Saturday, September 25, 2004


Even though he failed his first foray into the field of forensics, Greg Sanders was given a second chance by his Crime Scene Investigations boss, Gil Grissom. But that second chance was based on the fact that Greg had found quite an able replacement in the lab.

Her name was Chandra Moore. She was capable, efficient, talented, and cute as a button. But she preferred her working surroundings to be quiet, placid, and totally under control.

Ain't gonna happen in Vegas, Baby!

And so she quit, vowing to go back to Connecticut.

And that's when I was filled with hometown pride.

Not just because I'm originally from the 5th State of the Union, the Constitution State, the Nutmeg State, and the home state of Joyville.

But because I'm from the same city in which the Connecticut Forensics Crime Lab is located.

In 1979, the Crime Laboratory was renamed the Connecticut State Forensic Science Laboratory, and Dr. Henry C. Lee was appointed as its Chief Criminalist. State-of-the-art techniques and new forensic procedures were implemented.

To accommodate this expansion, the Laboratory was divided into two units: (1) Criminalistics, containing serology, instrumentation, trace, and arson and (2) Identification, containing fingerprints, firearms/toolmarks, polygraph, voiceprints, documents, and photography.

New initiatives include examining and analyzing critical evidence related to bio-terrorism acts. Several new techniques are also in development, including the implementation of space-age technologies from work with NASA and the use of teleforensics.

The Laboratory, situated in Meriden, Connecticut, is presently staffed with 37 administrative and scientific personnel assigned to the following areas: Fingerprints, Documents, Imprints, Firearms and Toolmarks, Photography, Chemistry, Arson, Instrumentation, Trace, Biochemistry, DNA, Image Analysis, and Reconstruction.

And apparently, one of those assistants was a young lady named Chandra Moore. In the TV Universe, she will once again be a part of that team soon enough.

Chandra's flight from the Las Vegas crime labs and her vow to return to Connecticut made it sound as if it's almost pastoral back in the Meriden crime lab; that maybe it all takes place in some wooded glen as opposed to the hustle and bustle of Sin City. But that's far from the cold case....

The annual Laboratory budget is more than 3 million dollars; 80% of which is allocated to personnel services. The Forensic Science Laboratory conducted approximately 500,000 examinations on physical evidence from more than 8,000 criminal cases and special investigations during the last year.

Those services were provided to 147 local police departments, 179 fire departments, 12 state police troops, 12 Public Defender's Offices, 14 State's Attorney's Offices, and 25 other state agencies. Forensic Laboratory personnel are an integral part of the team called in to investigate police-related shootings.

In addition, the Laboratory continues to assist numerous other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in their case investigations.

As part of the continued commitment to professional excellence, Laboratory personnel presented several research papers and case studies at both national and international meetings during the past year.

This is probably how Chandra Moore came to hear Warrick Brown deliver his treatise on toenail identification at a seminar. Of all the CSI's whom she met during her brief stay in Vegas, Warrick was the one guy she most enjoyed meeting.

Her boss at the Meriden forensics laboratories is Dr. Henry Lee. Since the mid-1990s, Dr. Lee is best known through his testimony in many high-profile cases covered by Court TV and other televised news outlets.

But he also starred in his own series. Earlier this year he appeared in 'Trace Evidence: The Case Files Of Dr. Henry Lee'.

And he has also been portrayed by an actor (Jim Lau) in 'American Tragedy', a TV-movie from 2000. This was a re-enactment of the behind-the-scenes maneuvers by the "Dream Team" representing OJ Simpson.

From there, the Toobworld trail meanders through other portrayals of the Juice as well as his many appearances as himself on TV.

I'm sorry to see Chandra Moore leave 'CSI: Crime Scene Investigations'. (Can't they just make that 'CSI: Vegas' by now?) Reiko Aylesworth would certainly have brought an alluring spark to the blue-lit sterility of the Vegas crime lab.
Maybe Zuiker and Co. can go the 'Northern Exposure' route with a smaller, laid-back variation on the 'CSI' theme. Perhaps Reiko Aylesworth could become a central cast member as they explore the quirky Nutmeggers that might make up a CSI team in Connecticut.

At the very least, let her character of Chandra Moore show up occasionally to give courtroom testimony on 'Judging Amy'!


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