Monday, April 07, 2008

Criminals turning to TV shows to cover their tracks

by team UAB, DB

You knew it was coming...ideas from shows like CSI being used by criminals to cover up murders.

“It was only when police told me that witnesses had said people were cleaning the car quite vigorously a short time after Andrew Scanlan disappeared and rolling tape on their hands to try to remove any forensic trace that would show Mr Scanlan had been in the vehicle.

“Luckily for us, there always tends to be some fibres left behind."

We all know criminals aren't the brightest...good thing even help from the media isn't enough to get away with murder.


Team ID at Discovery said...


I am a producer with the Discovery Channel's new network, Investigation Discovery, and I wanted to let you know about some cool new features on our Website, which is about true crime, serial killers, investigations and forensics.

We recently put together a new page on the site devoted to the show Deranged. In case you haven't seen it yet, Deranged is a show that goes inside original investigations of popular cases, getting the step-by-step stories from eye-witnesses, the original investigators, forensic scientists and the killers themselves.

Within the new section of our site you can check out the "FearBook" and find out which killer was voted class clown and you can also follow their every move, along with timelines detailing their crimes, capture and punishment.

While you're there, check out the section on Notorious prisons and also see how many points you can score on our Serial Killer quiz.

Check it out:

You might also enjoy our new crime blotter page, where you can read about new and developing true crime cases as they happen:

There are plenty of other interesting features on the site, including video, games and a variety of other interactive content that you can explore! Check it out:

Feedback is always welcomed, so if you have any suggestions for future content you would like to see on the site please feel free to let us know!


Team ID at Discovery

Anonymous said...

I watch First 48 ALL THE TIME and I've heard the investigators say that these criminals are getting too smart. They are watching these make believe shows on tv that tell them what the cops are looking for. In this instance this was so true because the people that did the shooting somehow had picked up all of the shell casings. I believe that watching these shows can give you an idea of what you think would be the perfect crime or murder but it's not. Technology is getting really advanced that pretty soon they'll be able to catch a criminal with absolutely no leads or known suspects. ~MAW

Anonymous said...

This one has been coming for a while. I often wonder how much time will go by before these "television experts" switch off of prime time - to cinemas - and begin attempting murder scenes from movies like Saw.
It follows the same concept as the media's public announcements of a suspect's whereabouts. We all know once the suspect turns on the radio, he'll just go in the other direction.
The media often is just an underestimated accomplice!


Forensic Bloggers said...

HA! I like the idea of the media as an accomplice. This is why the investigators are often tight-lipped about an investigation. there is also the balance for the media of having the responsibility of warning the public about potential danger (criminals on the loose).

as for the perfect crime, often the physical evidence isn't the crack in the case. Usually it will be a witness or a ticked of ex-friend. It can be tough to keep a crime a secret.

good comments.


Anonymous said...

When I first started watching shows like CSI and Crossing Jordan, I knew this was coming. My friends and I used to actually sit around and talk about all the things we would need to do to pull off the perfect murder. Like shaving our heads, wearing gloves, pouring bleach all over everything, picking up the shell casings, and things like that. Luckily I will never need to use all of these valuable tips! But I do think that the media is educating people by letting them learn from other's mistakes and learning how to be a smarter criminal. Plus people are learning more about their rights and the tricks that police try to use to coerce suspects, which I would think is making confessions less likely.

Anonymous said...

It is hard to believe there is not some kind of law pretaining to television shows like this. I am a fan of multiple forensic shows and i cannot fathom someone believing they could get a way with something because of a t.v. show. It's a bit scary. BP

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