Virtually Real


Last year America's Most Wanted host John Walsh and amusement park developer John Morgan opened up the Crime and Punishment Museum in Washington, D.C. It's fitting that Walsh now films episodes of his program there, because the museum is more glitz and show biz than education or history. It manages both to glamorize notorious killers and to perpetuate law-andorder clichés. This is a place that uses a full-scale model of a police station to prove that "crime doesn't pay."

Artifacts of celebrated crooks—John Dillinger's getaway car, a recreation of Al Capone's jail cell—sit next to props and clips from crime movies, including the bulletpocked sedan from Bonnie and Clyde. A hands-on CSI lab allows you to investigate forensic clues to solve a crime—not as an actual forensic scientist would, but as David Caruso does while playing one on TV. Don't expect to leave this place with any new insight into either crime or punishment. Think of it as the reality TV equivalent of a real museum.