CSI: was this as dumb as it seemed to me?

I was watching CSI: Las Vegas yesterday. In the course of investigation, they show by microscopic analysis of some broken glass, that a window had been broken from the inside rather than the outside. Isn’t the usual way of doing that by seeing that the glass has fallen outside the house, rather than inside? It seems like that’s been in enough detective stories that the CSIs might have thought of it.

I haven’t seen the show, but if you break a hole in the glass (that falls to the inside) and subsequently pull the remaining glass off to your side, there would be glass on both inside and outside.

Was it the one where someone had been pushed “through” a window but the window hadn’t broken completely? They were trying to figure out if she’d been pushed from the inside of the house or the outside. Since the break only broke the glass and the window stayed up, none really fell (or a little fell inside and a little fell outside) and they had to analyze it to see from whence she was pushed.

Just a WAG tho - I have seen several episodes where they were in fact privy to the idea that glass on outside = broken from inside.

well, I would think somebody being pushed through a window would make it WAY more obvious, since the body would be pushing the glass that does break out with it.
I didn’t see the episode either but I think Montgomery probably has the right idea, if a small hole were to be made, and then the rest of the glass knocked out to the sides with a crowbar, it might be hard to tell, still seems like kind of a stretch though…

Haven’t you ever seen the puddle of glass left behind on the street after a car is broken into? Glass goes everywhere when it shatters.

If you cut a small hole from the outside, and then pull the glass out, then it was broken from the inside! The glass will be lying around on the outside, except the little piece you cut out which might be inside or outside, depending on where you put it.


I believe I remember this episode. The “victim’s” story was that an intruder broke into her house. They striations on the glass proved that that glass was broken from the INSIDE, proving that she lied.

They’ve been mentioned a couple of times (pronounced “heckle”) on the show, notably in “The I-15 Murders” where they broke the B-plot (although that was a man, not a woman, caught lying about a burglary.)

I think the producers love broken glass because it gives them an excuse to air long, stylishly-lit “music videos of science” where someone pieces it back together. Loads cheaper than dialog or location shots.

Well all the perps that read those stories know to pick up the glass outside and drop it inside. :smack:

The episode I saw was a day trader that shot his brother dead in an argument over money. When he realized what he’d done he smashed the window with the butt of his gun, hid it in a computer, and trashed the room. When the CSIs came, he claimed there was a burglar.

The showed glass flying outside when he smashed the window, but those re-enactments are supposed to be speculative I guess. Apparently there was glass inside too since they found it in his trouser cuff. Would there be? OK, a car window can end up on the street, but I thought that someone punched a hole and then pulled it out. Also that’s safety glass so the dynamics are different.