Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

10 Forensic Techniques Done Badly on TV

There's Always Evidence

Among the more interesting pieces of evidence in "About Face" and "Appendicitement" were -- honestly -- a raccoon attached to a dead person's face and a second appendix. These items were above and beyond the normal trove of footprints and DNA evidence TV's CSI pros routinely glean from their investigations. "There is always some type of DNA or a clue at the crime scene," says Ken Novak, a professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Missouri - Kansas City. "That is not typically the case."

In fact, Novak says it can be extremely difficult to lift fingerprints or DNA from a gun, something seen as relatively easy on TV. "The contours of firearms make it difficult to collect evidence [from them]," he says.

Keep reading to find out just how high-tech (or not) real CSI departments are.

More to Explore