Thursday, August 7, 2014

Case Study No. 1493: Lawrence Wagner (library aide) and Molly Paulson

CSI NY 5x02 Page Turner Clip 2 SMacked
Mac Stella conversation. I strictly claim that all the characters and CSI NY show belongs to CBS! I only own the clips for editing them! All my videos are only for ENTERTAINMENT! I never did get anything or reward back for this!
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CSI: NY (Season 5, Episode 02) - "Page Turner"

When a concert in the park turns violent and the NYPD are forced to break up the fight, a young female winds up dead in the process. As Sid is pressured to determine C.O.D., he suddenly becomes ill and has to be hospitalized. Following the incident, the CSIs learn the victim’s death was actually caused by lethal exposure to radiation, contaminating Sid in the process and forcing the lab to initiate CDC protocols. The CSIs ultimately find the source: a book from the New York City Library Antiquities Branch with pages stained by high volumes of Thallium 201, causing death by contact. The story takes yet another turn when the husband of a deceased librarian files suit against the city, believing her death was also caused by radiation poisoning. But when his story doesn’t add up, the CSI have to determine if he was the real mastermind behind the murders.



CSI: NY – Episode 5.02: Page Turner
Original Air Date: September 24, 2008

At the Maroon 5 concert in the park, a fight in the excited crowd becomes a small riot. The police use soft rounds to take down the fighters. Eliza Carpenter, a college student fleeing the action, collapses and dies, right in front of a city bus. She appears to have suffered a blow to the trachea, probably from a stray riot control soft round. The woman has a lot of face and body paint.

Listening to Mac and Stella assess what might have killed Carpenter, Don seems disturbed that the police may end up taking the blame. They were just doing their job.

Sid, examining the victim's body, discovers signs of radiation poisoning, marks on her skin beneath the paint, and hair loss. Measuring high levels of radiation on the body, he shuts down the exam room. It isn't airborne, though, likely transdermal ... from the paint. Though Mac and Stella weren't likely exposed enough to worry, Sid collapses. The CDC rushes in to contain the body and Sid.

Adam matches the writing - shriiimping - on the victim to the graffiti of Kenneth Bamford, aka KA-BLAM. Stella and Danny visit KA-BLAM. They find no signs of radiation, and ask him about his contact with the victim. He remembers her, but not that she complained of any discomfort or pain.

Hawkes finds high levels of radiation in Eliza's liver ... 600 Rem ... but the level is twice as high on her skin. Lindsay comments that she was a "walking ghost". She could have survived only about a week. She also notes that the radiation would have induced dementia. Toxocology reports indicate high traces of thallium 201. Thallium is highly toxic, but this is also radioactive. At finding this, Hawkes quickly alerts the hospital radiology team to treat Sid with a nasal intubation of Prussian Blue ... aka radiogardase ... the only treatment for radioactive thallium poisoning.

Stella and Danny search Carpenter's clothing for signs of the source of the thallium. They find black mold on her shoes. Stella gets a call that another body has shown up, in a movie theater. Film director Dante Gunther was due to receive a lifetime achievement award at the Horror Film Festival, and died in the balcony of the theater. Dante had shown up late, and was acting strangely. His death in the balcony was far enough from the crowd in the theater, that the film continued, even after the team arrived. Apparently, no one made contact with him.

In Gunther's hotel room, though radiation levels are not unusual, they find a mylar tag fragment in the cuff of a pair of pants, showing high levels of radiation.

Hawkes shows Stella an aged-looking, torn piece of paper. It looks like a todo list: CALL AGENT; GET FESTIVAL DATES/TIMES; 7TH & WEBSTER. The paper has a wet sheen to it.

Stella finds thallium in the mylar fragment, and that it's part of an anti-theft tag used mostly in printed material. The paper carbon dates to the 1930s, and appears to have been freeze dried, as in after repair from water damage. Danny says the mold turned out to be black toxic mold, found commonly in water damaged buildings.

Mac and Stella head to the antiquities branch of the public library to search for the thallium. The building suffered a flood in the lower stacks, due to faulty plumbing. In the lower level, in Special Collections, they find radiation in a copy of the Tibetan Book of the Dead. The Knot of Eternity symbol on the cover matches the design on Carpenter's forehead. Eliza must have researched the symbol before visiting KA-BLAM. They also find black mold on table legs in the room. The book is also the source of the mylar tag piece found in Gunther's hotel room.

Doctors treat Sid with the Prussian Blue. Hawkes explains to Mac that it speeds the removal of thallium from the body. Meanwhile lawyer Paulson announces his intention to file a wrongful death suit against the city's library. Paulson tells Mac that his wife worked in the main branch of the library ... in Special Collections ... and died with the same symptoms as Carpenter and Gunther. The family doctor said she had lupus, but seeing the news of radiation, led him to believe this was the actual cause. He shows Mac a painting he made of his wife, while the couple took an art class together. Paulson agrees to let Mac exhume his wife to investigate her death.

Stella is gleeful to find out that Sid is alert and responsive. Don tells Stella that none of the books can be removed from Special Collections. Carpenter and Gunther had both checked into Special Collections, within a week of each other. Only ten people have signed in, in the past six months. One of them, Timothy Pram, actually read the affected book. Pram also has a record including vandalism at chemical labs, and at Three Mile Island. He now resides at 7th and Webster, the intersection in Dante Gunther's notes.

Danny and Stella deduce that, since Molly Paulson had died earlier, and from ingestion, she was the intended target. The other two victims were likely just collateral damage. Who, then, wanted Molly dead? Don shows up, and leads them to the office of Lawrence Wagner, Molly's assistant at the library. Molly had written him three times for not showing up to work. Once she passed, he never showed up for work again. In Wagner's office, the team finds a collection of smoke detectors, probably for their radioactive sources, as well as iodine tablets. The tablets would have protected the thyroid from absorbing too much radiation.

At Wagner's home, they find him building a reactor. He exhibits a lot of agitation ... almost paranoia ... as he explains how he is searching for cheaper energy alternatives. He claims to have spent two years accumulating the supplies he needed to build a reactor. He says, though, that Molly had never been near his "work". Among his radioactive materials, though, they don't find thallium in his belongings.

Lindsay determines that the red chitin found in the sponge belongs to a beetle commonly used to make red paint pigments. KA-BLAM, though, uses an airbrush. Mac tells the team that there's another artist involved.

Three years ago, Paulson represented a chemical plant in Chinatown. The plant had imported multiple radioactive agents, including thallium. Knowing his wife already had lupus, he feed her the thallium to collect the insurance money: $500,000. He also secretly painted the Book of the Dead to validate his claim that the library killed his wife. The additional victims would allow him to pursue a lawsuit, and claim much more money. Once discovered by Mac, Paulson confesses that, after working hard defending the chemical company, and looking after his sick wife, he just wanted to retire.



[inside the NYPD crime lab, Mac Taylor and his CSI team members are examining the evidence for clues on the death of a woman by thallium poisoning]
MAC: So the mylar strip definitely tested positive for thallium.
STELLA: Yeah, it's an EM soft tag. It's most commonly used as an anti-theft device for printed material.
LINDSAY: So maybe Dante Gunther was exposed to a radiated book. But where?
STELLA: The paper in his pocket might help us answer that. Now, it dates to the 1930s, and the scanning pro microscope indicated that it was freeze-dried.
LINDSAY: Some kind of preservation technique?
MAC: No no, it's a process used to repair books after water damage.
DANNY: Whoa, that could be the link between our vics, because the mold I pulled from Eliza Carpenter's sandal came back as Stachybotrys ...
MAC: Black toxic mold.
DANNY: Right. Thrives on stagnant water, and is mostly found in water-damaged buildings.
STELLA: The two vics might've been in the same building and touched the same book.
LINDSAY: But how do we find one valuable antique volume in Manhattan that's been soaked in water?
DANNY: Much less thallium ...
MAC: With a little reading on the subject ...
["The New York City Library. The Antiquities Branch" appears on screen, as Mac and Stella enter the building]
MAC: They keep a lot of high-end material here for limited public access.
STELLA: The building itself looks pretty old.
MAC: They had some faulty plumbing. Wound up with a flood in their lower stacks last year.
STELLA: So, you're thinking this year they added thallium to their collection?
MAC: That's why we're here.
[she looks around at the various bookshelves]
STELLA: There's got to be over a million books in this place, Mac.
MAC: Then we'd better start checking them out.


[Stella is using a Geiger counter in the Special Collections room, when it starts beeping]
STELLA: I got something ...
[she stops at one of the books and reads the title]
STELLA: "Tibetan Book of the Dead."
MAC: And they say, reading's fundamental ... This time it was fatal.


[the CSI team members are interviewing Joel Paulson, a lawyer, while at the same time watching him make a statement on the televison news]
JOEL ON TV: Conditions such as these in a public facility are indefensible and reprehensible. That's why I'm filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the City of New York and the New York City Library, both complicit in the radiation deaths of my clients, Liza Carpenter, Dante Gunther--
SHELDON: Those are our two victims, Mac.
JOEL ON TV: And Molly Paulson.
[they turn to Joel]
MAC: Who's Molly Paulson?
JOEL: She was my wife for eleven years ... I still can't believe she's gone.
MAC: When did she pass away?
JOEL: Two months ago.
SHELDON: Why do you think she was poisoned by radiation?
JOEL: She was a librarian at the New York City Library.
SHELDON: Well, Mister Paulson, the main branch of the library is expansive. The odds of Molly coming in contact with one book in the Special--
JOEL: Collections section? Because that is where she worked, you know. For the last five years.
MAC: May I ask, what were you told was her cause of death?
JOEL: Our family doctor said lupus is what killed her. And all I can say is, the minute I saw the news and heard about the-the rash and the hair loss, I knew it had to be thallium poisoning.
MAC: Even if the symptoms are also consistent with lupus?
JOEL: She was in remission a week before she died. It all happened so fast, but now it all makes sense ...
[he stares at a painting of a young woman on the wall]
JOEL: You know, Molly and I used to took an art class on the weekends together. I painted that picture of her.
MAC: But if thallium did kill your wife, that means it was murder, and the only way I can confirm that is to have her body exhumed.
JOEL: You do what you have to do, but mark my words ... somebody's gonna pay.


[Danny and Stella are discussing the results found from Molly's exhumed body (which show that she was not contaminated from exposure to the book, but rather through ingestion of thallium)]
STELLA: Doesn't make sense. We have three victims of thallium poisoning. Two were exposed transdermally, and one by ingestion.
DANNY: But the two victims who touched the book, they came later. Our first vic, Molly Paulson, somehow swallowed her thallium.
STELLA: The delivery system is more direct, more personal.
DANNY: Feels like she was an intended target. Right.
STELLA: Meaning the other two were just collateral damage.
DANNY: Yeah. So I'm thinking somebody specifically wanted her dead.
[Stella turns as Don enters]
STELLA: We've already cleared the graffiti artist and the Buddhist monk.
DON: Well, there's someone else you might want to talk to ...
[cut to the New York City Library, in the office of Lawrence Wagner, as Don and Stella inspect the premises]
DON: Lawrence Wagner. He was Molly Paulson's assistant at the library. But according to the personnel department, she had him formally written up three times for not showing up to work. Then she died, and he's been a no-show ever since.
STELLA: Huh. Do we know where he is?
DON: His address on his application turned out to be a fake. I got our guys running down a real one as we speak. In the meantime, I figured you might want to rummage through his desk.
STELLA: All right.
[after searching through the desk, they find a large number of smoke detectors and a box filled with tablets (which Stella inspects with her Geiger counter)]
STELLA: Huh. Iodine.
DON: In tablet form, these can be used to protect your thyroid from absorbing certain types of radiation. Half of Eastern Europe took them after Chernobyl.
STELLA: Well, it looks like Lawrence Wagner was taking them as well ... Want to find out why?
[cut to the CSI team, clad in radiation suits, storming a small wooden shed in Lawrence's backyard]
STELLA: According to his mother, he spends all his time back here doing experiments in the shed.
DON: When the hell are people gonna learn how to profile?
[they stop in front of the door]
STELLA: Lawrence Wagner, NYPD!
DON: Listen up, Larry. I'm a little pissed off over having to wear this outfit. So if you don't open this door, I'm gonna huff and puff and nuke your little house down.
[they open the door and find an ominous-looking piece of equipment sitting in the middle of the room]
DON: Please tell me that's not a reactor.


[Mac and Stella, still wearing radiation suits, are interrogating Lawrence]
LAWRENCE: We need cheaper energy alternatives! That's why I spent the last two years gathering all the necessary elements just to make do-it-yourself nuclear fission a reality. Was it easy? No. Have a taken a few risks, made a few sacrifices? You're damn right I had. But every experiment has brought me closer to success. And I knew if I just kept working on it, I-I could save people all sorts of money.
STELLA: You turned your backyard into a radioactive waste dump. I mean, I'm not sure that you saved people a lot.
MAC: You didn't save your boss.
LAWRENCE: Who, Molly? Sh-She never went to my lab.
MAC: You mean your shed.
LAWRENCE: Whatever ... She wasn't interested in my work.
STELLA: Well, that must've made you really mad.
MAC: Mad enough to kill her?
LAWRENCE: I didn't kill anyone!
[he looks down]
LAWRENCE: Yes, she wrote me up a couple of times. Yeah, I was pissed off. But I only took that job so I could score some more smoke detectors. I am a scientist--
MAC: No, you're a backyard quack who's lucky to be alive and you're about to be charged with triple homicide ...


[Don and Mac discuss some new evidence clearing Lawrence's name]
DON: I hate to say it, Mac, but I think we've got the wrong guy. The evidence we recovered from Lawrence Wagner's wannabe lab just doesn't support it ... CDC found thorium-232 in the gas lantern mantles. Radium, uh, from the antique clocks. Beryllium from a mail order catalog, and Americium found in, uh, all those stolen smoke detectors. But nowhere have we found even the slightest trace of thallium.
MAC: We can still get him, right?
DON: For EPA violations, felony larceny, maybe, but not for murder.


[Stella and Mac confront Joel in his office]
MAC: You killed Molly.
STELLA: And then you murdered two more innocent victims.
JOEL: Don't ... don't be ridiculous.
STELLA: We read your trial records, Joel.
MAC: So now we know about the chemical plant in Chinatown you represented three years ago. Closed down for illegal importation of various radioactive agents, including thallium.
STELLA: That's where you got it.
MAC: And since Molly already had lupus, you saw the perfect opportunity to use it. You fed it to her, and you made an already sick woman die a cruel and painful death.
[the lawyer starts breaking down]
JOEL: You have no idea how miserable she was ...
MAC: Because she's dead.
JOEL: I took care of my wife for a long time!
MAC: Yeah, and after she died, you took care of her insurance money, too.
STELLA: Half a million-dollar policy.
MAC: Not too shabby for an ambulance chaser ... That still wasn't enough, was it, Joel?
JOEL: No, no ...
MAC: You wanted a lawsuit. That's where the real money is.
STELLA: Only you needed a few more victims to make it all look legit. So you used your wife's access to the library and painted the book.
MAC: Murdered two people. Nearly killed one of my colleagues and risked the lives of God knows how many other people.
[Joel composes himself, then lets out a sigh]
JOEL: So I wouldn't have to practice law anymore ... Day after day, I spent defending that chemical plant. Night after night, worried about my wife. How she wasn't happy or healthy anymore.
MAC: So you were angry at life ... decided to embrace death instead. Is that why you chose the Book of the Dead?
JOEL: It was in Special Collections. I knew people would read it. Figured I'd take care of business, file one last suit, and then retire from everything.
MAC: That will depend on your execution date.
STELLA: Get up.
[he slowly stands]
MAC: You were right, Mister Paulson ... Someone is gonna pay.

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