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Los Angeles Detective Was The Inspiration For Horatio Caine

By Kristine
January 7, 2004 - 10:21 PM

John Haynes found a new career after being wounded by explosives as a consultant for CSI: Miami.

In an article in the St. Petersburg Times, Haynes acknowledged that he was the model for the character of Horatio Caine, played by David Caruso. Haynes was a long-time friend of Miami producer and writer Elizabeth Devine, and Devine used Haynes's experiences as an LAPD Homicide Detective and Bomb Squad member as inspiration when creating Horatio. "[Horatio is] loosely modeled [off me]," Haynes said. "I think it happened with Liz just going to the producers and the network and basically telling them my story."

Haynes was tapped for the consultant position by Devine, whom he met through work. "I was a homicide detective when I first met her in 1990 and she was a criminalist at the L.A. County sheriff's crime lab," Haynes explained. "We met on a murder case, and from that point on, we worked several murder cases together and became great friends." When Devine went to work for CSI, she would consult Haynes on areas outside her expertise. "There were a few areas of technical expertise that Liz didn't have that I had been trained and educated in. So she called on me to offer some technical assistance," he said. "That allowed me some exposure to the executive producers of the show." Addtionally, Haynes's wife, Krista Potthast Haynes, is Devine's assistant.

As a consultant on the show, Haynes both shares his experiences and gives suggestions to the actors. "I just share life experiences and share things from the world I came from," he said. "A lot of it is just talking, and them picking my brain. Then once a world is kind of discovered that the producers feel is of interest, an outline is worked out, and writers will go off and write the script. Liz and I will look at it for technical notes, and the writers' draft will go out."

When talking to the actors, Haynes coaches them about how an actual crime scene investigator would react to a site. He gives an example: "Say, for instance, walking into this living room you had a body in the middle of the floor. People who aren't used to being around death tend to focus right on the body, like a magnet. But there are a lot of considerations between the door threshold and the body that someone looking for trace evidence needs to consider."

Haynes has high praise for the show's star, David Caruso. "David is very respectful of me. And he's a very smart guy," he said. "He's passionate about what he does, and he's extremely quick-witted and funny." Haynes has also found Caruso to be a consumate professional. "He comes to work each day with his game-face on. That guy is prepared," Haynes said of Caruso. "He wants to know, 'How can I make this better? What can I bring from myself?'It's a thrill to be associated with somebody like that."

Haynes also praises Caruso's talent and his knowledge of the world of crime investigation. "He's a voracious reader and very intuitive. And he has a real good handle on the law-enforcement community. His John Kelly character is a classic from NYPD Blue," Haynes said.

Haynes's consulting on the show even led to a chance to help pen an episode of CSI: Miami. Haynes wrote "Freaks and Tweaks" with Devine. "It was based on a murder case I investigated about an individual who'd been kidnapped and executed," Haynes revealed. "From the physical evidence, we worked the case backward into a very seedy drug world, where this person was in a business dispute with two killers. We found evidence of a struggle, and evidence out of two of the suspects' cars. During the search, we were standing there between two cars...and one of our photo ID techs unwrapped a package from one of the cars. He pulled out an object that turned out to be a pipe bomb--and dropped it on the ground between us. It didn't go off. But you want to talk about your life flashing before your eyes!"

To read more about Haynes's career, please visit the article at St. Petersburg Times.

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