Patricia Cornwell Gives $1 million for CSI

February 8, 2008 11:29:05 AM PST
Patricia Cornwell is donating $1 million to a top criminal justice college for a new academy to teach CSI techniques.

The best-selling novelist said she's taking action because she's appalled by what she's seen at crime scene investigations.

"I've seen cops walk through blood. I've seen them leave their own fingerprints on a window," Cornwell said in an interview Friday. "I've seen bloody clothing put in a plastic bag, instead of a paper bag, so it decomposes."

Her funding will help start the Crime Scene Academy at New York's John Jay College of Criminal Justice, set to open this fall with training in DNA typing, fingerprint enhancement techniques, ballistics and forensic psychology.

The 51-year-old author has written more than a dozen books featuring Dr. Kay Scarpetta, a medical examiner. Her latest is "Book of the Dead."

Praised for her meticulous research, Cornwell blames television and movies for misleading the public on how crimes are investigated.

"It's like `Star Trek' compared to the real Air Force," she said.