Criminal: Episode 33: Deep Dive
December 23, 2015 10:15 PM - Subscribe

Sgt. David Mascarenas is the Dive Supervisor for the Los Angeles Police Department. He's been diving his whole life, and prides himself on never refusing a dive, no matter how treacherous. At least until the summer of 2013, when a murder investigation led him into unusually murky waters.
posted by bq (4 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I loved the exchange between the host and his wife.
posted by CMcG at 5:13 AM on December 27, 2015

Criminal never ceases to amaze me with the variety of their stories. This one was such a great angle. The Tar Pits are so gross - I can't imagine diving in them!

I also loved that the wife slugged him when he got home.
posted by radioamy at 6:21 PM on December 27, 2015

I enjoyed the show. . . but I can't help but wonder why they didn't try other options before sending in a diver. There are plenty of good reasons a robot designed to operate under water might be a bad idea; their concern over sparks seems secondary to the question of whether robots that uses jets and fins to maneuver would even work in dense and viscous stuff.

But, there's no reason not to try purely mechanical solutions operated from the surface. For example, a hook on the end of a stick. Or a wire basket on the end of a stick. Or a grappling hook with a lead weight attached dragged past the object. Or a fruit-picker basket. Or a high branch cutter with the shears replaced by a hook. Or a commercial grabber arm that's been lengthened with pipe and wire. Or, if you want to get fancy, a pnuematic manipulator arm on a rolling cart.

If you've got real-time sonar showing the thing you want to fetch and the thing doing the fetching, using a blind human to do the work seems crazy.
posted by eotvos at 9:50 AM on December 31, 2015

IIRC the ep mentioned in passing that they had tried various mechanical solutions without success.
posted by bq at 5:28 PM on December 31, 2015

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