Offender Profile on CSI: Las Vegas

Every crime has a victim and an offender. They come from all walks of life, nonetheless breaking the stereotyping of the society as based on personal and societal beliefs. The media is also a big factor in the public’s assumptions as to who is a possible suspect or not. The media in our world today has played different roles and comes in various forms: print, radio, and audio-visual. They cater to an array of people in various age groups depending on the articles they published or the shows they air.

In the audio-visual media, to give an example, television series that feature both fiction and non-fiction stories are aired for the audience’s delight. We now have sci-fi series like Flash Forward, comedy series like How I Met Your Mother, drama series like One Tree Hill, and of course, crime series like CSI. Running for almost a decade now, the TV series Crime Scene Investigation (or CSI) Las Vegas features events that happen in a crime scene and in the crime lab. Usually, they would open the start of an episode with a body of a dead person and the CSIs taking pictures or scouring the crime scene for any evidences.

Then they proceed to brainstorming, talking about their theories on what might have happened and how it happened, basing of course on the evidence that they find. Most of the time, they get the lead immediately for the suspect; sometimes, they seem to be in a forking path where another person is found to be also able to act out the crime. The story may end in the episode, or may carry out further into the season. Some even go beyond the next seasons of the show, so beware if you skip watching a full season and on to the next because you may be missing out on something.

CSI: Las Vegas is a gripping story that puts ordinary people into the shoes of the characters, showing us how a crime is solved or how even with their profession they are faced with certain death especially in the hands of a revengeful relative of the suspect. Before I watched CSI, I tried to remember that one particular episode that caught my attention. I haven’t really been following the show; I was just able to watch parts of a show while browsing channels. I surfed the net for help, and there I remembered: The Miniature Killer.

Turns out, the Miniature Killer is featured in several parts of the seventh season of CSI (TV IV). It was like their running story. So, instead of watching just one episode, I watched the whole season… well, parts of it that involved my featured offender. To give an overview, the Miniature Killer was depicted as someone who has an intricate skill of making an exact half-inch scale model of the crime scene. From the picture frames to the tiles on the floor, even to the arrangement of utensils inside the drawers, it was perfect.

If that wasn’t freaky enough, the victim is also perfectly matched to the real crime scene; the blood used in the model matches that of the victim. That in itself gives us the impression that the killer was an obsessive artist. It showed more evidence of it when in the second crime scene the killer moved the doll (the victim in the scale model) to match the real scene. It was really freaky after that, because three more scale models—and real deaths—came after that. The CSIs tried to find a pattern, a profile for the Miniature Killer’s, then dubbed, victims. They found none.

There was also no specific pattern as to the mode of killing. The first victim was a washed up rock star hit on the head by a rolling pin, COD was blunt head trauma; second was an old lady living by herself, COD was liquid nicotine mixed in her cherry brandy; a man working in a chicken farm, COD was electrocution in the chicken stun bath; and a retired psychiatrist and a police woman who stood in for the former as an undercover, COD were asphyxiation and carbon monoxide poisoning. For them it was a dead end because the killings continued after the man who confessed to the killings committed suicide.

But persistent as they were, the CSIs, they continued piecing the evidences that they have to form a concrete personification of the Miniature Killer. Eventually, they found out that the killer was in fact someone from their janitorial department, a domestic helper by the name of Natalie. Natalie has no motive for doing the criminal acts that she has done; it was not for revenge or for anything, it was a manifestation of her psychotic tendencies as triggered by—of all things—bleach. When she hears or reads the word “bleach,” or smells it, she loses her mind and begins to construct a miniature of her victim and then carry out the crime.

Ironically, she works around with bleach most of the time since she is a janitress. She is also a savant, someone who has remarkable photographic memory which explains her detailed miniature creations (Hiles). She is around middle to late twenties, and grew up with his foster father Ernie Dell, the same person who confessed to the crimes and then committed suicide. As a backgrounder, Natalie committed her first crime when she was a little girl. She pushed her younger sister off their tree house, and the smell of the bleach while they were cleaning off the blood was imprinted in her memory.

She was put up for adoption but was passed on from one foster to another, as her psychotic tendencies led her to pushing her foster sisters off their beds. She was actually one of the hardest cases ever cracked by the CSIs. She was revengeful because of what happened to her father, so she carried out a plan to kill one of them. She was unsuccessful, of course, but she brought a great challenge to the members of the crime lab. It was a running trivia that she way she kills follows the pattern in the word BLEACH. CSI Sidle is to be killed by crushing and Natalie—although not verified—will kill herself by hanging (CSI: Wikia)

On realization, criminals don’t often follow a particular profile, and they don’t really act out on their own accord. Nonetheless, not all criminals are out of their minds. And we do not have to have a motive to kill someone. Word count: 1054 words References: CSI: Wikia. (2006). Natalie Davis. Web. Dave Hiles. (2002). Savant Syndrome. Wisconsin Medical Society. Web. Jerry Bruckheimer [executive producer]. (2000-present). Crime Scene Investigation: Las Vegas [TV series]. International Movie Database. Web. TV IV. (2 May 2008). CSI: Season Seven. Web