1,664 Pages

Felonious Monk
WriterJerry Stahl
DirectorKenneth Fink
Original AirdateMarch 7, 2002
Previous Episode: Primum Non Nocere
Next Episode: Chasing The Bus

Felonious Monk is the seventeenth episode in season two of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.


CSIs Grissom, Nick and Sara investigate the deaths of four Buddhist monks who were shot to death in their monastery near Vegas. Catherine re-opens the murder of an old friend during her dancing days when the man who was convicted of it dies in prison, maintaining that he was innocent. During the case she finds out some disturbing facts about how her old mentor handled the case.


Grissom, Nick and Sara arrive on the scene of a mass murder, four Buddhist monks from Thailand lay dead in their temple. Another monk, Ananda, who claims to have been at a bank depositing money they'd gathered to build a school during the murders, called for help. Each victim was shot between the eyes at close range, one at a time. A gang sign belonging to a gang known as "The Snakebacks" is carved into the wall. Grissom concludes that they sat still because they were praying for whoever shot them. In a temple garden, Grissom finds a potential murder weapon, a rifle.

When the room is processed, Sara extracts a recent boot print from the carpet floor, even though shoes are not supposed to be worn inside a Buddhist temple. She also finds a trace amount of a blue material on a statue and a used chewing gum on another. When Ananda's office is searched, the CSIs find a porn magazine, which is strange since Buddhism discourages seeking pleasure. The lab confirms that the rifle is the murder weapon. It also has Ananda's prints on it. At the autopsy, Doc Robbins explains that the area where all victims were shot corresponds to the Sixth Chakra. In Buddhism, the Chakras are the body's seven energy centers. The Sixth Chakra, also known as "the Third Eye", is the hub of higher consciousness. When Ananda is brought in for questioning, he explains that he found the rifle in his office and carried it outdoors because his faith doesn't allow weapons in the temple. The porn magazine was left in the temple by a visitor and Anada kept it in case that person came back for it.

A further fingerprint analysis confirms that Ananda never touched the trigger of the gun; the locations of the prints are consistent with his story that he only carried the gun. Nick suspects that the gang sign is a false lead; after a number of murders, the LVPD came down hard on the Snakebacks and brought the whole gang down. Through David in autopsy, Grissom contacts a local Air Force base. Since 9/11, they keep satellite surveillance of bases and other key buildings. Since the temple is close to a base, it is within the range of a satellite. A photo shows a car with vanity plates "PROUDUS" outside the temple close to the time of the murders. The car is registered to Peter Hutchins Sr., a local diner owner who was unhappy with the monks having a temple so close to his establishment, blaming them for the drop in local stores’ business. Inside the car, Sara finds a set of prayer beads that doesn’t belong to Hutchins Sr.

At the lab, the CSIs learn that Peter Hutchins Sr. has an alibi for the murders. Greg examines the blue substance found on a statue and determines that it is paintball paint. Grissom, Nick and Sara visit a nearby paintball field, where Hutchins' son, Pete Hutchins Jr., is playing. Sara compares a shoe print left by his boot to the boot print found on the scene and sees that it is similar. Pete is brought in for questioning, accompanied by his father, and denies having been to the temple. When pressured with the boot print, Pete claims to have brought some friends in to look into the rumors that there was money and drugs inside. When Grissom remarks that the lab's dust lifter only works on recent prints, Pete confesses that a friend took a gold statue from the temple when they were there. He went there to return it and found the monks as he was taking off his boots. He didn't call the police because he was afraid that he would become a suspect. When Grissom asks how he knew he was supposed to remove his boots when entering the temple, Pete admits, to his father's shame, to being interested in Buddhism and considering the monks his friends.

With Pete cleared, Greg examines the chewing gum found on a statue and finds trace amounts of curry and saffron on it. Grissom consults with Ananda and presents the lab's findings to him. The spices found on the gum suggest that someone ate them and then chewed the gum. Ananda shows Grissom the temple’s kitchen, the cooking of which uses curry and saffron. O'Riley confronts the two with some new evidence: even though the monks raised ca. $13 000 for their charity project, Ananda only deposited $12 000 when he was at the bank. The account was opened the same day as the murders were committed. Before that, Ananda kept the money in a box in his office. Grissom examines the box and finds curry powder inside. Suspicion falls on the temple’s part-time cook, David Suddahara, whom Ananda caught stealing from the charity fund, which is why Ananda opened a bank acoount to keep the money safe. In interrogation, Suddahara confesses to the murders and Grissom confirms that his DNA matches that from the chewing gum from the scene. He thought Ananda was going to report him, went home, got his rifle and returned. Finding that Ananda was gone, he panicked and executed the monks, one by one. When Grissom asks Suddahara why he shot the monks in the Sixth Chakra, he only replies "I shot them between the eyes." With the case closed, Grissom pays a visit to the temple and sees Pete Hutchins Jr. engaged in meditation with a monk.

In a separate storyline, Catherine meets up with Jimmy Tadero, her old mentor, at bar. Catherine brings up Dwight Kelso, who was convicted of killing her best friend, Stephanie Watson, during her dancer days. Kelso, who recently died of cancer in prison, made a television appearance on his deathbed. He confessed to killing a man in Reno, but maintains that he didn’t kill Stephanie. Even though Kelso had been seen harassing her at the bar and had a knife cut on his hand when he was arrested a block away from the murder site, Catherine still feels insecure about the case. Together with Warrick, she signs out the case evidence, which is due to be destroyed, and re-examines it in the lab. When she and Greg examine the murder weapon, a bloody knife, they notice a small spot of blood that wasn’t examined at the time of the murder. Catherine figures that it was ignored because the lab couldn’t get a DNA sample from such a small amount.

When the test results come back, they show that the small spot is not from Kelso or Stephanie, but a third contributor, a male. Ecklie is initially a bit angry that the evidence was signed out without his knowledge, but gets onboard when he learns of the new evidence. In the display room, Warrick goes over the crime scene photos and notices that a glove that belonged to Kelso and was found on the scene isn't in a single crime scene photo or sketch. Catherine becomes suspicious when she learns that it was logged by Jimmy – two days after the murder. Catherine takes Jimmy to the crime scene to go over the crime again. He shows her the dumpster in which the glove was found, claiming the arresting officer didn’t see the glove because it was dark and he was busy grabbing Kelso. Jimmy is offended when Catherine asks whether he tampered with the evidence.

Back at the lab, Warrick runs more tests on the knife and finds remains of saliva in the blood on both the glove and the knife – Kelso's saliva. Catherine suspects that the blood came from a mouth injury and was then transferred from the glove onto the knife. She confronts Jimmy, who admits that he "helped the evidence along". When Kelso was arrested, the DA didn’t feel like there was enough non-circumstantial evidence to charge him with the murder and he was released. Jimmy attacked Kelso outside, beating him while he taunted him about the murder. Jimmy then shoved the glove into his face, where blood from his beaten mouth stained it. He then transferred some of the blood from the glove onto the knife, planting DNA evidence. Catherine tells him that, with all the new information, Jimmy is a suspect for the murder himself since he had a crush on Stephanie and even proposed to her a week before she was killed, though she turned him down. He refuses to give her a sample of his DNA without a warrant, which Catherine gets.

When the DNA test results come back, Jimmy is brought in for questioning. The test proves that the blood on the knife is not his, nor is it a match to anyone connected to the case or anyone in CODIS. Jimmy is furious when he learns that Catherine will make sure he is prosecuted to the full extent of the law, even though he could get life in prison or even the death penalty. He calls Catherine ungrateful, saying she would have started prostituting herself if he hadn’t gotten her out of dancing. Catherine rebutts this, saying she earned her career as a CSI and only danced. She remarks that Jimmy sold his integrity to get a case solved and because of that, the real killer got away with it. She asks "Between the two of us, who’s the whore?". She promises to follow Jimmy all the way through his proceedings and has him arrested. In the final scene of the episode, Catherine returns the Stephanie Watson evidence to the storage and marks the box "DO NOT DESTROY – CASE UNSOLVED".


Main Cast

Guest Cast

  • Eric Szmanda as Greg Sanders
  • Robert David Hall as Dr. Al Robbins
  • Skip O'Brien as Detective Ray O'Riley
  • Marc Vann as Conrad Ecklie
  • David Berman as David Phillips
  • Bruce McGill as Jimmy Tadero
  • Marshall Bell as Peter Hutchins Sr.
  • Aaron Paul as Peter Hutchins Jr.
  • Nicholas Sadler as Dwight Kelso
  • Randy Thompson as Col. Isaac Phillips
  • Mark Dacascos as Ananda
  • Jusak Bernhard as David Suddahara
  • Michael Delano as Ted Benton
  • Koji Kataoka as Monk #2
  • Steven Kozlowski as Tommy
  • Kimberly Lyon as Stephanie Watson
  • Gregory Onga as Monk #3
  • Woon Young Park as Monk #1
  • Eck Stone as Monk #4
  • Troy Remelski as Peter's Friend (uncredited)

Episode Title

  • Felonious Monk appears to be a subtle reference to Jazz musician Thelonious Sphere Monk. He is considered one of the greatest jazz musicians, and is a founder of the sub-genre of jazz called "bebop".


  • Green Onions by Booker T. & The M.G.'s.
  • I Just Want to Make Love to You by Foghat.
  • Gimme All Your Lovin' by ZZ Top.


  • Gil Grissom has good knowledge about Buddhism.
  • David Phillips' father is a Colonel at Nellis Air Force Base.
  • During the first bar scene with Jimmy and Catherine, he mentions Roy Logan and the events in The Finger.

See Also

CSI:Las Vegas Season 2
BurkedChaos TheoryOverloadBully for YouScuba Doobie-DooAlter BoysCagedSlaves of Las VegasAnd Then There Were NoneEllieOrgan GrinderYou've Got MaleIdentity CrisisThe FingerBurden of ProofPrimum Non NocereFelonious MonkChasing The BusStalkerCats in the CradleAnatomy of a LyeCross JurisdictionsThe Hunger Artist