Because I have been interested in what is shown on TV in different CSI shows, I took advantage of an opportunity recently to spend a few days with a crime scene investigator. In a word, what in on television is not at all a true reflection of what happens in the real world. Fiction requires that answers be found quickly, and often easily. Real crime scenes are fraught with too many hands touching what shouldn’t be touched, footprints where feet should not be walking, and even placing crime scene tape too close to the scene itself. While working with the investigator, I and my fellows learned how to pull fingerprints off both smooth and more difficult surfaces. Even my clean shoes provided an excellent example of how to lift a footprint from flooring, even when one did not see a footprint. We also learned why a crime scene investigator would never interview a suspect unless that person is first and foremost a detective who’s been secondarily trained to obtain evidence at the scene. Nor do most CSI’s carry guns.
In spite of learning how fictional those TV shows really are, knowing the writers probably ignored the consultants’ recommendations (and maybe even their frowns when “the story arc” trumped reality) has not ruined my enjoyment of those shows. Instead, I now concentrate on other aspects of the story as I lose myself in the fantasy presented.