The Glamorous CSI - Part 2
When I decided I wanted to be a CSI I was very young and watched people on tv wering smart suits waving around fingerprint brushes finding fingerprints. It all looked very glamorous to me and being nosey by nature I thought; perfect job! I didn’t however have visions that I would ever be dressed up in a scene suit doing the things I do now! In some ways I’m pleased I was none the wiser because sometimes my job is horrendous! Read on to find out the things they never tell you will happen to you…..there is a corker at the end!
Hands and Knees Searching
Unfortunately a usual occurrence for us - a male had been stabbed at and had died a short walk away on a footpath. But the altercation had begun in a small woodland area which needed searching thoroughly – of course! Autumn is in full swing and not having super bionic eyes, we were unable to tell whether we had any small traces of blood on the millions of leaves and bushes in the cordon. So we call in the expert!
And the expert is…. a beautiful little spaniel who is trained to search for blood. I love watching them work, they really do enjoy it, their little tails wagging while they dash around the scene, seemingly in a chaotic manner. This little chap was amazing though. He froze still with his nose next to a tiny spot of blood on a branch. We would never have spotted this!
Still not understanding why this is unglamorous? Keep reading…
After locating its prize, the dog was let loose once again, nose to ground throwing up all the leaves. It then decided it needed to relieve itself right there and then, thankfully just a number 1! But this was right smack bang in the area we had now been tasked to ‘fingertip’ search! Do you now get why this is not remotely glamorous? I’m on my hands and knees searching through leaves a dog has just peed on!!!! If you ever think being a CSI is glamorous and this doesn’t set you straight keep reading. And if you haven’t read part 1 then press this link!
It seems people will go to any lengths to get their hands on contraband – and I mean any lengths. Authorities sometimes get lucky and find ‘packages’ and seize them. These packages then get sent to CSI for examination; and what could be wrong with that??? Let me enlighten you!
If you are a drug dealer and you are about to get arrested, or if you are attempting to smuggle contraband in to a prison you might resort to drastic measures. Such as inserting the package up your bum to hide it! What they choose to do is up to them but when that ‘sh*t package’ comes in to my office I am NOT ok with this!!! Someone must open it to see what’s inside and apparently that someone is me! I’ll end this here, I’m sure you get the picture.
Squirted With Death Juice!
Being at an autopsy has its challenges, and for most people not used to this environment, it’s trying not to feel sick at the sight and smells. (See autopsy perils). My issues are far greater! I must get close to the body to take samples from the Medical Examiner and photograph the autopsy. Even dead bodies can catch you out; they can burst, spray, splash, stink and I have to avoid all of these gross things!
Ladies; you will know what I’m talking about with this one. You go out in the morning having done your hair and makeup and you give it no thought that you might not look like this for very long. Worse still, you might not even notice it’s happened. I was at a murder in a field in the middle of the night once and it was freezing cold, steam coming out of the side of my mask as I work. I was aware that condensation was forming on my eyelashes as I breathed; not much I could do about this fact. What I was unaware of was that not only were the drops dripping on my mask, but they were dripping down my face, and they were black!
Read here to read more about CSI Vs Weather!
Seriously Not Glamorous!
Now I know people had seen this, but none of them had pointed this out. I was horrified when I got back to the van and got a glimpse of myself! #csiproblems ☺
Whiplash At Work
As a super keen new CSI I was literally fingerprinting everything in sight, this has definitely worn off now, especially when what I’m fingerprinting is a hazard. This particular day I was fingerprinting the underside of a roller-shutter double garage door. I pushed it up as the mechanism was broken. When I pushed it I did not think it would keep on rolling, roll off the end, flip over, swing and hit me hard on the back of the head. I swore in front of a small child and gave myself whiplash! Nothing like this happens in the glamorous world of CSI Miami does it! You don’t see them walking around with egg shaped lumps on their head from their scene giving them a beating!!! Also slightly embarrassing needing a week off work because of it!
Bitten By Bugs In A Forest
Woodland in the autumn give you one kind of issue as stated above, leaves all over the floor, difficult to search (dog wee hazards). Woodland in the summer has a whole other hazard that is just damn annoying! Initially when I got there I was pleased that this death scene was relatively cool, it was the morning, and the sun had yet to come up fully. However, as the day progressed and we were working it got hotter and hotter. During our break I decided I would pull my scene suit down halfway to cool down a bit. Big mistake!!
Is there such a thing as glamorous mosquito bites?
Unbeknown to me the wood was full of biting things. How we had not seen them landing on our white suits is beyond me. If I had seen them I would have stayed sweaty until the end and not treated them to my bare arms. They just started landing and biting and within minutes I was covered!!! No-one can ever tell me being a CSI is glamorous!! I will not have it!!
Going In A Jail
Occasionally we need to go in to a Jail to investigate a crime, and for me this is scary enough without ‘running the gauntlet’. The one and only time I have had to do this the guard and I were walking down the side of a building to get to the farthest block. The windows were all open and I was told to stay as far away as I possibly could from them as ‘projectiles’ get thrown out. Body fluid projectiles!!!!! Really???? Who on earth would pick up their own faeces and throw it at another human being! Gross and definitely not glamorous!!!
Read about the time I investigated an arson in a jail here.
Wearing A Corpse's Hand
When I think my job cant get any stranger it really does. I feel like I’ve saved the best for last here. If you have read my blog about ways to identify a corpse you will be aware that we must sometimes fingerprint dead bodies. It never pleasant but it reached a new level of grimness recently when the body had been in the water for weeks and both hands had ‘degloved’! The only way to successfully fingerprint this body was to slip the now detached finger on to our own and make a fingerprint! Could you do this???? Really???
If you have enjoyed this blog and haven't read part 1 then press here.
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I’m so lucky in my job as a Crime Scene Investigator that I get to ‘try out’ other peoples occupations, not just watch them! This week I’m not just a CSI, I’m an archaeological CSI excavating a human body from a ditch!
‘What did you do today?’ My husband asks. The reply is not what he was expecting, it was far more interesting than my usual lab work. I had him intrigued!
We are fairly un-shockable people in comparison to the rest of society due to the diverse nature of incidents we attend. However there are still circumstances where the public can make situations far worse than you thought possible! And there are definitely situations where the public can make a CSI feel awkward at a crime scene! Trust me, I’ve been there!
If you are an avid fan of watching CSI Miami then you probably have this impression that we all run around looking really glamorous and solve every crime we come across? But what is it really like to be a CSI in Reality? CSI; is it really glamorous as they portray it to be? In reality do I go around in high heels and a skirt (I wish) finding evidence with numerous lasers and sprays. Or do i just get given a ‘unisex’ (just read mans here) uniform and a fingerprint brush? Ive put together a few examples of what I really get up to, it may not be girly or glamorous but it can be fun.