The review boards are buzzing. “House of Hoarders” is currently the fans best choice of CSI episodes.
The CSI team is sent to investigate the house of a hoarder. Marta the homeowner is asked to clean up her act or get booted from her home. Officials come on the scene to find they can’t even get into the door; it’s blocked from ceiling to floor with piles of stuff. An extreme foul smell emits from the home. CSI is called on the scene to detect the origin of the smell. Mitch while walking into the home steps into the gut of a mushy corpse. They initially assume it is Marta Santiago. Sara takes pleasure in taking his picture for evidence.
Coroner’s office is held off until a path is cleared to get into the home. Upon investigating the home after finding the remains, they hear a voice of a woman asking them to leave. As Sara works her way through the maze she finds a frightened Mrs. Santiago. One of the most telling lines early in the show is when Sara asks her, “Is anyone else living with you.”. Mrs. Santiago responds, “Ghosts”. CSI fans paying attention would know this is a prelude to more bodies being found in the home. Marta identifies the dress on the remains as being her daughter Diana. Diana came over to the house to help her mother clean up so she would not lose her home.
Julian Santiago, son of Mrs. Santiago arrives on the scene to check on his mom. He is asked a series of questions which include a second revealing clue for CSI fans. Alisa his sister has been estranged from the family.
Mrs. Santiago’s psychologist, Dr. Prescott, comes on the scene to explain why Mrs. Santiago could not see her dead daughter’s remains. Mrs. Santiago is a level 5 hoarder, she is high functioning. She maintains a job as a librarian to earn a living. Her not seeing her daughter’s remains is because hoarders often create “blind spots” in their minds where they walk past areas and see nothing.
Julian and Dr. Prescott maintain Marta Santiago’s innocence. The evidence stacks against her when more bodies are found in the home. Forensics students can learn a great deal from CSI. The highlighting spray used on the scene to detect a blood trail was ineffective because the home was dirty with animal waste on the floor. Hydrogen peroxide was then sprayed. It bubbled over the areas containing blood to identify a trail to the murder weapon.
The attention then turns to Julian Santiago. He works with runaway teens. Alisa’s phone has been disconnected for 6 months, where is she?
I cannot spoil the whodunit in this episode. You will have to watch and determine if you believe a hoarder is capable of murder.