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The CSI Episode That Was Inspired By The Tragic Death Of A 10-Year-Old Girl

Despite being one of the most successful television franchises ever, "CSI" is not considered a highly accurate depiction of crime investigations. The show got millions of viewers interested in forensic science (per CSAFE), but the writers often fudged details and facts (via The Take). This has led to criticism from actual investigators in the process, but "CSI" was always more interested in sensation and gore, not rigorous procedure.

But like other crime shows, including "Law & Order" and "Homicide: Life on the Street," the scripts also uses parts of actual crime investigations as inspiration for episodes. "Felonius Monk," for example, was based on a real incident where several Buddhist monks were executed, according to Filmhounds Magazine. "CSI" also adapted an actual and horrific accidental death for a Season Two episode of the series.

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CSI adapted a therapy session gone wrong for Overload

The "CSI" episode "Overload" features CSI's Nick Stokes (George Eads) and Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger) investigating the mysterious, seemingly accidental death of 14 year old Dylan Buckley (Zane Holtz) after a seizure during a "rebirthing" therapy session with Dr. Leigh Sapien (Brenda Strong). However, the pair eventually discover the truth after going through a fiber analysis: Sapien held Dylan down and smothered him after the preteen refused to sleep with her.

This plot may seem like a typical case for the team, but it is based loosely on a real incident that took place in 2000. A 10 year old girl, Candace Newmaker, was smothered and killed during a "rebirthing session" meant to supposedly bond her with her adopted mother. The therapist present did not have a license and ultimately went to jail for his part in her death (via The Guardian).

According to How Stuff Works, the case was so infamous that it inspired multiple television episodes, including installments of "Law & Order" and "Law & Order: SVU." It also has to be one of the darkest examples of real life inspiring powerful crime fiction.

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