The crime procedural has a crime library, a full-time researcher, and a full-time former FBI agent to keep the show as accurate as possible. But all this research also makes the writing staff a little paranoid.
by Ariane Lange
The full-time researcher who sifts through grisly headlines and gleans the finer points of making soap from human skin for the writers of Criminal Minds didn’t exactly see her career going in this direction. Ticona Joy started as a production assistant who liked horror movies and has since become one arm of the research-apparatus that keeps the CBS show realistic. The other is Jim Clemente, a writer-producer and former FBI agent who says he's read every script to check for accuracy. (The show also has a forensic linguist, James Fitzgerald, as a technical adviser.)
Clemente, who spent 12 years profiling killers in the Behavioral Analysis Unit, fact-checks the profiling and procedural elements of the show, while Joy's work is more on the front end of the process: she spends her mornings going through the weirdest headlines and sending them to the writers for inspiration, and she has a network of experts who field questions that range from mundane to miscellaneously macabre.
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