PDA

View Full Version : Um, CSI April 10? (unboxed spoilers)


Earl Snake-Hips Tucker
04-11-2008, 09:39 AM
This was has me just a little puzzled.

A little girl has died. Doc Robbins says that cause of death was “atlanta-occipital disarticulation,” or, so far as I can tell, her skull had become dislocated from her spinal cord, in this case, the result of blunt force trauma. There were also indications of exposure to sodium hydroxide.

There are also what appear to be finger marks on her arm, as though she might have been gripped tightly.

The upshot: The little girl (Inez or Ynez) and her step-siblings had been playing hide-and-seek. Inez hides in a cabinet containing some drain cleaner.

Stepdad finally wakes up and asks where she is. The other kids take him to the cabinet, where she is dying. Not having a car, he takes a bus to take her to the hospital. At some point, she dies, he exits the bus, and eaves her in a discarded box.

Catherine berates him for having taken a bus to get the child to the hospital. Being an ex-con, he apparently did not want to call 911, knowing that he would be the focus of an investigation.

Catherine had also earlier berated Hodges for implying that it was such a tragedy that a cute little girl had died, her inferring that he meant that a homely child would have been less a tragedy.

Now, I realize, it’s just a TV show, but here is the puzzle:

The cause of death was ruled to be the spinal injury, but there was no indication of the step-dad having laid a hand on her other than to get her to the hospital. In fact, he was distraught that she appeared to be in pretty bad shape.

Now, early in the program, there was a flashback scene indicating how the investigators thought the injury happened, by the child having been violently shaken, but that did not come up later in the investigation.

So what did I miss?

Eyebrows 0f Doom
04-11-2008, 10:33 AM
I was just as confused as you were. I kept thinking they were going to have it so one of the siblings ended up fighting with Inez and accidentally pushed her too hard against the drain pipe under the sink, but that didn't happen. The kids even behaved as if they had done something too. I don't understand how if the girl was sitting quietly under the sink she could hurt herself hard enough to dislocate her skull.

duality72
04-11-2008, 12:14 PM
Now, early in the program, there was a flashback scene indicating how the investigators thought the injury happened, by the child having been violently shaken, but that did not come up later in the investigation.

I don't remember the cause-of-death disconnect, but what you're calling a flashback scene is more like a theory scene. While talking out a case, they'll often show those scenes as how things could have happened given the evidence they have. Sometimes they'll gather new evidence and revisit a scene with it changed slightly to reflect new evidence or a competing theory. And sometimes they don't pan out at all, as in this case.

Earl Snake-Hips Tucker
04-11-2008, 12:21 PM
Yeah. I know.

There’s some discussion on the CSI board on imdb.com. A poster posited that the little girl passed out from the fumes and bumped her head while hiding. That accounted for the “blunt force trauma” that caused the death. I think that might be what the writers intended, but it didn’t come across well. Another posted that the writers’ brains are still on strike. I think they might be on to something.

RealityChuck
04-11-2008, 01:49 PM
The girl cracked her head on a pipe underneath the sink. Catherine noted the blood there. It was pretty obvious, actually, if you were paying attention. They had already established the blunt force to the head, so showing the blood told the tale.

She was hiding and spilled the drain cleaner. Either it was the fumes, or more likely, she jerked back after getting drain cleaner on her, bumping her head.

I really liked the secondary story about the first suspect. Halfway through the show, I pointed out that Brass never listens to anything other than a confession from the suspects. The guy's story was not unreasonable, but he (and Catherine) acted as though it were impossible. And he was right -- they were reckless with his life, especially with no evidence other than the box.

Earl Snake-Hips Tucker
04-11-2008, 01:57 PM
Yeah, I keep forgetting this is "CSI World," we're talking about. When you can blow up a reflection on someon's eye from 10 feet and get a picture of what they're looking at, or when you can spin a piece of pottery and retrieve a voice recording of what the person was saying as they were molding it, it's not a big stretch that a child hiding underneath a sink can bump the head hard enough to cause an "internal decapitation."

LurkMeister
04-11-2008, 02:34 PM
I really liked the secondary story about the first suspect. Halfway through the show, I pointed out that Brass never listens to anything other than a confession from the suspects. The guy's story was not unreasonable, but he (and Catherine) acted as though it were impossible. And he was right -- they were reckless with his life, especially with no evidence other than the box.
That part of the episode really annoyed me. This guy got high and danced nude in public, and just because a group of young kids happened to see him he's branded for the rest of his life as a "sexual predator" and treated as if he were a worthless piece of shit with no rights except to bend over, hold his ankles, and take it.

Hockey Monkey
04-11-2008, 02:47 PM
I thought maybe she convulsed hard enough to sustain the injury. I was also under the impression that she drank the drain cleaner. The whole "taking the bus" thing is what got me though. Wouldn't the driver had thought something was odd?

Eyebrows 0f Doom
04-11-2008, 02:59 PM
I thought the drain cleaners were spilled after she hit her head, like she was convulsing or seizing and kicked them over. It hadn't occured to me that it was the fumes that led to her hitting her head, though now I can see how that makes sense. I still don't see where the bruises on her arms fit in. Did they come from the step-father lifting her up?

And agreed LurkMeister, Catherine really pissed me off this episode with her treatment of the first suspect. When she was talking to Grissom at the end, my first thought was "she owes that guy a huge apology" so I liked the confrontation at the end. Does anyone know if his actions would actually force him to register as a sex offender in real life? It seems like that would make a mockery of the whole thing.

RealityChuck
04-11-2008, 03:28 PM
According to Nevada Law:

NRS 201.230 Lewdness with child under 14 years; penalties.
1. A person who willfully and lewdly commits any lewd or lascivious act, other than acts constituting the crime of sexual assault, upon or with the body, or any part or member thereof, of a child under the age of 14 years, with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust or passions or sexual desires of that person or of that child, is guilty of lewdness with a child.
2. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 3, a person who commits lewdness with a child is guilty of a category A felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life with the possibility of parole, with eligibility for parole beginning when a minimum of 10 years has been served, and may be further punished by a fine of not more than $10,000.It's also defined in the law as a "sexual offense." It looks like he would have been assessed as to whether he had to register as a sex offender.

His story would probably make him tier 1, where he only registers with the police, but it's not inconceivable he was categorized tier 2, especially if the public was demanding a crackdown on sex offenders. On CSI, there are so many sex crimes that that's probably what the public wants.

Oh -- I also liked the opening sequence, where we thought the comedian would be the victim.

LurkMeister
04-11-2008, 04:11 PM
I checked my recording of the episode to verify my memory. Leo Findley took ecstasy and peyote, then the next morning "was so high he thought he was in a living cartoon" so he went outside and "performed a joyous dance to the sun god Ra" which happened to be viewed by twenty preschoolers in the yard next door. I don't understand how that qualifies as lewdness with a child under 14 years as defined in Reality Chuck's quote of Nevada law. There was no "intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust or passions or sexual desires of that person or of that child" in his actions. Grissom even stated that he was "never charged with child molestation, let alone abuse" yet he was forced to register as a sexual predator, apparently under the assumption that someone who gets high and dances naked without first verifying that there are no children present obviously secretly harbors a desire to rape kids :rolleyes:

Yes, I know it's just a TV show, but the inclusion of that storyline served no purpose but to throw a huge red herring into the case. And it does make a mockery of the whole "registered sex offender" program.

duality72
04-11-2008, 04:23 PM
That's just because you're seeing Findley's side of the situation instead of looking through "think of the children!" hysteria-tinged prosecutorial glasses.

Leaper
04-11-2008, 08:37 PM
Anyway, many people would say, given current events, that it's a perfectly realistic depiction of what would happen IRL.

Swallowed My Cellphone
04-11-2008, 09:02 PM
I checked my recording of the episode to verify my memory. Leo Findley took ecstasy and peyote, then the next morning "was so high he thought he was in a living cartoon" so he went outside and "performed a joyous dance to the sun god Ra" which happened to be viewed by twenty preschoolers in the yard next door. I don't understand how that qualifies as lewdness with a child under 14 years as defined in Reality Chuck's quote of Nevada law. There was no "intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust or passions or sexual desires of that person or of that child" in his actions. Yeah, but on ecstacy and peyote, his "joyous dance" could have included a public wank.

Having seen some frightening headlines on Fark about stupid teenagers having to register as sex offenders for preposterous reasons, I can believe that a mob of angry parents would be sure that guy ended up on Meghan's List.

ETA: I was confused by the marks on her arms as well. I thought the marks indicated she'd been shaken. I can see her convulsing and hitting her head and knuckles, but not the arm marks.

RealityChuck
04-11-2008, 09:33 PM
It's ultimately up to the DA, but section one that I quoted clearly makes the incident prosecuteable. He did perform what seems to fit the definition of a lewd act in front of a child and a DA could easily get a conviction on it (the DA would just have to say he was getting a thrill out of it. Further, he had no real defense on the facts of the case_. The only really questionable issue is why he was level 2 (as described) rather than level one (which seems to fit better), but since CSI has a lot of sex crimes (there seems to be one every week), it wouldn't be surprising if there were public pressure to classify more people to level 2.

And it does make a mockery of the whole "registered sex offender" program.Well, it deserves some mockery. There's no evidence that it keeps children safer -- our local police, for instance, haven't had a single case of a registered sex offender committing a sex crime in the past several years. Nearly all people arrested had never been arrested before.

The law is horribly flawed even in its best instances.

DrDeth
04-12-2008, 12:36 AM
The only really questionable issue is why he was level 2 (as described) rather than level one (which seems to fit better), but since CSI has a lot of sex crimes (there seems to be one every week), it wouldn't be surprising if there were public pressure to classify more people to level 2.

Well, it deserves some mockery. There's no evidence that it keeps children safer -- our local police, for instance, haven't had a single case of a registered sex offender committing a sex crime in the past several years. Nearly all people arrested had never been arrested before.

The law is horribly flawed even in its best instances.

I have heard that only 10% of registered sex offenders are considered dangerous. In CA for decades, many of them were gay men who were caught having sex in semi-public places. :mad:

We really need to clear out those laws.

Johnny L.A.
04-12-2008, 01:19 AM
the inclusion of that storyline served no purpose but to throw a huge red herring into the case. And it does make a mockery of the whole "registered sex offender" program.
That was probably the point.

Swallowed My Cellphone
04-15-2008, 01:38 PM
Yes, I know it's just a TV show, but the inclusion of that storyline served no purpose but to throw a huge red herring into the case. And it does make a mockery of the whole "registered sex offender" program.While reading a news article, I found a link to a cite for my previous post. This news story (http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-30055999_ITM) in which "public urination" got a man put on the sex offender registry. So I can see a nude dance to Ra getting you on The List.

Anyone else think that character will end up being the season's Big Bad?

Darth Sensitive
04-15-2008, 01:45 PM
I'm only keeping up with it on CBS online when I get free time. Aren't they still looking for the miniature killer?

The Chao Goes Mu
04-15-2008, 02:23 PM
I'm not a forensic pathologist but as an armchair coroner I would speculate that the cause of death was an MPH to the chest.


Major Plot Hole

LurkMeister
04-15-2008, 03:24 PM
While reading a news article, I found a link to a cite for my previous post. This news story (http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-30055999_ITM) in which "public urination" got a man put on the sex offender registry. So I can see a nude dance to Ra getting you on The List.

Anyone else think that character will end up being the season's Big Bad?
I had a vague recollection of a case like this (if not the same one), but didn't have any luck finding anything confirming it. I've also heard of other cases where "sex offenders" were on the list because they had consensual sex with a classmate, both of them being underage, and her parents insisted on having him charged with "sexual assault" or some such crime.

As several of us have pointed out, cases like these are making a joke out of the registered sexual offenders program. I understand the need to "protect our children" but sooner or later taking it to extremes is going to bite us in the ass.

Eyebrows 0f Doom
04-15-2008, 09:25 PM
I'm only keeping up with it on CBS online when I get free time. Aren't they still looking for the miniature killer?
I think they concluded that storyline last season.

IIRC, the real miniature killer was the adopted daughter of that crazy old guy who shot himself on tape in his garage in one episode. I forget how they caught her. I think it had to do with finding the shop where she bought her art supplies from. I remember she was a really weird character, completely blank. I think that was the end of it, but I'm not sure.

The Chao Goes Mu
04-16-2008, 09:18 AM
I think they concluded that storyline last season.

IIRC, the real miniature killer was the adopted daughter of that crazy old guy who shot himself on tape in his garage in one episode. I forget how they caught her. I think it had to do with finding the shop where she bought her art supplies from. I remember she was a really weird character, completely blank. I think that was the end of it, but I'm not sure.


Yeah, that was the end of it. The old guy shot himself after he found out his daughter was the killer. He tried to make it look as though he was the killer to protect her. She was caught and locked up.

ShelliBean
04-16-2008, 10:10 AM
I still don't see where the bruises on her arms fit in. Did they come from the step-father lifting her up?


I'm pretty sure they came from the giant bug in Catherine's ass crawling out and holding the child, shaking it indignantly and screaming "think of the ugly children!"

Swallowed My Cellphone
04-16-2008, 10:18 AM
I'm pretty sure they came from the giant bug in Catherine's ass crawling out and holding the child, shaking it indignantly and screaming "think of the ugly children!"Y'know to backpedal successfully, when she started foaming at the mouth and asking "What? It's okay to do this to an ugly child?"

The guy just had to say something along the lines of: "ALL children are beautiful" and then given her the stink-eye.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.