Empty Eyes (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation)

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"Empty Eyes"
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episode
Episode no. Season 7
Episode 18
Directed by Michael Slovis
Written by Allen MacDonald
Original air date March 29, 2007
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Fallen Idols"
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"Big Shots"
List of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episodes

"Empty Eyes" is the eighteenth episode of the seventh season of the television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. This episode was unusual for the show as it was aired in the UK with an adult content warning; previously only Slaves of Las Vegas had received similar attention from censors. The crime portrayed in this episode had many similar elements to the murder of eight student nurses from South Chicago Community Hospital in 1966 by Richard Speck.


Grissom, Sara, and Warrick are called to a house where five showgirls (Becca, Emily, Libby, Lauren, and Jen) have been murdered. Each of the girls appears to have been sexually assaulted. As Sara processes one of the bedrooms, she is shocked by a hand reaching out from under the bed - she has discovered a sixth victim. This victim, Cammie, is bound and her throat is cut, but she is still alive. She tries to describe the murderer to Sara but Sara cannot make any sense of the words; Cammie dies with Sara holding her hand.

David notes that although five of the girls had their throats cut, Becca was stabbed in the chest numerous times instead. Grissom speculates that Becca excited the killer more so than the other girls. He also notes a broken window in the bedroom, which appears to have been kicked by a bare foot.

As Nick processes the kitchen with Sara, he asks her if she is OK. Nick says it was good that Sara was there so that Cammie didn't have to die alone; Sara notes sadly that usually, they show up too late to meet the victim.

Doc Robbins notes that Jen had rib fractures and that all the girls died of exsanguination. Emily and Lauren had consensual sex with a male before they were killed, and Becca was raped. Also, the tip of a knife is found in Becca. Finally, Doc Robbins says that Cammie survived for as long as she did because her neck was only partially cut. Sara expresses regret that she didn't get to the scene, and to Cammie, sooner. She also notices that Cammie has a C-section scar.

Catherine processes the bathroom and finds a wastebasket filled with bloody paper towels. Each paper towel has only one blood donor - the killer cleaned off the knife after each kill. The order of the towels in the basket shows the order in which the girls were killed - Becca was killed last, and all the blood tracked throughout the house was hers.

Hodges processes some of the evidence from the house. Libby's cell phone rings - Hodges answers it and is forced to explain to her mother that Libby was killed.

The CSIs learn that the footprint on the window was Jen's - as the killer was with Cammie, Jen tried to escape; the killer left Cammie to beat Jen and never returned to check that Cammie was dead, explaining Jen's fractures and why Cammie survived.

Archie finds a newspaper article about the six girls pooling their money to buy a house together. As Warrick examines the photo in the article, he sadly recognizes one of the girls - Emily was a childhood friend. He visits Emily's grandmother to deliver the bad news.

Sara and Nick interview Lewis Greyburg, the journalist who wrote the article. He tells them that the girls organized a walk-a-thon for a fellow dancer with breast cancer and that they gave out swag bags that included ceramic kitchen knives. Sara realizes that part of Cammie's dying words were "breast knife". When they process Lewis's shoes and DNA, they are disappointed to find he is not the killer.

Grissom tells Greg that the District Attorney has decided not to go to trial in his civil suit, so the city has agreed to a payout to Demetrius James' family to the value of $2.5 Million. Greg is disappointed, noting that this decision implies his guilt.

A wine bottle found in the kitchen yields two sets of fingerprints - one belonging to a Chris Mullins and a smudged set that cannot be identified. Mandy speculates that the owner of the smudges works with his hands, leading to calluses on his fingers.

Brass, Sara and Nick are en route to the Trip Wire Bar, which Mullins is known to frequent, when they learn that a man has been assaulted in the bar's parking lot. When they arrive, they find the man, Marlon Frost, with his throat cut and a bloody knife with the tip broken off. Sara rides in the ambulance with Frost and comforts him on the ride to the hospital, holding his hand the way she held Cammie's.

Brass interviews Chris, who admits to drinking the wine and having sex with both Lauren and Emily, but denies the murders.

The same smudgy prints are found on the knife.

At the hospital, Sara photographs Frost and fingerprints him. She notices that his prints are smudgy and inspects his fingertips - they are calloused. Frost, knowing that Sara knows that he is the killer, grabs her. Sara sees a port wine birth mark on his chest and she realizes that Cammie was saying "port wine".

Sara speculates to Grissom that Frost tried to kill himself. Nick and Sara find Frost's car and the girls' purses in the trunk. They find a pack of cigarettes in Becca's purse and a receipt for the purchase - she bought them at the Trip Wire Bar, which is where Frost saw her and followed her home.

Sara delivers the news of Cammie's death to Corey, who tells Sara about Finn, the daughter he had with Cammie, whom they had given up for adoption. Sara is finally able to understand Cammie's final words: Bye, Finn.

Frost describes the murders to Brass: "I watch the life go out of their eyes. Life drains. That's how you can tell that they're dead - they have empty eyes." Why did he kill them? "I saw this girl I liked at the bar. I followed her home. I knew she wanted to party... She was flirting with me. I just gave her the party of her life." Brass asks him why he is smiling - does he feel good about this? Frost replies, "I don't feel anything."

At the lab, Sara cries as she tells Grissom, "I held his hand. Just like I held hers. I lost perspective." Grissom wipes a tear from her cheek and they walk out of the lab together, closely being watched by a suspicious looking janitor.


  • The "suspicious looking janitor" would later be revealed to be the Miniature Killer who was this season's focus, Natalie Davis
  • A poster promoting rapper "Dollar" is seen in a victim's room. The very same poster was featured in the episode Poppin' Tags.


Jorja Fox submitted this episode for consideration on her behalf in the category of "Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series" at the 2007 Emmy Awards.[1]

Richard Speck[edit]

This episode has many similarities to the real murders of Richard Speck on July 13, 1966. Richard Speck, under the influence of alcohol, broke into a townhouse and murdered eight student nurses. A ninth survived by hiding under a bed when Speck left the room for a moment. In this CSI episode, six Showgirls were murdered, with one surviving by also hiding under a bed after the drunken killer left the room for a moment, but died shortly after police arrived. As in the episode, the real murder victims were tied with sheets and Speck pointed a gun at them, but killed them with a knife. Like the killer in the CSI episode, Speck also tried to kill himself with a knife after the murders and he too was not recognized as the murderer until he was taken to the hospital. He confessed to the crimes in the hospital, like the killer in this episode, but later stated he had no knowledge of what happened that night. Speck was a suspect in the raping of a 65-year-old woman, whereas the TV killer was wanted for the raping of an "older woman" in the week before his murders.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2007 Emmys CONFIRMED Episode Submissions". The Envelope Forum, Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2007-06-26. Retrieved 2007-06-18. 
  2. ^ "Richard Franklin Speck". Archived from the original on 2007-10-18. 

External links[edit]