CSI: Malibu

So this is an awesome story.

Like me, my friend Mark is really into photography. A couple of weeks ago, he took photos of a musician friend of our friend Tracy named Nicole Gordon. (She's really amazing; check her out.) To take the photos, they went to Malibu Creek State Park. Here's a sample of what they got:

Nicole Gordon


Anyway, while at the park, Tracy came across a pile of bones. Big bones. So big, in fact, that she made a joke about them being human remains. She even took photos of them. But of course they couldn't be human remains... so that was the end of it.

Cut to a few days ago. Mark was watching TV when a story came on the news about a woman who disappeared near Malibu, and cops were searching for her body near Malibu Creek State Park. He started to wonder if perhaps the bones Tracy found were human, and if so, if they belonged to this missing woman. He called Tracy and told her his suspicions, and before you know it, the two of them were convinced they were going to solve a crime.

After Mark and Tracy hung up with each other, Tracy called the Malibu police and told an officer about her discovery. He was one of those "tough guy" cops who came down on her for waiting so long to call. "Ma'am, if you thought they might have been human remains, why didn't you call the police when you found them?"

"Because I didn't know you were looking for a body until now," Tracy said.

"We're always looking for bodies," the cop replied. (I love that line; it's so fierce.) "What's the address where you found the remains?"

"There isn't an address because it was in the middle of the—"

"What's the address, Ma'am?"

"I said I don't know because it—"

"I'm gonna need the address, "Ma'am."

"It was in the middle of the park!"

"Well," the cop said, "you're gonna have to take us to the site then."

Now cut to today. After Tracy worked her reality TV show job and Mark went to the gym and got a smoothie, the two super-sleuths headed back to Malibu in Mark's BMW convertible to meet the authorities.

(Ten bucks "California Gurls" was playing in the background.)

Upon arriving (with wind-blown hair), they found the park ranger and announced, "We're here to see the sheriff!" When the sheriff showed up, he brought five people with him and radioed to a couple more that he was "with the informants." (This was Mark and Tracy.)

Informant #1

They waited a bit for a "black and white" to arrive (which apparently is slang for a squad car), but no such car ever did, so they had to ride to the site in a Jeep. (They were bummed about this because they really wanted to ride in the back of a cop car.)

After making their way to the field where they took the photos, Mark and Tracy showed the cops where the bones were and then waited patiently while they inspected them.

"They're too big to be animal bones," they heard someone say.

"I think I found a femur!" someone else piped in.

(This is so CSI—isn't it?!)

(Actually, it wasn't.)

The whole thing, while it sounds really cool, was a little less official than Tracy and Mark thought it was going to be.

First, you would think the police would use some kind of high-tech camera to take photos of the bones, but they didn't. They used an iPhone. (Turns out they did this so someone could send them to the coroner, but still.) Second, worse than the iPhone, some of the people were picking up the bones with their bare hands. You don't have to watch cop shows religiously to know you're not supposed to do this. Mark and Tracy wanted to start yelling, "Where are your gloves? Where are your bags? Where are your markers and yellow tape?!" But they didn't. Instead, they asked if they could take pictures, which leads me to a third point...

The cops said yes.

So here we have it:

The bones...


And the cops (touching all the bones)...

"I think I found a skull!"

"Let's both touch this one."

"Hmm... it might belong to a person or it might not." (I love her face in this one.)


And our informants...

Informant #1

Informant #2

Both informants, hamming it up for the camera.

Okay, seriously? If these were human remains, what a way for the cops to botch the investigation.

But alas... turns out they belonged to a bear. (Or so they think.)

But good job, Mark and Tracy. I'm happy to be friends with people who step up to the plate to help solve a crime. Way to go.