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Sex, Lies and Larvae
WriterJosh Berman,
Ann Donahue
DirectorThomas J. Wright
Original AirdateDecember 22, 2000
Previous Episode: Unfriendly Skies
Next Episode: I-15 Murders

Sex, Lies and Larvae is the tenth episode in season one of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.


Grissom and Sara investigate the body of a woman when is found in the desert, covered with insects. Grissom uses entomological evidence to discover the time of death. Meanwhile Warrick and Catherine try to find out who stole a painting. Nick deals with a missing persons case when a woman's car is found at a bus station.


A woman was found dead, wrapped in a blanket and with a bullet wound in her skull, in the mountains. Grissom and Sara arrive to investigate, and Grissom collects several of the insects covering the woman’s body. He is surprised to find a musket fly on the body, as these are found only in urban areas. He realizes that the woman must have been killed in the city and dumped in the mountains.

At autopsy, Doc Robbins notes that the gun was pressed flush against the victim’s skull, indicating an intimate killing. He also finds evidence that she was in a long-term abusive relationship; Sara is deeply affected by this news.

Brass identifies the woman as Kaye Shelton and sends the CSIs to her home, where they meet her husband Scott, who appears supremely unconcerned that his wife has been missing for the past five days. They confront him with the evidence that Kaye was abused, and Scott claims that Kaye was wild but denies ever hitting her.

As they process the house, Grissom finds evidence of a missing blanket and Brass finds a recently cleaned gun with several bullets missing. When they smell bleach, they use luminol to reveal a large amount of blood on the wall. Sara accuses Scott of shooting Kaye, and gets into a shouting match with him. Grissom calms her down as Brass leads Scott to the patrol car.

Back at the lab, an incensed Sara demands to know how she can put Scott away for killing his wife. Brass says they must prove that Kaye has been dead for five days, and Grissom uses the insects as a timeline to show when she died. However, he finds that Kaye has been dead for only three days, and Scott is released from custody.

Grissom realizes that the blanket Kaye was wrapped in may have hindered insects from immediately colonizing her body, and conducts an experiment to confirm his hypothesis – he wraps a dead pig tightly in a blanket and observes how insects colonize it. He learns that, by factoring in the blanket, Kaye could indeed have been dead for five days. However, when he presents this to the Undersheriff, he is told that this evidence is too confusing for juries to understand and he must find another way to incriminate Scott.

Sara and Grissom return to the morgue and learn that a blue ring surrounds Kaye’s bullet hole. Trace analysis reveals that this blue substance is Teflon, and that it is also found in Scott’s bullets. They acknowledge that this is merely circumstantial evidence, but Sara notes that they can bury him with evidence, and that gun evidence will be easier for a jury to understand than forensic entomology.

Meanwhile, Catherine and Warrick are sent to a home where a Paul Sorenson is missing. When they arrive, they are disappointed to learn that Sorenson was an artist from the early 1900s, and they have been sent to investigate a missing painting rather than a missing person. The owner of the house, Richard Ziegler, says he surprised the thief mid-heist the night before, causing him to run away, and that the alarm system was somehow turned off. Catherine and Warrick realize that this was an inside job.

Warrick finds an earprint on the wall, and the CSIs take earprints from the family members. The print on the wall matches Jason, the younger son, and he confesses that he stole the painting. His father refuses to press charges and Jason reveals that the painting is in his car trunk.

Having solved their case, Catherine and Warrick return to the lab, but Catherine feels that the case was resolved too quickly and that they missed something. Warrick’s pager beeps and he leaves the lab; Catherine, knowing that he is scheduled to testify in court today, wishes him well.

Catherine suspects that the recovered painting may be a forgery, so she takes it to an art appraiser who confirms that the painting is not the original Sorenson. She collects the originals from his dorm room and informs Mr. Ziegler that Jason has switched out his entire gallery of Sorenson art with forgeries. Mr. Ziegler recognizes Jason's cry for attention and chooses to press charges against him.

Nick arrives at a bus station to investigate a missing person. Sheryl Applegate was headed to Los Angeles but never arrived; her minivan was later found at the bus station. He inspects the van and finds a lock of red hair and blood in the back. A credit card charge leads him to a hotel, where he finds Sheryl with another man. She explains that the hair and blood are from a hurt dog, and that she was not abducted.

Ecklie tells Grissom that Warrick skipped out on his court date, choosing to gamble during that time instead. Grissom asks Sara to investigate these claims, and she later gives Grissom casino surveillance footage showing Warrick entering the Monaco.


Main Cast

Guest Cast

  • Robert David Hall as Dr. Al Robbins
  • Marc Vann as Conrad Ecklie
  • David Berman as David Phillips
  • Glenn Morshower as Sheriff Brian Mobley
  • John Getz as Richard Zeigler
  • Mark Moses as Scott Shelton
  • Jennifer Sommerfield as Secula
  • Blake Lindsley as Jessica Lovett
  • Lisa Arturo as Sheryl Applegate
  • Todd Sible as Jason Ziegler
  • Jason Padgett as Troy Ziegler
  • John Bastien as Hiking boy
  • Alex Rice as Angie
  • Will Potter as Michael
  • Jennifer Toffel as Liza Zeigler
  • Nicole Brunner as Daughter
  • Susan Santiago as Kimberly Cassano
  • Jodi Lyn Brockton as Kaye Shelton (uncredited)


  • Sara incorrectly attributes Grissom's shovel story to "Sun[g] Tzu", when the actual work he was referring to, the Washing Away of Wrongs, was written by Song Ci. Sun Tzu lived around 1800 years earlier than 1235.


  • Sara Sidle becomes a vegetarian after spending a night watching a pig decompose with Grissom.

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