Sunday, September 15, 2013

From the Crime Writer’s Library: True Stories of C.S.I.: The Real Crimes Behind the Best Episodes of the Popular TV Show

When the TV show CSI came on the air, the writing of crime fiction drastically changed. Before CSI, crime fiction writers could gloss over some of the details that were known more to the specialized scientist who assist criminal investigators in their investigation. We didn’t get the information wrong (or at least not usually), but we didn’t have to go into the details. After CSI, the public expects the crime writer (fiction or non-fiction) to stay up-to-date in this rapidly changing science.  True Stories of C.S.I.: The Real Crimes Behind the Best Episodes of the Popular TV Show is one resource to help writers to maintain be on top of these sciences. (Note: I said sciences, as CSI or Criminal Lab work involves many sciences. Unlike some of the lab technicians, we need to have a working grasp on the big picture. While Crime Fiction stories and Science Fiction have often shared many of the same audience, the two genres are now bleeding into each other in ways we haven’t really seen since the advent of Sherlock Holmes, the first fictional forensic detective.)

If you have never seen a real crime scene, count yourself lucky.  But, if you are going to open this book you need to prepare yourself for blood, dismembered bodies, and much more as author and Forensic Expert and Forensic Psychologist  Katherine Ramsland will walk you through the real life cases that the hit TV show episodes were based on.  She also looks into the authenticity of the forensic investigations recreated for the dramatizations, and the painstaking real-life forensic process employed in every one of the actual cases-from notorious mass-murderer Richard Speck, to the massacre of Buddhist monks in an Arizona Temple, to a baffling case of apparent spontaneous combustion.

If you are looking to incorporate forensic sciences into your crime fiction novel or if it is part of the work of true crime you are working on, this book is a good launch pad into those science.

Thank you for reading and please visit and You can also follow me on twitter @Owlkenpowriter and the Writer’s Lens @TheWritersLens. Fiction is the world where the philosopher is the most free in our society to explore the human condition as he chooses.

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