Spotlight on Jesse Cardoza


Jesse Cardoza was a Crime Scene Investigator at the Miami-Dade Crime Lab. He was a Level 2 CSI. In 1997, Cardoza left the Miami-Dade Police Department, transferring to LA following the conclusion of a case which led to Horatio Caine becoming lead CSI. He was key to Tim Speedle joining CSI, as he would recommend Speedle to Horatio.Cardoza returned in 2009 as a member of Caine’s team and to pursue a killer who escaped from LA.


Jesse is portrayed as a great cop who is respected by the rest of the team. He is very well-liked by the other characters because of his good-natured and laid-back persona, and he often will do the “dirty jobs” when necessary. He often talks in a calming tone of voice. He also is shown to have a good eye for detail and is friends with the entire team. While Jesse does have a humorous, playful side; he often keeps a serious, focused demeanor when working with evidence or suspects in cases.

Skills and Abilities

Jesse is shown to have an extraordinarily good eye for detail, and he seems to always be prepared for dangerous situations, which is proven when he tranquilizes a bear that is chasing Ryan Wolfe and Walter Simmons, or when he disarms a bomb that is about to explode. He is also good at staying focused on tasks, and not getting easily distracted. He also can climb easily and is a good marksman.

Throughout the seasons

Season Eight

His first reappearance is in the episode “Hostile Takeover” when he is shown talking to a receptionist. A mentally unstable man then takes him and three others hostage. In the episode’s conclusion, Jesse returns to Horatio’s team. Horatio welcomes him back and tells him to replace his LAPD badge with the MDPD badge. A mileage discrepancy in the vehicle logs from a day when Calleigh lent him her Hummer led her to confront Cardoza about the differences. At first, despite Calleigh’s curiosity, he wishes to keep the matter to himself, only saying he’ll “take care of it” with management. After a heated discussion, Cardoza then tells Calleigh that he was following a woman who was living with a serial killer he had investigated during his time in LA, who had also killed his wife, Tracy. In the season 8 episode, “L.A.”, it was revealed that a lack of evidence on a case involving a man suspected of killing his wife had cost Cardoza his job as a Los Angeles Police Officer and had also left his reputation in tatters. This later prompted him to rejoin the Miami Dade Police Department where he eventually became a CSI. In the season finale, Jesse bashed his head on a glass table before he fell to the floor after being poisoned by halon gas that spread all over the crime lab.

Season Nine

Jesse is in the crime lab when it is poisoned with Halon gas by serial killer Bob Starling, and dies after he hits and cuts his head during his fall, suffering a subdural hemorrhage. Natalia Boa Vista attempt to revive him without success. Jesse was the only fatality from the halon gas poisoning, as Horatio had shot out a window per Eric Delko’s instructions and cleared the air in time to save everyone else. Walter is the one most hit by his death and talks to his body about a basketball game they had planned for that night, and about Walter’s having called Cardoza’s mother, who wants her son to be buried in California; Walter says Horatio is arranging it. Horatio Caine leads the manhunt for Starling all over the city. Starling tries to evade justice goading Horatio into killing him via suicide by cop, but he will not allow Starling to get off that easy and he is able to formally arrest Starling for the first-degree murder of a police officer and attempted murder of the rest of the team. At the end of the episode, Walter is on the basketball court, shooting baskets when the rest of the CSI team show up and split into teams for a game. Eric passes the ball to Horatio who says, “This is for Jesse”, before making a perfect shot.


Jesse worked in the Miami Police Department for some time before his transfer to LA, thus he had known Horatio and was very close to him. He was the key help to Horatio in helping solve a murder in 1997. Jesse had known Speed prior to his departure from Miami and would recommend him to Horatio’s new CSI team. Both Jesse and Walter Simmons had a very close friendship with each other and had been known to play basketball together more than once.

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