THE ABCs OF 'CSI'
TERMS YOU CAN PUT YOUR ULNAR LOOP ON
— AFIS (automated fingerprint identification systems) A database used to scan and store fingerprints.
— ALLIGATORING A blistering pattern on wood burned at extremely high temperatures that resembles the skin of an alligator.
— ALS (alternate light source) High-intensity light that can enhance or discover the presence of fluids, fibers, fingerprints, and trace materials.
— ”CALL SOMEONE WHO CARES” The humiliating message sent by a hitman who inserted a quarter in his victim’s head wound.
— CODIS Short for Combined DNA Index System, the FBI-operated database of genetic samples.
— DENTAL SOCIETY Organization that oversees the nation’s dental-print databases.
— DISCO PLACID A Vegas-area jazz producer who hears in perfect pitch. Grissom consults him in order to analyze a sound recording.
— ELECTROTHERMAL ATOMIZER A device Willows used to detect art forgery by identifying modern-day substances in paints.
— EQUIVOCAL EVIDENCE Guideline quoted by Capt. Brass thusly: ”When faced with evidence that could equally exonerate or implicate a suspect, we must, as objective interpreters of that evidence, side with the defendant.”
— FIRST WITNESS, FIRST SUSPECT A self-explanatory investigative rule of thumb.
— FORENS-L An e-mail discussion group frequented by forensics professionals.
— GLASS FLOTATION A method of determining the density of a piece of glass by immersing it in various liquids.
— GRIBBS, HOLLY New recruit to Grissom’s staff who dies — in episode 2! Her case is investigated by Sara Sidle.
— HAECKEL MARKS Fracture marks on broken glass which indicate whether it was broken from the inside or the outside.
— HEMORRHAGIC TISSUE The presence of this blood-nourished tissue on bone indicates that a dismemberment victim was alive at the time of the injury.
— ION DETECTOR Used by Brown to determine the presence of fire accelerants in the air.
— LINEAR REGRESSION Process in which Grissom calculates the time of death by determining the age of insects on a corpse and figuring backward.
— MARLOWE, MELISSA The kidnap victim who resurfaces 21 years later, under a new identity, and murders her ”father.” She runs away after Willows sees through her insanity plea.
— MALANDER, PAUL The eccentric proprietor of a costume store that manufactured prosthetic hands (one of which featured Grissom’s fingerprints) which he used to get away with murder.
— MO Law-enforcement slang for moron.
— PAGER NEST A device that identifies numbers called to a pager.
— PETECHIAL HEMORRHAGES Pinpoint red dots in the eyes of a victim indicating strangulation.
— PHENOLPHTHALEIN A chemical that, when combined with hydrogen peroxide, will reveal the presence of blood by reacting with its hemoglobin and turning a cotton swab pink. (Also known as the Kastle-Meyer color test.)
— PRECIPITIN TEST An antibody test used to determine whether a bloodstain is human.