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Sounds of Silence
WriterJosh Berman,
Andrew Lipsitz
DirectorPeter Markle
Original AirdateApril 29, 2001
Previous Episode: Gentle, Gentle
Next Episode: Justice is Served

Sounds of Silence is the twentieth episode in season one of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.


Grissom, Warrick and Sara investigate the death of a deaf man who was run over by a car. However, more investigation shows that he died before the car even struck him. The team's encounters with the dean of the deaf man's school reveals a secret about Grissom. Meanwhile, Catherine and Nick investigate an apparent mob hit that leaves five dead in a coffee shop and discover that the victim they thought was the target may only have been collateral damage.


When a car runs over a body, the team discover it was not the car that killed him as he was already dead. The investigation reveals personal information about Grissom, which surprises Warrick and Sara. Catherine, meanwhile, investigate what appears to be a mob hit in a coffee store that leaves five dead. However, they discover that the shooting began in the back room; the store owner got one of the employees pregnant and shot her in an argument before killing everyone else as well.

After tracing the hit-and-run victim's mother, Grissom discovers that he was a student at a school for the deaf. The school's principal, Dr. Gilbert, becomes uncooperative when Warrick and Sara question her via an interpreter; she is able to read lips and takes offense. When Grissom interrogates her in sign language, she opens up and helps Grissom track down the killers, a pair of teenagers who asked the victim to buy beer for them and flew into a rage when he did not respond.

At the end of the episode, Grissom talks to Dr. Gilbert in American Sign Language. What he is saying is that his mother lost her hearing when she was eight years old. He once asked her, "What is it like to be deaf?" and she told Grissom, who loved to swim, that it was like being underwater. She also taught him that being deaf does not make one inferior and that deafness can be a blessing. The camera pulls back to reveal a fountain as the two continue signing, and the sound of the fountain becomes dominant as the scene fades to the closing credit slide.


Main Cast

Guest Cast

  • Eric Szmanda as Greg Sanders
  • Robert David Hall as Dr. Al Robbins
  • Skip O'Brien as Detective Ray O'Riley
  • David Berman as David Phillips
  • Gerald McCullouch as Bobby Dawson
  • Joseph Patrick Kelly as Officer Joe Metcalf
  • Tom Gallop as Attorney Randy Painter
  • Deanne Bray as Dr. Gilbert
  • Mario Schugel as Brad Kendall
  • Elaine Kagan as Mrs. Clemonds
  • Jonah Rooney as Mark Rucker
  • Austin Nichols as Adam Walkey
  • Arlene Malinowski as Halley the Interpreter
  • Greg Anderson as Brian Clemonds
  • Scott Caudill as Paul Arrington
  • Caroline Barba as Lisa
  • Samantha Harris as Charlotte
  • Joannah Portman as Erin McCarty
  • Mark Ginther as Al Robson
  • Kanin Howell as Roy Hinton
  • Bonnie Morgan as Alice Neely
  • Jeff Podgurski as Frankie Flynn
  • Kelli McNeil as Deaf Girl (uncredited)
  • William Wantland as Extra (uncredited)


  • This is the first occasion we see Grissom use American Sign Language, although he refuses to discuss the reasons for his proficiency (a deaf mother) and it is only later in the series that the scene in which he wears earplugs takes on a deeper significance (his fears that he will lose his hearing).

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