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CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Show Slang
419:
419 (Four-Nineteen) is the radio code used by the Las Vegas PD for 'dead body', as in "There's a 419 in the Tangiers parking garage." Occasionally the CSIs will get a text message on their cell phone such as '419. Tangiers Garage.'
 
426:
426 is the Las Vegas Police Department radio code for rape.
 
444:
The radio code for 'Officer Needs Help'. A 444 generally means that an officer has been injured or has been shot at. Contrast with 443 "Officer needs assistance" meaning the situation is under control, but extra manpower is required to resolve the situation.
 
AFIS:
Automatic Fingerprint Identification System. AFIS is used by the CSIs to match fingerprints from a crime scene against various databases of fingerprints on file.
 
ALS (Alternate Light Source):
A ultraviolet light that will render certain stains (such as semen and blood that was merely wiped up) visible when viewed through a special polarized orange filter. In some instances the CSIs wear orange goggles to look for such evidence. Portable, flashlight style ALS units have a rectangular piece of transparent orange plastic mounted on them just behind the light source.
 
AV:
Short for Audio-Visual. Refers to anything concerning sound, or visual mediums. The AV Lab within the CSI lab processes AV evidence. It can be recordings from 911 calls, answering machine messages, voice-mail messages, wiretap recordings, photographs, as well as video from broadcast sources, personal camcorders or surveillance videos.
 
Backup:
Two meanings:

1. Additional personnel who respond to a report of a crime or a crime scene to render assistance to those already present.

2. A small weapon, usually a revolver, that patrol officers generally carry in an ankle holster to be used in case their primary weapon becomes disabled or they become separated from it.
 
Barney:
A $500 gaming chip. The standard color for $500 chips is purple. It is also referred to as a 'Barney' presumably after the television character Barney, the Purple Dinosaur.
 
Black Chip:
A $100 gaming chip.
 
Body Dump:
Term used when a victim's body is discovered in a location other than where killed. Usually an attempt to conceal the crime or at least some aspect of it.
 
Cage:
The casino cashier's area. Gambler's come to the cage to have their gaming chips converted into cash when they are finished gambling.
 
Cap:
A gunshot to the head, usually delivered at close range, as a deliberate attempt to kill the victim. The typical mob-style hit is referred to as a double-cap because two shots are fired into the victim's head to ensure death. Presumably derived from 'decapitation.'
 
Card Counting:
Typically applies to blackjack, but can also be used in Baccarat.

A method whereby the gambler mentally keeps track of the cards played in order to determine the composition of the cards remaining in the deck or shoe in order to determine favorability towards the player or the house. Specific cards (except aces) are not usually kept track of, but rather the ratio of ten-value cards to low-value cards. In blackjack, a deck with a higher ratio of ten-value cards is favorable to the player, so a card counter may increase his wager in this circumstance. A deck with more lower value cards is more favorable to the house (because it's less likely for the dealer to bust when they are required to hit) and the card counter can lower his bet. A deck with many aces remaining is also favorable to the player as it increases the chance of hitting a blackjack and provides more opportunities for doubling down.

Casinos consider card counting 'cheating', but the Nevada Gaming Commission has ruled that it is a skill, not cheating. Nevertheless, Nevada Casinos are permitted bar those suspected of card counting from their casinos. Usually they don't ban a player entirely, only from playing blackjack.
 
CODIS:
Combined DNA Index System. CODIS is the FBI-funded computer system that permits searching DNA profiles developed by federal, state, and local crime laboratories to match DNA from known individuals to DNA evidence collected at crime scenes.
 
Comp:
Accommodations, services, or amenities that are provided to a casino guest without charge. Derived from the word 'complimentary' in the sense of 'free.' The equivalent value of comps are usually directly related to the amount of money a gambler puts in play and the frequency of their visits.

In Old Vegas, comps were handled directly by the casino management, such as the pit boss, floor manager or other casino executives. In modern Vegas most casinos issue 'player cards' to gamblers and their play is automatically kept track of. Casinos with such program normally issue a coupon book of 'comps' of moderate value (such as 2-for-1 dining or beverages, free slot pulls, or free gaming chips (distinctively marked) to gamblers who sign up for a players card. These programs normally have defined point levels for a specific comp, such as a free room, free meal, or room upgrade.

At higher levels of play, the VIP staff normally handles comp arrangement. A full package of comps is called 'RFB'. The gambler receives complimentary room, food, and beverages.

The step beyond VIP are reserved exclusively for those with large bankrolls who are willing to put a large amount of money in play. This type of player is referred to as a Whale. Whales are comped at the highest level, with luxury suites containing fully stocked bars, luxury amenities, perhaps in-suite servants, and any kind of food or beverage served to them wherever and whenever they want it, even at the gaming tables. Whales from out of town will usually get their transportation costs to Las Vegas reimbursed. Whales get whatever they want.

Comps are awarded based primarily on how much money a gambler puts in play, not whether they win or lose. However, anyone who walks away a big winner will likely receive an offer of generous comps to encourage them to return so the casino has an opportunity to win back its money.
 
Cranberry Chip:
A $10,000 gaming chip that is a dark red color. This is generally the highest denomination chip that is normally used the main areas of the casino open to the general public.
 
DB:
Short for "dead body." "Let's get this DB to the morgue."
 
Decomp:
Short for 'decomposition'. A natural process that occurs after death causing the remains to deteriorate. The CSIs use the state of 'decomp' to approximate a time of death as well as draw other conclusions concerning the circumstances of the victim's death.
 
Drop Box:
A locked container secured to the underside of a gaming table. There is a small slot in the container that is aligned with an opening in the gaming table. The dealer/croupier will accept cash from a gambler and insert it into the drop box and them provide them with the equivalent amount in gaming chips.

When this occurs, the dealer will announce "Check change <amount>." The pit boss will proceed to the table and ensure the transaction is conducted properly.
 
Eye in the Sky:
The term used for any overhead surveillance cameras located in a casino/hotel. The cameras mainly concentrate on the casino area, but are also located in shops, elevators and other public areas of the property.
 
Floater:
A dead body discovered in a naturally occurring body of water. Upon death, a body will float for several hours before sinking. After a few days, gases that built up inside the corpse from decomposition cause the body to float to the surface again. Can also be used to refer to dead bodies found in swimming pools.
 
Gaming Card:
A work permit, issued by the Nevada State Gaming Commission, that permits an individual to work in the gaming industry. The individual must submit an application, be sponsored by a gaming establishment, be fingerprinted, undergo background checks and be interviewed.

The CSI Lab can access the database of fingerprints collected from those issued gaming cards. The gaming card database is a good source of leads in many cases handled by the CSIs.
 
George:
Term used to describe a generous tipper in an 'exotic dance' (strip) club. Presumably derived from the portrait of George Washington on the $1 bills that patrons would stuff into what little clothing the performers were wearing.
 
Grave:
Short for "Graveyard Shift." Also known as 'Third Shift." The overnight shift which lasts from approximately midnight to 8AM. Grissom is the supervisor of the CSIs who work 'grave.' Most of the main characters work 'grave'.
 
Green Chip:
A $25 gaming chip. Also referred to as a 'quarter.'
 
GSR:
Acronym for Gunshot Residue. GSR is composed of small amounts of burned and partially burned gunpowder that falls onto a shooter's hand or clothing after discharging a firearm. GSR can also appear on a victim if the victim was shot at close range. On a victim, GSR is sometimes referred to as 'powder burns' depending on the nature of the residue.
 
GSW:
Acronym for Gunshot Wound.
 
IBIS:
Integrated Ballistics Identification System. A database system maintained by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) containing data on the characteristics of firearms, generally handguns. Such characteristics include the striations left on a bullet from a gun barrel and also the pin indentations left on shell casings when a weapon is fired.
 
Murder Central:
A hotel room located at the far end of a hallway, usually with no other room directly across from it, and next to the emergency exit stairwell. The location reduces the risk of detection, evades surveillance, and makes for an easy escape route.
 
Non-gaming Card:
A work permit, issued by the Nevada State Gaming Commission or local authorities, that allows an individual to work in a gaming establishment in a non-gaming capacity. Such individuals might be bartenders, cocktail servers, security personnel, restaurant workers, or valets. The individual must submit an application, be fingerprinted, undergo background checks and be interviewed.

The CSI Lab can access the database of fingerprints collected from those issued non-gaming cards. The database is a good source of leads in many cases handled by the CSIs.
 
Old Vegas (Back in the Day):
The period in time when most of Las Vegas was run by the mob (Organized Crime, The Mafia.) This period started in 1946 when Bugsy Segal opened the Flamingo and lasted until the early 1980s when most of the prime establishments were taken over by large corporations. The character Sam Braun personifies this period of time, although according to his daughter (Catherine Willows) he was never part of the mob, though he did operate his establishments in a similar manner. Occasionally a character will refer to this time period as 'Back in the Day."

This time period was revisited in "Kiss, Kiss, Bye, Bye" (Season 6, Episode 13) concerning a show girl (Lois O'Neill) who made it big in the 1960s with the help of her mob boyfriend (Tony Constantine) and became a legend in her own right. The episode "Living Legend," (Season 7, Episode 9) concerns a mob figure (Mickey Dunn) who disappeared in 1976, along with his trademark Gold Cadillac. His body and car were missing for 30 years until the car was hauled out of Lake Meade at the beginning of the episode.
 
Pumpkin:
A $1000 gaming chip. The standard color for $1000 chips is orange.
 
Red Chip:
A $5 gaming chip. Also referred to as a 'nickel.'
 
Rolling Cage:
A secure cart used by a casino's cashier and security personnel to collect the cash laden drop boxes and replace them with empty ones at gaming tables. The rolling cage was the target of the armed robbery in the episode "And Then There Were None." (Season 2, Episode 9)
 
Slab:
A general term for where a dead body is laid out in the morgue. Slab can refer either to the examination table in the morgue or the sliding shelf in the refrigerated compartments where corpses are stored pending further examination or release to a mortuary.
 
Snake:
The act of stealing another gambler's chips while they are distracted. This happens most frequently at the craps table when the shooter leaves his chips in front of him on the rail of the craps table as he's bent over the table to roll the dice. This scam precipitated the murder in the parking garage in the episode "Bad to the Bone." (Season 4, episode 18)
 
Sports Book:
A area within the casino where one can wager on almost any sporting event. Betting on sports events is legal in Nevada no matter where the event is being held. Not all casinos have a Sports Book. The Stardust has what is considered the best Sports Book in Las Vegas as it specifically caters to gamblers who prefer betting on sports.
 
Stiff:
A gambler who does not toke (tip) the dealer/croupier at the table they are gambling at. It is considered bad etiquette not to toke, especially if the gambler is winning or has just made a big win at the table. The term is also used to describe a gambler who does not tip the cocktail server when their (usually complementary) beverage is served to them at a gaming table. Can also be used as a verb to describe the act of not rendering a gratuity.

In the episode "Revenge is Best Served Cold" (Season 3, episode 1) the cocktail waitress serving a high-stakes poker table complains bitterly about a player who continually 'stiffs' her despite being very demanding.
 
The DI:
Short for the Desert Inn. The DI was one of the first major properties located on The Strip, opening in 1950. Howard Hughes bought the DI in 1967 and occupied the top two floors for several years while in self-imposed seclusion. The DI was the last Strip resort to have it's own golf course. Like many of the older properties (The Sahara, The Tropicana, The Flamingo, The Sands) one of the main east-west streets that cross the Strip is named after the DI. (Desert Inn Road)

Throughout its history, anybody who was anybody in Las Vegas show-biz performed at the DI.

The DI was bought by casino mogul Steve Wynn in 2000. It was demolished in phases and replaced with the Wynn Resort. The golf course remains and was renamed for Wynn also. Beginning in 2009, Wynn plans to close the golf course and develop the land with additional resort facilities.

In the series, Mobster Mickey Dunn (Living Legends, Season 7, Episode 9) purportedly owned a percentage in the DI when he disappeared in 1976. The photograph that turns up with all of the murder victims in the episode show Mickey and his 'boys' in front of the DI's famous sign. Elvis was appearing that week.
 
The Strip:
The section of Las Vegas Blvd that runs from McCarran Airport to just north of Sahara Blvd. Most of the high-end casino hotels/resorts are located on the strip or close to it. The Mandalay Bay is located at the southern end of the strip. The Stratosphere (including the tall, needle-like tower) is located at the northern end. In many episodes, the opening shot is an airborne shot of The Strip, usually at night when it is brightly lit.
 
Through and through:
A term describing a gunshot wound where the bullet passes completely through the body of the victim and comes to rest outside of the victim's body. A through and through will have an entrance wound and a corresponding exit wound, thus enabling the CSIs to determine the approximate trajectory of the bullet.
 
Toke:
Gaming chips given to a dealer/croupier by a gambler as a gratuity. At table games, there is a clear plastic box with a small slot in the top that the casino staff member places the chips in. Tokes are normally pooled among a specific pit or a particular casino game and distributed among the staff working within that area during a shift.

In most casinos, at some table games, the dealer can also be toked by placing a bet alongside the players bet and telling the dealing that it's for them. This form of toke is most common in blackjack. The side bet is not subject to the table minimum. At a $25 minimum table, the player can place a $5 bet for the dealer. Normally the amount of the toke bet can not exceed the players bet or be used to meet the table minimum.

If the player wins the hand, the dealer pays off the players bet and also the bet placed as a toke. If the player loses, the dealer collects the toke bet as a win for the house. Most casinos require a winning toke bet and the pay-off to be taken down immediately and placed in the toke box. A few casinos allow the player to control the toke bet by letting it ride. In this case it's polite to consult with the dealer. Most dealers will go for the sure thing and suggest taking the bet down so that it goes into the toke box. In any case, the player can never remove any of the chips from the toke and return it to his chips.

Can also be used as a verb as in "I toke the dealer each time I get a blackjack."
 
Toke Envelope:
At the end of a shift, when the tokes are distributed among the staff, most casinos cash in the chips from the toke boxes and distribute the day's tokes in cash. The cash is put into a toke envelope for the employee to take with them when they leave work.
 
Trace:
Short for 'trace evidence'. Refers to evidence that is physically small, such as a hair, a piece of fibre, a nail clipping, a shard of metal or glass, etc, that may seem insignificant, but may yield important evidence concerning the crime committed.

Also refers to the laboratory section within the CSI building that processes and examines such evidence. "Get these fibers to Trace and find out what they are."
 
Whale:
An individual who puts large amounts of money in play at a casino, usually at high-stakes games. Whales always receive a full RFB (Room, Food, and Beverage) comp and are provided with the finest accommodations in the hotel. Some casinos set aside private gaming rooms for Whales, away from the noise and clatter of the main gaming rooms.

To be designated a Whale the criteria is how much money the individual puts in play, not whether they win or lose. The casinos knows that the odds are always in their favor so they will get their money eventually.

Grissom: (Upon arriving at the scene to examine the body of a 17-year old teenager supposedly attending a high school homecoming event in the hotel's ballroom. She was discovered inside one of the sumptuous suites on the top floor of a high-end casino hotel.) "These rooms are only for Whales and royalty. What's up?" (From the Episode 'Formalities', Season 5 Episode 7)
 
White Chip:
A $1 gaming chip. Some casinos may actually use bright blue or gray for $1 chips, but they are still called 'white chips.'
 

Warning: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation guide may contain spoilers
Classification: Scripted
Genre: Action | Crime | Drama
Status: Returning Series
Network: CBS ( USA)
Airs: Wednesdays at 10:00 pm
Runtime: 60 Minutes
Premiere: October 06, 2000
Episode Order: 22
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