Former FBI agents Mark Safarik and Scott Gariola attend TV shows
Former FBI agent Scott Gariola has worked on several high-profile cases, helping to catch James “Whitey” Bulger, The murderer of Gianni Versace Andrew Cunanan, and solve the Chippendales Murder Case.
These days he’s been behind the scenes, consulting on shows like “Clarice” a CBS series that follows FBI agent Clarice Starling two years after the events seen in the 1991 thriller “The Silence of the Lambs”. The show focuses on his work as an agent for the FBI Violent Criminal Apprehension Unit after being drafted by Attorney General Ruth Martin – whose daughter, Catherine, was kidnapped by the crooked serial killer Buffalo Bill in the film.
To make sure the thriller was as accurate as possible, the producers turned to Gariola for his advice. And this is not his first foray into entertainment. After Gariola retired from the FBI in 2019, he began consulting on projects including the “FBI” procedural franchise on CBS. For these types of shows, he typically gives a one-hour Zoom lesson to the show’s creators on his former career.
But with “Clarice”, Gariola was involved from the pilot, communicating regularly with the writers of the show.
“I was in [the FBI] since 1988, so this period is right in my wheelhouse ”, said Gariola Oxygen.com.
Because the show is technically a period piece, he spoke regularly with the arts department, props department, and transportation department about what FBI life was like at that time.
Clarice co-producer DeMane Davis said Oxygen.com that having Gariola’s insight is “invaluable”. She said he provided wardrobe, hair and makeup photos of himself from the 1980s to help make the show feel authentic.
“Having Scott, who was there and who worked in the 1990s when this show premiered, and sharing stories about other agents, to describe where you keep your gun, it really changes the game in terms of authenticity.” , she said.
And of course, Gariola provided some insight into the series’ murder plot, drawing from his actual work on the notorious Chippendales murder case in 1987, when the male strip club empire was founded.r Steve Banerjee hired hitman to kill producer and business partner Nick De Noia.
Like Gariola, Veronica maxwell worked as an FBI agent investigating everything from anti-terrorism to white-collar crimes to crimes against children, before retiring in 2007 after 27 years in the office. He was asked to consult on ABC “Quantico“In 2015, a show that explored the lives of young FBI recruits. She has also consulted on shows including “Blind spot.”
Maxwell says that sometimes she spends three weeks looking at scripts and taking notes for writers.
“Or, I could be there for the whole pilot,” she explained to Oxygen.com. “Sometimes I do field training with actors and literally talk to them about being an FBI agent. I want them to know what we really did. I want them to have this rush. Most of them totally want to learn every aspect of their character and they lean really well. “
“Even though the story isn’t realistic, if there are FBI agents, you want them to look and wear like that,” she said. “It’s all about the little details.”
Mark Safarik worked in the elite behavioral analysis unit of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which inspired shows like “Criminal Minds” and “Mindhunter.” He has worked on serial murder cases, mass murder cases and sex crimes cases. After retiring from the FBI, he joined Bob Ressler, the famous former FBI profiler who coined the term “serial killer”, at the private company Forensic Behavioral Services where they continued to profile criminals until on Ressler’s death in 2013; Safarik still runs the business.
Safarik was a consultant for “CSI: Las Vegas” for eight years and worked on “Bones” for six years as well as a Swedish show on A Cold Case.
“My goal with ‘CSI’ and ‘Bones’ was to try to make everything as specific as possible,” he said. Oxygen.com. “You can use specific forensic and behavioral techniques. You can make your characters, whether they are delinquents or victims, more realistic. “
He usually works with writers and researchers for shows. He regularly sees what he knows best: serial killers and criminal profiling.
Safarik said he finds it gratifying that FBI agents appear accurate, even if a show is fictitious. He says it bothers him when he watches a show and the FBI agents watch or act in a way he doesn’t recognize.
Maxwell echoed this sentiment, saying Oxygen.com that she is happier when she contributes to the performance of “Agents as super professional people, showing how effective they are as a team.”
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