Saturday, November 10, 2007

Crime Shows: Let there be light

I watch a lot of crime shows: Law & Order (original recipe, CI and SVU), CSI (Las Vegas, NY and Miami), NCIS, Numb3rs, Bones, etc. The Law & Order franchise seems the most realistic in how it presents the crime and the supporting crime scene people. But for the rest, there seems to be one glaring anomaly that I see every week:

When the crime scene investigators enter a dark room or home, why don’t they turn on the lights?

It seems in almost every show, some crime scene person scans the crime scene, using only a flashlight. Wouldn’t they get a much better view of the evidence, or even FIND more evidence, if the lights were turned on? A related mystery is when the investigator enters a scene during the full light of day, yet the room itself seems dark and sometime even hazy, requiring them to turn on the flashlight. Are places like Las Vegas, Miami, etc. so dark during the day that flashlights are needed? The L&O franchise shows seem to be fairly good in showing crime scenes in the most realistic environment, with lights on or rooms with plenty of light coming from outside.

So it’s a mystery to me. Is there some rational reason why normal lights are shunned by crime scene investigators? If someone has the answer, please enlighten ME.

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