Don't you just hate it when TV shows get their facts wrong? Especially when it's critical to the story line. Gibbs needs to give Abby a serious reprimand, or at least hire a new fact checker.
I've been petty busy for the past month and I'm finally getting caught up on the shows I recorded on my DVR, so I apologize for not posting this at the time this show first aired. If you're an NCIS fan, I hope you appreciate my presentation, and even if you're not, I'm sure you will appreciate the message.
I was watching the NCIS episode entitled "Day in Court" that first aired on November 17, 2015. About halfway through, Abby came running in with some breaking news about the case...
Abby: "I tracked the serial numbers from the Twenty Dollar Bills that were found on the girl's body. They're all relatively new. They were printed at the Philadelphia Mint only 62 days ago." The camera then pans to the computer monitor in the screen capture shown below. The ten Twenty Dollar bills are numbered LE0235967A through LE0235976A.
At this point Gibbs should have said something like "Really!? Anybody else got a problem with that?" Then after the camera pans across a group of blank faces, he slaps Tony on the back of the head (since he would never do that to Abby) and says "Rule 17, people! Follow the money. The United States Mint produces coins. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing(BEP) prints our paper currency. On top of that, these serial numbers are one digit short. There should be 2 letters, 8 numeric digits and a trailing letter. Even if we forget about the missing digit and assume the letters are good, numbers like this were only assigned to series 2009A $100 bills printed in July, 2012 at the Dallas office of the BEP for distribution by the Federal Reserve branch bank in Richmond Virginia." The whole case would then fall apart, Abby would sink into a deep dark hole of shame, and the episode would shift from a murder investigation to figuring out how counterfeit $20 bills were distributed by the Richmond Virginia Federal Reserve Bank.
1. Gibbs currently has no Rule 17, but it seems like "Follow the Money" would be a good one.
2. Check out http://www.uspapermoney.info/serials/ if you're curious about when and where your paper money was printed.
Merry Christmas everyone!
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