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Crime Scene Investigation (CSI)

Episode 5.17 - March 10, 2005

Lee Tergesen guest starred as Martin Hawkins in an episode of this hour-long CBS crime drama.

He has about 5 minutes of air time scattered throughout the episode, and he packs that time with a range of deep emotions that he carries off masterfully. He registers irritation, bewilderment, fear and grief as the investigation of a heinous crime plays out.

Lee was in one of the two story lines in this episode. One featured a serial killer (and had guest star Stephen Baldwin in a brief appearance), and the other involved a 12-year-old boy who is found beaten to death in his bedroom. Lee plays the boy's father.

Lee-as-Martin Hawkins is first seen being led from his house to a police car, followed by his wife, Yvonne (Diane DiLascio), and their 14-year-old son, Matt (Andy Gobienko). They are all taken in for questioning by the Las Vegas Police Department. 

A  detective elicits a confession from Matt, but the crime scene investigators (CSIs) aren't convinced, especially because of the detective's bullying tactics in questioning the boy. They continue to examine the evidence and follow other leads.

In questioning the boys' parents, CSIs Nick and Warrick learn that a homeless man had been scaring kids in the neighborhood. They track down the homeless man, Walter (played by an unrecognizable Wil Wheaton, formerly Wesley Crusher of "Star Trek: The Next Generation") and arrest him. Walter is wearing a blue sweater that is linked to the scene of the crime by blood spatters and fibers. Walter says he found the sweater on a bench in the park.

When the CSIs confront Martin with this information, he looks awfully suspicious and asks if he needs a lawyer. 

But the suspect list is narrowed when CSI staffers help perform a blood spatter test. Three staffers of differing height take turns beating a dummy with a pipe, and the production superimposes a ghostly image of the character the CSI staff person is supposed to represent -- Walter, Martin and Matt. The test indicates that the killer is about 5 feet tall -- pointing the finger squarely at Matt, the dead boy's brother.

Lee's final scene -- and finest moment in this episode -- comes as Martin and Yvonne watch in horror and grief as their son confesses. When Martin approaches the boy to ask for an explanation, Lee portrays a man who is feeling loss at so many levels -- one son is dead; the other is his killer. The boy explains he did it because his brother told everyone that he wets the bed. He killed him out of anger and humiliation. 

The show was well-crafted in that it presented guest actors as red herrings. You'd expect that by casting Lee Tergesen, Wil Wheaton and Stephen Baldwin -- at least one of them would turn out to be the bad guy. 

Episode Gallery

Opening credit
With police
Questioned more
Questioned at home
Straight into camera
Becoming a suspect

"Ghost" Lee
Parents embrace
Grief over sons

Related Links


Season 5 DVD set

CSI Files site
episode info

Extensive fan site