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The CSI: Miami Episode That Was Real Life For Eva LaRue

"CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" is a television juggernaut that changed the landscape of police procedurals on the small screen. The Anthony Zuiker-created series was one of the first of its ilk to fully embrace advances in forensic science at the time of its creation, adding new layers to the genre as a result. During its original run between 2000 and 2015, the show attracted a die-hard audience, became a cultural touchstone, and found success at the Emmys. These factors paved the way for a franchise that now encompasses novelizations, video games, and spin-offs such as "CSI: Miami."

As the BBC highlights, "CSI: Miami" was the most popular TV series on the planet at one point. Much like its parent series, the Florida-set spin-off drew influence from real-life cases and detectives to tell captivating stories about crime and corruption. However, for Eva LaRue, who played Natalia Boa Vista on the series from 2005 until 2012, one episode was perhaps a little too close to home for her family.

CSI: Miami based an episode on Eva LaRue's sister's story

Back in 2006, it was revealed that Eva LaRue's sister, Nika, was one of several women who'd been photographed by the serial killer William Richard Bradford. While she managed to avoid any harm, her story did become public knowledge and was even featured in People Magazine. After reading the piece, the writers of "CSI: Miami" were inspired to write an episode with a similar storyline. However, the LaRue sisters were reluctant to let them do it at first.

According to Eva LaRue in an interview with TV Addict, both she and her sister initially declined the offer as they felt it would have been too exploitative of Bradford's victims. "It's publicity for publicity's sake, and it's gross," LaRue recalled while discussing the original reaction to the proposal. "There [were] people who really got killed."

However, LaRue said that the producers had an idea: "[W]e run a PSA at the end of the episode ... [for] the 20 million viewers that we have for the show ... and maybe we can get some information into the sheriffs department."  

That proposal appears to be what got the sisters on board. "[Nika] said if there's good that comes out of it, we're helping in some way, yes," LaRue added. "If we're doing it just to do it, then no."  The episode, entitled "Darkroom," was released in 2006 and boasted a cameo from Nika as a reporter (via CBS).