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Let the Seller Beware
WriterCarol Mendelsohn,
Anthony E. Zuiker
DirectorDanny Cannon
Original AirdateOctober 10, 2002
Previous Episode: The Accused is Entitled
Next Episode: A Little Murder

Let the Seller Beware is the third episode in season three of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.


Grissom, Catherine, Nick and Warrick investigate when a wealthy couple is murdered at their house, which was up for sale. Meanwhile Sara is sent to a local high school where a cheerleader was found eviscerated on the football field, her organs having been ingested by her killer.


Cal and Monica Newman are found murdered in their home. The new wife has a GSW to her head with a .380 AUTO CALIBER on the side. The husband is still missing. Brass tells Grissom the Newmans have a 15 year old son named Max from Cal's first marriage. Grissom then tells Nick and Warrick that there's Red Dye Number III on the sidewalk of the pool. Warrick goes to check out the cabana. Nick then uses the LS and he and Grissom find 2 sets of footprints: a size 10 and 12. It's later determined that Cal is a size 10 so it is assumed the killer was a size 12.

They then hear a weird clogging sound coming from the pool. Grissom then says that either Nick or Warrick is going into the pool. Warrick and Nick do rock/paper/scissors/ for who goes in the pool. Warrick wins and Nick goes in the pool. He finds a male dead body.

Warrick and Nick then drain the pool. Catherine then brings Cal's ex-wife to ID her ex-husband's body. She says it's Cal. Catherine and Archie then notice a sculpture missing in the after pictures of the house.

Doc Robbins's autopsy of Cal Newman indicates that he drowned. Grissom tells him that they found his hand caught in the pool filter which Doc Robbins says was postmortem. He also finds a spot on Mr. Newman's forehead. He speculates that he may have taken a bad fall, but Grissom says that he may have been beaten. No sexual assault was found on the wife, COD was a single gunshot to the head. Her neck and wrists were assaulted, which included a bruise on her hand. This indicated that she instinctively reached for the gun that was being pointed at her head.

In a video of the new wife, they see the broker of the house in the background. Brass and Catherine talk to him, and he says he helps auction their videos, which is how he helps to sell houses. Warrick then talks to the pool guy, who says he saw Cal Newman yelling at his son, Max.

Warrick then finds a few screws from the pool filter in the pool guy's truck. He says that he removed the screws, so that he would have an excuse to go back to the house. He figured that the more he was around, the more Monica Newman wanted him. He volunteers a DNA sample and his fingerprints, saying he had nothing to hide.

Nick then finds a hair, fiber, and a tooth filling. He tells Grissom that the chemicals in Cal Newman's lungs match the chemicals in the pool water. Grissom then talks about mildew that was around the Newman's pool. Nick then thinks that the killer may have transferred mildew from the pool to the house. Greg then shows that there were 2 sperm donors inside Monica Newman. One of the donors is Cal Newman, the other one is unaccounted for. Nick then says that Monica Newman was cheating on her husband.

When Warrick and Nick go back to the house, Warrick finds a cardboard still of the broker in the closet. Also, Archie shows Catherine and Grissom a reflection in the video of the new wife. They see her stepson, Max Newman holding the camera. They then get Greg to compare the DNA on the cigarette butts to the reference sample of the other sperm donor in Monica Newman. Max's mother says that her son was at Red Rock Canyon on a field trip.

Brass shows Max and his mom pictures of Max and his stepmom naked. Catherine tells Max that they found 2 sperm donors on the sample from his stepmother: his dad's and his. Brass then thinks that Max drowned his father to be with his hot stepmother. Then, he shot his stepmother. But, Max's mom says that's not possible because Max can't swim. Catherine and Grissom then theorize that the killer was someone who can swim. Nick then tells Warrick that he ID some white neoprene like in a wetsuit.

Brass and Grissom then interrogate Peter Burgland. They say they found his tooth filling, hair, and fingerprints. Peter says that they'll find him all over the house. He wanted to buy it. He was everywhere. Brass then says that Peter's prints came back Military: Navy Seal. However, Peter is an ex-Navy SEAL. Grissom then does an experiment on Greg using mildew and regular tap water.

Grissom then interrogates Peter again and gives him a warrant to see his feet and tells him to take off his shoes and socks. Grissom then sees that Peter has the rash from the Aureobasidium pullulans, which mostly affects people of Scandinavian ancestry. Grissom then tells Peter how he did it. He put on a wetsuit and went into the pool and waited for Mr. Newman and attacked him and killed him. He then went upstairs and shot the new Mrs. Newman. Catherine then figures out that Cal's ex-wife hired Peter Burglund to kill her ex-husband, so she can get his money.

Meanwhile, Sara is sent by Grissom to work on a case on her day off at a high school, where a cheerleader has been found dead: Mandy Kirk, 17 year old senior cheerleader. David Phillips then tells Sara that she bled out due to trauma on her organs. Sara thinks the bite marks are of dog bites, but David says that they're human. He also says that the cheerleader suffered from the E coli bacteria.

Sara then finds out that the cheerleader was a "Soccer Bunny" to a Chuck Darwell, who hooked up with Mandy after every soccer game. She then visits Chuck in the hospital, who got sick with E coli, and she obtains his stomach contents. Greg then reads a letter from the coroner that was for Sara, telling her about PCP (Angel dust, a halogen, causes the brain to malfunction from the body), and then she finds raw skin that's possibly human. She then thinks that Chuck murdered Mandy, but on his bite plate to the teeth marks on Mandy's ribs, it does not match. Greg then thinks that there was someone else with Chuck the night Mandy died.

Sara goes back to the school and talks to another girl named Nicole, who's 18 years old and would not stop throwing up because she was infected with the E coli bacteria due to PCP. She then tells Sara what happened that night: She and Chuck went to the field and were hooking up behind Mandy's back. When Mandy saw them, she got mad. Nicole didn't know what occurred. It was like her blood was surging through her body. Her brain was split from her own body. Sara says it's called psychological detachment which is a function of PCP. It then shows Nicole stabbing Mandy with a thing from the field. She then ate her stomach and killed her. Nicole is then arrested for Mandy's murder.


Main Cast

Guest Cast

  • Archie Kao as Archie Johnson
  • Jeffrey D. Sams as Cyrus Lockwood
  • David Berman as David Phillips
  • Chris Payne Gilbert as Peter Berglund
  • Mary-Margaret Humes as Jeri Newman
  • Taylor Handley as Max Newman
  • Nicole Paggi as Nicole Exmoor
  • Laurie Fortier as Janine Wood
  • N/A as Cal Newman
  • Monique Demers as Monica Newman
  • Edward Edwards as Mr. Darwell
  • Peter Holden as Augie Heitz
  • Chris J. Johnson as Chuck Darwell
  • Michael McLafferty as Poolman Jack Jarvis
  • Rachel Shumate as Amanda Kirk
  • Kendra Danielle Smith as Nurse


Catherine: The thing about murder for hire, there's always a paper trail.


  • Grissom finds some cigarette butts in a flower pot in the garden. In the close-up, it turns out they can't have been smoked because there are no stains on the filters (otherwise these get brown when smoking from the tar they absorb.)
  • When they show a close-up of the dead cheerleader at the crime scene you can see her eyelids move and you can see her breathing.

See Also

CSI:Las Vegas Season 3
Revenge is Best Served ColdThe Accused is EntitledLet the Seller BewareA Little MurderAbra-CadaverThe Execution of Catherine WillowsFight NightSnuffBlood LustHigh and LowRecipe for MurderGot Murder?Random Acts of ViolenceOne Hit WonderLady Heather's BoxLucky StrikeCrash & BurnPrecious MetalA Night at the MoviesLast LaughForeverPlay with FireInside the Box