One Way Or Another

Chapter 29

08/30/2005 Same day 5:00AM – 6:30AM

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Reilly sat with Grissom in the A/V lab going over the visitors' logs while Archie searched camera footage from the bar crime scene. He also was running the footage from the detention center over and over in a loop trying to figure out how they may have disabled the tracking systems.

"Look what I found wondering around in my lobby." Judy said from the doorway.

Sam stepped into the room as Grissom and Reilly turned at the sound of Judy's voice.

"Sam you didn't need to come back here." Reilly turned to eye Grissom. "Did Gil call you to watch over me?"

Grissom just smiled at Reilly while she looked at him accusingly.

"No, Mr. Grissom didn't call me. Why – should he have?" Sam asked confused. "I came because I'm worried about Nick too and I'm also worried about you." She added as she pulled up a stool to sit at the table near her mother but far enough from the evidence so she couldn't be in contact with it. She knew her mother was authorized to handle the evidence, but she was not and she knew well enough to stay a safe distance from it.

"I'm fine. I even had a nap." Reilly said.

"Good. So any news so far?" Sam asked. She stood up and peered over her mother's shoulder at something they were working on that caught her eye. "Hey, that signature there looks like Lauren's, but that's not her name." Sam said as she pointed out the signature that read 'Lou Ann Smith'.

"How do you know what Lauren's signature looks like?" Reilly asked her surprised.

"When she insisted on buying our dinner the night she was a bitch. She signed for it and I watched her do it."

Grissom wheeled closer to Reilly with his set of logs and compared them to Reilly's set. Grissom broke out a huge grin. "I think we have a connection between the prisoners and the outside world. Lauren's been visiting John Smith for the last three months."

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Warrick and Vega kept walking down the middle of the street just behind the bar; they had lost the oil leak for a few minutes, but then they'd picked it back up on the opposite side of the alley, as if the car had been parked in the alley for a few minutes before moving on. The drops started to get farther and farther apart indicating either the car was leaking slower or the car had picked up speed as it entered the main street off the alley.

Warrick assumed the later was the case, since he still had a trail to follow although it was becoming harder to spot the leaks now. They'd walked about a mile from the alley when they again lost the trail. They were standing in a convenience store parking lot.

"Well what now?" Vega asked as he looked at the possible routes around them.

"I'm not sure." Warrick said as a thought suddenly hit him. "Do you know if we have any dogs that can follow an oil leak?" Warrick asked Vega. He remembered reading somewhere that it was possible to train a dog to smell petroleum for oil leaks in Alaska; maybe that included refined oil as well.

Vega scratched his head as he thought. "I don't know… I've heard that the dog trainers have been working on training arson and bomb dogs on smelling out different types of accelerants, maybe, oil is one of them. Let me get a call in and find out." Vega said as he pulled out his cell and placed a call.

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Grissom, Reilly, Greg, Sam, Sara and Brass were all gathered in the evidence room where their evidence was already spread out on the huge illuminated table. Sam sat in a chair away from the table where the others were all standing.

Catherine was still out, but Sara was prepared to call her if they needed to. She had already informed the others that Catherine was following a lead.

Warrick and Vega were still in the field working on tracking the oil leak from the Bronco. Vega had found a handler and an arson dog that was being experimentally trained in sniffing oil leaks as used as accelerants in fires. The dog, Milo, couldn't determine dried stains, but he could follow a fresh leak.

"Okay, guys. We need to all be on the same page here, so let's go over what we have so far. Who wants to go first?" Grissom asked.

"I will." Sara answered. "I've been over the dead inmate Matthew Waller's x-rays and the doctor's statement from the hospital which Doc Robbins supports, and it shows he was not killed by a blow to the head with the book, but with a small hand tool instead. Something like a wrench is what they are guessing judging by the indentations to the skull. That means the book is a false clue, probably placed there to mislead the investigation. The hair and blood on the book do belong to Waller, but it isn't consistent with a head injury; the hair and blood were most likely place on the book." Sara paused. "Waller's infirmary records show he was already on his way out. He had end stage liver cancer and from Doc Robbins, he would probably have only had a couple of months at most left. Whoever killed him could have saved their self the trouble. It was no secret and most of the people interviewed knew that Waller had cancer."

"Okay, so why kill a man who's technically almost dead anyway?" Brass asked.

"In my experience there are only two reasons to kill an almost dead man." Reilly replied. "One – the killer didn't know and/or did know and didn't care or…" She looked at Grissom.

"Or what?" Greg asked noting the look that passed between the two.

"Or the victim didn't care." Grissom finished.

"What does that mean?" Sara asked looking at the two.

"It means Waller allowed himself to be killed." Brass surmised for them.

"Very good Jim." Reilly said.

"Okay so the whole attack on Waller was set up; for what to bring in the cops?" Greg asked. "But why?"

Not the cops specifically." Grissom said. "My guess is they wanted CSI called in. More specifically they wanted Nick brought in."

"But why Nick?" Sam asked as she stood up from her chair in the corner.

"That's what we need to find out." Grissom answered. "What else do we have?"

"Well Gil and I found in the visitors' logs, thanks to Sam here as she recognized Lauren's handwriting, that Lauren's been visiting john Smith every other day for the last three months signing in as Lou Ann Smith, his wife. I had Jerry in QD go over the logs and requested a copy of a credit card receipt for the dinner Lauren bought us and I'll forward that to Jerry as soon as I get it." Reilly paused as she looked down at her notes. "I had Archie pull up security footage from the jail and we found Lauren and Smith behaving very friendly during most of their last visits and Coleman joined her on her last two visits with Smith." Reilly supplied.

"That's more than enough to compel warrants to search both Coleman's home and Lauren's. I'll be right back. I'm just gonna make some calls." Brass stepped out of the room for a moment to make his calls.

"I know how they disabled the LoJack and the GPS tracking systems." Greg took over. "They used a piece of metal mesh made of lead. They left it with the Tahoe. I talked to Brass earlier, who as you know was a marine, and he said lead was probably used because as we all know lead can block radio signals. It's something the military is aware of and has been known to be used in certain instances." Greg supplied. "Brass checked and it turns out John Smith is a former Marine re-con sniper who served two tours of duty for our county and has a government file so blacked out you can't put two words together to make a sentence."

"So let's walk through it." Grissom said. "Roughly three months ago for whatever reason Lauren starts seeing Smith, lying about her identity also for whatever reason, and together they make plans for Smith's jailbreak."

"They get Waller to sacrifice his life, maybe paying him or promising him something at the time; they know the rec room will be busy on big game days." Sara took over. "So they use it due to the confusion that will cause. But we don't know the details of why Waller allowed himself to be killed or why Smith needed to escape."

"I don't mean to interrupt, but why are we assuming Smith is in charge in all of this? You guys keep coming back to Smith in everything. Thompson's the one that grabbed Nick, used him as a hostage and asked the other two if they wanted in. Wouldn't that mean Thompson was in charge?" Sam asked looking at the people standing there.

AN: On the oil sniffing dog, my neohew trains security dogs and rescue dogs, and while he said it is theoretically possible to train a dog to follow an oil leak, he is not going to be able to follow any specific brand of motor oil. He also said it is true that dogs have been trained to sniff for crude oil leaks along the Alaskan pipeline, he did not know if they were trained for any other types of oils, but his best guess would for a police bomb dog or a fire arson dog to probably be able to sniff oils. He did not think that a drug or K9 officer could be trained for that unless they were also trained in sniffing accelerants. Just a note. I try to do my research! Please send me those reviews - they're golden!

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