Real Crime Scene Investigator Interview

As you may know, I love these “ask me anything” segments from the popular site Reddit. This interview is of a Crime Scene Investigator who works in a city of a couple million people. Below are some of the questions and answers I considered interesting, but be sure to check out the full interview here. Before he starts, the CSI man states that: he works in a city of about 2 million; responds to a large range of calls from break and entry to “crazy homicides”; drives an unmarked Crown Victoria; carries a gun; job is nothing like T.V. show CSI. Not surprisingly, many of the questioners were curious about the differences between CSI the show and CSI reality.

< Start Interview >

What’s the craziest case you’ve worked on?

I worked on a case where a man was choking his girlfriend a little too hard during a fight and he killed her. He thenattempted to cut her up and hide her. He stuffed her into a storage trunk and put her in his closet. He was unaware how the body works after you die and the roommates reported the smell.

I’ve heard from some that CSI/medics/detectives/people who respond to gory things sometimes use humor to brush off the fact that they’re looking at these horrifying things.

That is exactly right. We have a sick sense of humor. I make sure we are professional in front of citizens, but when’s it just us… forget about it.

What’s the one thing you hate the most about CSI-esque shows? For instance, instantaneous lab results, or what have you.

The fancy equipment. Our cyanoacrylate chamber was actually made by an old supervisor who was handy. Hey, it gets the job done. Also, that a crime is solved in under an hour.

So, does a CSI ever get to talk/interrogate a suspect or its the detectives job?

No. We gather evidence and present the facts, the detectives do the actual investigation, interrogation and such. I am not involved in cases for very long at all.

Do you think that shows like CSI taint the jury pool?

Yes, yes and another yes.

What’s a typical job for you?

No such thing as “typical” in this field. I get different calls every day. From burglaries, sexual assaults, suicides, homicides, car accidents and so much more. Sorry I can’t be more specific, but it’s hard to describe “typical”.

What do you usually have to include in a report? I ask because I’m writing a story involving homicides and want to be accurate in my descriptions.

My job is to document anything and everything. The report usually goes in the following order: Scene summary, scene (every little detail of the body if it’s a death), processing, evidence impounded, and closing. We are not to put our opinion in the report whatsoever, just the facts – and a ton a pictures.

< End Interview >

Me again! Fascinating stuff and a glimpse into a world most people will never see. Despite being so different than the world painted on TV, it’s actually more interesting. You can just imagine what those eyeballs have been witness to. For more check our section how to become a CSI and for more links, visit our resources section.

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