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Character Biographies

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If you're looking to learn more about your favorite CSI: characters, you've come to the right place!  Here, you will find more information about their lives outside of the lab... if they have one.  The list will include many of the main characters on the show, but if you feel that I've forgotten something, please let me know!


Gil Grissom
"Evidence only knows one thing: the truth. It is what it is."
-- Gil Grissom to Warrick Brown (Friends & Lovers)

Job Title: CSI level three
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 169 lbs
Birthday: August 17, 1956
Born: Santa Monica, CA
Education: B.S. in Biology, UCLA
Specialty: Entomology
Marital Status: Single

As the head of his team on the graveyard shift, Grissom upholds a lot of responsibility. Grissom grew up in Marina Del Rey, California. His mother ran an art gallery in Venice, and his father was in the "import/export" business, dealing primarily with communist China. Grissom's parents divorced when he was five. He learned sign language when he was eight because his mother was deaf, and at an early age he became especially interested in animals, and performed autopsies on dead animals he would find. He worked his way through college and then went to work full time as the youngest coroner in the history of L.A. County. His philosophy about his work has always been: "If you want to learn about forensics, master everything else first." While others may have a reason for being a CSI, for Grissom the job is not about choice. Grissom could no more work in another profession than a fish could stop swimming. CSI is not a job for Grissom, it's an expression of who he is as a person, the perfect synthesis of personality and profession. Now, Grissom is a level three and leads his own team as supervisor of the Graveyard shift.
Highlights: Youngest coroner in the history of L.A. County at age 22. Eight years later, a headhunter recruited him to run the Field Services office in Las Vegas. Grissom has spent the last 15 years helping Las Vegas move from #14 to #2 in the U.S. Crime Lab rankings.

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Catherine Willows
"Stick with it. At least until you solve your first. And if after that, you don't feel like King Kong on cocaine, then you can quit. But, if you stay, with my hand to God, you will never regret it."
-- Catherine Willows to Holly Gribbs (Pilot)

Job Title: CSI level three
Height: 5'6"
Weight: 104 lbs
Birthday: March 26, 1963
Born: Bozeman, MT
Education: B.S. in Medical Technology, UNLV
Specialty: Blood spatter analysis
Marital Status: Divorced
Catherine was born on a ranch in western Montana. She was the eldest of fourth-generation ranchers. She left home for the first time as a sixteen-year-old. She lived in Seattle for a year with her would-be rock-star boyfriend, eking out a living as a waitress. When he left her for an older woman, she went home, only to find home wasn't there anymore. Her parents had been forced to sell their ranch and moved to town. They made it clear that Catherine was on her own. The next stop for Catherine was Las Vegas. She waited tables until she discovered a much more lucrative line of work: exotic dancing. The men loved her and the money poured in. Catherine spent it all on school and the aspiring career of her music-producing boyfriend, Eddie. Dating turned to engagement which turned to marriage. After it ended, Eddie left her with ten dollars in the bank, a coke habit, and a small child, Lindsey. She didn't become a CSI because she wanted to right the wrongs of the world - She became a CSI because it made her feel like a kid solving puzzles. She loves the challenge and she loves the buzz of working a case. It's a high for her - and anything that makes Catherine feel as good as she does can't be all bad.

Highlights:  Willows worked as an exotic dancer on the Strip in her early 20s while going to college. A young filed services officer named Grissom recruited her to work at the lab. She started as an assistant technician and has worked her way up over a decade to become a CSI level Three.

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Warrick Brown
 "Tricks are for kids, man. I don't play games anymore."
-- Warrick Brown to casino manager (Viva Las Vegas)

Job Title: CSI level three
Height: 6'2
Weight: 190 lbs
Brithday: October 10, 1970
Born: Las Vegas, NV
Education: B.S. in Chemistry, UNLV
Specialty: Audio/Visual analysis
Marital Status: Single
The only member of the team born and raised in Las Vegas. To this day, Warrick has never met his father. His mother passed away when Warrick was seven, leaving Warrick in the care of his maternal grandmother. He grew up in a strict household, and that meant he kept his position as a runner a secret from his grandmother. Warrick was quite literally born to live in Vegas. He loves the casinos, loves the action, loves the pulse of the city. He can move just as easily through the Clark County courthouse as he can through the Sportsbook at Hard Rock. To let off steam, he DJs at clubs run by his friends, and writes his own songs. Spending his whole life in the city means Warrick knows at least one person in every bar, club, and hotel in the city. He's connected, and he uses those connections to move between his worlds. He went through a lot of women in his early twenties, but the first time he fell in love, the woman broke his heart. He now looks at women with a cautious eye. Warrick knows how all the games are played in Las Vegas and is aware of the universal truth of the city . the only one who wins consistently is the house because the odds are stacked. Warrick's got enough of a rebel in him to challenge those odds, and enough of a realist in him to know the only one watching out for him is him, so he'll cut his losses to fight again another day if need be.
Highlights:  Worked as a casino runner throughout his teenage years. He put himself through college working as a taxi driver, a bell captain at the Sahara, selling helicopter rides over the Grand Canyon, and a grave digger before finding his way to the LVPD and CSI.

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Nick Stokes
"You don't even have to know every star. And you can still draw in a constellation."
-- Nick Stokes (Friends & Lovers)

Job Title: CSI level three
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 155 lbs
Birthday: August 18, 1971
Born: Dallas, TX
Education: B.S. in Criminal Justice, Rice Unv
Specialty: Hair and fiber analysis
Marital Status: Single
The last child in a family of seven, Nick was born into law enforcement. His father worked as the state D.A. before being appointed to the bench. Two years ago, Nick's father was appointed to the Texas State Supreme Court. Nick's mother has spent her entire adult life working as a public defender. They have been happily-married for 45 years. With one brother and five sisters, Nick had a lot of people looking out for him. Maybe that's why everything feels so personal to Nick. He has no distance from his work because he's always been close to people. Where Sara struggles with relationships, Nick can't help himself. Being with and around people is so easy for him. What's hard is balancing the unspoken but competing perspectives of his parents. He wants to live up to their expectations, and becoming a CSI was one way of finding a compromise. Being a cop was too much for his father. As a CSI, he's objective. He still has social responsibility to uphold, but does his job without an agenda. The evidence speaks and everyone has to respect what it says, both public defenders as well as judges on the bench. Nick could still be in Texas, but he chose to move two states over. There's a part of Nick that loves his family and his family name, but there's a part of him that wants to be on his own, to lay down his own roots and establish his own identity. What he's finding is that roots don't take quickly. Growing them is a slow process fraught with mistakes, and Nick isn't finished.
Highlights: Spent his first three years out of college on the Dallas police force, then transferred to the Dallas crime lab, spending one year as CSI level One before transferring to Las Vegas.

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Sara Sidle

"I do remember the looks. I became the girl whose father was stabbed to death. Do you think there's a murder gene?"
-Sara Sidle (Nesting Dolls)

Job Title: CSI level three
Height: 5'8"
Weight: 107 lbs
Birthday: September 16, 1971
Born: Tamales Bay, CA
Education: B.S. in Physics, Harvard
Specialty: Materials and element analysis
Marital Status: Single

Sara was born and raised an hour and a half outside of San Francisco on Tamales Bay. The youngest child of ex-hippies, Sara always needed a bigger stage. Everything about her as a child was outsized. Her intelligence, her energy, her curiosity. Growing up, the roles were reversed for Sara and her parents. They kept telling her to take it easy, and she kept coming up with business models for how they could take their B and B public and then franchise the brand. And unlike her parents, Sara always maintained perfect self-discipline.  Growing up in an abusive home was difficult. After her father's death and her mother's arrest, Sara and her brother went into foster care.  Sara was pretty much all or nothing in high school, and as talented as she was, grace didn't come with the package. The other kids resented her, and she did nothing to ease the resentment. Sara was a perfect example of why great athletes make rotten coaches. Things come so easy to them, they can't understand why everyone else doesn't perform to their level. At eighteen, Sara found a place where she could be at home. She went to Harvard and enjoyed four of the best years of her life. She took as many classes as she could. She went to as many parties as she could. And she finally dated. Not well, but at least she tried. Like any tragic figure worth their salt, Sara has a single flaw: people. She can solve any problem except for the problem of other people and how she's supposed to relate to them. So she hides in the job. She pursues her career rigorously, perhaps more so than any of the other CSIs, partly because she's still rebelling against her parents' "lax" approach to social obligations, and partly because she's afraid of what she'd find out about herself if she ever slowed down.
Highlights: Attended graduate school in theoretical physics. Worked in the San Francisco coroner's office for five years, then transferred to the San Francisco crime lab before being contracted by Gil Grissom to come to Las Vegas.

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Greg Sanders
"Isn't that in the constitution somewhere? A man's inalienable right to pee in private?"
-- Greg Sanders (Justice is Served)

Job Title: Lab Technician/CSI
Height: 5'10 1/5"
Weight: 155 lbs
Birthday: May 5, 1975
Born: San Gabriel, CA
Education: B.S. in Chemistry, UC Berkeley
Specialty: Biochemistry
Marital Status: Single
Since picking up his first amateur chemistry kit when he was seven, Greg Sanders has wanted to be a scientist. Even though he was told that science was supposed to be a hobby of the pasty-faced and romantically challenged, that did not dissuade him from joining the Science Club in high school, nor from majoring in chemistry in college. He has always balanced lab work with athletics; studying with flirting; and computer work with dating. Addicted to the pursuit of knowledge, he has been on a quest to learn all he can about the scientific breakthroughs of past centuries. And discovering and naming a brand-new theory or element after himself wouldn't hurt, either.
Highlights: Interned as an entry-level lab tech at San Francisco PD for two semesters.

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Jim Brass
"You know between you and me, as long as I've been on the job I still don't like touching dead bodies." 
-- Jim Brass ($35K O.B.O.)

Job Title: Homicide Detective, Las Vegas PD.
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 163 lbs
Birthday: January 3, 1953
Born: Newark, NJ
Education: B.A. in History, Seton Hall University
Specialty: Police Work
Marital Status: Divorced
Brass was born into a middle-class family in Newark. When the riots hit in the mid-sixties, Brass was in college. Something about the injustice made him decide on a career in law enforcement. He approached his job with the zeal of a reformer, and at first Brass gained a great deal of notoriety for his tenacious investigative style. Unfortunately, tenacious investigators tend to be indiscriminate. When they see someone do something wrong, they go after the crime. Even if the criminals are cops. And that's what happened to Brass. He became a Serpico-like figure in New Jersey. He cleaned up the department and the effort cost him his marriage and what little relationship he had with his daughter. When the dust cleared, Brass headed for Second Chance City, landing at CSI. He could get his fix of the investigative process without having to expend any personal capital. His life gently slid into strip bars and J and B doubles and all was well enough until a young newbie named Holly Gribbs showed up. Her death cost Brass his job and in some ways his peace of mind. Since she died, he's been transferred back to homicide. He's not sure if he likes it, but it's familiar and it's easy, and that'll do for the short term. The long term is irrelevant for Brass, because he stopped believing in the future long ago.
Highlights: Brass spent 20 years working his way up to homicide detective in New Jersey. He transferred out of Homicide and out of New Jersey 10 years ago and came to Las Vegas. He eventually came to run the CSI department, more as an administrator than as an investigator.  After the Gribbs case, he was bumped back to Homicide.

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Dr. Al Robbins
"Hey. Great room. Great table. I could use this. Lay out all the body parts. Get a real overview. Is that a light under there?"
-- Albert Robbins, about the layout-room (Caged)

Job Title: Coroner / Chief Medical Examiner
Height: 5'9
Weight: 179 lbs
Birthday: January 19, 1952
Born: Church Falls, VA
Education: M.S. in Biological Chemistry, University of Virginia; M.D./Ph.D. in Physiology, Johns Hopkins University
Marital Status: Married
Born to a single mother in an era when everyone came from a two-parent household, Robbins spent his life as an underdog. Spurned by his peers, he took solace in books from an early age, discovering an aptitude for academia. His mother worked as a nurse, so Robbins spent most nights in the local hospital. The doctors and nurses unofficially adopted him, and they not only gave him free rein of the premises, they allowed him to assist in any number of activities the chronically short-handed facility required. From stocking shelves as a ten-year-old, to assisting in simple surgeries as a teenager, Robbins knew more about the hospital than some of the doctors who worked there. And he put that knowledge to work when he opened his own clinic. Many years of fighting the good fight eventually left him drained, and after shifting into what felt like a natural career change for him (medicine is all about life and death), he and his wife and their three children packed up and moved to Las Vegas. He's free to pursue his own interests, both at work and at home, and that's the way he likes it right now. His medical career has somewhat followed the path he envisioned for himself, but his personal life has far exceeded his wildest expectations. His wife and his children have replaced books as the center of his life and nothing will ever change that.
Highlights: After completing his residency at Johns Hopkins, Robbins opened a clinic in the inner harbor area of Baltimore. He worked as a general practitioner for 20 years before the chronic budget shortfalls and the practices of the newly powerful HMOs forced him to close the clinic's doors. Strictly out of academic curiosity, he became an assistant coroner for the Arlington, VA, police department, where he worked his way up to coroner in two years. After putting in four years in Arlington, he transferred to Las Vegas. He has been the chief medical examiner in Las Vegas for the past five years.

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