(Photos by Sandy Zimmerman)
Have you ever watched the television program CSI and thought, “I would love to be one of the investigators”? This is your chance to visit CSI: The Experience at the MGM Grand Hotel and do a little investigating “on your own”.
When I arrived at the CSI exhibit, the girl asked me to read a story line synopsis about three crime scenes and choose the one I wanted to solve:
“A House collided” involved a car crashing into someone’s home, a man is slumped over the searing wheel. The next “Who Got served?” showed a murdered waitress laying in an alley, and the third “No Bones about It” where a human skull was found in the desert. These three crime scenes were not taken from any of their television programs.
I chose “A House collided” and followed the signs to the crime scene. Suddenly I was swept into the world of forensic sciences, ready to look for clues and possibly solve the crime. They say, ‘Let the evidence speak for itself”, so my powers of observation became very important and it was time to start taking notes. What did I see? A car almost filled the small living room but the clues were on the floor, inside the car, and everywhere around the room. The broken beer bottle on the floor could have belonged to the driver of the car or the people who lived in the house.
It was exciting to be looking at a crime scene the way they do on CSI, with a hands-on interactive approach. This case takes us to different crime labs to study latent prints, blood-spatter analysis, toxicology, forensic art, DNA identification and forensic pathology. We see multi-media presentations; Gil Grissom, their former lead investigator, welcomes us as his new recruits with a challenge to solve the crime. “Are you good with puzzles? Crime scenes are puzzles. Keep in mind to let the evidence guide you.
See the equipment they use, learn about the technology and techniques used by crime scene investigators and forensic scientists. Since each crime scene is different, participants go through the different processes of analyzing evidence.
Everything is color coded depending upon which crime you are investigating. First I had to stop at the Layout Table to confirm that I collected and recorded all of the critical evidence. The prints on the beer bottles, the blood spatter, the muddy shoeprint, and fibers had to be analyzed.
Then it is time to go to answer a series of multiple- choice questions at computer touch screens and see a recreation of the crime. Everyone receives a personalized CSI Diploma. It was a thrill to experience the way the real investigators solve crimes.
The Experience is open daily from 10 am to 10 pm with the average experience lasting from 60 to 90 minutes. You can enjoy solving one, two or all three crimes. For information, call 891-1111. The CSI Exhibit is inside the MGM Grand Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada www.mgmgrand.comwww.csiexhibit.com