Ashlyn S. – BASIS Oro Valley

BASIS Oro Valley Senior Ashlyn S.

The Truth of Crime Labs: Television versus Reality

Project/blog link: The Truth of Crime Labs: Television versus Reality
BASIS Advisor: Brian McNerney
Internship location: Arizona State University Forensics
Onsite Mentor: Kim Kobojek, Clinical Associate Professor of Forensics, Arizona State University

Project Abstract (2017)

Crime shows are rapidly gaining popularity which is causing an increase in either accurate or inaccurate knowledge about how crime labs work. Since people tend to trust what they see on TV, it can be a problem if what they are watching is inaccurate. The technology of crime labs has changed dramatically over the years, but television shows have always shown crime labs completing unbelievable tasks with incredible speed and accuracy. I know that television shows are not always realistic, and crime labs in reality are probably much different, but I have always wondered how much of a contrast there is between the two. The goal of my project is to find out how different the two versions of crime labs are, and to analyze the accuracy of the crime shows. My project provides new insight into the difference between crime labs on and off screen. To determine the accuracy or inaccuracy of the crime labs shown in television, I need to gather data from television shows and from real life. I plan on studying the crime labs shown in: NCIS, NCIS: New Orleans, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, CSI: New York, and Rizzoli & Isles. To learn about what makes up a crime lab, I will be talking with people who work, or have worked, in them. I also plan on going on a crime lab tour to learn about the machines and the environment of the workplace.

The Truth of Crime Labs: Television versus Reality