The Daily Dump

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Tuesday, February 7

“CSI” Makes You A Great Criminal

Great article sent to me by Slack LaLane (knowing my unhealthy obsession with “CSI”). It’s all about how real crime scene investigators are upset at the effect shows like “CSI” are having on real life criminals. That articles reads:

Today, the use of bleach, which destroys DNA, is not unusual in a planned homicide, said the senior criminalist from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

"They're actually educating these potential killers even more," said Capt. Ray Peavy, also of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and head of the homicide division. "Sometimes I believe it may even encourage them when they see how simple it is to get away with on television."

It goes on to describe a recent incident where a “CSI” fan “went to great lengths to cover his tracks” by using bleach to remove blood from his hands, covering the back seat of his car with blankets to prevent getting blood on the seats when he transported the bodies, burning his clothes and removing his cigarette butts from the scene because they would contain DNA from his saliva.

OK, I’m not going to brag and say that if I decided I wanted to kill someone, I’m pretty sure I could do a great job of getting away with it; but covering the back seat of the car with blankets? Burning your blood soaked clothes? WASHING YOUR HANDS? This is what makes this guy a dangerous criminal, exhibiting behavior that, while psychotic in the sense that he killed a woman and her child, is fairly straight-forward in terms of committing a crime? I’m surprised there’s no mention of him taking the crowbar with him after he was done beating them. Because that’s just genius.

Oh wait:

According to the affidavit, he also tried to throw some evidence into a lake, including a crowbar used to bludgeon one of the victims. The lake was frozen though and he shouted a profanity when the crowbar remained on the surface.

I just watched an episode of “CSI” the other day where a guy shaved off all his body hair to avoid leaving DNA behind. He also strangled the victims with items already in their house, vacuumed after he was done, took the bag with him and left behind at the scene hairs and fibers from strangers to throw off the police. I don’t think crowbar guy was paying close enough attention to the show.


you know it always sacres me how much info these kinda shows give away. i swear they're educating us in the ways of crime. you gotta be realistic, yeah but geez there's a limit.

oh, hi! by the way

By Blogger Leila, at 6:15 PM  

"I don’t think crowbar guy was paying close enough attention to the show." Love it!

~ Christina

By Blogger Christina, at 8:23 PM  

I'm starting to worry about you, yo. Ironically, I'm more worried by your unhealthy obsession with "CSI" than by your homicide plans, so I guess that kind of fits into this post. Go figure.

By Blogger RetroDragon, at 7:52 AM  

What these people also seem to forget when they've "avoided leaving much evidence" is that Grissom always, always catches his man. Don't they watch the entire episode?

Even when the killer is one step ahead, he always endes up caught.

You can run and you can hide, homicidal maniacs, but you can never escape the something....something something.

My point: they really shouldn't base their knowledge on what they've "learned" from a fictional TV show.

By Blogger Kelly, at 9:11 AM  

I was going to make the same point as Kelly.

The article says, "Sometimes I believe it may even encourage them when they see how simple it is to get away with on television."

Um, hello! They never get away with it on CSI! This guy obviously needs to pay closer attention too.

By Blogger Hope, at 10:32 AM  

If criminals were REALLY learning from CSI, they'd all get sex reassignment surgery, so their DNA wouldn't match the sex that their body appeared to be, just like the Birthday Killer. It took Grissom two separate episodes to figure that out, I believe...

By Blogger mysterygirl!, at 11:06 AM  

i've been killing women since the late '90s, and i've yet to be caught. csi is amateur hour. any ladies doing anything for valentine's day?

By Blogger Lozo, at 11:31 AM  

Ya know, if people had been payint attention before CSI came out, they could easily have gotten a lot of this information from the movie. Example? Boondock Saints. After the big shoot out, the Saints spray all blood samples with ammonia.

Honestly people. Before there was good TV, there were good movies.

By Blogger A Ripple Effect, at 1:20 PM  

I've also heard from those in the courts that it also having an effect on jurors, who are now beginning to question evidence because the police didn't use the same high-tech equipment that they show on TV -- as if every minor case deserves the CSI type investigation.

By Blogger Neil, at 2:25 PM  

Damn it. Neil stole my comment.

By Blogger Momentary Academic, at 2:48 PM  

First of all, because the guys almost always get caught, this just shows you what NOT to do. kinda like having a screw-up older brother.

Also, sometimes the strokes of luck or random connections on that show are so ludicirs, you can't consider them credible. "Oh, look, there are only two blue ford escorts registered in Clark County and one of them is to the vic's brother." Riiight.

By Blogger White Dade, at 4:27 PM  

The crowbar on the frozen lake pretty much made my day. And now for my problem solving skills: go pick it up.

...hmmmm, with skills like that, perhaps I'M a criminal...

By Blogger undercover celebrity, at 7:17 PM  

I can't believe they'd blame CSI for smart criminals. what about Murder By Numbers, the film with Sandra Bullock? that's pretty much a video manual.

By Blogger anti, at 3:03 PM  

Are there any real statstics out there reporting the number of crimes committed/reported vs the number of crimes actually being solved?

It would be interesting to find out, the rumor of smart criminal never get caught rings true to my ears.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:13 PM  

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