by guest blogger Laurel White
Half the fun of watching crime TV shows is attempting to guess the next twist during advert breaks. Or trying to solve the murder before the show’s players do. Let me tell you: it’s just not as easy as it looks. So, next time you’re near chucking the biscuits you’re munching at the TV out of frustration ("It’s her secret twin that’s done it, you idiots!"), step into the detectives’ shoes.
Need a hand? Let me help out.
I recently attended the press launch for the 9th season of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. This event was like no other; highly impressive, no expense spared, highly concept-based. The concept? Immersing us poor, unsuspecting reporters into the murky world of Law & Order. What I thought was a special treat for the new American intern turned into a boot camp for crime solving. Challenges included:
• Scene of the Crime – Learning how to identify key evidence from an array of clues, piecing them together to form the basis of a case.
• Forensic Tests – Learning how to analyse various pieces of evidence (from finger prints to DNA) by using a variety of methods.
• Suspect Interrogation Training – Witnessing an assortment of interrogation techniques used by the police, including confrontation and recognising specific body language, and then putting this training to the test.
• Closing Statements – Led by ‘The Lawyer’ the suspects are put on the stand and jury members, using all of the evidence and skills gathered to uncover the murderer, give a verdict.
I ended up with finger print powder all over my nose. I was dressed head to foot in a "coming-of-the-Apocalypse" biohazard suit. I had to strap a light to my head (better for examining the crime scene, you see).
Not to mention the ambushing I got while examining the scene itself (murdered wife plus enraged husband getting past the guarded doors equals terrified reporter turned crime scene investigator). I learned that the ‘good cop/bad cop’ interrogations are quite a bit harder than they seem. You try entering a glary, empty room to see an orange-suited, moody, murder suspect scowling up at you while maintaining your cool to interrogate them. I did fairly well with ‘good cop’, but when the accused started flailing their cuffed hands at me during the ‘bad cop’ bit, I admit I backed down a little bit: ("So, er, you’re sure you didn’t do it then?")
So much for being the Mariska Hargitay tough girl I’d always imagined I’d be in the interrogation room.
I’ve seen the premiere episode of Law and Order: SVU’s 9th season and take it from me; it is absolutely gripping. You will have no nails left. It features guest actress Cynthia Nixon, better known as Miranda from Sex and The City. She has just received an Emmy for her guest role. It’s a mind-bending tale of child abuse, mental illness, and murder with plenty of twists and turns along the way. The SVU team are back and certainly better than ever.
Make sure you check out the season 9 debut on the Hallmark Channel, Sunday October 5th at 9pm. They’re much better at this business than I am.
by guest blogger Laurel White