WHERE IMAGINATION BECOMES ENTERTAINMENTTM
A NW Indiana native, is the Executive Producer and Host for “Crime Stoppers Case Files – Chicago" (CS/CF).
This television show is a law enforcement tool and community outreach program designed to help generate tips and leads for unsolved cases.
Fox Television affiliate WPWR-Channel 50 (MY50CHICAGO) airs “Crime Stoppers Case Files – Chicago" every Saturday at 11:00PM. On this network, the show reaches more than 3.4 million households and nearly 8 million viewers in the country’s third-largest market.
From the privacy of their own homes, the audience can report information anonymously and receive a reward for it.
The 30 minute, high-definition program features two cases per episode. Viewers will get to know the victims from their family and friends, and learn the facts of each case from the actual detective.
There are a lot of strange things that happen when we film, mostly when we are at the crime scenes!
On one occasion we were filming around 11:00pm in East Chicago. The street was quiet - at first. Then we noticed a lot of cars driving by, people coming out of their homes and looking out their windows. Shortly after we were surrounded by a large group of guys. They were trying to intimidate us. East Chicago PD took care of that problem real quick!
On another occasion, we were filming in Chicago. It required the detectives and our film crew to park our cars on the side of the street because we had to walk down a hill to get to the crime scene. The detective left his red lights on. Next thing you know, about 10 Chicago tactical guys were yelling at us to stop and put our hands up. They thought we were running from the detectives. It was hilarious after we explained what we were doing. I have to tell you, that is one scary sight - 10 Chicago PD officers running towards you! Now, it makes a great funny story!
Being on the set of the show is an emotional roller-coaster. We interview detectives who give the facts of the case which can be very chilling and graphic. We are angered to know a murderous monster is out walking the streets. Free. Enjoying their life.
We interview family and friends of the victim. This is when the sadness and empathy sets in. Many times I've wanted to leave the set because you cannot allow yourself to cry and get emotionally involved.. but sometimes you just can't help it.
When we visit the crime scenes, you can feel the negative energy. It takes a huge toll on you. All the while we are expected to remain upbeat and professional.
There is an adrenaline rush like no other. We typically film for 3 days. Our day starts at 8:30am and goes well into the evening. Sometimes we film past midnight. I get very little sleep and sometimes forget to eat. The adrenaline keeps me going.
Lisette & Maria Guillen On Set
"ELLE" in Chicago Memorial
Chicago Police Memorial
Crimes are re-enacted, and then police make a public appeal for help. This approach has been extremely effective in other large cities.
In the Chicagoland area we work in cooperation with the following law enforcement agencies - Chicago, Cook County, Evanston, East Chicago, Gary, Hobart, Griffith, the FBI and the U.S. Marshal Service.
Though local, the programs have a national feel and high production standards.
CSCF programs have won eight Emmy Awards in categories including Magazine Program, Public Service, Community Service, Editing and Music Composition. Chicago is the fourth CSCF program in the United States.
The Cleveland-based production company, Pinpoint Media, also produces Crime Stoppers programs for Cleveland, Los Angeles, and Miami, FL. Collectively, these programs are broadcast into over 13 million television homes.
We have great relationships with the Police Departments and Agencies we work with and they are always offering their support and assistance. We're lucky to have that.
One of the most memorable moments is when we were interviewing the father of a 14-year-old homicide victim from Chicago. The detectives were there along with the boy's mother. The father required an interpreter. He only spoke Spanish. He kept his head down the whole time and spoke very softly.
His words and love for his son captivated all of us. When we finished his piece there wasn't a dry eye on set. Another time, we were filming on-location in Gary. It was 1:00am and it was in front of a restaurant. it was a taco place that stayed open all night. The owner came out and asked what we were doing so we told him. He asked if we were hungry.
Of course We were because it was one of those long days and we hadn't stopped for dinner.
After about thirty minutes he came out with individual containers packed with rice, beans and tacos. He said he wanted to thank us for what we were doing to catch criminals.
In between filming and getting cases ready I work with my mother, Maria Guillen at Latin Media, a company we both own. We have just a few clients because the show takes up so much of our time.
Latin Media is a multi-media agency. We help our clients plan events and create marketing and advertising pieces.
I am a huge advocate for our K9 officers so you'll always see me trying to raise awareness and funds for them.
Lisette Guillen "Elle"
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