I may be in the minority, but I think The First 48 is the best crime show on television. The show makes me respect homicide detectives, for being called out at all times, to arrive at the scene of homicide, for the ups and downs they face, during an investigation and how to find out the truth, when two or more criminals are telling different stories.
Most of us can only imagine what the detectives see at the scene of a homicide. Watched one particularly gruesome story about a mom and her two-year old son, being shot while sleeping.
There are a large number of cases, that are connected with drug deals gone wrong. One killer was upset that he got one gram less of the drug, so killed the drug dealer. It is surprising how many drug dealers are out there, who otherwise seem to be solid citizens. Another reason for a drug killing is when one dealer invades the territory of another drug dealer.
It is interesting to see the detectives, as they knock on doors of houses close to the crime scene. Sometimes the residents are scared and say they don’t know anything, while others will name and/or names of the shooters.
When crimes are committed inside a store or the parking lot, the detectives will ask the store manager for video that matches the time of the crime. It helps identify the suspects and sometimes they can find the car of the suspect, especially if someone gives them the name of the suspect, making it easier to find the car and search it. They have to have a warrant to search a vehicle.
The detectives follow leads to see where they will take them. They use the standard police forensics to solve cases. Ballistics experts can identify if a bullet was shot from a certain gun and fingerprints and DNA are extremely important in many cases.
When the identity of the victim is unknown for several days, it makes it almost impossible to solve a crime, until their identity becomes known.
One lady suspect was called in for questioning and was asked when she last saw the victim. She said “The last time I saw him was the day I killed him.” The detectives knowing she was a suspect in a murder in another state also elicited a confession from her for that crime.
The toughest part of being a homicide detective is having to break the news of a loved one’s death to the family. Then after they arrest a suspect they notify the family. It doesn’t provide closure for the family, but at least they know the suspect will not kill again if convicted.
Family celebrations are often missed by the detectives, when working on the first 48 hours of a homicide.
Questioning the suspects is always a crapshoot, since they have no idea if a suspect will confess, or if they will immediately ask for a lawyer, when they know they are facing a capital murder case.
We can be thankful for the homicide detectives, who are often working while we sleep, to get criminals off the streets and make our streets safer.