
(creaking) Foreign fuel source and a compromised chimney I think we just ruled out accident.
Hey, I hear you're working on Hank's case.
I believe it's my case.
You know, guys don't like that.
You're crowding me, Greg.
Well, I have some information that could bring us even closer.
But you first.
What are we looking at? I downloaded the memory from the GPS in the Jaguar.
She wasn't a local; I wanted to see if she got lost.
Well, did she? Diane Lambert lives in Laughlin.
Excuse me.
She took 95 North to Summerlin Parkway.
Then she took Parkway to Rampart, made a left on Main Street and headed straight to Meadows Lane That's where she was going, and that's where she ended up.
So does that thing tell you why? What do you have, Greg? Well, maybe she had the munchies.
Tox screen came back.
Lambert tested positive for cannabis sativa.
Grass? "Grass"? So '70s, man.
Sticky green, the dank.
The chronic, the cush, happy stick, wacky-tobaccy Well, wait, wait, wait.
Grandma was high? Yeah.
Grandma was high.
(inhales) As a kite.
Return visit, huh? You're here about the tox screen.
Was Diane Lambert legally impaired? Less than two nanograms of THO, so, per NIDA, she wasn't.
But, if she were a longtime user, her reaction time could've been slowed down, right? I know where you're going.
Let me stop you.
THO has no significant cumulative effect, so maybe the question you should be asking is: Why was a woman her age doping up? Okay, why was a woman her age doping up? Tell you what check out her optic nerve.
Nerve's damaged.
She had glaucoma.
I thought you said she was in good health.
That was before the tox screen came back.
You know, it's not standard procedure to check for glaucoma, but the Mary Jane tipped me off.
People think it slows the progression of the disease, but it just reduces the pressure in the eye and that reduction's only temporary.
Prescription medications do a much better job.
Unfortunately, they don't have the same side effects.
Her vision could've been impaired by the glaucoma.
It didn't affect her driving.
Sara, Diane Lambert has nothing more to tell you.
(beeping) Hello.
Oh, hey.
So, I got photos of the restaurant patrons off the DMV database and input the information per the restaurant seating chart and the police report.
Who's Elaine Alcott? Who? Oh, well, she was seated with Hank.
I just thought maybe that Oh.
Anyway, um Apparently, she told PD that she was returning from the ladies' room at the time of the impact.
They must be friends.
I saw him with her at the hospital.
Um okay, so, we've got Healthcare, a block away.
Another ten were from the brokerage firm across the street, a couple of regulars, a few out-of-towners and restaurant employees.
You know how long it takes to get in touch with anybody at the Transportation Safety Bureau? It's way out of hand.
Diane Lambert ran the light.
She sped through that intersection That's more than twice the speed limit.
Well, the tread marks tell us that her brakes did work, so it must've been something else that malfunctioned, causing her to accelerate.
Gas pedal could've gotten stuck, or throttle plate could've jammed.
There's only one way to find out.
I'm on it.
You have, uh Don't worry about it.
How's it going? You find anything? No.
Oar checks out perfectly.
Well, I did some more digging down at the TSB.
I found out that the red light camera that photo'd our driver catches four times as many violators as any other camera in Vegas.
Intersection's dangerous.
Could be a death trap.
I didn't page you.
No, I just figured I'd come by.
You're checking up on me again.
No, I'm checking up on my evidence.
(sighs) Do you think, if you hover, the FTIR will work faster? Yeah Hodges, that's what I think.
Hey, boss.
(printer whirring) Nice timing.
Foreign substance in the fireplace is carbon.
Associated minerals? None.
Pure, unadulterated carbon.
It may be pure, but it's not solid.
Sample's under the scope.
Activated charcoal? Used in filtration systems, kitty litter, some medications And possibly a murder.
Building has mirrored glass on it.
Lets in the light, but keeps out the glare.
Sun sets in the west behind us.
Glare could be pretty intense in the afternoon.
Could explain why this intersection is so dangerous.
So you think the sun was a factor in the crash? Well, according to the accident report, the sun set at 5:30 yesterday.
The accident was at 5:15, so the sun was still in the sky.
Trees and buildings extend at least ten degrees above the western horizon.
All right, well, there's 24 hours in a day, in the Earth's rotation.
about 15 degrees an hour.
At 5:15 yesterday, the sun would've been about what above the horizon? Wow, you're fast.
Then the sun was behind the trees at the time of the accident, so it was not a factor.
And our investigation is still in the dark.
(rock music blaring) (music stops) I just got a page from James Watson.
And I got one from Francis Crick.
What's going on, Greg? Well, as you both know, Watson and Crick are the granddaddies of DNA.
Without their discoveries, I'd have nothing to do all day.
What have you been doing all day? A tox report on your d.
, Ms.
Pretty in Pink.
She died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Blood saturation level of 46.
No surprise there.
Nicotine levels are high she was a smoker.
And she popped a couple of sleeping pills that night.
Nothing probative.
Well, what if I told you that Mr.
Arnz had a carbon monoxide blood saturation level of 37% nearly ten percent lower than his wife.
Arnz was a smoker.
Typically, a smoker's blood is already 10% saturated with O.
You mean smokers get a jump start on the poisoning process? Could explain the 10% difference.
It could also explain why he lived and she died.
Nice theory, but what if I told you that Mr.
Arnz had high nicotine levels as well.
They were both smokers.
Still doesn't explain why one lived and one died.
Well, I don't know if this is going to help, but the sleeping pills are Zolpidem.
Prescription only.
I thought I'd save you some time, talked to Lockwood.
She didn't have a prescription, but her husband does.
Thanks, Greg.
(rock music blaring) Hey, check this out.
The red light camera clocked her speed at 52 miles per hour, right? Mm-hmm.
The computer software pegged her at 60 by the time she hits the newspaper dispenser.
She accelerated into the building.
You already reviewed the driver's tox screen.
Now you want her basic blood panel.
I'm running with a hunch.
Let's go.
All righty.
Acetylcholine levels were low, epinephrine was high.
Why are you focused on those hormones? Kamikaze pilots, World War Il their bloodwork was very unusual.
Acetylcholine levels were low, epinephrine was through the roof.
Well, you're talking about the sympathetic response to stress eyes dilate, uh heart rate goes up, hormones go haywire.
Diane Lambert lived two hours away.
If she drove her car into Vegas with the intention of using it as a murder weapon, I imagine she would be pretty stressed out.
Kamikaze Granny.
(door bells jingling) Isaac Asimov one of my favorite writers.
"If knowledge can create problems, then it is not through ignorance that we will solve them.
" Is that what you're doing here? Solving problems? It's my job to figure out what happened to your mother.
Scientists derive satisfaction from figuring out the puzzle.
It's about the quest not the grail.
Asimov believed that only scientists could understand the universe.
His corollary: "It's not so much that I have confidence in scientists being right" "But that I have so much confidence in nonscientists being wrong.
" You a scientist? Yeah.
I am.
Peter? The boxes won't unload themselves.
Peter and I were hoping to get back into the house tonight.
No, no.
Not tonight, sir.
It's still an active crime scene.
Our lab found Zolpidem in your wife's system That's twice the recommended dosage.
Do you know anything about that? Well Vanessa was having trouble sleeping.
The, uh prescription is in your name.
Are you accusing me of something? No.
We're just telling you what we know.
Look, uh (sighs) Ever since this discount chain opened a branch down the block, I been working just trying to survive.
And I'd go home, and Vanessa would come at me.
You're always tired.
You never talk to me.
Y-You need to communicate with me.
You know, I have needs.
I'm here all day long.
You never talk to me.
She'd just go on and on and on, talking.
When she'd finally let me get to sleep, she'd want what every woman wants.
L-I don't mean just sex.
She'd want to talk and talk.
Next thing you know, it's 5:00 a.
, the alarm is screaming at me, and I got to go back to work.
So you drugged your wife to get some shut-eye? Yeah.
I put it in her ice cream.
I know it was wrong, but It's also illegal.
Happened as an accident the first time.
See, I got a problem swallowing pills, so I crush them up in the ice cream.
One night, she grabbed the wrong bowl and was out like a light.
Best night's sleep I'd had in a long time.
Well, if you you got nothing else you want to ask, I got things I got to do.
I have one more question.
When did you quit smoking? I noticed the, uh, nicotine patch on your arm.
Oh, uh about three weeks.
Doctor's orders.
I got high blood pressure.
I have another question.
Did you know the damper on your chimney was busted? Why? Did this have something to do with my wife's death? I mean, I asked Peter if he'd (sighs) Is this my fault? If the crash was intentional, I'm thinking either the restaurant was the target or someone inside the restaurant.
I'll call Brass.
If Lambert had a grudge against the place, somebody there should know her.
If she was gunning for someone specific, there's a lot of variables.
Maybe we should start with the most obvious targets the people sitting in the window.
Let's run it.
Okay top to bottom.
Cameron Black, deceased; from Jersey.
First time in Vegas.
Unlikely mark.
Second table: Rachel Krandall, and Tom Krandall.
Both died at the scene.
Both worked for Sillmont Healthcare.
Table three: Hank and Elaine Alcott.
Also works at the insurance company.
Three out of five of the people sitting in the window work at Sillmont Healthcare.
Maybe I should go talk to her.
Maybe you should.
I'm sorry.
I don't recognize her.
Well, uh could she be one of your policy holders? It's possible.
I oversee hundreds of members' accounts.
I can check my list.
That'd be great.
I wish I had some more time off, but, with Tom Krandall gone and half my department in the hospital I'm back at the office tomorrow.
Let's see Diane Lambert.
My boyfriend.
Saved up my miles and took him to Hawaii last year.
He's going to take me to Tahiti in a few weeks.
I can't wait.
Lambert isn't on my list.
But, if you want, I can go on the company database.
Thank you.
Um, l-I have to get back to the lab.
Um maybe you could call me.
(water bubbling) You're not supposed to be in here.
It's my home.
Well, perhaps you didn't see the crime scene tape.
Do I look stupid to you? On the contrary.
I heard you have an almost perfect 4.
0 GPA, with the exception of a B in English.
Our detectives do complete background searches on all the principals at a crime scene.
I understand you threatened your English teacher.
I have to feed my fish.
Clown loaches, tetras, angelfish.
You might want to check your filter, too.
You're out of charcoal.
In 1939, Isaac Asimov was an undergraduate studying zoology.
As part of a course requirement, the students were asked to find a stray cat, kill it and dissect it.
Isaac found his cat, he killed it, and then he promptly dropped out of zoology.
he wrote that the memory of killing that cat still haunted him.
Do you have a question for me? Yeah, I do.
Why didn't you fix the chimney damper in your parents' bedroom? Why would I? You told your father you fixed it.
So he'd quit bugging me.
And if you're accusing me of disobeying a man with only a tenth-grade education, then you're right.
We know you took advantage of the broken damper.
Placed activated charcoal from your fish tank filter in the back of the fireplace (granules rattling) then waited for your father to do what he does every night.
You killed your mother.
You almost killed your father.
That's good science fiction.
Well, you thought the charcoal would burn up, destroying any evidence of the crime, but your father woke up, called 911.
Nick, at what point is the saturation level of carbon monoxide in the bloodstream lethal? Approximately 45, 50%.
Well, his mother's level was in the range, but his father's level was low.
Yeah, but two people exposed to the same level of carbon monoxide for the same period of time, their O.
Saturation levels should be approximate.
As long as the variables are consistent body mass, health, age.
What about smoking? Of course.
Three weeks ago, your father quit.
Yeah, we didn't know he'd quit, either.
The nicotine levels in his system were high but when we went to speak with him, he was wearing a nicotine patch.
The patch delivers nicotine to the blood, but since your father quit smoking cigarettes, his O.
Saturation level returned to zero.
You made a basic scientific mistake, Peter.
You stopped observing the human element because you thought it was inferior.
What I don't understand is why.
Man, why would you want to kill your parents? Your high school told us you were accepted to Princeton, early action.
A few more months, you would've been Whatever your parents did to piss you off wouldn't have mattered.
I know why.
They weren't going to let you go, were they? They refused to pay for it.
I don't qualify for financial aid because my father makes too much money.
Not enough money to live well, but enough to destroy my dreams.
So with your parents gone, you could sell the business and pay your tuition.
You figured out the puzzle.
Must be very gratifying.
Science isn't about the gratification, Peter.
It's about the truth.
So, how did it go with Elaine Alcott? She didn't have anything to add to the investigation.
Hey, how's it going? Here are the phone records from the driver of the vehicle that you asked for.
You know, there may be something to that kamikaze grandma theory of yours.
Last week, Diane Lambert closed out her bank accounts, paid off her credit cards, and updated her will.
Well, that's certainly more evidence to suggest that her actions were intentional.
There's only one Vegas phone number on this statement and the prior statement.
There's got to be 80 calls here to the same number.
Dial the number.
(keypad beeping) (ringing) Sillmont Healthcare.
How can I direct your call? What's your address? Thank you.
The Checkerbox is at 16 North Meadows.
I don't think that's a coincidence.
If Sillmont Healthcare was the intended target, how did she end up at the Checkerbox? Well, I'll tell you what happened to me.
Last week, I was driving to a crime scene in the car and the GPS said go right.
Had I done so, I'd be coughing up fish from the bottom of Lake Mead.
Well, GPS is hardly perfect.
Maybe north was a directional default.
Or maybe she put in the wrong address.
Either way it does leave one question: Why was Diane Lambert so angry? Mrs.
Lambert was a member of our HMO.
I was, uh going to call you.
Well, did she have some kind of problem with her policy? Not to our knowledge.
Then you won't mind if we take a look at her file.
I'm sorry.
Member files are confidential.
Well, this member's deceased.
Not even the doctor-patient privilege extends postmortem.
Lambert had colon cancer.
If you read further, you'll see that it was in remission.
No, actually, her most recent OAT scan shows recurrence two months ago.
That's about the same time she started calling your office two times a day.
Why would she be calling you? You know what? Four people are dead.
Don't waste our time.
We can take this downtown.
Lambert's oncologist recommended immediate and aggressive treatment.
Did treatment commence? The recommendation was pending.
Well, what exactly does that mean? Not yet approved, not yet denied.
In other words, Mrs.
Lambert's health was in limbo.
She wasn't receiving treatment, but she couldn't file an appeal, since you hadn't officially denied her claim.
The authorization process takes It takes time.
Time Mrs.
Lambert didn't have.
We have a procedure, and we follow it.
(car accelerating) And while you were following your procedure and postponing a decision, her cancer cells were multiplying.
What were you, playing the odds? Were you hoping she would die before you had to spend a dime? We're not liable here.
We're not responsible for Mrs.
Lambert's actions.
For what it's worth, that makes me sick.
We missed something.
Corey, when I was reviewing your grandmother's insurance policy, I noticed that she didn't specify an e-mail address, and that got me thinking.
Some people her age aren't technologically sawy.
Maybe a GPS device would be intimidating to her.
I wondered if she actually even knew how to use it.
So I printed the unit, and I found your fingerprints on it.
I installed it.
The prints just weren't on the base of the unit they were on the face.
You punched in addresses.
(quiet mumble) If you were aware of your grandmother's intentions and programmed the GPS, you're guilty of aiding and abetting in the murder of three people.
Oh, God.
Uh Last week, she came by my place 'cause she said she didn't know how to work the GPS.
Okay, Grandma, look it's really easy.
I'll explain it to you again.
You just type in the address of where you want to go.
Look, I swear, if I had known what she was planning, I would've stopped her.
Uh Well Corey, Homicide has informed us that your grandmother had a life insurance policy in which you're the sole beneficiary.
I had no idea.
She never mentioned it to you? No.
No, no, wait.
Promise me.
Okay, fine.
When I can afford it, I'll go back to college.
You should have a degree.
Grandma, I promise.
I love you.
You're such a good boy.
I love you, too.
Your grandmother's death has been ruled a suicide, which nullifies the policy.
There's not going to be any money.
Any money Look, I don't think you understand.
I loved my grandmother, and she's dead.
She killed herself, and she killed these three other people.
What are you telling me? She killed these people for me? And I'm supposed to live with this? I'll meet you at the car.
I called the lab.
They said you were here.
I heard you met Elaine.
She's really something.
I didn't tell her about us, if that's what you're wondering.
I'm really sorry, Sara.
Me, too.
I don't know what else to say.
I'll see you around.
Childhood living Is easy to do The things that you wanted I bought them for you Graceless lady You got plans? Nope.
You know who I am You want to get a beer? Drive.
And wild horses Couldn't drag me away And wild horses