CSI: Vegas (2021) s01e08 Episode Script

Pipe Cleaner

1 Previously on CSI: Vegas I know who killed Kline and framed Hodges all of it.
He represented everyone associated with the attack on Jim Brass.
He was calling all the shots.
Anson Wix is the attorney for the class action against the state.
We ID'd the thread in that grenade.
Belonged to an Anna Wix.
Anson's sister.
Look at the world.
The best story wins.
It's David Hodges who's easiest to picture faking evidence.
We can't have even the appearance - of a cover-up.
- The judge set a trial date for David Hodges.
You contacted the head of the Washoe Crime Lab.
Effective immediately, you're no longer head of Criminalistics.
My dude said he installed it over the credenza.
What the hell is a credenza? This guy's got some crazy stuff.
Hey, yo, I'm-a get started.
See what he has in the bedroom.
What's your emergency? 426 Spring Drive in Summerlin.
You gotta hurry.
What's the problem, sir? It's in the bathroom.
It's-it's horrible.
You gotta believe me.
I didn't do it.
Didn't do what? Undersheriff.
Sir, I wrapped the Anido case.
She confessed.
Are you redecorating? Yeah, I got tired of looking at Max Roby's family.
Woman's the reason I haven't seen mine in three weeks.
But you won't have to pull double duty down here for much longer though, right? I mean, she was suspended, not She was suspended "indefinitely".
In my experience Well, we'll see.
The only reason she called the lab in Washoe was to make sure they were processing the evidence correctly.
It's Rajan, right? Yes.
Anson Wix says the calls that she made are proof that David Hodges' friends at CSI were covering for him.
Which explanation do you think plays better? And I wouldn't raise my voice too loudly in Maxine Roby's defense.
Probably not a big future in it.
Janice Woo.
You ever hear that name? Wix's new expert witness.
Wonder if she knows that he blew up his last expert with a grenade.
Wix pledges to keep fighting.
Woo, a forensic artist, will help expose the rot in the Criminalistics division".
The trial starts Monday.
We'd better hope something turns up in Wix's trash.
Not again.
My ring is loose.
It keeps coming off when I take off my gloves.
You ever hear of a sandwich? You know, a hunger strike's not gonna help David Hodges.
The stress is getting to you, too, you know.
Well It's his sister, this Anna Wix.
She's a part of this thing, Sara.
Don't take it.
I have to keep him happy so he gives us our space.
How can we help? They couldn't get into it, but apparently the safe is all the thieves wanted.
Dreadful lack of imagination.
I'd have taken all this stuff.
I like the T.
rex myself.
But, uh, yeah.
They swear they'd only been here ten minutes before they called the cops.
- They turned themselves in? - They were terrified we'd find them and think that they were responsible for what's upstairs.
What's upstairs? Never seen anything quite like it.
It's like the guy just melted.
Newton's law of cooling is a good alibi for the burglars.
This brew started hours before they got there.
Homeowner's an Erik Shaw.
Runs a convention center off the Strip.
Not much left of Erik.
If that's who lost the fight here.
Was hoping that'd be full of his DNA, but Not if the killer used sulfuric acid and hydrogen peroxide to dispose of the body.
Piranha solution.
Rips organic matter down to base elements in minutes.
Nobody ever solved a murder with a big, nasty vat full of water and carbon.
I'm afraid all our hopes have gone down the drain.
Seems like Erik Shaw put up a fight.
Doesn't look like we got anything to show for it.
You find any evidence the killer was nicked, bled, - even lost a hair off his head? - No.
It's a pretty good bet this guy was a lot bigger than his victim, though.
I think somebody's skull smashed into that wall about six and a half feet off the ground.
Uh I was always taught you preserve the crime scene.
Fear not.
This is a precision operation.
The undersheriff said it was all hands on deck.
Vic was melted in acid and poured down the drain? Yeah, if we jet the system with water, what's left will be lost or jumbled, so we have to extract him pipe by pipe, before he, uh, oozes - into the sewer main.
- Mm.
Who was the victim? The World's Most Interesting Man? Erik Shaw managed a convention center.
Apparently, weird memorabilia comes with the job.
Uh, detective out front said they're tracking down his ex.
Apparently they're in the middle of a rough divorce.
Do you two want to go talk to her and see if she was exposed to these chemicals? Gil and I can finish up here.
We'll get the safe and, uh, his goo.
Messy tub, messy divorce.
Tough call.
You haven't seen the tub.
I'm just gonna say "thank you".
- Nice! - Cash! There it is, baby.
Hey, who got next? Miguel? Diego? What about you, mama? No.
I'm good.
You sure? Yeah.
Hey, let's run it back.
Let's run it back.
Ah, you can't hold it, man.
Take the shot.
The top is calling me I know it Honey.
Get your chin up.
I'm sorry, Ms.
I know this can't be easy.
Erik's gone? It looks that way, ma'am.
This watch is all we've been able to recover so far.
- Do you want to go someplace quiet? - Mm.
Me and Erik separated last year.
We we always said, you know, maybe there's a chance, but I guess How am I going to tell my girls? Ms.
Shaw, we have to ask.
Do you still have access to your husband's home? Of course.
But you can't think He gave me my babies.
I would never.
There's a way to verify that.
I'd need a hair sample and certain chemicals - would be present if - Whatever you need.
Tammy, please.
Could y'all? Chartrina's about to do her tumbling and What's happened? Are you okay? Erik's dead.
Someone killed him.
My God.
Was it random or his business? I'm sorry.
How do you know Mr.
Shaw? I'm Chase Starr.
I own and manage all this.
Little Beauties Child Pageants and Scholarship Program.
We used to rent a space at Erik's convention center.
Didn't go great.
Erik did his business in cash.
He got in trouble for tax evasion once.
There were always shady people.
And good people.
When his girls started competing, we tried to throw some business his way.
The folks he kept company with You got a job ahead of you.
May he rest in peace.
So I I can't see him? How's your appetite now? Gil My ring.
When'd you have it last? Um Okay, look.
Hugo has got to go through all this anyway.
He'll find it.
- Hey, buddy.
- Hey.
- Right on time.
- Ooh.
Frosted maple pecan.
Geez, Ma.
Is this all you did today? Yep.
I'm worried about you.
I'm going to be fine.
Not if you don't kick it into gear.
You didn't do anything wrong.
Why aren't you fighting back? Because it's political.
But you know what? My union rep says that if I just sit tight - What is that? - What? - This.
- No! Nora Cross? Isn't this the same lady who ? You're working on something.
You could just let me know what you're really cooking.
For now, just cookies.
Thank you.
You're welcome.
You need an accessory, you know where I live.
You still got it.
Three weeks collecting Wix's trash and all I've learned is he's careful.
Seems that he was protecting against identity theft, not covering up his crimes.
So if there's nothing in this garbage, maybe we can get back to our day job, huh? Allie said that she would cover for us if I thought we were getting close.
I didn't have the heart to tell her.
That the Wixes like microwavable tamales? Hodges' trial is two days away.
I just wish there was something else that we could be doing besides going through Wix's trash.
We could expand our search.
Not all of his accomplices were as careful as his twisted sister.
But they are all in jail or dead.
What about his new expert witness? This "forensic artist".
Janice Woo.
You think she's in on it? Somebody had to forge Hodges' fingerprints.
Woo is better qualified at that than all his other pets were.
Could be more than just an expert witness.
So, now we dive into her dumpster.
Maybe, uh, we can do better than looking through her trash.
Maybe we can hire her.
I appreciate you coming down on such short notice, Mrs.
I admit I was surprised by the invitation.
Oh, we actually use outside consultants - pretty routinely.
- I have no doubt.
But how often are they scheduled to testify against your friends? - Surely you're aware.
- I am.
It's why I thought of you.
I am not a "former forensic artist".
That's how you were described in the paper.
That's accurate.
So, I have a case that has nothing to do with David Hodges.
Uh, we just need help getting a safe open.
It belonged to a murder victim.
And it's biometric? Yes.
And I sent you his ten card from a prior arrest.
Well, easy enough to duplicate fingerprints.
Does that come up often in your work? I charge by the hour.
I'm sure you'd like me to get started.
Uh, if you don't mind, um, I'd like to watch.
Maybe I'll learn something.
And we finish with a spritz of triglycerides.
Would you like the honor? Yes.
Just like the real thing.
You are a wizard.
Sara said Woo's just ice-cold.
You know, since all this started, half of her competition's either dead or on trial.
She might be in on it.
Definitely warrants further consideration.
Who warrants further consideration? Um, a development on Shaw.
Our victim was cooking the books at the convention center he ran.
Might be why he ended up down the drain.
I heard the burglars who called 911 weren't able to open this up.
If they had, they would've been disappointed.
Just, uh, Shaw's ledgers and a couple of lawsuits.
He was at war with a couple companies who had their conventions canceled by the pandemic.
He declined to refund their "advanced deposits".
- Mm.
- Bribes.
Booking event space in Vegas pre-COVID was a cutthroat business.
- People would kill for less.
- One of the plaintiffs is Chase Starr.
He owns Little Beauties Child Pageants.
He was glued to the victim's ex-wife, Tammy.
Shaw kept a little file on them.
Doesn't exactly look like the corpse-melting type.
Who else was suing him? The Prepper People.
A doomsday preparedness company.
Owner's a guy named Herman Maddock.
He once stood trial for attempted murder.
He walked.
I know who I'd put my money on.
We'll see.
Looks like a clash of the titans to me.
Whether it's pageant people or preppers, someone knows their chemistry.
Barely any bones left, much less evidence.
No kidding.
Bucket number three is down.
No remnants that could confirm identity or tell us cause of death.
Still no ring? - Mm-mm.
- Huh.
- You're not superstitious, are you? - Uh, not usually.
When I was with my first wife, I lost mine on a waterslide in Peru.
We got divorced three months later.
I-I'm sorry.
I didn't mean to suggest - that - It's fine.
Uh, - it'll turn up, right? - Uh, y I found a glass button and a few jean rivets over here.
There any, um marrow in these bone fragments? Completely dissolved.
I did find a toenail stuck to some cartilage, though.
The meniscus, I think.
Weird, right? Must have got jumbled in the pipes.
- What? - These bones that were left in the tub? I got two femurs here.
Erik did have two legs.
They're not the same length.
You guys pulled more than one victim out of those pipes.
So, every hair in the bed appears to be from Shaw.
All his meals were eaten solo.
Only one toothbrush.
He was separated from his wife.
Just doesn't give us any more idea who the second person was who went down that drain.
Doesn't appear Shaw had many friends.
Maybe they weren't a friend.
Maybe they were a foe.
You think Shaw was facing two attackers? One who donated a femur to the stew there.
And the second tall enough to bump his head here.
I thought we were done pulling this place apart.
This isn't ours.
I don't know that it's Shaw's, either.
The killer's? If they dismembered Shaw first, it might explain why the remains were out of order in the pipes.
Might explain more than that.
The Prepper People.
Where did you find this? In his toolbox.
The only new tool in there.
Those nuts are suing him.
Why leave branded evidence behind? They're preparing for the zombie apocalypse.
Let's not try and follow all their logic.
That's not bone.
That's linoleum.
Hugo found one of these in the pipes.
Towel they used to clean up was pretty small.
Couldn't have been that much blood.
Looks like they gave up after one limb.
Probably realized how hard hacking up a body is, decide to melt him instead.
If Shaw didn't die in that fight in the bathroom, - this was either a pit stop, or it was - Where it happened.
They did a great job getting rid of the body, but They didn't get rid of everything.
The bullet that killed Erik Shaw was jacketed.
- It must've hit bone and - Shed its skin.
There's no grooves on the core we recovered.
If we're ever gonna match it to a gun, the jacket we need probably broke off in the body.
Must be in there somewhere.
With Sara's wedding ring.
I was going to surprise her with this.
We can make use of it now.
A metal detector.
That's a good idea.
Don't sound so surprised.
First time's the charm.
Ought to take you to Vegas.
I don't see anything.
The salt in the remains.
And the iron content and Of course.
Guess there's no shortcut through all that sludge, but at least you'll have help.
I'm gonna need a minute.
I wish I could stick around and help, but What, have you got a date? Sort of.
I'm late.
Um, well, h-have fun.
Yeah, well, I stopped going to work, but I didn't stop working.
These files are gonna help.
Thank you, Marcus.
I'd like that.
Did you tell anyone where you were going? Come on.
Try being flattered.
I trust you the most.
Boss, what are we doing? I'm gonna show you something that'll make your hair stand up.
Are you really not gonna tell me who you went out with? Mm.
I bet it was that pageant mom with the turquoise cowboy hat.
Excuse me, sir? You got a minute? This is private property.
Maddock, uh, I'm Allie Rajan from the Las Vegas Crime Lab.
- This is Josh Folsom.
- We're investigating a homicide.
A man you were suing.
Erik Shaw.
Oh, right.
Yeah, I heard about that.
Guess I can drop the case, huh? You're fishing in the wrong pond.
This saw was used to carve up Shaw's body.
We have your fingerprints on file from your last arrest and also here.
On the butt of the handle.
We don't have to do this here.
I'm not leaving this property unless you drag me off it.
I gave that saw to Shaw.
Because you were such good buddies? Because I was trying to do business with the man.
That's the way it worked.
You got to ply him with money, swag.
I needed his space for our convention.
So my prints on that saw don't prove a thing.
Hmm, this might.
Another present you gave to Shaw? Miss, that ammo is store-bought ammo.
I melt mine here.
Course, I'm gonna need to see a warrant before I let you tour my armory.
We'll get one.
You get your house in order now.
Let me guess.
You want to know why we called Janice Woo.
Wix is upset? - What the hell's going on? - We needed some assistance in fingerprint duplication.
How many outside experts does this lab need? One more, evidently.
You thought it would be a good idea to recruit the woman who's gonna testify against your buddy? Well, she's an expert forensic artist.
Well, if you ask me, it's awfully suspicious.
I didn't ask you.
When I got married the second time, Melinda and I got ring tattoos.
Just to be safe.
Where'd you two meet? At one of her shows.
She's a fire performer.
Juggles it.
Eats it.
Never really cooks with it, but Her job is why we moved to Vegas.
You moved here for her career? Yeah.
I was I was happy in New York.
Had some momentum in the art scene.
Nice boss at the morgue.
But she had to be here for work, so we took the plunge.
Looks like you got something there.
They're teeth.
No roots.
You know, the porcelain they use on fake teeth resist acid just like the chompers we're born with.
Bet we'll find the rest of them in there.
Erik Shaw's smile was natural.
These must've come from our second decedent.
Odontologists have to take a 3D intraoral scan - to make all those.
- I should do a bite reconstruction.
You should find Folsom.
He's good at those.
The veneers are really well-made.
High quality.
Figure we shoot that model to all the best odontologists in the area, and we can cross our fingers and What? Nothing.
It's It's just It's a really familiar smile, right? I swear I've Hold on.
That sure looks like - the same smile, right? - Yeah.
Our second decedent is Chase Starr.
Makes sense.
His name's all over one of the lawsuits against Erik Shaw.
That man is alive.
I met him when I interviewed Tammy Shaw.
Big, old, bright Donny Osmond smile.
Well, if Chase Starr is alive, he can't also be down Erik Shaw's drain.
McKenzie, what is going on with that sashay? It's one, two, three.
- Mr.
It's good to see you again.
- Folks, - this is a closed rehearsal.
- We'll make it quick, Grayson.
You lied to us the other day.
You said your name was Chase.
I'm sorry, who told you it wasn't? - I'm-I'm just confused here.
- Did you know identical twins don't have identical fingerprints? Those are formed in the womb, where you met this guy.
All right, yeah, I'm Grayson.
I-I'm filling in for my brother.
"Filling in"? That's That's not a thing.
Identity theft is.
Murder is.
Hi, Chase.
All right, uh, what you might could find out is one of the mamas has a restraining order against me.
She's not here today, so I'm not in-in violation.
But I'm not supposed to cover for Chase anymore.
What was I supposed to do? He disappeared right before our biggest event of the year.
That's the only reason you're impersonating the man? Because the show must go on? Go ahead and mock, but these kids have worked their entire little lives to compete in this pageant.
Why didn't you let the authorities know that Chase was missing? You don't want me to waste your time.
It's pills.
It's always pills.
Last time, I found him detoxing in some ashram in the Mojave.
He'll turn up.
I'm so sorry, Mr.
Starr, but, um your brother's dead.
- What? - We were able to confirm with dental records.
- He-he - We have the same dentist.
Are-are you sure? How? - Wh-Where did this happen? - We're gonna answer your questions, but first, we're gonna have to ask you some.
- Where were you two nights ago? - Um, I was here.
I was covering for Chase.
I was helping a-a few kids with their routines.
- Which families? - Um, the Sizemores, the Otts.
Tammy Shaw and her girls.
Chase was in those pipes, too? It's possible he had a hand in your husband's murder.
I know they didn't get along, - but - We found part of a .
45-caliber bullet at the scene.
Starr has a weapon of the same caliber registered in his name.
Which Mr.
Starr? Chase.
But we But we want to ask you about Grayson.
He suggested you might be able to alibi him for Tuesday night.
We were here for extra practice with Grayson.
We left after Carrie's run-through, but he stayed.
Well, if you knew that Grayson was filling in for Chase, why didn't you tell us - the other day? - It's none of my business.
What, you think I want problems with the heads of the pageant? What happened to your leg there? It looks like a chemical burn.
It was this.
That looks more like an exothermic ulcer than a hot glue mishap.
I was putting rhinestones on Quinn's shoes.
It hurt - like the dickens.
- Yeah.
Uh, I'd like to take a swab of your wound, please.
Mom, Carrie's crying again.
Check it out, lady in the hat.
Trey, don't let him do you like that! Get your hands up! Get your hands up! Hey, mama.
That's my ball.
Huh? - That's my ball.
- Oh, sure, sure.
- It's all good.
- Yeah.
You're lucky, Ms.
The burn on your leg could've been much worse.
Sulfuric acid is no joke.
I told you that I burned myself with a glue gun.
Where are my girls? There's an officer with them.
Tammy, uh, where did you go after your rehearsal with Grayson the other night? Home to put my daughters to bed.
And after that? Gil, it's, uh, Wix's trash day tomorrow.
Yeah, well, looks like they got this covered, so I'll go.
No, you know what? You stay.
Finish it.
May be the last case we work.
You're a secretary at Stockton Paper.
Is that right, Ms.
Shaw? What-what does that have to do with anything? You knew both victims.
And you had access to the chemicals that dissolved them.
Sulfuric acid, hydrogen peroxide.
These are used in paper manufacturing and recycling.
Uh Chase asked me to get him those bottles.
He gave me a list.
Why steal for him? We were in love.
I-I didn't ask questions.
I didn't know what it was for.
But whatever he did, I don't know.
Tammy, what What really happened in there? Why did both men you loved have to die? I have no idea.
I mean, they kind of hated each other, but I mean, I didn't do anything.
We're gonna go get a detective who can, uh take it from here.
I didn't kill anyone.
Please, please, don't take me away from my girls.
How could you think I did this? How?! Now, that's a good question.
- Come on! - What? - I said I needed you.
- No, I'm just taking out the broccoli.
It's gross.
- Well, hurry up.
- Talk like that, Anna, I'm gonna have to kick your ass - in Double Jeopardy! - Not likely.
Hello, Anson.
Did you forget something in here? Well, you must be desperate, rooting around in my trash.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised.
No, I think we both know who we're dealing with.
You're not gonna find anything, Sara.
Every criminal makes mistakes.
That right there.
That is what I hate about CSIs.
It's that certainty.
That-that deluded belief that if you just know where to look and you know how to look, you're gonna see the truth.
Don't talk to me about truth.
Oh, right.
I am so sorry.
You are the expert.
What would I know? You know? People can't digest the horror of this world, so you spoon-feed them a story just one molecule at a time.
But, you know, all your lights and your lasers and your potions? You know, nobody on a jury understands any of that.
You know, that is just special effects to create an illusion of certainty.
And it's my job No, it is my job to fight that with doubt, Sara, - and that's how I win.
- Anson.
There's not gonna be any doubt.
Oh, good.
More garbage.
Folsom told me they arrested Tammy Shaw three hours ago.
I went fishing for that missing bullet jacket on the off chance that Tammy Shaw had help throwing her accomplice all around the crime scene.
I didn't find it, but I did I met him.
- What? - It was an accident.
- Sara.
- He didn't tell me anything, but, uh maybe whoever left this will.
I need your help with this.
Wix lives with his sister.
How do we know this didn't come from her? You are the geneticist.
I'm hoping you can tell me.
Found it in a small trash bag full of tissues, floss and men's deodorant.
It must have come from Wix's upstairs bathroom.
Anna would not have been up there.
So maybe he has a confidant.
We need to find them.
The standard STR showed too much degradation in the sample, so I don't even know if there's anything else that can be done.
I'm giving PreCR a shot.
It's an enzymatic process that repairs broken DNA.
Mitochondrial or genomic? Both.
It can play ball with all kinds of damage.
Mechanical, heat.
Liquid at the bottom of a trash can? Cross your fingers.
And you may even have results before the Hodges trial starts tomorrow.
I got to get out of here before somebody remembers I don't run this lab.
Max, thank you.
How many laws did you two just break? A couple.
You're still stuck on this, huh? A petite mother of two did not make that dent.
No, she knocked someone into the wall.
I wonder how the head made impact tipped back like that.
What is it? Your shoulders.
If you were Erik Shaw and that was made by the back of your head, where are your shoulders and your back? Do you think that could have been made by the crown of the head? Maybe.
If he was knocked completely off his feet.
We should've been looking for a killer with superhuman strength.
I'm not sure the killer was human at all.
- Hmm.
- Okay.
- Everybody back.
- All right.
- Back, back, back.
- Okay.
Cover your ears.
- Ready, Allie? - Oh, yeah.
Fire in the hole! - Whew.
- Wow.
Oh, God.
Another fine mess you've gotten us into, Allie.
I don't understand.
Where was Tammy Shaw standing? My guess, about seven miles away back home with her kids.
Chase Starr shot Erik Shaw.
He gave up dismembering him, and he came up with a different plan to get rid of the body.
The reaction of the chemicals that Chase used blew him back against the wall.
And then bounced into the tub.
Buonanotte, pal.
So, it was a murder and an accidental death? We've been solving the killer's death the whole time.
First time for everything.
Just keeps on ticking.
I'm gonna treasure this.
Thank you for bringing it.
Thanks for everything.
Oh, I didn't have anything to do with your charges being dropped.
just didn't think she could prove you knew what you were getting those chemicals for.
State of mind is hard to prove.
I have my own guess about what you knew, but I love my daughters.
That's my state of mind.
I would never do anything to get them taken away.
All right, thanks.
Max's repair job on the lipstick sample worked.
Buccal DNA from two people.
Anson Wix and Janice Woo.
I didn't think it was customary to be kissing your expert witness.
Your accomplice, maybe.
Ugh, if we could get her to flip That'd be the ball game.
By the way, I found something you were looking for, and I better give it to you before we go through the metal detector.
Thank you.
You weren't really that worried about the ring? It, um It just felt like a bad omen.
Only Hodges would be late to his own trial.
"Five minutes".
How can you say that to someone - that you said - That-That's what you did.
- That was your action.
- No.
I'm done.
Is everything all right? Apparently, I don't need to bother watching the criminal trial.
I was just fired.
- I'm off the Hodges civil case.
- Why? Anson's replacing me.
I guess he's worried about how things look.
And now he's just done with me.
Excuse me.
If she knew anything, he wouldn't cut her loose.
He would've killed her.
State of Nevada v.
Please report to room nine.
Well, that's it.
We're out of time.
Come on, now! Whoa.
Ah! Sorry, bro.
That's my boy! My bad, dude.
You're dirty, bro.
Well, if you're really hurt, maybe you could just file a personal injury suit.
- What the hell are you talking about? - No, it It's a good idea.
You could call your lawyer, Anson Wix.
How do you know that name? Well, for one thing, he represented you on trafficking charges last year, right? But maybe he could help you with this.
Now, that's the game I really came to watch.
You can't prove there were drugs in that bag.
That's not why we're here.
We're here because we've discovered that you are the link between Anson Wix and a hit man.
You paid Estaban Ruiz to kill a retired cop.
The name Jim Brass ring a bell? You see, Estaban ended up getting blown away by a blind old man.
You picked a crappy assassin, bro.
If he were better, - we wouldn't be here.
- And you wouldn't have to help us take down Anson Wix.

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