1,662 Pages

$35K O.B.O.
WriterEli Talbert
DirectorRoy H. Wagner
Original AirdateMarch 29, 2001
Previous Episode: Face Lift
Next Episode: Gentle, Gentle

$35K O.B.O. is the eighteenth episode in season one of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.


A couple walks out of a fancy restaurant to their car. They are attacked and killed. When Gil, Warrick, Nick and Sara arrives on the scene, the only eye-witness, at a rain-soaked scene, is a young man who stayed behind to give his statements, telling the story of a carjacking gone wrong. After the car is found and becomes a new crime scene, the case becomes far more complicated. Meanwhile Catherine investigates the collapse of an apartment building that killed three senior citizens.


A couple, Amy and Kevin Shepard, are walking out of a restaurant when they are attacked and killed. The CSI's arrive on the scene, but it suddenly starts pouring rain. Grissom says they have only 3 minutes to process before the rain washed all the evidence away. The CSI's rush to process but Sara says they're losing everything. Grissom says the killer got lucky.

The only witness to the murders is a man named Justin Green. He tells Sara and Grissom that he saw an SUV peel out and almost hit him. When he turned he saw a body in the street and called for help. He thought he killed him because he performed CPR incorrectly but Grissom assures him that is not what killed him. Sara tells him they have to take his clothes because of the blood. Nick goes to the DNA lab to give Greg a sample of hair he pulled from the Kevin. They discover the hair is from a cat.

At the autopsy, Doc Robbins says Kevin was attacked with 2 different weapons. Grissom remarks that two weapons means two different attackers. Brass arrives at the morgue looking for Grissom but finds Warrick instead, making casts of the stab wounds to determine the weapon used. He tells Warrick they found the dead couples car. When Grissom opens the car door, a dead body, Jessica Hall, falls into his arms.

During an x-ray of Jessica's body they find the tip of a knife. They take it to a knife expert and he determines it came from a dagger. Back at the lab, using the casts Warrick made and their new information on the dagger, they also confirm there was not two murder weapons. The assailant started with Kevin, then stabbed Jessica during which the tip of the dagger broke off, and then went back to Kevin to finish the job with the broken dagger.

Nick tells the team about an unusual blood pattern on Kevin Shepard's shoe. The pattern, and the fact that the blood doesn't belong to Kevin, but belongs to Jessica, suggests that Jessica was in on the attack. She held Kevin down while someone else stabbed him and that she was stabbed accidentally in the chaos.

Grissom, Sara, Nick and Brass search Jessica Hall's apartment. Nick discovers Jessica had a cat, which explains the cat hairs on Jessica and Kevin. They also access her bank accounts and find that Kevin Shepard paid her $35,000. Nick takes a notepad found in Jessica's apartment back to the lab to have it analyzed. On it, they find a blueprint for the murder. Which suggests that Kevin took a hit out on his wife, so that him and Jessica could be together. But something went wrong, and he ended up dead. Brass comes in and says that Jessica made a call to Justin Green, the eyewitness, just before the attack. A hand print on Justin's jacket confirms the dagger was in Justin's hands, and his story about performing CPR was a lie.

While going over everyone's bank records and call history they discover that Jessica and Justin used to be married. She hired her ex husband to kill Kevin's wife. But Justin told Amy, and asked her for a counter offer. Amy paid him double to take out her husband. But instead Justin just killed them all, so he could collect all the money.

Meanwhile, Catherine arrives to a building collapse where she meets the standoffish district engineer of the city. Catherine implies he dropped the ball during his last inspection of the building. He wants to write a report and send it to her but she ignores him and asks where the origin of the collapse was. She goes into the basement and finds a beetle. The building also starts shaking from an F-16 from an Air Force Base just a mile away. Catherine also discovers wooden support beams and it appears someone took a sledgehammer to it.

Catherine examines the wooden beam and the city engineer confirms someone took a sledgehammer to the beam, but doesn't believe it was serious enough to cause any damage. Catherine ultimately believes that sound vibrations from F-16’s are the cause of the building collapse and that the beetles, and sledgehammer worsened it. She conducts an experiment which confirms this.


Main Cast

Guest Cast

Episode Title

  • This episode was originally titled 'Four Square.'

See Also

CSI:Las Vegas Season 1
PilotCool ChangeCrate 'n BurialPledging Mr. JohnsonFriends & LoversWho Are You?Blood DropsAnonymousUnfriendly SkiesSex, Lies and LarvaeI-15 MurdersFahrenheit 932BoomTo Halve and to HoldTable StakesToo Tough to DieFace Lift$35K O.B.O.Gentle, GentleSounds of SilenceJustice is ServedEvaluation DayStrip Strangler