CSI Hollywood: Myths and Mistakes

CSI Hollywood: Myths and Mistakes
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Module 1
Recorded on: 2024-03-14
Unit 1Presentation Materials: CSI Hollywood: Myths and Mistakes
Unit 2Transcript: CSI Hollywood: Myths and Mistakes
Unit 3Workbook: CSI Hollywood: Myths and Mistakes
Unit 4Recording: CSI Hollywood: Myths and Mistakes

Misleading portrayals in popular media of investigations and forensic sciences are creating real-world issues for the court as members of the jury expect what they see on TV to play out in real life. Delta Forensics’  Andrew R. Reitnauer explores the intricacies of forensic processes and the role of forensic scientists in ensuring accurate, objective evidence presentation in courtrooms and articulating the gap between fictional dramatizations and the rigorous reality of forensic analysis.

Andrew is the CEO of Delta Forensics serving as the lead trainer and instructional designer of the Delta Forensics Virtual Academy. He is a Certified Senior Crime Scene Analyst, with experience as an active Trainer, Latent Print Examiner, Crime Scene Responder, Technical Leader, and Section Supervisor within the forensic laboratory system. He is also an adjunct professor at four universities teaching Crime Scene Investigation, Fingerprint Analysis, and Criminalistics.

Topics he covered in this webinar include:

  • The varying yet optimistic expectations when it comes to evidence recovery.
  • A compare-and-contrast approach to some key aspects of crime scene investigation as presented in the media and how it must be conducted in reality.
    • Initial crime scene response highlighting the importance of protective equipment and preventing cross-contamination, documentation through photography or sketch, and not making assumptions.
    • Latent print processing that looks into the angle, orientation, and scale of the image, what AFIS does, the extent of AFIS database and accessing AFIS, and how comparisons are made.
    • Development of fingerprint evidence paying attention to the process of cyanoacrylate fuming and safety protocols surrounding it.
    • Digital imaging, the capability and limits of the technology, the theory of image, factors taken into account when admitting digital images as evidence, and how it can be utilized to capture fingerprints in certain cases.
    • Safety considerations that almost always are ignored in the media particularly it terms of the fuming process and autopsies.
  • The central role of forensic scientists as experts by…
    • Providing the court with opinion testimony and conclusions based on processes objectively.
    • Debunking misconceptions based on what is portrayed in the media that create bias in jury members.
    • Educating the triers of fact on the reality of processes, available technology and its limitations, and how results are arrived upon.
    • Articulating the standards and practices that the profession operates under and being careful not to overstate the validity, acceptance, or results that are not a standard.
    • Guiding the jury towards an educated opinion.

Questions from the webinar attendees are about:

  • The accuracy of TV show portrayals of criminal justice processes despite having consultants from law enforcement.
  • The time it takes for superglue fuming to reveal fingerprints.
  • Concerns about AI’s role in duplicating evidence and its implications for forensic science and the justice system.
  • Identifying CSI-show-based assumptions among jurors during voir dire.
  • The feasibility of safely conducting superglue fuming at crime scenes, especially for immovable objects.
Other Webinars with this Presenter


Click here to view and register for other upcoming Law Enforcement webinars and recordings on the JCH Platform.


Audience Comments

  • “Very interesting and a great presenter. Very knowledgeable.”
  • “Good info from the instructor and a good refresher! For the host, please stop the pop-ups. They are distracting.”
  • “Great webinar!!”
  • “Excellent topic, a good presenter.”
  • “Great webinar!”
  • “Very good, informative, and entertaining.”
  • “Great knowledge of the Presenter on the subject matter.”
  • “This was my first webinar. I enjoyed the presentation. I will sign up for additional training.”
  • “Wonderful presentation! The presenter was very knowledgeable and gave enough technical information to us without talking down to those who aren’t in the crime scene field.”
  • “The seminar was entertaining and enjoyable while displaying the blatant flaws portrayed in Cinema. Thanks for the amusing course.”
  • “Great information!”
  • “The presenter did a great job and it was a really interesting topic!”
  • “Good Speaker and presentation.”
  • “Andrew was very clear and it was good.”



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