Greg Sanders

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Main Character: Las Vegas
Name Gregory Sanders
Gender Male
Birth Date May 5, 1975
Family Mother, Papa Olaf, Nana Olaf
CityLas Vegas
Job Lab Tech, CSI
Rank CSI Level 3
Specialty DNA
Status Alive
Portrayed By Eric Szmanda
First Appearance Pilot
Gregory "Greg" Sanders (shortened from Sanderson) is a Crime Scene Investigator at the Las Vegas Crime Lab who is now a Level 3 CSI and thus one of the most senior members of the Las Vegas CSI team.

Prior to becoming a CSI, Greg was originally a lab tech in the Crime Lab but later grew tired of being confined to the lab and soon expressed an interest in fieldwork.

His dream eventually became a reality when in "Who Shot Sherlock?", when he successfully passed his final test, resulting in him becoming a Level 1 CSI. He has since been promoted to Level 3.

Early Life

Greg is part Norwegian, which was revealed in season 3, episode 3 (Let the Seller Beware)

Greg has mentioned on several occasions his grandfather, whom he affectionately calls 'Papa Olaf.' He also mentions his Nana Olaf in season 6, episode 19 (Spellbound). She apparently possessed psychic powers, and his family believes that Greg may have inherited this ability from her.

Greg Sanders grew up in San Gabriel, California. Although friends told him that science was for geeks, Greg knew that he wanted to become a scientist. In Coming of Rage (season 4 episode 10), it was revealed that he had a palate expander, braces, a retainer, and head gear while growing up.

Although he was never good at sports, Greg was the captain of the high school chess team. (Primum Non Nocere) .

Greg successfully managed to juggle studying and extra-curriculars and eventually went on to earn his degree in chemistry from Stanford University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa.

In Fannysmackin', Greg saves a tourist from a beating at the hand of a gang of youths, only to be dragged from his vehicle and beaten himself. At the hospital, Greg confesses to Grissom that though his mother had wanted four children, he is her only one. Because of this, she was very protective of him as a child and forbade him to participate in sports activities. Greg had not told his parents about moving out of the lab out into the field because he did not want them to needlessly worry about him and his mother was incredibly protective of him when he was a child (he also mentioned in the conversation that his parents still thought he was working in the lab). He is worried about what they would say to him, but Grissom reassures him that they would be proud of him for saving a man's life.


Greg could be considered the most "normal" member of the CSI team. He's always smiling, he remains somewhat optimistic and he maintains a lot of interests aside from his Crime Lab work (he listens to Marilyn Manson and various other, commonly rock, artists while running lab machines and hides porn magazines in some area cabinets). Since he is still fairly young, he hasn't been fully subjected to the horrors of this job like the rest of the team. He is also not concerned with the financial aspect of a job -- just the joy that it brings. He has however become somewhat jaded as time has gone on as things affect him less than they used to. He can deal with seeing bodies and grotesque scenes as if they are nothing, as opposed to the still green Morgan and others.

Despite being very laid back, he can get quite worked up when he is challenged and especially when it involes someone he cares about being hurt. He snapped back at Demitrius and Aaron James' mother when she said he owed her, saying he owed her nothing just because her sons made bad choices. He also screamed at a suspect and kicked a table at her in CSI Down when he finds she was reponsible for the helicopter Morgan Brody was on to be hijacked. He also jumps at a mobster suspected of killing someone he knew and then at Russell when he pulls him aside to tell him to stop, saying that if it were someone he [Russell] cared about, the rule book would be out the window.

As of the season 9 episode, 19 Down, Greg has been promoted to CSI level 3 (by Ecklie but the scene was deleted).

From the official CSI: Crime Scene Investigation novels, written by Max Allan Collins, the seventh installation into the novel series- Killing Game, we learn that Greg was a child prodigy. He got his first lab kit at the age of seven.

Excerpt from the book, page 114, lines six - 11:

" A precocious kid who'd started matriculating a year early, he went from public school, where he regularly blew through tests, to an academy that at least presented him a more significant challenge; then Greg had gone on to Stanford before spending two years as a lab tech at the San Francisco PD. "

Then from the same book, at page 117, lines 12 - 18:

" Through most of his life, Greg had fought the prodigy's natural urge to rush through things. A lot of school, especially high school, had been painfully easy for him. He would wait until the night (or even the morning) before class to do his homework. This habit had stayed with him, though the lab had nullified that somewhat. "

He has a wide variety of hobbies, including surfing, scuba diving, and numismatics (the study of money - in the episode Precious Metal his knowledge of the subject helps the investigation along). In Precious Metal we also learn Greg likes supermodels and latex.

In one episode (Play with Fire) he was involved in a lab explosion, which he survived. In another episode (Fannysmackin') he is severely injured after he risks his life to save a tourist being beaten to death by a gang of teenage thrill seekers. He later tells Gil Grissom that he has kept his promotion to CSI a secret from his parents because he didn't want to worry them. Grissom tells Greg his mother will be proud of him for saving a man's life. In a later episode () Greg's split-second decision to run over one of the men threatening the tourist is found to be "excusable." The man's family disagrees with the verdict and serves Greg with a civil suit.

Greg is also notable for his ever-changing hairstyles.

Greg also has an intense love of Vegas history which has helped on several occasions, from connecting a showgirl to the mob to try to figure out a murder in Kiss, Kiss, Bye, Bye; to identifying famed pianist Ledo Wright as having been posing as an old time mobster over 50 years after his supposed death with a print from over that long ago in It Was a Very Good Year. He even wrote a book that was eventually published sometime after season 9 called Sin City Secrets.

Early Seasons

He started out as the resident lab rat, sitting in his lab generally alone between visits form the CSI's,blasting music and working away on the loads of evidence and DNA the CSIs brought in, usually responsible for making discoveries about pieces of evidence that would crack a case open.

Eventually Greg grew tired of the lab and longed for a position out in the field. He failed his first test when he urinated in a toilet at a crime scene before it was processed, but eventually passed his final test, successfully getting the rank of CSI level one.

At his low rank, he mostly only assisted at crime scenes, collecting evidence and helping the more experienced CSIs. He rarely interviewed suspects.

However, he later graduated to investigating crime scenes on his own. In Fannysmackin', Greg celebrated over dinner with the female district attorney after his testimony at a jury trial helped put away a criminal. David Hodges's character has been somewhat expanded since Greg's promotion, and he now seems to fill the role of lab rat on the show that Greg once held.


Early on in the show, Greg had a huge crush on Sara Sidle, which may or may not have disappeared. However the two remain close friends, as Sara was Greg's mentor through his training and continues to offer him helpful hints.

He seemed to have a very good relationship with younger CSI Riley Adams, flirting in more of a friendly way and being able to have conversations without speaking. He had a similar raltionship with Sofia Curtis, less flirty, rather like a brother/sister relationship, much like he has with Nick and Warrick, being seen as a younger brother. In "A Kiss Before Frying", he is smitten with Ellen Whitebridge, who says that she is a fourth grade science teacher, during a tour of the crime lab. He shortly asks for her phone number and a date. Later, he sees her looking through his files, which have a picture of a van that may have been included in a crime scene that the CSIs were investigating. Soon, he finds out that Ellen is actually a Burlesque dancer who is a suspect of recent murders that link to an old crime case. It creates conflict for all the CSIs, especially Nick, who first encouraged Greg to go out with her. The murder victims were the grandchildren of the Jewish-American gangsters that killed the woman's grandparents. Greg is shot at shortly after the Ellen calls him from a diner. Rita Von Squeeze, the woman, used an alibi, Ellen Whitebridge (her alias name), get arrested with the help of Catherine Willows, who denies suspending Greg. She gives him advice on falling for and dating that wrong person. She tells him, "to inform her if he ever falls for the next woman", because she will have "an eye on the rotten ones."

In It Was a Very Good Year from season 13, a famed music historian with whom he had a relationship with in the past was murdered. Greg became emotional when he found out she was back in town to visit him and was killed by a jealous Frank Sinatra impersonator when she told him she had asked him for an album not for herself but for another man [Greg].

In season 12, Greg is slightly flirtatious with the new CSI Morgan Brody and he also shown early jealousy in Bittersweet. He also appears to have more than friendly feelings for Morgan in CSI Down, as well as Crime After Crime. D.B. Russell also seems to notice Greg's interest in Morgan when he tells Morgan that she can take her "boyfriend Greg" with her to a crime scene in Stealing Home. In CSI Unplugged, when she and Greg literally run into each other, they have an almost awkward conversation when he said "Maybe I have another spot for your hands". Her reaction prompts him to explain himself quickly. They also seem to work on many cases together.


CSI:Crime Scene Investigation
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 #
Season 1 X X - X X X X X X - X X X X X X X X X X X X X N/A 21
Season 2 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X - X N/A 22
Season 3 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X N/A 23
Season 4 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X N/A 23
Season 5 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 25
Season 6 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X N/A 24
Season 7 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X N/A 24
Season 8 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X N/A 17
Season 9 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X N/A 24
Season 10 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X N/A 23
Season 11 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X N/A 22
Season 12 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X N/A 22
Season 13 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X N/A 22
Season 14 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X N/A 22
Total 314

Appearance Notes


  • Owns a Dreamcast which he got the day it came as stated during a talk with Nick Stokes. (Pilot)
  • Likes merlot and rack of lamb.
  • Once lived in New York.
  • Knows how to fold an Origami crane.
  • Enjoys Blue Hawaiian Coffee.
  • Has seen the movie Pulp Fiction (Friends & Lovers).
  • Attended Stanford University.
  • Likes surfing and scuba diving.
  • He has a fetish for glitter. (Young Man With a Horn)
  • Was born with perfect eyesight.
  • Captain of the high school chess squad.
  • Likes Pink (singer-songwriter).
  • Listens to Marilyn Manson.
  • His ringtone is "Feel Like Makin' Love".
  • He's into latex.
  • Likes fashion models.
  • Has a coin collection. (Precious Metal)
  • A Los Angeles Dodgers fan
  • Wore Doc Martens in high school and thinks that skinheads' enthusiasm for that style "kinda ruined it for the rest of us." (Fannysmackin')
  • According to the CSI novel Binding Ties (which is most likely non-canonical), he has seen at least one of the the Evil Dead movies.
  • In season 7, it is revealed that he wrote a book on the Las Vegas mobs. In the episode "For Gedda", Greg told Catherine that his book was done and he was due to fly out to LA for meetings with 3 different publishers. In the episode "For Warrick", Catherine called Greg on his way to the airport and told him Warrick was dead. Greg then headed back to the lab and never got on the plane. His book was never mentioned again until more recently when DB was seen reading it and it was mentioned it had been published.
  • His surname is an Americanized form of his father's Norwegian name, Sanderson.
  • Despite having been a CSI for six or seven years, during the times he regulary processed the scene on his own or with the team, Greg was the only CSI on the team who was never seen carrying a gun while in the field. But in Season 11's "Targets of Obsession", that has changed as Greg has started doing so with his current weapon of choice being a SIG Sauer P228. Interestingly, Jim Brass also uses the same type of gun as well.
  • In Internal Combustion, Greg told when he was twelve years old he pinched his grandfather's car keys and took it for a spin and his grandfather never found out.
  • Has seemingly reciprocated, though as on yet not acted upon, feelings for Morgan Brody.
  • In Risky Business Class, Morgan Brody joked that Greg is scared to go 20mph.
  • Nick sometimes call Greg as one of his nicknames 'G'.


In (CSI Down), " If they hurt her (Morgan Brody) I swear to you! (To a suspect)

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