|Original Airdate||November 24, 2000|
|Previous Episode: Blood Drops|
|Next Episode: Unfriendly Skies|
Anonymous is the eighth episode in season one of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
When another staged suicide takes place, Grissom realizes he is dealing with a serial killer who has a thorough knowledge of forensic science. Meanwhile Warrick and Nick investigate a tourist's car that fell off a cliff.
Grissom and Brass are called to a disturbingly familiar crime scene. Stuart Rampler lies dead in a bathtub in an apparent suicide. Grissom finds a tape recorder nearby and plays the suicide message – aside from having been recorded backwards and changing the personal details to reflect Rampler’s name and birthday, the message is identical to the recorded message found at the Royce Harmon murder several months ago. Grissom realizes that the killer has returned.
Sara dusts the bathtub for fingerprints and is surprised to find no prints at all. She then processes Rampler’s hotel room and finds a pile of mail ready to be sent. She notices that only one of the stamps is upside-down. At the lab, Greg tells her that the DNA on the right-side-up stamps belongs to Rampler, but the upside-down stamp was licked by an unknown person. Sara says that "Anonymous" is toying with the CSIs, leaving them unusual clues and red herrings.
The CSIs analyze the suicide tapes and hear rustling paper. They realize that the killer forces his victims to read the suicide message from a script.
Sara notices that both victims have the same birthday, August 17, but that Harmon was born in 1958 and Rampler in 1957. Grissom mentions that the tape was recorded backwards and that the stamp was upside-down. He thinks that the killer is suggesting he look backwards instead of forwards for clues. Grissom tells Sara to look at cases from August 17, 1956.
Grissom finds two thumbprints on the tape recorder, one on top of the other. The first print belongs as Paul Millander, who has already been cleared as a suspect. The second print, however, is identified as Grissom’s, and he realizes that "Whoever it is telling me that he's got me under his thumb." Grissom again visits Millander to ask if he kept any records of who bought his Halloween hands, but Millander cannot help him.
Brass learns that Rampler has been making ATM cash withdrawals after his death. The ATM is brought to the lab, and Grissom watches the surveillance footage from the security camera. A homeless man holds up cue cards to the camera, showing a message that the killer will kill again and again until he gets justice. Brass finds the homeless man and questions him. He says a man approached him and offered him $100 to hold the cue cards in front of the camera, and he describes a man that Grissom recognizes as Millander. Grissom angrily realizes that he has been tricked.
Sara learns that Millander witnessed two men stage his father’s suicide when he was ten years old. The team realizes that Millander is killing men born on the same day as his father's death. Grissom and Catherine go to Millander’s warehouse and find it empty, a stark contrast to when Grissom visited earlier that day when it was full of Millander's products. The lone remaining item is an envelope addressed to Grissom. Inside, there is a single piece of paper with nothing written on it. Grissom interprets this to mean "we have nothing".
As the CSIs search the warehouse, Millander visits the lab and waves jauntily at a security camera.
Warrick and Nick arrive at their crime scene: a car has fallen off a cliff. They find Walter Banglor unconscious in the back seat but no driver. They also find empty beer bottles nearby and speculate that the driver was drunk. They notice that the car balanced on the edge of the cliff before it fell over.
Nick voices his "phantom driver" theory where the driver bailed as the car balanced on the road edge and was then picked up by a second car, whose tracks they have found. Warrick disagrees and points to nearby footprints which show a walking stride to the edge. He thinks the man in the backseat was the driver, and he was robbed. They decide to bet on the case.
Nick and Warrick visit the man from the backseat in the hospital but cannot question him because he is sedated. They inspect him and find tan lines pointing to a missing watch and ring, and an empty wallet. Nick finds fingerprints on the steering wheel that match Banglor and blue dust in the ridges of his prints. He finds more blue dust on Banglor's clothing. Greg tells him the blue dust is chalk used for pool cues.
Again, Nick and Warrick compare theories. Nick thinks Banglor was playing pool with his phantom driver and the drunk driver crashed the car. The driver got out of the car, leaving his friend in the back seat. Warrick agrees that he was drinking and playing pool, but thinks he was driving alone. He was flagged down by a man, skidded and hit the railing, balancing on the edge. He was then robbed, forced into the back seat, and pushed over the edge. They admit that both scenarios work, and they must talk to Banglor to find out what really happened.
Nick and Warrick are finally able to speak to Banglor, who tells them that he gambled away all of his money at a pool hall, including his watch and ring, and then tried to drive home very drunk. He crashed and moved into the back seat and buckled himself in. Nick and Warrick agree, in terms of the bet, that there is no winner and no loser.
Main Cast Edit
- William Petersen as Gil Grissom
- Marg Helgenberger as Catherine Willows
- Gary Dourdan as Warrick Brown
- George Eads as Nick Stokes
- Jorja Fox as Sara Sidle
- Paul Guilfoyle as Jim Brass
Guest Cast Edit
- Matt O'Toole as Paul Millander
- Eric Szmanda as Greg Sanders
- Robert David Hall as Dr. Al Robbins
- Sheeri Rappaport as Mandy Webster
- Aasif Mandvi as Dr. Leever
- Mark Collver as Detective B. Evans
- Greg Collins as Officer Arvington
- John Churchill as Shibley
- Barbara Tarbuck as Paige Harmon
- Tom McCleister as Walter Bangler
- Ricky Harris as Disco Placid
- Howard S. Miller as Bum
- Jonathan T. Floyd as Paramedic
- Natasha Silver as Receptionist
- James MacPherson as Thug
- Douglas Bennett as Stranded Motorist
- Sewell Whitney as Stuart Rampler
- "Ain't No Sunshine" by Bill Withers