Sheldon Hawkes

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Main Character: New York
Name Sheldon Hawkes
Gender Male
Family Maya Hawkes (sister, deceased)
CityNew York
Job Medical Examiner
Rank Detective 3rd grade
Specialty Forensic Pathology
Status Alive
Portrayed By Hill Harper
First Appearance MIA/NYC NonStop

Dr. Sheldon Hawkes is a detective working out of the New York Crime Lab. He was formerly a Medical Examiner with the NYC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME).


Hodges This section is a stub and requires expanding


Because of his gifts as a prodigy, Hawkes is a "Jack of All Trades". [citation needed]

Even when he was just a Medical Examiner, Hawkes is skilled enough to assist the CSI team in many other capacities. These include; ballistics, audio/visual analysis, crime scene recreation, splatter analysis, and various others. [citation needed]

Hawkes is a skilled scuba diver, and does dives for the CSI team. Sheldon nearly drowned while diving in the East River, after being held down by a fallen piece of wood and the strong tidal currents. Danny Messer and another diver (Steve) were able to cut him loose and get him to safety. (The Deep) He was able to dive again, doing a solo dive near the 59th Street Bridge to look for a suspect's gun. (Cuckoo's Nest)

Early Life

Sheldon was a child prodigy who graduated college at eighteen, and by 24 he was a fully board-licensed surgeon. After a tumultuous surgical career in which he was often at odds with his boss and after losing two patients on the operating table, he abandoned surgery in favor of the medical examiner's office. [1]

Season One

He evidently sleeps at the morgue sometimes, as he has a cot there in episode 103, American Dreamers.

Season Two

At the start of season 2, Hawkes moves from the autopsy room out into the field, much to the initial surprise of head CSI Mac Taylor (episode 123, What You See Is What You See).

Season Three

Hawkes is a sympathetic soul who is willing to lend an ear to anyone who needs to talk. During Murder Sings The Blues (episode 307) he is shown in flashback to have met a girl at a party. The girl felt unhappy, so Hawkes took her out for a cup of coffee and listened to her tell him her troubles. Afterward, he gave her his phone number if she ever felt like she needed to talk to him again. The girl was found dead two weeks later onboard a subway car following a rave party, with Hawkes' phone number still on her person. Hawkes, when he discovers his phone number in the girl's possession, neglects to tell Mac about his connection to her, which earns him a dressing-down from Mac in front of the entire lab. Later, Hawkes apologizes to Mac for not disclosing how he knew the victim and tells his story. Their relationship has clearly mended by episode 309 (And Here's To You, Mrs. Azrael), when Mac confides about his father's lingering death from cancer, and Sheldon comforts him. This dialogue also indicates that Hawkes is opposed to euthanasia.

In episode 304, Hung Out To Dry, Hawkes is targeted by killer Shane Casey. Several years before, when Hawkes was the M.E., his testimony helped send Shane's brother, Ian, to jail for a robbery-homicide at a neighborhood pub. Ian Casey committed suicide while awaiting sentencing and Shane blamed several people, including Hawkes. Shane murders the jury foreperson and a witness to Ian's original crime before the team makes the connection to Hawkes and the previous case. In the episode Raising Shane, Shane orchestrates a plot that implicates Hawkes in a robbery-homicide in deliberate imitation of Ian's case. Shane demands that the team find evidence to prove Ian's innocence in return for the evidence that will exonerate Hawkes. Though the team is assigned to a different case because of a conflict of interest, they find that the new case is, strangely enough, connected to Hawkes', and through the team's diligence, they are able to help clear Hawkes' name and secure his freedom, as well as prove Ian Casey's guilt in a twist of tragic irony and Shane was arrested. On his release, Sheldon is warmly embraced by Stella Bonasera.

Season Four

While investigating the death of a diving instructor, Sheldon briefly becomes trapped underwater. Despite being injured and suffering from hypoxia, Sheldon is freed with the help of fellow CSI Danny Messer, who was diving with him. After they are safe, Hawkes admits that he envisioned coroner Sid Hammerback preparing to do an autopsy on him. (The Deep)


  1. This was shown in flashbacks in episode 309, And Here's To You, Mrs. Azrael.

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