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If you have always wanted to be in on your own crime scene investigation Citizen CSI is the show to watch. We take several teams of serious amateur sleuths and watch them compete against each other to solve a fascinating case. They are presented with crime scenes based on actual, and often famous, crimes containing real physical evidence such as blood, fingerprints and unusual substances. They must then collect the evidence; determine what needs to be analyzed while we follow them to real crime labs to see the results of the tests.

Once the data is in, our sleuths then have to use every ounce of brain power they have to determine what happened, how it happened, and who the analysis points to as the criminal. A panel of expert judges along with our host will provide expert commentary as the crime fighters progress through their investigation and vote to determine a winner at the end. The winning team will do an actual CSI ride along in the last show and help the police investigate a real crime.


MOST police departments do not have a crime lab. The detectives working on a case must collect their own evidence samples, and use their experience to determine which direction to go with laboratory analysis. Expert ‘For Pay’ labs that the police department must shell out money for do all DNA, chemical detection, drug detection and microanalysis. Budgets are always limited and shogun testing of every possible idea is almost never done. The idea of having a team acquire evidence, then limit their analysis budget to one or two lines of investigation is very much in keeping with the real world.

In this series teams of two to three people would submit resumes to be on the show. The teams would be selected based on their different approaches to problem solving and the strength and likability of the individual characters for production. The teams would work in secrecy from each other but come together for a “briefing” during each show. In that briefing, as in the real world, they will have to give a status update to the group and then accept comments and criticism from all.

The drama would be provided in two ways, inter-team where the limited budget will create strife in the group based on a limited time to acquire the evidence and only having a couple analytical shots, and inter-group where rivalry and jealousy play out when teams hit or miss with their investigations. For added drama they could be allowed a limited number of “personal investments” where a group could act like a devoted police investigator and put their “own money into solving the crime”. They could be allowed extra discretionary cash to be used when they decide it’s absolutely needed.

The host would be in the “room behind the two way mirror” with the experts commenting on the ACTUAL crime and how it was investigated vs. the current group going through the crime scene. Are they making the same decisions? Are they missing something? We see the omniscient view as the investigation proceeds.

In the end we see first hand the difficulties in solving crimes based on physical evidence and analysis. We also intellectually tower above the fictional dramas such as “CSI” where they always get their man and the analysis is completely obvious.

Pit your sleuthing skills against others as you see what it takes to really be a Citizen CSI