CSI: Crime Scene Investigation s14e13 Episode Script

Boston Brakes

Can I get a cup of coffee from Where do you want to go tonight? You want, to, like I'd like a tall latte with, uh, two shots Coming right up.
Would you like anything to eat, sir? No, thank you.
That'll be three dollars, please.
Um, look, I don't suppose you could, uh, break a 50? For a three-dollar latte? Well, it's all I have.
All right.
Thank you; thank you so much.
Merchiston? Keep walking.
Who are you? A friend of Suvari.
Where is Suvari? Not here, but I am.
And what assurance do I have that this man Suvari is actually real? How does Suvari really know that you're a reporter? And not an Agency asset? Well, in the interest of full disclosure, I've yet to be mistaken for James Bond.
Suvari will be in touch.
Control, this is 3-David-34.
Reporting a possible 425-Baker.
In pursuit of a silver Camaro.
License Adam-King-Sam-Henry, Vehicle's traveling southbound on Rialto Ridge at high rate of speed.
Backup units, be advised.
Suspect vehicle has turned onto Wilmington.
He's heading for the Strip.
Control, this guy's not stopping.
We need to bring him down before he hurts somebody.
He's crossing lanes! Oh, my God! All units, fire and paramedics are en route to your location.
Thank you.
Yeager?! What are you doing here? Oh, I'm pulling double shifts this week.
Need the hours, so you're stuck with me.
So, our driver raced through the intersection, lost control, hit this lamp pole, and spun out over there.
The vehicle's registered to Zenith Car Rentals.
Office will be open in a hour.
We'll get the renter's name then.
Think I have an I.
Finn check this out.
It's John Merchiston.
The reporter? Yeah.
I don't understand.
Why would he run from the LVPD? I don't know.
It doesn't make any sense.
Well, if this guy's a reporter, maybe there's more to the story.
Who are you? Who, who, who, who? Who are you? Who, who, who, who? I really wanna know Who are you? Oh-oh-oh Who Come on, tell me who are you, you, you Are you! That voice inside your head.
The day that it does go quiet.
Do you think that that will bring you peace? Or will it be a loss too great to bear? Merchiston and I spent a lot of time together.
I suppose he got to know me a little bit.
But I don't, I don't know anything about him.
I don't know if he had a family He doesn't have any family.
Well, hell.
All right.
What do we know? On the face of it, it looks like an accident.
What's that supposed to mean-- "on the face of it"? Well, look at the vehicle.
There's nothing left of it.
I mean, the engine is all the way over there.
Have you ever seen a car accident like this? Yeah, sadly, I have.
Alcohol, drugs, a lead foot.
I see it all the time.
Yeah, well, John didn't drink and he didn't do drugs.
He had been sober for over two years.
Is there something you should be telling me? John was working on a story.
Something to do with the government and domestic spying.
He told me that he was being followed.
I, of course, thought that he was paranoid.
Wait, wait a minute.
When did this happen? Well, a couple of months ago.
I-I had, uh, you know We stayed in touch.
You'd stayed in touch.
Yes, we stayed in touch.
I'm listening.
The extent of the damage to the car, the behavior of a man who had no reason to run from the police, and yet, was obviously running from something.
So you think this was murder? That John was targeted? I think he was being silenced for something that he knew.
Somebody puts a bomb in the car? Detonates it during a high-speed police chase? Is that what you think? Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.
That's way out there, Jules.
You don't believe that there are parts of government that would go to extreme measures to silence someone? What I believe in is evidence.
And so should you if you're thinking about accusing somebody in authority.
Based on this video footage, I can't tell if Finn's theory is correct, and the car exploded before hitting the light pole.
Or if it happened on impact.
Here's the rest of the traffic cam footage from the chase.
Merchiston ran the red light at Sahara and Rialto Ridge already doing 90.
Let's see where This chase began.
Garage at the Embarcadero? Man, he came flying out of there.
And that is the best angle from the street of the Embarcadero we have.
We might be able to track him moving through the mall.
Let's see.
Who's the mystery woman? I don't know.
But it looks like she handed him something.
And the way the light's hitting it, it looks metallic.
Maybe a key? Merchiston was a journalist.
I'm thinking that that was a flash drive.
We didn't find a flash drive at the scene.
Though I doubt it would have survived that explosion.
You know, she was the last person to see Merchiston alive.
We need to find her.
So, Mr.
Merchiston, you go from rock journalist to quixotic muckraker.
I'd have to say I'm just a seeker of the truth.
And if that makes certain people uncomfortable, then maybe they need to be uncomfortable.
'Cause I would say that in our obsession with security, we may be relinquishing our freedom.
Surrendering to the real enemy-- fear.
Finished my autopsy on Mr.
: massive blunt force trauma consistent with high speed impact.
" If it's any consolation, death would've been mercifully quick-- long before the fire consumed the vehicle.
Tox report shows high levels of cocaine, and a blood alcohol level of .
And in that condition, I'm not surprised he didn't want to get pulled over.
It says here you're going to rule it an accident.
He should never have been behind the wheel.
I got your text.
You find something? Yeah, something I've never seen before.
At first, I thought this was some kind of triggering device.
It's a black box, like on a plane.
It was installed after-market by the rental car company.
It's Wi-Fi.
They use it to monitor all their vehicles-- location, speed All right, so, it's not part of a bomb, but it is a black box, so, maybe there's some information in it that would suggest that there was a bomb.
Here is the file of the car's last trip.
Merchiston floored it down Rialto Ridge.
He made a left turn, then crashed.
These vitals and the GPS indicate a single catastrophic event occurring at the coordinates where the car hit the pole.
So, your explosion happened upon contact.
Well, that doesn't rule out a bomb.
Well, it doesn't support it, either.
This might.
I found unusually high levels of aluminum, magnesium, silicon and iron oxide in the wreckage.
All are consistent with a thermite explosion.
Well, that would explain the intensity of the blast that we saw on the tape.
And the condition of the vehicle.
But we are talking about a car exploding upon impact with a light pole.
And the metals present in thermite are also found in laptops, cell phones, tablets.
I know that you're looking for a different answer, but I think that we need to find something more definitive.
John's attorney is here, and she wants us to release his body.
I don't understand.
I thought the circumstances of John's accident were pretty clear-cut.
Well, we still have a few questions, Ms.
McDermott, and we thought maybe you could, uh you could help us.
Questions like what? Uh, like, what was the story that John was working on which brought him here to Vegas in the last few months? John.
So it's you.
John always had a weakness for blondes.
Your client is dead.
Any information you have might help us close this case.
So do me a favor, will you? Do you, do you recognize this woman? No.
Why? She was the last person to see John alive.
We think that she passed him some information.
I've never seen her before.
All I know is John was working on an investigative piece.
Something to do with computer hacking and domestic intelligence gathering.
So, spying on U.
The point person is an Air Force general, Robert Lansdale, out of Nellis.
That would help explain all the trips to Vegas.
Yeah, and why his accident may not have been an accident.
I know John had a gift for telling a good tale.
Seducing his listener.
But the truth is, his story was going nowhere.
He was frustrated.
So you think it was an accident? I do.
Well, you must have known that he had enemies.
But, also, you must know that John's own worst enemy was always himself.
Yeager, it's Russell.
Where are we on the security footage from the Embarcadero? Well-Well then, go to another judge.
We need those tapes.
I want eyes on Merchiston and this mystery woman, wherever they went, okay? Call me back.
Oh! John? What the hell are you doing? We thought you were dead.
Yeah, I know.
We don't have much time.
I can't stay here.
Where's your car? Where is your car? We need to get out of here, now.
What the hell is going on, John? I wish I knew.
I wish I bloody knew.
You know a lot more than I do.
Start Come here.
Whose body is in our morgue? Oh, it's Brian.
Brian Freeman, he's my assistant.
He was driving my car.
I gave him my coat and my hat.
He took his place behind the wheel of my car and I slipped out the back, and we both know what happened after that.
No, no.
We identified the body using your dental records.
How is that possible? Same way you got a tox report claiming that I was high.
And drunk.
Don't play games with me! Talk to me! I'm not playing games with you! I'm covering a story.
I know.
About domestic spying, right? So you know it's of a sensitive nature, involving powerful people.
People capable of hacking into a crime lab computer, fabricating a toxicology report labeling me a drunk driver.
What about the dental records? Well, they've got their hackers, and I've got mine.
I-I need your help, DB.
John, I'm just a local cop.
If what you're saying is true, you need to you need to talk to a friend of mine at the FBI.
FBI? You're joking, are you? That's the last place I'm going is the FBI.
You are hardly a local cop.
In fact, you and your team-- you're literally the only ones who can help me.
Please, DB.
My life's in your hands.
The people who are trying to kill me, the people who killed Brian.
When they find out their mistake they will try again.
I just need to lay low for a while.
Until I can figure out what the hell's on this.
I heard you got your hands on the security cam footage from the Embarcadero mall.
Yeah, yeah, I'm going through it right now.
Well, how the hell did you pull that off? 'Cause I've been on the phone for three hours with four different judges, and I couldn't even get close to a warrant.
Yeager, sometimes you have to know who to ask and know how to ask 'em.
There was a very lovely, nice young woman working at Embarcadero operations who was more than happy to give me a hand.
Well, I'm impressed.
Thank you.
Here she makes the drop-off, and then she just kind of heads off through the crowd.
What's behind the corner, there? Look at the reflection.
Let's see if I can get a taxi number.
I'm impressed again.
" Call the company, see where the cabbie dropped her off.
I can't believe it.
I'm sorry, I-I had nowhere else to go.
All right, come on in.
Let's start at the beginning, with, uh, the flash drive and the woman who gave it to you.
Like I told you, I'm working on a story right now.
Uh, I have an inside man.
He's providing me with information on Project Jericho, which is a domestic spying program.
And he goes by the name of Suvari.
So the woman was your contact? I don't know who the woman is.
I've never met her before.
You see, in the past, Suvari just arranged a dead drop.
He'd leave a flash drive somewhere and I'd find it.
But not this time.
No, no.
This time I told him I actually need to look him in the eye.
Before I publish my story, I need to be assured that the information that he's providing on Project Jericho is genuine.
Specifically, about the man who's-who's running things.
Who's some Air Force general.
Robert Lansdale.
How did you? Oh, that's all right, go on.
Well, amongst other things right now, they're using drones for domestic surveillance.
Question is: who are they watching? And who's watching the watchmen? Precisely.
Um I was told that the information off this flash drive would make Snowden's leaks look like a minor blip on the radar.
I'm assuming that the files are encrypted.
I had the decryption key on my laptop.
That was in my car.
Which is where we come in.
Assuming that you can crack it.
The safest place for you right now is to stay here.
First, we need to find out what's on this flash drive.
Then we can figure out what our next move is.
Where are you going? I'm gonna go back to the lab.
The three of us are the only people that know that John's still alive.
Let-Let's keep it that way.
I'll call you when I get something.
The cab company said our mystery woman was dropped off at the Palermo last night at 11:15.
Hotel has her registered under the name Emily Rey.
Security checked her room, she wasn't there.
An hour ago, we get a call out here-- 419.
She fits the description.
Super Dave, what's the word? TOD's approximately six hours ago.
And we got blunt force trauma to the back of the head.
All this spatter, cast-off, I'd be willing to bet you she was hit more than a couple of times, yeah? Definitely.
Hey, we got more blood over here.
Gravitational drops could've come off the weapon.
Nick Oh, yeah.
Got a print and blood.
And a good one, at that.
Just sent the photo to the lab, they're running a check.
Just got a hit.
That was quick.
What the hell? What's wrong? Hey, Dave.
You say the time of death was six hours ago, right? That's right.
Why? Our killer's a dead man.
Greg I got something I need you to do.
Well, I'm kind of in the middle of something.
Well, this takes priority.
A flash drive? Files on it are encrypted.
I need you to open them up for me.
Oh, damn it.
Is everything all right? Just-Just do it.
DB We got a problem.
I need to talk to you about that Merchiston car wreck.
All right, come in, come in.
Well, there's something just not right about it.
Tell me what you know.
Yeager and I tracked down the mystery woman, the one that met Merchiston in the mall.
I'm pretty sure those two hooked up again later.
Why do you say that? 'Cause she's dead.
Beaten to death with a crowbar, and Merchiston's fingerprints right there on the murder weapon.
Now, she was killed six hours ago.
His car crash was 36 hours ago.
I mean, you do the math.
Are you absolutely positive about the fingerprint? It's in the victim's blood.
Listen, Merchiston is still alive, and he's a stone-cold killer.
What's going on? You scared me.
That wasn't my intention.
John, I-I Something happened since the last time I saw you.
What? I don't want to talk about it.
Russell left me a message.
Really? What about? I'm checking.
What's the matter? Why are you looking at me like that? FBI! Drop the gun.
CSI Finlay, gun on the floor.
Now! Give me the gun, Julie.
We have to take you in.
Both of you.
CSI Russell.
Special Agent Sturgis, FBI.
I'm going to need to read you your rights.
That's all right I think I know them.
CSI Russell.
Sorry to keep you waiting.
Well, it's a long trip from Nellis.
General Lansdale, right? No uniform-- I'm guessing this conversation's off the record.
John Merchiston man's a murderer.
But worse than that, he's a threat to this country.
Can you prove either one of those allegations? FBI will.
At this moment, they're securing all the evidence from your lab.
You need to know that my people had no knowledge of this whatsoever.
Does that include CSI Finlay? Despite your best efforts to alert her, she and Mr.
Merchiston are in custody.
I know that you have a relationship with John Merchiston.
Maybe you trust him-- but you shouldn't.
I'm not sure who I should be trusting right now, General.
Well, you certainly come by that honestly.
I know about your parents.
About their activities during the '60s.
But you, you you became a cop.
That says a lot about you, about them.
Must feel sort of odd sitting on that side of the table.
What do you want? I want to know what Merchiston told you about a gentleman named Suvari.
He didn't tell me anything.
I'm here as a courtesy, Mr.
The FBI can continue this conversation.
What about my lab? I don't think it'll look very good for either one of us, General, if the wheels of justice grind to a halt.
I'll give you an opportunity to make arrangements with your team.
You're a lucky man.
You got a family, good job, so much to live for.
You should know from personal experience the cost of misplaced loyalty.
We believe your friend John Merchiston has been receiving leaks of classified information vital to our nation's security.
Leaks from an inside source, goes by the name Suvari.
I don't know what you're talking about.
Yeah? Obviously, you know one thing-- Merchiston faked his own death.
When he realized we were closing in on him, he set up his assistant.
Murdered him.
Then he murdered this woman, Emily Rey, the only other person who could connect him to this Suvari.
Looks like you got it all figured out.
Why do you need me? Well, maybe this Emily Rey isn't the only connection to Suvari.
Well, if that's the case, why didn't John kill me? I like to think we saved your life.
Now it's your turn-- to help save the lives of perhaps thousands, if these security leaks are allowed to go unchecked.
I don't buy it.
That's not the cooperative attitude I was looking for.
I don't know if you're protecting Merchiston because you've fallen for him or his politics, or maybe he's just a great lay.
Honestly, I don't care.
Whatever pillow talk you two shared, you are gonna give it up.
At the risk of sounding like your British boy toy we could go all night.
You know what, Agent? Go screw yourself! That's what you wanted to say, right? Finlay, I advise you not to say another word.
You're here as an observer, Captain.
This is my house; these are my people.
And if you don't start acting nice, I'm gonna kick your FBI ass right out of here.
Hey, I got your message.
Looks like Finn and I are gonna be here for a little while.
Merchiston's being charged with willful communication of national defense information.
And murder.
He's letting his lawyer do the talking right now.
According to them, we harbored someone who stole secrets, faked his own death, and then murdered two people.
Unless we can prove that someone was setting Merchiston up the whole time.
I mean, we have his bloody fingerprint on the murder weapon-- that makes for a pretty good argument.
I know, but he once did a forensic field training with Scotland Yard.
So he's not stupid enough to leave his bloody fingerprint behind.
Look, you're the boss now, bud.
Get us out of here, will you? FBI yanked all the files on the Merchiston case, but I still had a photo of the bloody fingerprint in my phone.
Check it out.
Tell me what you see or what you don't see.
Ridge detail's all there.
But there are no pores.
How is that even possible? We've seen this before, haven't we, Greg? The Millander case.
A serial killer made a mold of Grissom's print in latex, planted it at a crime scene.
But unlike skin, latex gives you ridge detail but no pores.
Russell was right-- this whole thing's a setup, from the Emily Rey murder to the car crash-- all of it.
Sounds pretty sophisticated.
Do we think the FBI's involved? No no, I think they're just doing their job.
Well, then who is it? I don't know.
But I don't even know where to start looking now that they've walked off with everything.
Maybe not everything.
Russell gave this to me right after Merchiston came back from the dead.
The guy's accused of stealing classified information-- it might be on there.
It might also show who's trying to set Merchiston up.
Even help spring Russell and Finn.
With all these eyes on us, it's gonna be almost impossible to do the job.
All eyes are on us, but I can think of somebody who might be able to fly under the radar.
Hey, Nick.
This was left at Reception.
What is it? Nevada Wireless-- looks like a new phone.
I didn't order a phone.
I'll have a cup of coffee, please.
What flavor? Coffee-flavored.
That'll be $1.
35, sir.
Keep it.
Thank you.
You're Suvari? I'm not, but he reached out to me, said he could help my client and your CSI friends.
Where is he? I'm supposed to take you to him.
So, you, uh, decrypted the files on the flash drive I gave you? Files are classified Department of Defense documents relating to Project Jericho: the use of drones to listen in on communications.
Now, this is all in the development stages, but definitely something DoD would not want to go public.
All right, but is it serious enough that someone from the government would be willing to stage a fake car crash, murder a woman, just to keep it a secret? Just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean they're not following you.
In this case, backseat driving.
What do you mean? One of the files references-- One of the files refers to Wi-Fi technology, which enables a user to hack a car's onboard CPUs-- specifically, after-market black boxes, like the one that was installed in Merchiston's rental car.
So you're saying that they've developed a software that allows you to take control of a car remotely.
And remotely crash it.
There's also references to enhancing the effects of the accident with a thermite cocktail-- ka-boom! All right, well, that still doesn't mean that someone from the government is behind all of this.
For all we know, it could be this guy Suvari.
You're not gonna tell me where we're going? You want to meet Suvari or don't you? There's a rest stop outside of Searchlight.
He said to wait for him there.
Hey, you mind slowing down? I'd like to get there in one piece.
It's not me-- my foot's off the pedal.
Turn off the cruise control.
No, it's not on.
Try the brakes.
They're not working! All right, all right, just-just stay cool, we got this.
What the hell?! What was that? I don't know, but I'm getting the feeling we just took the same kind of ride that that John's car took.
Wasn't that the the coffee guy from the mall? Well either he just tried to kill us, or he just saved us.
Either way, he left us this.
I told you the truth would set us all free.
Like I told you we're on the same side.
Call 'em.
Hey, welcome back.
Good to be back, thank you very much.
We heard you and John's attorney had a close call.
We did.
One that was headed off by your friend Suvari.
You actually met him? So did you.
He served you coffee.
Okay, what have we got here? Evidence-- proof of the attack on Mr.
Merchiston's life using a tactic called "Boston Brakes.
" Boston Brakes? So-called because that was the first place it was used.
At least, according to mythology.
And that's all I thought it was till I saw the files your colleague Hodges decrypted.
Project Jericho included a DoD program that developed technology to hack onboard computers in cars, and I think that Suvari wants us to know it's what happened to this woman and her son, as well.
Cheryl Perez worked for DoD as programmer on Project Jericho.
Perez resigned amid rumors of an affair with a high-ranking officer.
General Lansdale? Name never surfaced.
Yeah, but it makes sense.
Suvari told me he was working on a story that was going to send the walls of Project Jericho tumbling down.
Clearly, he's suggesting Lansdale's behind the murder of this woman to cover up the affair.
There's the chance that the child found in the back of the car is his son.
So now he's targeting anyone who comes close to the truth.
Yes, I agree that's what this all looks like, but there are still missing pieces.
This Suvari is a mystery man.
Coffee vendor said he rented the stand just a couple of times, paid cash.
But we don't know who he is or where he's from.
Without him, all we really have are allegations against a high-ranking Air Force officer.
So we need to find this Suvari.
We're working on it.
We ran diagnostics on this device.
Suvari definitely used it to override whoever was hacking the car that we were in, but, in trying to save us, I think he left himself exposed.
He left behind a cyber footprint.
Greg is working on that ISP right now.
You sure you found the right place? ISP traced here.
How? It's not on the grid.
You don't even get cell phone service out here.
Well, maybe that's the point.
Somebody's home.
Yeah, photos.
He's definitely been watching.
Bloody duffel bag.
Bloody gloves.
Emily Rey's wallet.
Yeah, yeah, that's him.
That's-that's Suvari, or whoever he is.
"To whom it may concern" What is that, a suicide note? Oh, it's more than that.
It's a confession to all the murders.
I don't buy it.
Oh, me, either.
This evidence, the note Somebody sure is giving us the hard sell.
Sorry, General.
Guess it's my turn to keep you waiting.
Well, I hope it's for a good reason 'cause I'm a busy man.
Yes, you are.
You wanted information on Suvari.
Well, we-we found him.
But then again, I think you know that, because you found him first, didn't you? His real name is Joseph Powers.
Former Army Intelligence.
More recently employed by Ceressus Logistics.
He was a-a contractor assigned to Project Jericho, wasn't he? I don't recognize him.
But then again, I have a lot of people working under me.
How about Cheryl Perez? You recognize her? I heard about her car accident.
Yes, it was.
We were all deeply saddened.
Especially, evidentially, Joseph Powers.
I mean, he-he resigned a week after the accident.
He just fell right off the grid, until, of course, he started reaching out to John Merchiston.
You remember John, don't you? Where's this going? Did Cheryl Perez threaten to go to your wife or your boss? Or did she want money to help support her child? Your child? A man with a good job and a family has so much to live for, right? Or kill for.
I would be very careful about what you say.
Why? Am I about to have a car accident? See, I know what you've done.
You've used the entire national security apparatus, all of their technology, to cover up an affair.
You don't know what I've done.
And even if you did, you wouldn't understand.
You're not a soldier, a patriot.
You are just another child of the '60s who cloaks himself in principle, while our enemies plot to bring chaos to our streets.
Well, I am not gonna let that happen.
And I will stop anybody who gets in my way.
You know, my-my hippie parents might not have taught me a lot, but they did teach me about patience.
I may not be able to prove anything today, but you have involved way too many people here, General.
And someday, there's gonna be another Joseph Powers, another person of conscience, and when they step up, oh, I'm going to be right there, waiting patiently for you.
You're dismissed, General.
I thought your flight left in the morning.
So did I.
The editor needs to see me immediately.
It's the truth.
I believe you.
Russell is not giving up on Lansdale, and neither am I.
I'll be back.
Good to know.
Look, uh that thing that, uh, you didn't want to talk about-- should you ever change your mind, I'm an excellent listener.
Thank you.
I appreciate that.
Be safe.
You, too.
Be well.
You, too.