Monday, March 24, 2014

The CSI Experience - Las Vegas

Today Kim Hammond talks about her visit to the CSI Experience in Las Vegas. 
I like good forensics scenes in a book or on a television show. I even know someone who does it for a living and I’ve had the opportunity to dust for fingerprints and watch a super glue fuming demonstration.  So when I was planning a trip to Las Vegas and saw that there was a CSI exhibit at the MGM I knew I had to check it out. 

The exhibit is a hands-on experience that walks you through solving a crime.  You are a member of the CSI team and it is your job to observe, and gather evidence. The exhibit’s goal is to get you to identify, analyze, formulate, validate and communicate. 

As you move from room to room you deal with DNA evidence found at the crime scene, toxicology results, forensic anthropology, forensic entomology, firearms and tool mark identification, information technology, blood splatter and latent prints.

There are video monitors in the rooms and you are being encouraged and given tips by Gil Grissom from CSI, who was acting as narrator.  At the end you present your report to Supervisor Grissom.

There is more than one crime scene to view. My group was assigned crime scene #1, which was called A House Collided. Armed with a clip board and crime scene form you begin by observing a crime scene, taking notes as you go along.  The first room was the set of a living room, which looked normal except for a car that had plowed through the house’s wall and come to rest in front of the couch.  There was blood evidence everywhere, including bloody handprint on the car’s hood and bloody footprints on the floor. The car’s driver was dead and there was a bullet hole on the driver’s side of the windshield.

The scene presented many questions, besides what happened to the driver of the car. Who was the owner of the house and where did he or she go? Who made the bloody handprint and footprints? After sketching the scene on your form and making all of your notes, you moved on to the latent prints room to search for the answers you needed. Beer bottles were found at the scene and your job is to lift prints from them and run those prints through the database. 
After going through the different labs to analyze evidence you must then draw your conclusions. Unfortunately they did not allow picture taking. However, at the end you had the opportunity to dress up in CSI apparel for a photo op. Who could turn that down? Then there was the  gift shop, a forensic geek’s dream.

You can find out more about the CSI Experience here.


  1. Looks like you guys had a fabulous time. Thank you for a great post.

  2. Thanks. We had fun! It was a unique experience.

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    1. It was a lot of fun and they even had a great gift shop at the end (hence the tote bag in my hand).