CSI: Crime Scene Investigation s07e16 Episode Script

Monster in the Box

Catherine, layout room, right away! Gil, where's the fire? It's been sitting in my office for the last four weeks.
Butwe caught the miniature serial killer; he confessed.
Yeah, I watched him blow his brains out.
But I think the package was postmarked after he killed himself.
So maybe he arranged to have it sent postmortem.
The three other murders, the miniature was left at the scene.
This one was addressed to me.
So, now it's personal? The victim appears to be a caucasian female with lots of books.
It could be an office, somebody's living room maybe a modern hotel lobby.
When I was gone, did anybody work a scene like this? No at least not on our shift.
I'll check with days and swing, and see if anybody caught a case that matches.
- Never mind.
- Why not? Take a look at the early edition.
It's dated the day after tomorrow.
This murder hasn't happened yet.
My name is Ernest Edward Dell.
I was born in My life's been hard, but I don't complain.
I never expected better.
I'm good with my hands.
I make things.
I fix things.
I'm a handyman.
That's what I am.
I'm not the sociable type.
I-I know that.
You spend any amount of time around people, you get your heart broke-- treachery, hypocrisy the promise of love.
A man has a right to an honest day's pay.
Me, I service the machinery of death so that people can eat.
If that makes me evil, then so be it.
The miniature killer murdered three people over a period of roughly six months.
Ernie Dell was either directly or indirectly related to all of them.
- What's with the bloody dolls? - We're not sure.
There's a different perspective of that same image in all of the miniatures.
We're thinking it could be some kind of signature.
Look into the mouth of a person and you'll find lies wriggling there like maggots waiting to grow wings.
The world hashas gone mad.
A man could kill from sunup to sunset, and still his work would never be done.
Remember the blue paint killers? Maybe Ernie Dell had a partner.
Like an apprentice, an accomplice, something like that.
Or a disciple.
You guys make models when you were kids? Tanks and airplanes.
Classic cars.
These miniatures are obsessively precise, half-inch scale models of the crime scenes.
They probably took weeks of focused effort to create.
I don't think the killer's into team sports.
Izzy Delancy he was a rock star.
You know, famous brings out the nut jobs.
Maybe we're just looking at a copycat.
The miniatures were never released to the press.
No photos, nothing.
You can't copy what you can't see.
Other people had access to those files.
Maybe it was a cop.
Or somebody in the lab.
It's been known to happen.
Yeah, so, Ernie Dell takes the rap for three murders, and then eats a .
Why? I think he was trying to protect someone-- someone that he cared a lot about.
Prints and DNA are going over the package and wrapping paper.
They won't find anything.
Return address was an empty lot.
Any clue as to who the victim is? No, I even went through her little purse.
Well, she's not wearing a wedding ring.
She's probably single.
Her eyes appear to be bloodshot.
Petechial hemorrhaging maybe? Look at this.
Blue smudges on the pillow.
Blue mascara on the victim.
Our vic gets comfortable, grabs a little shut-eye and never wakes up.
She's going to be smothered.
It would seem so.
Another body found.
If you interpret this headline literally, the doll is the victim.
That's different than the others.
Methods change.
Killers evolve.
What? Keppler said something like that once.
He did come down on the right side.
These books are all arranged by subject matter: Art, religion, science the victim is apparently well-educated.
That's from the Izzy Delancy miniature.
What's it doing here? I don't know.
There's something on the surface.
Looks like brush strokes.
You were wrong.
Hey, Sara, I heard we got another miniature.
Is that true? Yeah, looks like Ernie Dell was covering for someone.
No kidding? Hey, you were the one who checked for next of kin after his suicide, right? SOP.
Snail mail, email, bank accounts, police records, google.
All I got was he's a widower.
Received his wife's social security benefits.
He had to be connected to somebody.
It's kind of early for court.
I finally rescheduled my deposition for that civil suit.
You know, Demitrius James' family is suing the city for 3.
5 million.
That's going to be a long deposition.
Home movies.
Hey, boss.
We're ordering out for breakfast.
- You have a cat, don't you, Hodges? - Mr.
- It's in reference to - Do you ever take him out of the house? My little Kobe? No way.
Vegas is coyote country.
So if this is a house cat, then this must be somebody's home.
Tsk, tsk.
Looks like he's been in the milk.
Maybe the victim has as well.
The previous murders have all involved the victim's habits and routines.
So maybe this time, it's a little something extra in her afternoon tea.
So they're going to be poisoned.
She lays down for her usual nap, the cat sneaks a sip, and neither one ever wakes up again.
It doesn't matter how she dies if we can't figure out who she is or where she is.
Well , you can't figure that out on an empty stomach.
If you don't like this restaurant, there's plenty of others to choose from.
I choose these two.
We're looking for a building whose exterior looks exactly like this.
- Talk to me.
- So what are we looking at, Rick? We've got a modernist structure with cement beams, steel rails, frosted glass.
Something like that? Probably, but whatever it is, it should match exactly.
The killer's hyper-specific.
Well, maybe that'll work in our favor.
Even if we find a match, we could already be too late.
Let's check it out.
Nick Stokes, LVPD.
We're looking for a woman that lives in this building.
She looks like this.
Have you ever seen her? That looks like a doll.
Yeah, well, it's actually a death threat.
Time is of the essence here.
You think you can help us out? Anyone in the building look like this? She's got a cat.
Well, that narrows it down to about a hundred tenants.
That's her home.
Tallman's place.
Tallman? Las Vegas police.
You need to open your door, please.
Tallman? Open and stand clear.
Please, ma'am, calm down.
We're with the crime lab.
This isn't a lab.
This is my home.
- You must be confused.
- No, we're not confused.
We're here for your protection.
Tallman - Dr.
- Dr.
Tallman I need you to take a look at this.
Did you make this for me? That's very sweet.
- It's a death threat.
- Who would want to kill me? Doctor, do you normally take a nap around the same time everyday covering your face and eyes with the pillow? Yes, at 4:00 P.
I I have tea and cookies every day when I wake up.
Have you been watching me? No, miss, no, but we think someone else has.
Doctor, your life is in danger.
We need you to get dressed and come with us, please.
Am I in trouble? No, ma'am.
No, not anymore.
This officer will help you get your things, okay? I'll go get my things.
I want you to know that you young men are refreshingly polite.
Thank you.
Is she on something? She may have already been poisoned.
We'll get her to the hospital.
We should collect her blood for tox.
And any open food or drink.
Hey, get out of there! The killer did plan every detail.
Except for us showing up.
That's got to be Ernie Dell's wife.
Quite the bash.
They must love kids.
Is that Ernie's son? There's no record of a son, but it sure looks like it.
Sidle: One, two, three, four, five birthday candles in 1988 that would make him around 24 now.
Don't look like a very happy birthday.
Did you get the boy's name? Cake never made it on camera.
- How about audio? - It sucks.
'80s video cam with built-in, non-directional mic, pulls in nothing but wind and train noise.
So let's process it.
This is processed.
We ran tox on Ms.
Tallman's blood as well as her milk and cookies.
She was negative on everything from pharmaceuticals and illicits, to herbicides, pesticides and heavy metals.
You sure she was going to be poisoned? No, but I'm pretty sure she was scheduled to die today.
In each of the previous cases, the killer was at the scene to commit the murder.
So maybe he was planning to show up at the condo.
Well, it'd be kind of rude not to greet him, don't you think? I'm ready for my close-up.
This definitely beats walking the beat.
Feed's good.
Officer Kamen, how's your read? Time to go to sleep.
All units, this is Brass.
Alright, maintain a low profile.
That means I don't want to see a uniform within three blocks of this building, okay? Be vigilent, but be cool, okay? - Where you headed? - Eleven.
Oh, sorry.
Go on up.
Hold the elevator.
What floor? Eleven.
Someone's coming up.
White male with a suitcase.
We got a possible.
Up against the wall.
- What? - She said hands against the wall.
What's your business here, sir? Nothing.
I mean, this is my sister's place.
I'm Peyton Tallman.
Where's Barbara? Did something happen to her? This officer will explain everything to your satisfaction.
- Get him out of here.
- What? Peyton Tallman's ID checks out.
And you know, I kind of doubt the killer's going to make a miniature crime scene of his own sister's house.
And we have nothing to link him to the other three murders? He wants to see his sister.
I'll let you know how that goes down.
Okay, that's it.
Killer's not gonna show.
Let's call it a night.
All right, I know you must be exhausted after your brutal day in the field, but it's time to go.
Officer Kamen? She's pale.
No sign of trauma.
COD'll have to wait till autopsy.
Not as sorry as I am.
Look, I know we've all had a tough day but the sooner we get done here, the sooner we can all go home.
Why? So my little tripper can run out to greet me? I'm sorry about your cat, ma'am.
We lost an officer.
- How much did you love her? - Barbara, please.
When my guys went to your house, they said you were a little out of it, but you're thinking clearly now, right? Well, having your home invaded can be a little bracing.
Captain, how can we help? - Can you tell me why anyone would want to kill you? - No.
But you can.
Well, Barbara was a highly regarded psychotherapist.
That hasn't changed.
- Is or was? - I'm retired.
You seem a little young to be retired.
I got tired of it.
Can you tell me why one of her patients would want to kill her? No.
Well, no, it's-it's possible.
She, um she counseled a lot of at-risk adults, halfway house kids, pro bono.
I also treated suburban sexual dysfunction for $300 an hour.
She helped a lot of people.
- Did you work out of your home? - For the last few years.
Treat any sociopaths? That's not a term for which there's any diagnostic criteria.
- You're not looking for one of my patients.
- Well, maybe I am.
Maybe I'm looking for a 20 something-year-old male, last name of Dell.
- Won't say.
- She can't say.
It's doctor-patient confidentiality.
- But you're retired.
- Well, you know where I live.
Are you done yet? No, we're not done yet.
At least, I'm not done yet.
All right, look, let's start again, all right? Maybe we started off on the wrong foot, all right? Look, I'm asking you as a professional, as a psychotherapist, please help me out here.
Tell me what am I looking for? Repetition attention to detail indicates obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Obvious antisocial personality.
Uh, yeah, four bodies-- I'd call that antisocial.
Most murderers lack impulse control, inability to plan ahead, but this one's different.
Different how? He conceives murder visualizes it.
Then he takes all that horror that he's imagined.
And he compresses it into these little rooms.
These models literally indicate repressed rage.
And when you start taking that apart, all that rage comes flying out and you will have let the monster out of the box.
Stop hovering, Hodges.
You're in or you're out.
So, she wasn't poisoned, huh? Hand me a scalpel.
Nice lungs.
Yeah, Gil, I've got a good idea on COD for your asphyxiated officer.
Internal organ color nailed it on both the autopsy and necropsy as Carbon monoxide poisoning.
You know, nobody likes when you do that.
So, how did CO get into the room? That I don't know.
The timer goes off, activating the motor, which closes the flue and drops powdered charcoal onto the flames, producing carbon monoxide.
Fumes have nowhere to go but out into the apartment, into officer Kamen.
And the cat.
You know, this timer was geared to run for weeks.
It could have easily been put in place a month ago.
That's why the killer felt safe enough to send me the miniature.
He never intended to be at the scene.
There was no danger of being caught.
Hey, Sara, check this out.
I was digging through Mannleigh chicken's employee health insurance records without health coverage, and a chicken slaughterhouse provides medical benefits? Izzy Delancy's animal rights PSA forced the company to clean up its act in all departments.
Anyway, Ernie Dell had one dependent listed: A son.
"Lionel Dell.
" Unbelievable.
Yeah, the man loved his trains.
Lionel changed his name to Mitchell Douglas after he turned 18, and get this.
He did time in a halfway house after getting busted for fentanyl.
Which connects him to the fentanyl-dealing sexagenarian, Penny Garden.
Where's young Dell now? Lionel dell? My name is Mitch Douglas.
I'm sara sidle.
I'm with the crime lab.
I was wondering if you knew this woman.
She used to sell fentanyl.
Want me to pee in a cup? What about this guy? He's dead, too.
He was found face down in a chicken stun bath in a place your dad used to work.
He worked a lot of places.
I met a lot of people.
Did you know Izzy Delancy? His music sucks.
What do all these stiffs got to do with me? What was your relationship like with your father? Before or after he blew his brains out? Let's start with before.
You ever step in a pile of crap, but you're wearing boots, so you can't just scrape it off.
You got to dig it out with a stick, but even that doesn't work, so you just end up tossing the boots in the trash? It was kind of like that.
And after? Much better.
You gonna arrest me? We're just talking.
I'm not.
Did you know officer Kamen? Me, neither.
I was watching her die, and I didn't even realize it.
Look, Sofia, there weren't any carbon monoxide sensors in the apartment, so no one could have known.
And in fact, if I hadn't have gone away, we'd have had another month to work with; you'd have never been in that position.
It doesn't make you feel any better either, does it? You know, the scene's been released.
Tallman was pretty insistent.
We offered to leave a uniform with her, but she wasn't having it.
So, what are you looking for? The miniature's complete.
It's not perfect, though.
Officer Kamen was not the intended victim.
Well, she was dressed like her.
She died in the right position.
So did the cat.
I'm still not sure it's perfect enough.
Now, it's perfect.
It's déjà vu all over again.
Not entirely.
There's some kind of liquid.
It looks like it fell and splashes on the sofa on the body and it looks like the ear.
This could be the source.
Killer returns to complete the miniature the old-fashioned way.
And things get a little messy.
But in the end he puts everything right back where it belongs.
What happened to my sister was not just some isolated tragedy.
There have been four other murders, four deaths which could have been prevented had the public been warned by the people sworn to protect us.
Barbara Tallman was the latest victim of a serial killer the LVPD has known about for months.
What do they call him? They call him "the miniature killer," because he makes little models of his victims posed in the places where they die.
I feel for the guy, but he just made our job a lot harder.
It was inevitable.
With each murder, the amount of information that could leak rose exponentially.
I'm a private person, but if this prevents just one tragedy, then it's worth it.
Trace report on the second crime scene or or should I say second murder? Crime scene is the same.
Haven't finished processing all the samples, but the water from the vase is consistent with the water found on the victim's clothing.
There's chlorine bleach in the samples.
Why put bleach in vase water? I knew you'd ask that.
I had this girlfriend who was a florist The one with the water retention problem.
You remembered.
Anyway she said that if you add a few drops of bleach to your water, it kills bacteria, and gives your flowers a nice long life, but add too much the flowers die.
We may have caught a break on Barbara Tallman.
She did pro bono work at Lionel Dell's halfway house.
Okay, so maybe I met her.
So what? So, she's dead.
That's four stiffs associated with you, Lionel.
Five, if you count Ernie.
I don't.
You know, you keep saying that you hated your dad, but I'm not buying it.
You go through your life alone.
You're good with your hands.
You have weird hobbies.
You make little things.
And when that gets tricky you call your father.
Maybe Ernie didn't know you were a killer.
Police start poking around, asking questions, showing him pictures.
And when Ernie sees these he knows exactly what his little boy's become.
To the rest of the world, a monster, but to him just a little boy knocking over his birthday cake.
So he confesses to crimes you committed, shoots himself in the head; it's a dead end for us.
New start for you.
If only.
Let me tell you about Ernie.
What he cared about in this life was his wife, his trains, and his kids.
In that order.
Kids? You're an only child.
Again, if only.
If you're looking for a love connection, then then you should maybe go talk to one of the chosen ones.
What are you talking about? Fosters.
My parents had, likedozens.
They'd come and go, some before I was born.
My mom loved kids.
Dad loved mom.
I guess as soon as I came around the love ran out.
And then mom dies the kids leave and Ernie's left with me.
Ernie didn't take a bullet for me.
But it's a beautiful thought.
I pulled these fibers out of her nasal passages.
They appearto be consistent with the sofa pillow cushion at the scene.
COD was asphyxiation.
Now what is wrong with this brain? Other than the fact that it's out of its skull? Pigmentation's unusual.
Bingo or keno or whatever you prefer.
Pronounced lack of pigmentation near the midbrain, along with clearly diminished substantia nigra.
She had parkinson's.
Nick and warrick did say that she was a little spacey when they met her, but they didn't mention any shaking.
Her disease was advanced.
She was on some pretty heavy meds.
Would they have shown up on a poison tox panel? No, but those kinds of medications can cause abnormal thinking and behavior.
Takes somebody with a very strong will to keep it hidden.
How'd it go with the sheriff? Media's all over him.
Which means he's all over the undersheriff, who's all over Ecklie, who's blaming me for not going public with the Izzy Delancy miniature like he told me to.
I got the final trace report on the bleach water that spilled at the scene, but the fluid in the ear was biological.
Water and proteins.
Lipocalin, lactoferrin, lysozyme.
The victim was crying? The smudges are from the pillow.
There were no tear tracks.
I don't think the victim was crying.
I think the killer was.
When you cry, your tears sometimes can pick up skin cells from your cheek.
The DNA in your tears that were found on your sister's body prove that you were there.
I imagine it was the hardest thing you've ever done.
But you did it.
You should've seen Barbara when she was young.
She was fierce.
And fearless.
She protected me.
She was the smartest, the funniest, best friend I could ask for in life.
The Parkinson's just robbed her of everything.
She'd take medication; she'd go away.
She'd get off medication.
She'd become lucid again, only in agony.
She wanted to die in her own home.
There's no assisted suicide protection in Nevada.
She said this was the perfect opportunity.
She could get what she wanted, and everyone would blame the miniature killer.
I understand.
You're under arrest.
We reran the footage several times to get a head count.
Assuming that they're all Dell foster kids, there's 13 of them.
At this birthday party? Lionel only remembered the first names, and only a few of those.
Getting the DHS records is going to be tough.
Judges hate giving them out unless we can demonstrate a pressing need and even then, they're spotty.
And a lot of a foster kids change their names when they age out.
Ernie Dell confessed and killed himself to protect someone he loved.
And that someone has murdered five people.
Eenie, meeny, miney, mo.
Catch a monster by the toe.