Talk about life, and death, mirroring art. On April 8, Valerie Schields location manager for the new CSI spinoff CSI: Miami got an ominous call from the Miami Film Commission office.
"They wanted to know if we'd extended our permit and moved location by five blocks," says Schields. "We had been shooting a crime scene on 19th and Collins Avenue on Miami Beach, and they'd had reports we were set up on 14th and Collins." Turns out, the real Miami-Dade CSI had taped off a crime scene there. Real detectives were investigating the murder of Zaida Rootes, a young woman whose body was found in the trunk of her own car.
It looked so real or so unreal that one of the CSI: Miami actors walked onto the crime scene, thinking it was the crime drama's set. He was then run off by the real cops!
Eerily, the gruesome incident is mirrored in the May 9 episode of CSI. The plot has TV cop Marg Helgenberger visiting Miami when... the body of a missing woman is found in a car trunk. "Stuff like that is normal down here," Schields notes. "Finding bodies in car trunks happens on a pretty regular basis."
Expect more realistic, Miami-style crime and punishment when CSI: Miami debuts this fall. And look for series stars David Caruso (NYPD Blue) and Emily Procter (The West Wing) to be introduced in that May 9 CSI. Their spinoff will start shooting in Miami in July.