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Your choice: Fried or minty-fresh death on ‘CSI’

Ray, Catherine and the gang investigate two cases. The first involves a dead man found in a oil drum full of French fry oil and the second involves a woman with a stomach full of toothpaste.
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Would you like fries with that? Choozy’s Chicken provided the night’s first murder setting. When the store’s giant ceramic chicken was pushed through the window, the police stumbled upon the body of Bob, one of the managers of the franchise.

Collector’s item: The giant chicken through the window came courtesy of Max, who along with his frat brothers, had planned to steal it. He had quite a collection of other street signs and ceramic mascots from fast-food joints around town.

Forensics lesson: You can tell what direction a body has been dragged by which way the blood droplet’s tail faces. In this case, the tail pointed to the fact that a body had been dragged out to the dumpster. There were only two Choozy’s Chicken employees who the police couldn't track down: Elizabeth Martin and Gary Comstock. They also found menstrual blood in Bob’s office.

Oily situation: When Ray and Nick found an oil barrel from another restaurant in front of the Choozy’s, they realized that the Choozy’s barrel had been stolen. That led them to Timothy Rand, who used the oil to make biodiesel. But the barrel from Choozy’s didn’t have fryer oil in it; it had Gary Comstock’s body. Cause of death: Asphyxia due to inhalation of hot oil. They also found Bob’s glasses in the fryer and realized that they must have fallen in the fryer during a struggle.

Everyone makes mistakes, Mandy: Initially, a fingerprint on the counter next to the fryer was not a match for Bob. But Mandy realized that it was a reversal. The hand had been pressed down so hard on the counter that the ridges appeared to be furrows and vice versa. The print was Bob’s.

Good news, bad news: Brass tracked down Elizabeth Martin, who was actually an illegal alien. She said that Bob had made her strip down and was touching her when Gary walked in and tried to make him stop. A fight between the two men ensued and Elizabeth hit Bob over the head with a sign to get him to stop and ran out. Elizabeth thought she’d killed him, but that wasn’t the fatal blow. She wasn’t a murderer, but she was getting deported.

Killer room: The team realized that after Bob had killed Gary, lost his glasses, and had been disoriented by Elizabeth’s blow, he must have simply slipped when he re-entered the room. COD: Accident.

Minty fresh: Catherine’s victim was timely for our economic climate. Melinda Tucker was a real-estate agent who had fallen on hard times. She was found handcuffed and dead in bed; her husband, Scott, — the primary suspect — was drunk on the couch. When Dr. Robbins opened up Melinda’s stomach, it was full of a bluish green jelly-like substance. It was two tubes worth of toothpaste. Henry told Catherine that it was indeed possible to kill someone with toothpaste. Melinda had also been slipped an antihistamine mickey, which both made her sleepy and stopped her from throwing up the toothpaste.

In need of stimulus package: When Catherine and Greg found the discarded toothpaste tubes in the garbage next door, they also found a pair of latex gloves with Melinda’s prints on them. She had killed herself and tried to frame her husband. Scott told Catherine that after their finances had gone bad, so had their marriage. “Couldn’t sell the house,” he said. “Couldn’t afford to get a divorce.”

Exchange of the night: Super Dave realized that Melinda had been handcuffed, “which under the right circumstances, can be fun,” he said. Then he paused. “Catherine, I apologize for the overshare.” Catherine said with a smile, “Thank you for the overshare.”

One more: When Ray and Hodges found fried money in the barrel along with Gary, Hodges showed him the magnetic strips on the bills and said he thought “the man” put them on the money to keep track of how much everyone had. “And we still can’t find Bin Laden,” Ray quipped.

Brass’s backstory: In case you didn’t know, Brass served in ‘Nam and missed out on the craziness of the ‘60s. “I’m surprised you didn’t drop a little acid or smoke a little tea,” Ray said. “Well, things did get pretty wild,” Brass said. Tell us more!