Tonight on CBS CSI: Crime Scene Investigation returns with an all new Sunday December 28, season 15 episode 12 called, “Dead Wood” and we have your weekly recap below. On tonight’s episode, the CSIs reopen a 10-year-old murder-suicide case when the sole survivor claims her accused father was innocent.
On the last episode, the CSI’s investigation of the victim of an apparent hit and run lead them into the world of aeronautics. Did you watch the last episode? If you missed it, we have a full and detailed recap right here for you.
On tonight’s episode as per the CBS synopsis, “The CSI team reopens a 10-year-old murder/suicide case when the sole survivor claims her accused father was innocent. Dean McDermott guest stars as Garth Fogel, a suspect in the case.”
Tonight’s episode looks like it is going to be great and you won’t want to miss it, so be sure to tune in for our live coverage of CBS’s CSI: Crime Scene Investigation at 10:00 PM EST! While you wait for our recap hit the comments and let us know how excited you are about the new season.
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A young couple walk in a bad area. The girl, Abby, says her step-mom keeps texting. A guy steps up to them and demands their cash and phones. The guy, Slade, wrestles with the guy for his gun and the robber is gut shot. Slade drags her away from the scene. She has some sort of flashback to something and freaks out. She doesn’t run. A uniformed officer asks if she’s okay and what happened. She says she needs to talk to Sara Sidle. Sara shows up and says she knows her from an old case when Abby’s dad shot the family up.
Sara asks what’s going on. Abby says she was with Slade and the guy tried to rob them. Sara chews her out about Slade and says she told Abby he’s a bad guy. She tells Sara she remembered something from 10 years ago and tells her that her father didn’t do it. She takes Abby to the station and calls her foster mom for her. She says Joanna is on her way to get her. Abby wants to talk about her dad and says she smelled a chemical the same night her family was killed. She says it was like she was back there. She says she had been shot and that the man with the beard shot her then picked her up and put her into her sleeping bag.
Abby insists that her dad didn’t do it. Sara says she was only five and had been shot. She says trauma plays tricks on your mind. Abby says she thought Sara would believe her and walks away upset. Joanna shows up and Sara brings her a coffee. Joanna tells Sara she’s glad she called her. Joanna says since they started the adoption process, Abby has been acting out. Sara says she loves her and Brian but has just been through so much. Sara says it’s surprising she’s done so well and Joanna credits Sara for that. She thanks Joanna.
She sees Slade brought in arrested. Sara threatens him and slams him against the wall. She tells him to stay away from Abby or her face will be the last he sees. Greg tells David to sniff the body of the dead guy. Greg says he smells smoke like around a fire. He tells David that Sara is interested from Abby’s comment on the smell of the guy. David says the guy is ripe and it may be hard to isolate scents. They bring in the cyranose device to siphon through the smells. The computerized sniffer absorbs the odors. Sara looks at the old crime scene photos of Abby’s case.
She thinks back to coming on the scene at the campground and seeing her dad dead by the fire, going into the tent and seeing the mom gut shot and manhandled, one daughter in her sleeping bag and another surviving and in the hospital. She snaps a pic of a young Abby at the hospital and sits on her bad. She remembers taking a DNA swab from her and showing that it wouldn’t hurt. Abby asks if her family is dead and Sara tells her she’s sorry. She asks Abby what happened and the girl says she doesn’t remember. She asks what she remembers. She says her parents were fighting.
Sara asks what happened next but the scared little girl can’t remember. She tells Sara she wants her mommy and Sara hugs and comforts her. Back in the now, Greg pulls her out of her revery and says the mugger had 20 scents, most common. Sara says it was a strange smell and Greg says they found traces of gun cleaner but Sara says she didn’t smell that on the dad. Greg says someone could have brought the smell into the tent with them. Sara says Abby could have been right and Greg says he knows she’s tight with Abby.
Sara says she knows about how it feels to be in foster care when one parent killed another. She tells him her parents had a volatile relationship and then she’s interrupted by a text. She says it’s DB and she has to go. He asks Sara about her 12 open cases and why she’s ordering evidence on a decade old closed case. She says she had new evidence. He says she should have come to him first. She says it’s Abby Fisher and that she smelled gun cleaner on the bum that mugged them. DB is annoyed that she’s asking this case to be re-opened after all this time.
Sara says Abby lost her whole family and has the right to know if someone else did this. DB relents and says she’s going to ruffle a lot of feathers like Doc and Eckley and tells her she’d better be right. She says she knows. DB goes to see Al about the closed case. He asks if Sara is accusing him of cutting corners. DB says no, she’s just asking for a second look in a different context. Al looks at the file and asks what he may have missed. DB points out something on the tox report. DB asks him to pull the blood and retest it as a favor. Al says it was destroyed three years ago.
Al tells him the only choice is to exhume the body. Sara talks to Abby about digging her dad up and says they’ll test and rebury him. Abby asks it will be like a second funeral and Abby says she didn’t get to go to her family’s funeral and Sara reminds her she was still in the hospital. She asks Sara if she went to her father’s funeral and Sara tells her she wasn’t allowed to. She asks if Sara misses her dad and she admits that she does.
They have Abby’s dad back out of the grave and Nick asks if he’s doing a full autopsy. Al says he’s not since they know about the gunshot. Al says the organs were in the plastic bag and so weren’t hit with the autopsy chemicals. He pulls out the liver. Sara goes to DB and tells him that Abby’s dad was drugged with a knock out drug. Al changed his cause of death to undetermined instead of suicide. Sara says it’s not a drug anyone would take voluntarily. Sara thinks he may have been drugged through a drink. DB asks why they would drug him first and she says maybe they did it to get the gun.
DB wonders who could hate their family that much. Sara asks if she can officially re-open the case and he agrees. Sara tells DB that most of the evidence hasn’t ever been processed because it was open and shut. He tells her she has to take a back seat since she has a relationship with Abby. Julie and Morgan set the tent and articles from the crime scene up and have put the evidence back to where the crime scene photos showed it. They figure out that mom was killed first and Hannah tracked her mom’s blood onto her feet then someone carried her and tucked her into her sleeping bag.
Julie wonders if it showed remorse or was trying to make it look like the dad. They decide to look at the sleeping bags and other possible touch points for the killer’s DNA. They run a screen on the whole sleeping bag and find handprints. They find a match for the prints. Morgan goes to tell Sara and says she found one on Hannah’s sleeping bag. It matches a sex offender named Garth Fogel (OMG it’s guest star Dean McDermott). Fogel was released from jail one month before her family was killed. He also had a lot of guns so could have smelled like gun cleaner.
Henry comes in and says they found some animal blood in the tent. He says Garth Fogel is the biological dad of Hannah, Abby’s sister. Sara says Abby’s mom told everyone that Hannah’s dad had died in a car wreck. Morgan says that’s what she would tell people if she found out she was pregnant with a sex offender’s baby. Sara says her lie may have caught up with the whole family.
Nick has Garth in interrogation and Garth asks where his coffee is. Nick tells him to answer some questions and they’ll see. Garth says he’s done nothing wrong and Nick asks what about 10 years ago. He flashes the photos of the dead Fishers from the crime scene. Garth says it wasn’t him. Nick says the girls were the age he likes and Garth says he’s sick and that was his daughter. Nick says he doesn’t think him being his daughter would stop a pervert like him. Nick plays out a scenario where he came for his daughter and it turned bad.
Nick says he shot them and then tucked them into their sleeping bags then made it look like the dad did it. Garth says he was nowhere near them but then Nick tosses the fingerprint photo at him and tells him to start talking. Garth says he came to see his daughter at the house. He says Cathy never told him she was pregnant and he looked them up as soon as he got out. He says he went to the house and he told Cathy that Hannah had the right to know who her real dad was. He says Cathy told him to hit the road. He says he got mad and grabbed a sleeping bag out of the car.
He says that was the last time he saw them because Cathy threatened to call the cops. They are getting his old credit card and phone records to try and place him near the scene. Greg says they may be able to help Abby recover some more memories. They take Abby out to where her family died and they have the tent all set up there too. Abby asks if she’s going to hypnotize her but Sara says they’re just trying to let the sights and smells trigger her memory. Abby walks around the campsite. Sara tells Greg he did a great job recreating it. He says he put gun cleaner in the tent to trigger memories.
Abby walks around and thinks about her dad building the fire and she and her sister hugging him. She sees her mom smiling and them all happy as a family. Then she sees the gun going off. She steps closer to the tent and sees herself looking inside as a kid. She unzips it and steps inside. Greg keeps filming this in case they need it in court later. They follow her inside and she looks around. She sees her mom brushing her hair and her sister reading a book. Then she sees her mom shot and her sister screaming. She steps into another room of the large tent and sinks down like she did as a child.
She sees the gun pointed at herself and flinches. She tells Sara she saw her mom and sister dead. She says the man had a patch on his jacket with antlers on it like a deer. She says she can’t recall his face. She cries and Sara tells her she’s done great. Julie tells Morgan that Henry ID’d the blood as elk. They figure he was a hunter and the patch may be from a hunting club. They look them up and check out logos then find one called Legend Creek Hunting Club. Sara and Morgan head out there. The place is overrun with dead stuffed animals.
The club president Randy Pruitt greets them and they ask to see old records on members licensed to shoot elk. He says these people are his friends and the members have a right to privacy. Sara hands over a warrant and tells him – not any more. He pulls out a notebook and says it’s from 2004. Sara thanks him and they go sit to flip through it. They decide to pull photos of elk hunters with beards to show to Abby. Later, the young girl flips through the book and sees one, Donald Wraith, that looks familiar. She says that’s him and that she’s positive.
Sara calls her boss and says they have an ID of a guy who lives in Henderson. Nick finds Wraith in his truck but when they order him to get out, he doesn’t. Up close, they can see he’s got a head wound and is dead. Nick says it looks like the hunter became the hunted. David shows up to work the scene and says it’s 9 mm like the victim’s gun and it looks like a close range shot. They pry the gun out of his hand and David says it’s a mock suicide. Nick says Abby ID’d him and then he was murdered. They wonder if someone else was involved in the decade old massacre.
Sara tells DB it could be the pedophile Garth. He says maybe he brought Wraith for back up when he went to get his daughter. DB tells her to go get proof. Hodges tells Morgan he ran the trace on the gun and says it’s a synthetic resin and she asks if they’re used in construction. She says Garth works construction. Hodges says it’s only used in taxidermy. That sparks something in Morgan and she heads out. Sara brings Randy in and accuses him of killing Wraith and the Fishers. She says they found trace resin on Wraith that matches something he owned.
Sara says he killed Wraith to keep from implicating himself. Sara says they matched his prints on ones they found in the tent. She asks if he got tired of hunting elk and he says Wraith wanted to have fun with the wife. He says they stopped by their shop to ask for directions and Wraith spotted her there. They gave them directions so they knew where they would be camping. She asks how he drugged the husbands and he says they pretended they were camping nearby and slipped him a mickey.
Sara says this sounds like something they’d done before. He says Wraith went in and was going to threaten the mom into cooperating but then he shot her. He says they didn’t know the Fishers had children. He says Wraith told him the girls saw his face so he had to kill them. Randy says he put the girls in the sleeping bag because he felt so bad. Sara says one of the daughters lived and ID’d Wraith as the one who put her in the bag so that means he was the killer, not the remorseful one. She tells him his hunting days are over and he’s hauled away in cuffs.
Sara tells Abby they were just bad people that hurt them because they were in the wrong place. Abby cries and says she blamed and hated her dad for years for killing her mom and Hannah and trying to kill her. Sara says her dad was a good man who loved her and that she can let it all go now. Joanna shows up and asks Abby if she’s ready to go home. She hugs Sara and tells her foster mom she’s ready to go. Sara asks her to come to Hard Rock with her to see 1D. Abby asks if she’s kidding but Sara smiles and says it’s Lorde and she’ll pick her up at 7.
Sara talks to Greg about her dad and mom and that things weren’t as black and white as her mom made things seem. Sara says she’ll likely never know what really happened that night. She says she’s a little jealous that Abby gets to rewrite her history and knows what happened. Sara says nothing will ever change what her mom did. Greg says she can’t change her past but has a future and can start over with her mom. She says she doesn’t know if she can but he encourages her.