Dead Man Talking
S1 episode 19 Aired on April 27, 2003

NCIS Agent Chris Pacci is found brutally murdered after-hours in an office building elevator, and Gibbs (MARK HARMON), Kate (SASHA ALEXANDER), Tony (MICHAEL WEATHERLY) and Ducky (DAVID McCALLUM) urgently begin work to find his killer. For Gibbs, Pacci’s death is somberly personal as Chris had tried to review a case with him the day before, but had said it could wait. The NCIS investigation first shows that Pacci had apparently re-opened a cold case, the death of Lieutenant Commander Voss. Voss’ body had been burned during a car accident three years ago as he was under investigation for credit card fraud and bilking the Navy out of millions as a supply officer at the Norfolk naval base. However, the money was never found, although clearly Pacci had a recent bead on its trail.

Ducky’s autopsy quickly turns up a solid piece of evidence: clearly knowing he was about to be killed, Pacci had swallowed a memory card from a digital camera. In reviewing the card’s images, Tony – with fellow Agent McGee’s help – is able to narrow down a residence and actually ascertain an address, with the identity of the female who lives there that Chris had been following.

At a safe distance, Gibbs and the others survey the woman at her address and then find out as much information as possible about her -- Amanda Reed -- who has a clean record. Gibbs then realizes that Pacci had been staking out her place from atop a storefront down the street from her residence. That being the case, Gibbs decides that they will essentially continue Pacci’s investigation with he and Kate alternating with Tony and McGee on stakeout rotation. Tony further learns from an area realtor that this residence Amanda had bought had actually been in Voss’ family for generations. The agents begin to believe that perhaps Voss was having an affair with Amanda, who was able to abscond with the millions he embezzled.

But as the agents continue their stakeout, little information points to Amanda as a suspect in Pacci’s – or Voss’ – deaths. However, in reviewing all the evidence that has been turned in from Voss’ prior death investigation, Abby (PAULEY PERRETTE) makes a startling revelation. The burn victim’s blood type does not match Voss’. As Gibbs and Kate dig deeper into that quagmire, Tony has actually begun a friendly relationship with Amanda, as he tries to glean more information on his own terms by posing as a neighbor. Gibbs and Kate then learn that the tech who DNA certified that the burn victim was Voss was actually an old acquaintance of the Naval officer’s, and he has also been recently murdered.

When Tony and Amanda’s blossoming relationship takes them for drinks at a nearby bar, Abby then confirms a seemingly impossible scenario: Amanda’s DNA matches that of Voss which means that he is actually a she. Just as Tony becomes even more comfortable with Amanda, Kate and Gibbs relay their finding to him via cell phone. Disgusted, Tony then confronts Amanda about her true identity in the crowded bar. As she then tries to shoot him, Gibbs and Kate arrive and a shooting melee ensues, claiming the life of “Amanda.” In a case post-mortem, Kate also reveals that Amanda was headed to Bangkok in the next few months for the sex-change operation that would have rendered her male-to-female transformation complete.