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Posted: 4/5/2006 11:22:09 AM EDT
Another thread brought this to mind... Is it just where I am, or has shows like CSI made the public believe that we all have access to the methods and tools that they use on TV? To give one example of what I'm talking about I responded to a burglary call a year or so ago. I get there to find that someone had twisted the padlock/hasp off of this guy's outbuilding and taken a hand tool from inside worth maybe $20. I get the information for the report and start to leave and this guy nuts up. He demands that the shed be examined for fingerprints. We didn't have dust kits on shift then and procedure was that if they demanded to have something printed and it was too big for us to bring to the S.O. for investigators to print later we called an Inv. out to passify the victim.

Now, this shed was made of raw chipboard, which as you know doesn't really hold up to weather that well when not painted. It was pretty rough. I knew there was no way we would lift any prints off of the wood but I told the guy I would call out an investigator and have them dust it for prints. As soon as the word "dust" left my mouth he objected, saying he wanted it printed using super glue like they do on TV. He informs me that his brother is a cop and that he knows that super glue really works. I think for a second and come up with my answer... "Sir, we can, and will gladly examine the shop door and wall like they do on TV using super glue, but the thing is that instead of those big, expensive tents and chambers like they have on CSI, we use a small fish aquarium. We will have to cut your shop door and the front wall into pieces small enough to fit into the aquarium. If you're ok with that I'll get the investigator on the way with a saw."

Needless to say, he settled for dust. The on-call came out and spread ink all over the front of the shop, got nothing as expected, and left the guy happy.

I mentioned in the other thread that I had a guy wanting a condom fingerprinted last week. I guess that's the wierdest thing I've been asked to "process". What's the wierdest or funniest CSI story you guys have?

And FWIW, I hate those shows and any live, ride along COPS type show. Life and work was easier before these shows.
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 11:44:49 AM EDT
A former FF on our department left his gig with the county forest preserve PD for a gig as a deputy coroner. He said that their office had noticed more bleach and gloves being used by the savvier BG's.

Luckily, the idiots still comprise 99% of criminals, so...
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 12:11:19 PM EDT
I've also noticed that when you get your bad guys in cuffs and you tell them that the CSI team is on the way they crow like roosters
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 12:37:00 PM EDT
Its amazing what people think you can get latent prints off of. Last summer, we were getting a rash of property damages where someone was cutting tires overnight. I went to take a report one morning and the lady said angrily, "Can't you get some fingerprints off that tire or something?!?!"

People amuse me.
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 3:04:15 PM EDT
reminds me of the guy who wanted me to print the door of his car after it had been sitting outside in the rain all weekend.
I tell people I'll dust if they want to, but I can't clean it up afterwards.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 2:08:17 PM EDT
The show pisses me off because it is all so fake and the public thinks we can do all the things they can. And when we tell them we cant do that they get all pissed off when we tell them we cant do it and they say "well on CSI they can do it"
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 2:15:00 PM EDT

I mentioned in the other thread that I had a guy wanting a condom fingerprinted last week


WHY?
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 4:40:22 PM EDT
My sister works for the coroner's office and tells me CSI is junk. I guess since she's the one slicin' and dicin' then she would know some things.

TV in general gives the perception that any crime out there can be solved in "about an hour."

Link Posted: 4/6/2006 9:53:45 PM EDT
CSI is a pain for prosecutors. Both the defendants and the victims wonder why you haven't gotten DNA results back in 24 hours. And juries wonder why you don't have this massive display of evidence that was collected at the crime scene. If there's not a powerpoint showeing why that piece of lint came out of a 72 Chevy, the same model as the one the defendant drives, and by using a super-secret gas teste, you can tell that his spiritual aura was in the area 5 hours before the murder...they are disappointed and figure you don't have enough evidence.

You actually have to have your expert explain why real life cases are different.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 10:03:28 AM EDT
I hate CSI.
The junk science on that show is amazing (known from my time working on a chemistry degree).
I'm getting a little sick of explaining to people how it doesn't exactly work that way. Luminol is a big offender on this one. Though it is fun telling people about if they really want a chemical test done for proteins (Amido Black) how horrible the clean up is going to be.

Experts here have gotten in the habit of making sure to explain how the science actually works and explain the fallacies they may have seen on TV. Prosecutors have been doing the same in regards to the law. Anymore it's like the trials are mostly re-education and less presentation of evidence.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 1:41:08 PM EDT
Every one wants us to trianglate their stolen cell phone when the reality is they probably lost it.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 2:08:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By uafgrad:

I mentioned in the other thread that I had a guy wanting a condom fingerprinted last week


WHY?



Some kids blew it up like a balloon and tied it to his car antennae and he wanted this horrendous crime solved regardless of cost.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 2:10:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By jeager001:
I hate CSI.
The junk science on that show is amazing (known from my time working on a chemistry degree).
I'm getting a little sick of explaining to people how it doesn't exactly work that way. Luminol is a big offender on this one. Though it is fun telling people about if they really want a chemical test done for proteins (Amido Black) how horrible the clean up is going to be.

Experts here have gotten in the habit of making sure to explain how the science actually works and explain the fallacies they may have seen on TV. Prosecutors have been doing the same in regards to the law. Anymore it's like the trials are mostly re-education and less presentation of evidence.



EXACTLY! That was the whole point of this thread. Just wondered (figured it was) if all agencies were as affected as we are by this crap.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 2:13:06 PM EDT
Think of the posaive effect though, it may prevent some people beacuse of the perceived advanced technology and near 100% capture rate. (Im saying this as non-LE, different perspective.)
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 3:45:36 PM EDT
Next time just tell them what their taxes would be like if your agency had to purchase all those multimillion dollar test systems!

That'll shut em up.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 3:47:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/7/2006 3:49:34 PM EDT by BIKECOP29]
Gosh. Where to begin? I've had several folks on entering auto calls ask me to piece up the shattered glass window and then dust it for prints. I'm like I can't get prints of off shattered glass, much less put it together like a jigsaw puzzle. "But I saw it done on CSI."
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 4:47:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By mforgerer:
Think of the posaive effect though, it may prevent some people beacuse of the perceived advanced technology and near 100% capture rate. (Im saying this as non-LE, different perspective.)



That might be the only redeeming value of those shows. I guess we can hope it deters one or two thugs here and there.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 5:52:50 PM EDT
One of my enduring favorites is the "Hey look, there's a cigarette butt in my car/house/shed/yard, can't y'all take that and get DNA?"

Yes, I've heard it more than once.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 8:22:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DJH-1:
Its amazing what people think you can get latent prints off of.



You can get prints off lots of stuff. Problem is, most agencies do not have the equipment to do it.

Most folks know about the Duke Lacrosse thing and the DNA test of 46/47 folks a few days ago. I overheard some folks wondering why it was taking so long, they were under the impression DNA results only take a few minutes.
Link Posted: 4/8/2006 8:57:47 AM EDT
Never mind the citizenry, the judges do it too. We had a Justice of the Peace send us a huge trashbag full of clothing along with a decedent.

His reason? If we tested the DNA from the clothing taken from the home we would know who the body was. Never mind the guy was still WEARING the clothes he died in, had his wallet in the back pocket, and was found in a secured residence by deputies.

Oh yeah, he wanted it done that morning.
Link Posted: 4/8/2006 12:53:39 PM EDT
I've had plenty of these, but the best one was a guy who wanted me to run a DNA test on a cigarette found with a rock someone had thrown in his yard.
Link Posted: 4/8/2006 2:15:12 PM EDT
My favorite example this stupidity was a dog owner who allowed his dog to run at large and of course it was shot. He wanted me to remove the bullet and send it to the lab for ballistics.
Link Posted: 4/8/2006 6:40:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Tango7:
A former FF on our department left his gig with the county forest preserve PD for a gig as a deputy coroner. He said that their office had noticed more bleach and gloves being used by the savvier BG's.

Luckily, the idiots still comprise 99% of criminals, so...



I saw a memo sent out within the LA Sheriff's Dept.. they were reporting a big increase in people using bleach to "attempt" to clean up crime scenes, as well as finding traces of Luminol were the BG's tried seeing if they could detect blood left over. Didn't say anything about it being harder to investigatet the crimes though, almost seemed as a FYI thing, rather than being a "problem thing"

-d
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