Dr. Penelope Russell is the main antagonist from "A Space Oddity", episode 9.20 of CSI.
She was portrayed by Kate Vernon, who also played Raina Press in Season Four of the series.
Penelope Russell is a media professor who taught TV producer Jonathan Danson in her Media Semiotics class. Danson was planning on producing a redux of the classic sci-fi series Astro Quest, and he was shown presenting his new reboot at the Whatifit sci-fi convention. The show was met with immense negative reactions from the attending crowd, but as it turned out, Penelope was not only in attendance, she was the angriest one of the group; as she saw that Danson had stolen her ideas to make the reboot.
After the presentation, Penelope confronted Danson, who lashed out at her in response. The confrontation quickly became physical when Penelope grabbed Danson and clawed at his face, leaving scratch marks. Danson held Penelope and assumingly calmed her down, but at that moment, Penelope shoved Danson towards the console, which released the retractable viewer that struck and killed him. Seeing that she had killed Danson, Penelope placed the viewer back inside and left the scene.
Penelope hid her murderous role while interviewed by Greg Sanders regarding Danson, but later in the episode, a bloody fingerprint found on the viewer revealed Penelope as the killer. During Brass' interrogation, Penelope revealed her past history with Danson, and unleashed her anger over him stealing her ideas for the Astro Quest reboot, while claiming that she did not mean to kill Danson. Penelope was charged with second-degree murder and arrested.