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The Creepiest Crime Scene From CSI Season 12

There was a lot going on in the year 2000: a new millennium, NSYNC released their iconic album "No Strings Attached," and crime shows were taking over televisions everywhere. That was the year the original "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" premiered, and it rose to near instant success. The show ended in 2015 after 15 seasons, however "CSI" is way more popular than even its fans likely realize, and in 2021, it was given a sequel series, "CSI: Vegas."

Crime dramas and police procedurals may all have their differences, but they also have some key things in common. Gruesome deaths and creepy crime scenes make them both hard to watch and hard to turn off. "CSI" delivered on the creep factor in just about every episode while also creating storylines that made these seemingly unimaginable crimes seem terrifyingly realistic. By the time the show got around to Season 12, the creativity wasn't slowing down, and writers still found a way to implement crimes and crime scenes worthy of viewers' time. One Season 12 episode takes inspiration from things most audiences are familiar with, mixes them up, and creates the creepiest episode of the entire season.

A children's book turned upside down makes for a very creepy crime scene

"CSI" Season 12, Episode 18, "Malice in Wonderland," a play on the popular children's story "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll, proves that anything can be made creepy. An "Alice in Wonderland" themed wedding, complete with vibrant colors, a caterpillar, and tables set up for a fantastical tea party doesn't seem out of the ordinary for Las Vegas. However, throw in a murderer dressed as the Mad Hatter and a dead body in the middle of a psychedelic color scheme and you've got one creepy "CSI" crime scene on your hands.

The unnerving way the episode takes a popular children's story and turns it into a scene of macabre murder makes this particularly chill-inducing. A big part of the reason the whole setup works so well is likely because writer and producer Joe Pokaski said that in crafting the eerie crime scene, he was trying to tap into the roots of what made the series so great when it first premiered. 

In an interview with CSI Files, Pokaski describes what he was aiming for with the episode's theme. "I guess it's fair to say it's my attempt at Classic CSI. I wanted something distinctly Las Vegas like weddings," Pokaski said. First responders and investigators in the episode including, D.B. Russell (Ted Danson) and Julie Finlay (Elisabeth Shue), get to walk into an over-the-top Las Vegas wedding that transports them into a storybook of nightmares as they gaze upon the body of the victim, making this the creepiest crime scene from "CSI" Season 12.