Spotlight on Calleigh Duquesne

Hi, CSI maniacs! Are you ready for some news about the ballistics expert, Calleigh Duquesne? Here you are then.


Calleigh Duquesne is the day shift assistant supervisor at the Miami-Dade Crime Lab. She is the adoptive mother of Austin and Patty North. She is also the best friend of Eric Delko. Calleigh has long blonde hair and bright green eyes. She is also noted to be the shortest of the Day Shift CSIs (Emily Procter is 5′ 2″, or 1,57 m tall).

Calleigh was born and raised in Louisiana as the daughter of Kenwall Duquesne, a defense attorney. Her parents divorced around 1992, and the separation was bitter and hostile. Calleigh states that her mother wanted to be viewed more as a friend than an authority figure, and wistfully wonders whether a Nanny might have been a voice of reason in the house.

Calleigh is a prime example of “southern hospitality”, an almost eternal optimist, with a sunny disposition and a smile to match. However, this attitude does not in any way interfere with her quest to put criminals where they belong. She is pretty much universally liked by her co-workers like Tim Speedle who sometimes remark on her being near “too happy”. And while she does not believe in supernatural curses and the like, she does believe in karma. Because of her cheery attitude and southern-belle charm, many suspects have expected her to be dim to what goes on around her, but in truth, she is aware of when a suspect is flirting with her or trying to trick her and she will immediately point out what they’re trying to do.

Even though her time as a CSI has exposed her to intense violence and gore, she is unfazed by much of it. However, in Season two she revealed that she has an intense fear of ants, which Eric Delko helped her overcome.


Calleigh is a ballistics specialist; originally from Darnell, Louisiana, United States of America. She is fluent in Spanish and has a bachelor’s degree in physics from Tulane University.

While working for the New Orleans Police Department, she gained the nickname “Bullet Girl”, a legendary nickname that is well-known in the Miami-Dade Crime Lab and other Miami-based LEAs. She also has a deep knowledge of different types of firearms, including the Dx4 “Vaporizer”, and Cornershot.

Calleigh is targeted by a murderer recently escaped from prison in “Body Count.” She had been instrumental in putting him away, thanks to her testimony at trial. Despite the danger, she refuses to take herself off the case, much to John Hagen’s frustration. Calleigh herself brings the murderer into custody after she catches him at a gun store.

Following Hagen’s suicide in her lab at the end of season 3, Calleigh transfers out of ballistics briefly, only to return after she witnesses her successor, Jim Markham screwing up. After test-firing a gun, she is seen smiling, suggesting that she’s thrilled to be back.

When Horatio Caine and Eric Delko go to Brazil in pursuit of murderer Antonio Riaz, Calleigh is given temporary charge of the lab and is also temporarily promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. Despite the geographic distance between them, she does her best to help them in their quest for justice by identifying a substance that leads them closer to Riaz with the help of Dan Cooper.

During the course of one case, while taking back roads to avoid traffic on the way back to the lab from the scene of a murder, Calleigh is nearly killed when another vehicle forced her off the road into the water. She is able to escape the sinking Hummer, and while much of the evidence gets contaminated by this incident, she and the team eventually manages to solve the case.

In season 6 Calleigh is in her lab when a certain type of bullet rolls off the table. It hits the floor and then shoots right up to the ceiling hitting the lights which causes them to burst. This starts a fire in the lab. After the fire is put out Eric comes in and consoles her while holding her hands. They then both search for one of the three bullets. Eric finds the bullet, to which Calleigh says, “You are my hero.” After having drinks with Jake, she is involved in a shooting causing her to be questioned by IAB. Calleigh is exploited on the internet and is cyberstalked leading to her kidnapping. She is forced to clean up crime scenes for two criminals who hold her at gunpoint, she is later rescued and taken home by Eric Delko.

Interpersonal relations

When Eric’s therapist is killed, he and Calleigh go through her confidential files. Calleigh comes across Eric’s file and reads what his therapist wrote. She is shocked to read what Eric said during one session indicating that he has fallen in love with her:

“After I got shot, it really put things in perspective. Made me think about my future, settling down. Be nice if it were Calleigh.”
In mid-season seven, she has a delayed reaction to the smoke she had inhaled while trying to save the evidence in a fire with Ryan. Eric instructs for paramedics to be called and holds Calleigh while trying to keep her calm until they arrive. He rides with her to the hospital where she is treated by Alexx. Eric spends much time at her bedside during which he says:
“I can’t imagine living my life without you.”

When she later wakes up she confirms that she heard him and that it was “like a dream” to which he replies “It was real”. They finally share their first canon kiss in the series.

In season 10, Calleigh reveals to Eric Delko that she intends to adopt Austin North and his sister Patty North, whom she had met in the season 9 finale/season 10 premiere. In the season 10, it is revealed that the adoption went through and Calleigh now has full custody of Austin and Patty. But before the adoption is complete, Calleigh tells Eric that there is another couple wanting Austin and Patty and that she thinks her chances are low. Upon hearing this Eric goes to the adoption counselors and informs them that Calleigh would be a great mom and has the support of the rest of the team to raise the kids, thus helping Calleigh gain custody.

Calleigh’s relationship with her parents is a strained one. Her mother wanted to be viewed more as a friend than an authority figure. Her father, Kenwall “Duke” Duquesne, is an alcoholic defense attorney who has tried to rehabilitate himself many times but has failed. Calleigh sometimes has to pick him up and drive him home when he is too drunk to do so. When he comes to her lab and confesses that he may have killed someone while driving drunk, Calleigh risks her job by lying to her boss, Horatio Caine, to protect her father. Her father sometimes calls her “lamb chop”.

Calleigh reveals that she once dated a Marine Corps Special Ops sniper, now retired, who helps Horatio understand the mindset of a sniper on a spree in downtown Miami.

Calleigh has a brief relationship with Detective John Hagen, former partner of Horatio’s brother Raymond, in season 2; they break up when he goes on leave for a “bad back.” Ryan Wolfe, to her shock, informs her that a bad back is a euphemism for not passing the department psychological evaluation. In the season 3 finale, a deeply depressed Hagen steals a crucial piece of evidence from a crime scene, possibly to produce it later and look like a hero. Unfortunately for him, Calleigh notices the void when she comes to photograph the scene, and Hagen comes up from behind, pulls his gun on her, and flees. Though at the time she does not know that he is the perpetrator, she remembers vividly the sound of the gun cock and recognizes it moments before Hagen commits suicide in the ballistics lab. She finds the missing evidence in his jacket pocket as the coroners wheel out his body.

She also shares a mutual attraction with Special Agent Peter Elliot, a Fed from the Financial Crimes Division, when they first meet. Hagen, in jealousy and hostility, tells Elliot to back off from Calleigh. Elliot goes on to become engaged State Attorney Monica West but neglects to inform Calleigh of this, continuing to offer warm overtures to her. Calleigh is naturally upset and angry when his fiance walks in and introduces herself, though Elliot tries to defend himself by saying that he was going to tell her soon. Later, when the lab is under investigation by the FBI, Calleigh determines that Elliot was the last person to handle the money that went missing from evidence and that it is Monica West who is leaking false information that discredited the Miami-Dade Crime Lab, as well as stealing the money. Despite their falling-out, Calleigh and Elliot remain friends, and she calls him in to determine the authenticity of money they confiscated during the course of a case.

Ryan Wolfe’s first case upon joining the lab investigates the possibility that Calleigh’s father killed a man while driving under the influence of alcohol. Therefore, Calleigh and Ryan’s relationship begins on a bit of a sour note. However, Calleigh soon grows to accept him as a colleague. She is often caught in the middle of verbal sniping between Ryan and Eric Delko, at least until they grow to trust each other. She later buys an iPod for Ryan’s niece, and, when he pays her back with a $100 bill, she is dismayed to learn from Federal Agent Peter Elliot that the bill is counterfeit. Though Calleigh confronts Ryan about his participation in the very Death Pool they are investigating, she does not follow-up officially, and Ryan destroys all his “winnings” shortly afterward.

During an investigation in 2006, another of her former love-interests surfaces: an undercover ATF agent, Jake Berkeley. Unfortunately, she wrongly became convinced that Berkeley had become too enamored of his role in a weapons-dealing, drug-using motorcycle gang, and at one point Calleigh suspects he murdered his clean partner, Ken McCartney, though this assumption is later proved false. They resumed their relationship by the end of season 5. In fact, Calleigh goes to Antigua with Jake on her “first vacation in a long time,” so it can be presumed that they are involved in a significant romantic relationship. After the details of their relationship are leaked, Jake suggests that they should take a break from each other in order to continue working together. It isn’t a break that lasts for long, as they are soon holding hands just outside of the lab. After a pleasant brunch in which they both enjoy mimosas, Calleigh is involved in a shooting, leading to her being investigated by IAB. Calleigh confronts Jake about some extra mimosas on their tab, upset that the extra drinks call her own sobriety into question. She tells Jake that he may not be the right cop for her case, but Jake is the one who later exonerates her by finding the key piece of evidence.

After her colleague and friend Eric Delko, is critically wounded in the line of duty, Calleigh and fellow CSI Ryan Wolfe go to the hospital to give him blood, but they learn that they are too late and that he is on plasma due to catastrophic blood loss. Calleigh and the others take turns at his bedside; she places a cross in his hand to show how much she cares and is scared for him while he is unconscious. She is the first to talk to Eric after he wakes up and the first to learn of his impaired memory when he asks after his months-dead sister Marisol. Calleigh, not wishing to upset Eric in his critical condition by reminding him of her tragic murder, demurs for the time being. She is instrumental in discovering his shooter by her analysis of the bullet fragment recovered from Eric’s head. After Delko’s return to work, Calleigh keeps a close eye on him, going over his reports and hoping his recovery is as complete as they would like. Unfortunately, she discovers a small but critical error in his procedure, which almost allows a killer to escape justice. Later depressed Delko declines to join her in the interview room, saying forlornly he came back to work too soon, even though he earlier provided critical insight to the case. Sympathetic, Calleigh allows him to sit out the interrogation. The impairment of Eric’s memory is further demonstrated when he fails to remember the woman who was suing him, and Calleigh intervenes for him. Eric appreciates that, and Calleigh appreciates being appreciated, at which point she surprises him by kissing him on the cheek. After Jake is involved in an accident, Calleigh and Eric share a moment in which she verbally compares the relationship she has with both men, revealing that while she doesn’t know how she feels about Jake, she trusts him with her life. Later, Calleigh and Jake share a long, meaningful kiss. During season 6’s episode “CSI: My Nanny” while talking with Eric Delko, she smiles privately when he comments that he hasn’t found the right girl yet, possibly thinking that she wants to be that girl.


Although credited, Calleigh did not make an appearance in season nine episode, “Blood Lust (Miami)”. Calleigh’s house address is 1025 Saratoga Avenue, Bal Harbour, Fl 33154. Given her name (which she states one shouldn’t ask for the spelling) and place of birth, it is likely that she is, at least on her father’s side, of French descent. Her original weapon was a Smith and Wesson 3913 (also known as the “Lady Smith”). She later switched to an Infinity Tiki T and later she switched guns again to a Kimber Pro Carry II.

Personally, I think she is my favorite female CSI character. And what is your opinion about Calleigh? Do you like her or not? Why? Share your thoughts with me in the comments.

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