From the time of the most celebrated detective Sherlock Holmes, movie andtelevision investigators use various examination methods asentertainment industry has never been afraid to sacrifice sanity for the sake of an amusing story.Almost every movie or TV show features crimes in some way;we as an audiencegot a vivid impressionabout how police operateand how the law works.
Stage one – the detective process
Do investigators really pin newspaper articles and pictures on a board when investigating an offense?Do real life officers work this way?The catch-all term for the detective boards on movies is “The Crazy Wall”. It is the place for all materials and clues that are somehow connected with the crime. It is almost impossible for almost any Hollywood movie not to have such board as it is anideal place for creating crime solving theories.The central board is usually made by either a criminalorinvestigatorand is all about contacts, lines and connections.The investigator is trying to extract vital information from ever-growing chaos of information, facts, numbers and dates, struggling with spider’s web made of ribbons and pins; recall Russell Crowein A Beautiful Mind and you will get the scene. Big detectives on screen are using big boards for tracing important eventsand characters, from hi-tech digital screens (CSI) toplain whiteboards (Happy Valley).
Stage two – do the real police really use them?
Well, the answer to that question is not so simple. It is a fact that most police movies are quite accurate nowadays as real procedures are pretty well-researched by producers.
The one main difference between a real life procedures and movies is that in realitydetectives tend to work on several cases at same time.For the most partcrime scene investigators and homicide detectivesare from two different departments; while in the movies we may see that detective and scene investigator is often the same person.Some real life detectives operate better with visual connections available while others work better withspreadsheets and long lists.
Stage Three – Start the Movie
If you are “CSI” or “Bones” fan, then you probably have faith that forensic science is some kind of magic, but that is far from the truth.Some laboratory tests such as blood reports, toxicology and DNA samples can take months to process(The Phantom Menace, 2009), buthaving a bit of DNA doesn’t mean that you will surely identify a serial killer.
A detective process of solving crimes in movies often include undercover officers as we seen in Deep Cover (1992) or Rush (2013) when an undercover detective is meeting with a dealer who wants to purchase some drugs or weapons.Then the dealer asks the serious question: “Are you a cop?”and the entire operation goes to hell.
The detective process of solving crimes in movies often may look fun and attractive, but in many cases, it is still just a good entertainment. After all, it is a show business!