Back in the fall of 1998 veteran Crime Scene Investigator Yolanda McClary was working a few graveyard shifts in the Crime Lab for Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, during that time her superiors let Anthony E. Zuiker, a young Mirage tram operator and struggling television writer shadow her as she worked cases.
Flash forward to October 6, 2000 when a new series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation debuted on CBS becoming an instant hit with critics and viewers. Suddenly 30 million viewers learned that Yolanda was the inspiration for series co-lead Emmy® winner Marg Helgenberger’s character CSI Graveyard Shift Supervisor Catherine Willows, proving that sometimes art imitates life and that millions of young women all around the globe were being inspired by Yolanda’s real life work and passion for Forensics and Crime Scene Investigation.
When Yolanda retired after 26 years of service from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, with legendary statistics investigating over 7,000 crime scenes that included murders, suicides, accidental deaths, fires, vehicle fatalities, robberies, assaults, domestic violence, drugs, trafficking, overdoses, and home invasions. She left huge shoes to fill. To this day Yolanda is one of the most sought after and in demand Crime Scene Consultants in the world.
After retiring Yolanda recently spent 3 seasons and a total of 47 episodes co-staring on the hit TNT reality series “Cold Justice” traveling to different cities across the United States offering her expert analysis on real life “Cold Cases” with former Prosecutor Kelly Siegler.
Yolanda is currently in development on several new TV projects and has been approached about writing her autobiography which is sure to be a NY Times and Amazon Best Seller.
Lucky for us, we had the opportunity to catch up with Yolanda and she so graciously answered our reader favorite 15 Questions!
- What is your favorite word? Right.
- What is your favorite color? I’m thinking black because I have so many clothes in that color, lol.
- What is your favorite city? Balboa Beach.
- What is your favorite season? Summer.
- What is your astrological sign? Leo.
- Who has been the most positive influence on your life? My daughter. She has taught me that not everything is as it appears. That just because it’s your opinion, doesn’t make you right. She taught me how to be patient, something I don’t do well.
- What trait do you find most attractive in other people? Kindness.
- What is something most people don’t know about you (Hobby, Favorite TV Series you never miss or Film you have seen many times or Secret Talent)? I love designing things. I use to design dog clothes and collars. Lots of bling and pretty stuff.
- What inspires you creatively? When I see something I like, I think of ways I could design it to fit me more. So I get creative in changing it. I do this a lot on things for my house or yard. I’m really a hands on person verses just ordering or buying something that will do.
- What is your favorite swear word? I can’t give you my real one, so I’ll say s*** is my favorite word, lol.
- What sound do you love? Laughter.
- What is your favorite food? Mexican.
- What is your favorite beverage? Ice Tea or Jack Daniels and Ginger Ale with limes.
- What was career plan B? I was in my last semester of college getting ready to graduate with an accounting degree. That’s right, a bean counter. I love math and adding machines and keeping books. But then, I ran into the CSI world and changed my focus. My poor father thought I was never going to graduate. Changing my mind again, set me back a bit. But, I have never regretted that decision. I had an unbelievable great career. There is nothing better in life than to be able to help others.
- What would you like to hear the Angels say when you arrive at home on the other side? I hope Saint Michael is there. The angel that protects those who protect others. I hope he tells me that my time on earth was spent well, and that I did the best I could to protect and help those who needed it.