Main Character: Las Vegas
Sidle 2
Name Sara Sidle Grissom
Gender Female
Birth Date September 16, 1971
Family Gil Grissom (husband)
Laura Sidle (mother)
Unnamed father (deceased)
Unnamed foster brother
Betty Grissom (mother-in-law)
City Las Vegas
Job Crime Scene Investigator (formerly)
Rank CSI Level 3 (formerly)
Specialty Materials and Element Analysis
Status Alive/Retired (2021)
Portrayed By Jorja Fox

Sara Sidle Grissom was a Crime Scene Investigator at the Las Vegas Crime Lab. She was the Assistant Supervisor until she left to be with Grissom. She married her former colleague Gil Grissom (although she retained her maiden name) and left the Crime Lab to join a research team in Costa Rica. 

Sara left the job for the first time in "Goodbye & Good Luck", but returned to the lab at the start of season ten and worked with the team under D.B. Russell. She maintained a long-distance relationship with Grissom, until they broke up in season thirteen. They reunited and get back together in the series finale.


She is passionate about her cases and often lets her emotions get ahead of her, especially in cases that involve violence against women. This can be both a benefit and a difficulty when working a case. Sara's passion moves her to go beyond the call of duty (she spent hours searching through missing persons reports to identify a Jane Doe) but can also cause her to be inappropriate with suspects and insubordinate with her superiors.

She preferred to work with corpses over live people and was not sure what to do with children (as was evident in her awkward interactions with Brenda Collins, a child who survived a family massacre). ("Blood Drops")

Perhaps because of Sara's traumatic childhood, she has demonstrated compassion and empathy for victims of domestic violence and fury against their abusers. [citation needed]

When a serial killer was on the loose, selecting victims much like herself, Sara went as far as to offer herself as bait. ("Strip Strangler") Her temper flared up when she felt justice was not being served to those women.

She also has a soft spot for animals. [citation needed] After seeing Grissom conduct an experiment using a pig, she became a vegetarian and she put in additional time on a case involving a slaughtered gorilla. [citation needed]

Sara has changed over time. She decides to pursue outside interests after identifying too closely with a victim who ordered from catalogs and ate take-out ("You've Got Male") which resulted in her having a relationship with Hank. However, when Hank betrayed her ("Crash and Burn") and she found out he had another girlfriend, who was injured in one of her cases, she refused to give him a second chance.

Cases became more difficult for Sara emotionally and at the end of the fourth season she was caught driving under the influence of alcohol and Grissom was called in. ("Bloodlines") While not charged, she was humiliated in front of her supervisor.

She later lost her temper with a suspect, and then with Catherine and Ecklie. ("Nesting Dolls") When there was talk of Sara being dismissed, Grissom stepped in and went to her to find the real reasons for her behavior. Sara admitted she had a problem with authority. She chose men who are emotionally unavailable and had a self destructive streak. His further probing revealed that her mother killed her father.

It seems that Sara's father was abusive and her mother finally snapped and killed him. It is revealed later in season 11 that Sara's mother, Laura Sidle was actually schizophrenic ("House of Hoarders").

Sara grew up believing that violent behavior and subsequent trips to the emergency room to have injuries treated was normal. She didn't find out otherwise until she was taken into foster care. She worried that she might have inherited a tendency to violent behavior and asked Grissom if he thinks there is a "murder gene."

Grissom told her he doesn't think violent behavior is inherited. After her father's murder, Sara became "the girl whose father was stabbed to death by her mother." On one performance evaluation, Grissom gave her an outstanding rating, but said she needed to improve her ability to prioritize. 


Sara's forensics specialty is materials and element analysis. [citation needed]

Early Life[]

Sara was born in Tomales Bay, an hour and a half outside of San Francisco. Her parents were ex-hippies who ran a bed and breakfast where she preferred to associate with the adults over the children. It seemed that the roles of parent and child were reversed. They told her to relax and take it easy. She in turn responded by creating business models for their bed and breakfast so they could take it public and franchise it. Her intellect, energy and curiosity were much greater than that of a typical child. She was a perfectionist.[1]

Her mother (Laura Sidle) murdered her father in 1984. Sara cannot remember the name of the social worker who took her away from the murder scene, but remembers being unable to let go of her hand (Nesting Dolls). Sara was subsequently taken into foster care, staying in the system "for a while" and became familiar with the feelings of helplessness foster children feel (No Humans Involved). She remembers being the child whose father was murdered by her mother.

Sara's mother was admitted to a mental hospital for evaluation after she killed Sara's father. She was taken to visit her there and found the whole experience very disturbing (Committed). 

In high school, Sara preferred to befriend teachers over students and often ate alone in the library. Her physics teacher inspired her interest in science. She graduated as valedictorian at age seventeen, having aced all of her exams.[2]

She was accepted among the early admissions of Harvard University with a large scholarship. Sara found college to be a freeing experience because she felt she was finally among her equals. After missing the West Coast, she transferred to UC Berkeley, where she graduated at the top of her class with a Bachelor of Science in Theoretical Physics from Harvard. She also finished a graduate degree there.[3]

While in graduate school, Sara started a work-study position at the San Francisco Coroner's office. She chose to stay on and worked her way up to a CSI Level 2. In order to keep up with new developments, she audited lectures and seminars with local universities. Gil Grissom met Sara at one of his entomology lectures where she asked him for advice and he took interest in her curious nature. He suggested they keep in touch.[4]

Season One[]

Gil later called Sara in from San Francisco to help with the Holly Gribbs case—an on-duty homicide of a rookie CSI.

After the case was solved, the newly appointed supervisor Grissom invited Sara to stay on as a permanent member of the Las Vegas, Nevada night shift. He trusted her, and because she was new to the team, he had her investigate allegations against Warrick Brown.

Season Two[]

Sara has a soft spot for animals, and became a vegetarian after she saw Grissom conduct an experiment on a dead pig.

Season Three[]

Sara continues dating Hank. While talking to one of the victims of an accident where an old lady crashes her car into a crowded restaurant patio, Sara discovers that Hank is involved with another woman (the accident victim) and that they are pretty serious as evidence of them planning a romantic vacation with one another. Sara is shocked by this discover and rushes out of the lady's house without disclosing to her that Hank and Sara are involved as well. Shortly afterwards Sara confronts Hank and ends the relationship.

Season Four[]

Sara and Nick are investigating the home invasion and rape of a teenage girl in "Homebodies". Sara is devastated to find the girl dead at the end of the episode. After this episode, Sara seems to venture down a darker path. During season four, Sara begins to drink and seems much angrier than in previous seasons. 

Sara and Nick are upset in the episode "After The Show" Grissom puts Catherine in charge of the case of missing showgirl Julie Waters, due in part to the fact that the man accused of killing her has become infatuated with Catherine. Both of them vying for a promotion, Sara and Nick hoped that the high profile case would improve their standing. Sara is visibly upset with Grissom for handing the case over to Catherine. 

It was discovered Grissom's true feelings for Sara in the episode "Butterflied", when he is confronted with a victim who bears a striking resemblance to Sidle. She listens to him speak to the killer through the double-sided glass.

In "Early Rollout", it is suggested that Sara has begun drinking. Brass says something to her about it, having been through the same thing himself, but Sara assures him that she's fine. 

In the season finale, "Bloodlines", Sara is arrested for a D.U.I. Grissom is called to pick her up from the police station. 

Season Five[]

Sara opens up her past to Grissom in "Nesting Dolls". 

Season Six[]

In the season finale, Sara and Grissom are in their bedroom talking about death. 

Season Seven[]

Sara and Grissom continue their relationship throughout the season. Sara is abducted by the Miniature Killer in the season finale.

Season Eight[]

"Dead Doll" opens with Sara trapped under the car and a flash flood warning in effect for Las Vegas. Sara manages to escape the car, albeit breaking her left arm and the team finds her in the desert. Grissom gets into the helicopter with her to go to the hospital, and his name tag is the first thing Sara sees when she awakens. 

Grissom's admission of their relationship is not without their problems; in "A La Cart", Ecklie is talking to both of them about their relationships. He is frustrated because of the inconsistencies in their stories. Sara decides to switch from nightshift to swing shift so Grissom doesn't have to leave the others. On swing shift, she is paired up with young upstart Ronnie Lake. 

In "The Case of the Cross Dressing Carp", Grissom proposes to Sara and she accepts. In "The Chick Chop Flick Shop", the trauma of what happened to her and the burnout from her job begins to show. 

The return of child genius Hannah West appears to be the straw that breaks the camel's back for Sara as a criminalist. Leaving her vest in Ronnie's locker as a gift after removing her name tag, a note at the desk for Grissom, Sara leaves Las Vegas and her job as a CSI. Grissom mentions in the following episode "You Kill Me" that she is with her mother. 

Season Nine[]

After the death of Warrick Brown in "For Warrick", Sara returns to Las Vegas to help with funeral arrangements. Sara stays for a little while after Las Vegas, witnessing the burnout and the grief that's afflicted Grissom. 

In "Leave Out All The Rest", it appears that Sara and Grissom's relationship is at a crossroads. Sara is happy outside of Las Vegas, living a life that doesn't require her to constantly stare at death. She questions Grissom's commitment to her and ponders if they should just end their relationship. 

In "One To Go", Grissom leaves his position as CSI Night Shift Supervisor and goes to Costa Rica. It's revealed that he has gone to be with Sara. 

Season Ten[]

Now married to Grissom, Sara returns to Las Vegas once again to assist the short-staffed crime lab. It is revealed that Riley Adams left the lab, stating that Catherine was not a good leader. Ecklie tells her that the lab will welcome a CSI to assist them. Catherine states that she doesn't have time to train a rookie, and Eckie responds that this one is experienced, and that they will get along. Finally Catherine discovers that Ecklie was talking about Sara.

Although she appears in almost every episodes of this season, she is credited as "special guest star", and does not appear in the main credits.

Season Eleven[]

Hodges This section is a stub and requires expanding

In the first episode, Sara assisted in the investigation into the bombings which resulted in two officers killed at Officer Clark's funeral. She participated in the arrest of a meeting, resulting in her getting a broken wrist.

Season Twelve[]

Hodges This section is a stub and requires expanding

In Stealing Home, upon seeing relatives arguing, she honks the horn of one of their cars and says that fighting won't help finding one of the relative's wife and as they are escorted away, Sara tells Nick she is glad to be an only child. (Later producers note that her "brother" is actually a foster brother)

Season Thirteen[]

In "Forget Me Not" it is revealed that Sara and Grissom have separated.  



Sara and Grissom, when they reunited, just moments before the ending of the series.

In the very beginning of the film, Sara is filling up her request to become Assistant Supervisor, as a replacement for Julie Finlay. DB asks her if she really wants the position, and when she confirms, he starts to incinting her in some aspects, thus showing support.

At the end of the film, she gets the promotion, but soon gives up her job to be with Grissom.


She had an unnamed boyfriend during college. They broke up when after sex, he handed her a pair of panties that wasn’t hers.

In the third season she had a boyfriend, Hank Peddigrew, who was an emergency medical technician. He was involved in several of her cases.

They first met when Sara was investigating the remains of a former army soldier who was stuffed in a bag and Hank asked her out, which she declined, due to the smell of the remains, causing Hank to leave.

Later in the season, Sara broke up with Hank after finding out that he was dating someone else. Assistant coroner David Phillips and lab tech Greg Sanders had crushes on her, but she has viewed them as friends.

At the end of the season six finale, an established relationship between Grissom and Sara is exposed to the audience.

The remainder of the team is unaware of their ongoing relationship throughout the seventh season.

In the season seven finale, Grissom exposes their relationship to the team after Sara is abducted by the miniature killer.

In season eight, Grissom proposes to Sara, prior to Sara leaving the crime lab due to burn out. During the ninth season, Grissom leaves the lab to reunite with Sara in Costa Rica.

Sara returns the lab, married to Grissom who is currently traveling doing consulting work. They maintain a long distance marriage, finally separating in the thirteenth season due to the strain of it all.

In "Immortality", Sara decides to quit her job and joins Grissom on his boat.


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 X N/A 22
Season 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 X X X X X X - X X X X X X X X X X X X - X X X X X 23
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 N/A 23
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 - - - - - - - - - - N/A 7
Season 9 X X - - X - - - - X - - - - - - - - - - - - - - N/A 4
Season 10 X X - X X - - X - X - X X X X - X - X X - X X N/A 15
Season 11 X X X - X - X X X X - - X X X X - X X - X X N/A 16
Season 12 X X X - X - X X X - X X X X X X - X X - X X N/A 17
Season 13 X X X X - X X - X X X - X X X X - X - X X - N/A 16
Season 14 X X X - X X X X - X - X - X - X X - X X - X N/A 15
Season 15 X X X - X X - X - X X X X X X X X X X X N/A 17
Total 266
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 N/A 10
Total 10


  • Has a small tattoo on the top of her foot (where the shin meets the foot). [5]
  • She is trained in weaponless defense. (Strip Strangler)
  • Was a former smoker but used Nicorette to quit (Cool Change).
  • Although she quit smoking, she still habitually carries a cigarette lighter. (Face Lift)
  • She has diastema. [citation needed]
  • She is a member of the Mile High Club, meaning she had sex in an airplane at an altitude of over one mile. It was on Delta flight #1109, Boston to Miami, in March of '93 with Ken Fuller (hazel eyes, organic chem lab major) and she told Grissom that the experience was overrated... in every aspect. (Unfriendly Skies)
  • In her CBS character profile, Sara is an only child and that her parents are "ex-hippies". In a CSI episode, Sara tells Gil Grissom that she once found a bag of weed under her "brother's" bed and ratted him out to their parents. This difference can be explained by her time in the foster care system. (Dead Doll)
  • In House of Hoarders she reveals how her father died. When she was a child, her schizophrenic mother had a turn and stabbed Sara's father in the heart.
  • She uses a Glock 26 as her weapon since season 1.


  1. Flaherty, M. & Marrinan, C. (2004). CSI: Crime scene investigation companion. New York, NY: Pocket Books.
  2. Flaherty, M. & Marrinan, C. (2004). CSI: Crime scene investigation companion. New York, NY: Pocket Books.
  3. Flaherty, M. & Marrinan, C. (2004). CSI: Crime scene investigation companion. New York, NY: Pocket Books.
  4. Flaherty, M. & Marrinan, C. (2004). CSI: Crime scene investigation companion. New York, NY: Pocket Books.
  5. This can be clearly seen when she's stripped down and decontaminated in a shower, after mold exposure in (4 x 4).