Cold Weather Brings on Cold Cases

Virtue Nyarko, Editor-in-Chief

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The accuracy behind portraying criminal investigations is something many television shows try but fail to achieve. The depiction of a clean crime lab with high-tech equipment is one of the most fabricated details in shows, as well as the simplicity of using one piece of evidence or even a fingerprint to find a suspect.

Even popular shows such as Criminal Minds are inaccurate and opposite of the actual FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit. The show revolves around “criminal profilers” and the cases they solve—but, in reality; there is no actual position or solid reasoning for profiling beyond pure intuition and experience. Rather, it is duty of criminal psychologists, whose job is comprised of mostly paperwork and little field work in comparison to forensic psychologists, who see all the action.

Often times, finding a suspect can take weeks, months, or even years. Due to crime shows, the “CSI forensic effect”—a  belief of law enforcement that affects jurors into demanding more forensic evidence in trials—has been created but has no verifiable evidence to be declared an actual occurrence.

Regardless of the few mistakes, TV shows centered on crime have not only increased the demand for criminal psychologists but also brought more macabre entertainment into the world. Lucy Circosta, 11, has viewed many crime shows and shares her passion for the field: “For a long time, I wanted to be a forensic anthropologist and work for the FBI because I liked the idea of helping people. Although their loved one would be dead by the time I could help,” she adds, “I would be giving them a piece of mind.”

Delivering news to families or finding out the gruesome details of a crime can be a challenge and is a reason that many people don’t pursue a job in that field. However, the entertainment game grows more popular with the various shows highlighting intriguing aspects of the criminology field. With over 300 shows, new twists on criminology are taken, and as Circosta states, Bones is the most interesting crime show, because it gives a different view point of the investigation. It’s not just the police side of things but also the medical side of it.”

   Another show—such as Dexter—is centered on a forensic technician who spends his free time as a serial killer hunting down individuals who managed to avoid the system. Whether a career in the field is of interest or simply watching the action from the comfort of the home, crime shows are always a great place to start binge watching, especially during the winter months—when cold cases are in season.