|Original Airdate||October 12, 2005|
|Previous Episode: Grand Murder at Central Station|
|Next Episode: Corporate Warriors|
Zoo York is the third episode in season two of CSI: NY.
Mac and Danny investigate the mysterious death of a man eaten by a tiger at the Bronx Zoo. Lindsay Monroe, a new C.S.I who replaced Aiden, has her first job by helping Mac and Danny on their case. Meanwhile, Stella and Hawkes investigate the death of a young debutante found in a carousel.
Central Park Zoo visitors flee in terror when a tiger at the zoo is found eating a man. Mac, Danny and Flack arrive at the scene and are quick to note that something is fishy about the case. Mac notices blood at the top of the cage, indicating the man was already bleeding when he fell into the cage. Danny spots tape around one of the man's severed wrists, suggesting that the tiger's snack may have actually been a mob hit. Aiden's replacement, CSI Lindsay Monroe reports for her first case, and Mac has her jump right in, asking her to hold the tranquilized tiger's jaw open so he can swab the tiger's mouth.
Stella and Hawkes are investigating the murder of a teen girl found dead on a carousel. She's wearing a white dress, which Dr. Evan Zao identifies as a debutante's dress. Though unsure of the cause of death, Zao points out she has an enlarged heart and diet pills were her only meal the previous day. Zao points out an irritation under her upper lip as well as a swelling on her neck. Stella notices her shoes are too small for her feet. Back at the zoo, Danny questions Felix Parker, whose landscaping company was unloading roses when the body was discovered, but he doesn't recall seeing anything suspicious. Mac follows the blood trail and discovers red paint chips, and realizes the victim was driven in and dumped. Danny's suspicion that it was a mob hit grows. In the morgue, Dr. Zao tells Mac that the man died of exsanguination and points out that his heart appears to have been frozen and thawed.
Back at the lab, Stella goes over the debutante's dress, finding a powdery orange substance on it and noticing that the dress has been taken in. Hawkes examines a button that was found near the body but doesn't match the girl's dress. Elsewhere, Mac and Lindsay try to determine what weapon was used to kill their victim based on a wound that isn't consistent with the tiger's bites. Danny enters the lab to tell them that blood from the victim's shoe was bovine, not human and notes there was sawdust on his shoes as well. When Mac identifies the weapon used as a meat hook, they put together that the victim was working in the meatpacking district. A trip to the district reveals that the victim, Bobby Vinetti, owned a shop in the area and hasn't been seen since the day before. Danny finds packing tape and Mac notices a bloodstain made up of human blood on the wall in the meat locker, indicating that this is their primary crime scene. Danny notices a thawed handprint on the wall. One of the shop workers mentions a man named Ryan Knight who was fired the day before but still punched in the previous evening. On their way out, Mac notices a read truck with the name Vincetti on on it: Bobby's uncle Angelo, a mobster, is taking note of Mac's progress on the case.
Hawkes discovers the orange dust on the debutante's dress is cheddar cheese dust, and Zack has an ID for the CSIs: Briana Freemont, who was reported missing by her mother, Jessica. Jessica tearfully IDs Briana's body and tells Stella Briana was adopted but that she also has a biological daughter. Missy, wearing her own debutante dress, arrives at the morgue where Stella notices a similar cheese dust on her dress. Stella questions Missy, who admits to hating her perfect sister. When Stella accuses her of taking in her sister's dress and switching her shoes so that Briana would think she was getting fat, Briana admits that she did, but denies killing her sister. She says she was with a boy, Sam Wilson, all night at the Dandridge Hotel. Zack gives Stella and Hawkes a new lead when he tells them that the irritation on Briana's lip was from collagen and that she was killed by spider venom.
Mac and Lindsay track Ryan Knight down, and he tries to flee when Mac approaches him. The CSIs apprehend him and Mac is very interested to discover a black bag he is carrying is filled with cash. Ryan claims he was at the meat shop the night before, but that he was trying to win his job back. When he discovered Bobby dead in the meat locker, he fled, but not before taking the money from the safe. Danny matches the tape from Bobby's wrists to the roll of tape he found at the butcher's shop and Zack notes that the handprint on the wall had fertilizer on it, causing it to not freeze and stand out. Their killer has a green thumb.
Stella and Hawkes question Tanya Danville, who works for a cosmetics company that's currently seeking a patent for the collagen solution found on Briana's lip. Tanya admits that Briana, a friend of her daughter Madison, who is also a debutante, came to her and asked for the collagen. Tanya notes that Jessica Freemont and she were debutantes the same year, and that she is going to be wearing the same dress she wore to their debutante ball. When the CSIs ask her about the spider venom, she tells them her company doesn't use it. Stella and Hawkes get a new lead when prints from the buttons on the carousel come back as a match to Sam Wilson, the boy Missy claims she was spending the evening with. They pay Sam a visit at his house and he tells them he and Briana used to date but that she had broken up two weeks ago. He asked her to meet him at the carousel to win her back, but she said no and he left. Stella's suspicions about his story grow when she learns he keeps poisonous Brazilian Wandering Spiders as pets. They take the spiders back to the lab but shockingly the venom is not a match. The spider venom that killed Briana was synthetic.
Knight is cleared when Danny tells Mac that the DNA on the tape didn't match his, but Lindsay gets another lead in the tiger's feces when she discovers a finger with a thorn in it. Danny recalls that Felix Parker, the landscaper, was delivering roses to the zoo when Bobby was found. Mac puts it together when he learns that Felix was buying the building Bobby's shop was in. Mac spots Vinetti's truck again and approaches it. Angelo tells Mac that Bobby had changed his mind about selling the building. Concerned about his dogged pursuit of the case, Mac sends him away. He matches the paint chips from the scene to Parker's truck, and Lindsay finds human blood on the truck's bumper. Mac realizes Parker must have killed Bobby, left him in the meat locker while he figured out where to dump the body, and then taped his wrists to make it look like a mob kill. But when Mac and Lindsay go to arrest Felix, he's nowhere to be found--the lock to his apartment is busted and it's obvious he was taken away in the middle of preparations to flee.
Hawkes turns back to the button, which has chemicals on it used in dry cleaning twenty years before and recalls that Tanya Danville bragged about wearing her debutante dress from twenty years ago. Stella and Hawkes return to the hotel, where they find Tanya at the debutante ball. They pull her aside; the paper trail from the synthetic spider venom leads right to Tanya. But why kill Briana? Tanya venomously tells the CSIs that she attended her own debutante ball with Simon Freemont, but then Jessica 'stole' him from her and ruined her life. They arrest her in disgust, but Stella is at least able to bring a grief-stricken Jessica closure.
Mac confronts Angelo Vincetti about Felix Parker. Angelo dodges Mac's questions, even though both men know Angelo is responsible for the man's disappearance and most likely murder. Angelo tells Mac justice has been served, but Mac promises that he will find evidence of the crime and come for Angelo one day.
Main Cast Edit
- Gary Sinise as Mac Taylor
- Melina Kanakaredes as Stella Bonasera
- Carmine Giovinazzo as Danny Messer
- Hill Harper as Sheldon Hawkes
- Eddie Cahill as Don Flack
- Anna Belknap as Lindsay Monroe
Guest Cast Edit
- Ron Yuan as Dr. Evan Zao
- David Julian Hirsh as Zack Shannon
- Peter Onorati as Angelo Venetti Sr.
- Joel Brooks as Felix Parker
- Rebecca Staab as Jessica Freemont
- Lesli Kay as Tanya Danville
- Gary Wolf as Ryan Knight
- Michelle Ewin as Missy Freemont
- Andrew Fiscella as Mikey D'Amato
- Ross Thomas as Sam
- Micah Beals as Lead Teen Boy
- Ellen Woglom as Briana Freemont