Q&A: Caroline Mason

Local homicide detective and America's Most Wanted All-Star nominee

| April 05, 2007
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On a recent episode of A&E's The First 48, the camera zooms in on Detective Caroline Mason applying lip liner and sliding on stylish sunglasses.

"I gotta have my J.Lo glasses," she says just before her Memphis Police Department (MPD) homicide team heads out to solve one of the city's many murders.

On The First 48, a reality show in which investigators from a handful of major cities have 48 hours to arrest and charge homicide suspects, Mason is known as a chic investigator with a closet full of trendy clothing and too many shoes to count. But in Memphis, the 19-year MPD veteran is known for her high homicide solve rate.

The only African-American female in the homicide department, Mason was recently nominated for America's Most Wanted's All-Stars, an online contest in which AMW viewers cast votes for their favorite first-responder.

Voting is open through April 15th on www.amw.com. The winner will be announced next month.

-- by Bianca Phillips

Flyer: How did you become an officer?

Mason: I was going to school to be a nurse, and I got a part-time job at Ike's on Park Avenue. A girlfriend of mine who worked in cosmetics said the police department was hiring. She said I could make $1,300 every two weeks. We applied, and we both got the job.

Why homicide?

I worked in Crime Stoppers for three years. It was right across the hall from homicide. I'd always go over there and ask the guys if I could see the pictures. They were always gruesome, and it just seemed like something I really wanted to do.

Well, a year after I came to the police department, a good friend of mine was murdered. I would go over there every day to see how they would try to solve it. That inspired me.

What's your murder solve rate?

Out of the 20 or so cases I had last year, I only have one that remains unsolved.

On The First 48, you wear a special black blazer to interview suspects. Does it really help you get confessions?

It was kind of blown up by The First 48. [The camera crew] came to my house. They filmed inside my closet to show how I'm a shop-aholic. I love shoes and bags.

They wanted me to pick up a particular blazer and say, "This is my interview blazer. I get most of my confessions in that."

Isn't it kind of a depressing job?

A hard thing about dealing with death is that when I see that body out there on the street, I can't look at it as a human being. I have to look at it as a science, because now it's evidence. I have to figure out what happened to this person, why it happened, and who did it.

The worst part of that whole scenario is telling the victim's family that their loved one has been killed at the hands of someone else. I actually have to do the notification myself. It's heartbreaking.

Any other downsides to working homicide?

Last year, my son graduated from Dexter Middle to go to Cordova High School, and right when he went across the stage, I got called out. I missed going to dinner with him and the other boys.

If I go on a date, I always have to drive, because if we get a homicide, I've got to go.

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Comments (113)

Showing 1-25 of 113

I just love Caroline Mason and look forward to her being on 48 hours. She has a fashion for flair and incorporates it in her day to day job. I know when she goes into that interview room, she is going to get a confession. Do your thing Girl!!

report 20 likes, 4 dislikes   
Posted by pennie h on 05/13/2007 at 7:23 AM

I JUST LOVE CAROLINE MASON AND HOW SHE INTERROGATES SUSPECTS TO GET THEM TO CONFESS THEIR ACTIONS, SHE IS A SHOP-AHOLIC BECAUSE EVERY EPISODE I'VE SEEN HER IN, SHE'S BEEN FRESH AND KEEP NEW SHOES, CONTINUE TO DO YOUR THANG CRACK THEM CASES WITHIN 48 HOURS BECAUSE IM LOOKING FORWARD TO SEE YOU, LUV YA!!!

report 19 likes, 1 dislike   
Posted by Patrick Leonard on 10/20/2007 at 10:16 PM

I ADMIRE U SO MUCH BEING THAT SOMTHING THAT I WANTED TO DO ALL MY LIFE BUT COULD'NT MANAGE TO LOOK AT THOSE BODIES ALL THE TOME I'AM VERY EMONTIONAL PERSON HOW DID U GET OVER LOOKING AT THOSE BODIES ESPECIALLY KIDS AND DO U THINK I SHOULD CONTINUE WITH PERSUING MY CAREER

report 13 likes, 0 dislikes   
Posted by SATERICA PERKINS on 11/09/2007 at 7:12 PM

What can I say. Miss Mason leaves me speechless when I veiw her on 48 Hours. She is the woman that should be praised and uplifted in the media instead of those booty shakers out there. It takes a heck of a woman to make a cold black hearted murderer cry.

report 12 likes, 0 dislikes   
Posted by danielle on 11/19/2007 at 9:59 PM

How come she doesn't have her own show yet? And why isn't she married? That woman is superbad!!!!

report 12 likes, 0 dislikes   
Posted by Julian on 12/21/2007 at 3:08 AM

Your an inspiration to African american females.... I LOVE THE SHOW........keep doing what you do.

report 11 likes, 0 dislikes   
Posted by mary lawrence on 12/25/2007 at 2:21 PM

I would just like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your positive feedback and comments. I can't say enough how much I appreciate each and everyone of you. I had no idea how many people actually watch the show but now I know. I love catching the bad guy and putting him behind bars for life after causing so much grief and pain to so many families. Keep me and my family in your prayers. I love each and every one of you....

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Posted by Ms. Caroline Mason on 01/02/2008 at 8:56 PM

I love the show. Caroline Mason I can do without. Why does a homicide detective go to a crime scene with heels on. Caroline really think she is cute but she is not cute at all.

report 7 likes, 25 dislikes   
Posted by Rosalie Brown on 01/13/2008 at 11:05 PM

I truly enjoy the show. Ms. Mason is a wonderful role model for all women. Truly she is a lady, however I would like it if she would clean up what comes out of her mouth when she is interviewing her suspects. I am sure her job can be ruff at times; however she is too beatuiful and smart to take that route. Keep up the good work. Keep looking fly and keep on solving cases. You got it going on! Much Love For You

report 7 likes, 0 dislikes   
Posted by newbeginningch@earthlink.net on 02/22/2008 at 1:45 AM

My husband and I love watching Ms. Mason at work. For me, it's also a kick to see a woman who doesn't feel she has to be less than her true feminine self in order to fit in. Gotta love it when one of the reasons for her choice of a Dooney and Burke is that it's good for carrying her service weapon! The show has been a great eye opener into how homicide detectives work, and an endless source of wonder. How do people as stupid as many of these criminals ever live to adulthood?

report 6 likes, 0 dislikes   
Posted by Carmen Thompson on 03/06/2008 at 11:18 AM

Hi Caroline. I think that you are the bomb! I watch "The First 48" you everytime hoping that I will see you on it. I am originally from Memphis, TN and the last time when I came home, I tried to call you so that I could talk to you. I admire seeing a STRONG black woman doing what you do, which is something that most women don't normally do for a profession. I am fascinated with forensic and the law and maybe one day I will follow in your footsteps and pursue that career. The next time I come to Memphis to vist my mom, I would like to meet you in person and take a photo with you. Take care, be safe, and God bless...

report 7 likes, 0 dislikes   
Posted by ann on 03/13/2008 at 8:52 PM

I met sgt.mason and took a picture with her I was happy as ever it was amazing because I think that am her biggest fan I get to interview her and I can't wait its goibg to be for a church and am going to buy her a gucci handbag full price.i don't see anything wrong with the hair nails makeup and heels because I would want to look fabolous on national tv too wouldn't u? I love u mason kisses continue to be the hard hitting memphis diva that u are.u wouldn't be on the case if u didn't know what u where may god bless u and your family always and forever

report 5 likes, 3 dislikes   
Posted by latoyia on 03/15/2008 at 2:46 AM

Caroline Mason do your thing,I love the show and don't worry about people like Rosalie who leaves simple minded comments.To reply to Rosalie's lil comment about why you wear heels to a crime scene?...BECAUSE SHE CAN! THAT'S WHY!! See we as WOMEN look at it as a display of profesionalism baby.And no she's not cute,She is a beautiful WOMAN.little girls are cute..lol take care Caroline and GOD BLESS!!

report 5 likes, 1 dislike   
Posted by Hannatu on 03/16/2008 at 11:00 PM

The only reason I watch the First 48 is to see Caroline Mason. She's sharp, I mean really sharp! She is an outstanding detective and I love the way she carries herself. If I had a daughter I would show her Caroline Mason and say,"now this is a real woman,take good notes".

report 5 likes, 0 dislikes   
Posted by John on 03/18/2008 at 12:11 AM

I really enjoy watching the 1st 48 when the Lovely, Lovely, Lovely, Lovely, Lovely Ms. Caroline Mason is on. She is so jazzy, professional and always a lady. Caroline keep up the excellent work. You are truly considered a "Diva" in Law Enforcement.

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Posted by daren howard on 03/19/2008 at 8:12 PM

Caroline is my favourite lady detective, my husband and I are crazy about her, We love the way she dresses and carries herself, thats our girl, you go girl. love you.

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Posted by bridgett on 03/20/2008 at 8:20 PM

Caroline Mason is my favorite one on this show. I always look forward to seeing her on there. Actually, the whole group from Memphis are my favorites. And I am from North Carolina!

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Posted by Michele Grant on 03/20/2008 at 10:28 PM

I think Ms Mason is sexy as hell..

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Posted by Rob on 03/21/2008 at 10:34 AM

Caroline is fab - we have just got the show here in the UK, and I have to say she walks all over Cagney and Lacey - in heels!

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Posted by Steve Durnien on 03/24/2008 at 7:48 PM

I first noticed Caroline Mason when I couln't get over how much she looked like my former boss. After watching her work, I only like to watch the episodes that she is in. Thank goodness for TIVO! I can go through them and delete the ones that don't have her. She's such a badass! I love it :)

report 3 likes, 0 dislikes   
Posted by hkitty24 on 04/07/2008 at 3:05 AM

Seriously.....what kind of cop dresses like this?? I hope to go she never needs to take of running after a suspect because she won't make it two steps. I know she's on TV, but isn't ie REALITY TV?? The first 48 is my favorite show, I never miss it, but I have to roll my eyes and laugh at her when shw comes on....what a fake. J.Lo glasses?? please

report 3 likes, 15 dislikes   
Posted by LEA on 04/11/2008 at 4:40 AM

I love watching 'The First 48' and the episodes w/ Miss Caroline Mason are great. She's cute as a bug - but assertive and professional. What a GREAT role model for women & young girls. Hey - female law enforcement officers don't have to be butchy, androgenous and unattractive! Caroline seems like a real, down-to-earth genuine person and is smart as hell. Her cases are the highlight of the show. What a great job she does in a male-dominated world!

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Posted by Pam Decker on 04/18/2008 at 2:23 PM

I have been a LAPD Sergeant for 26 years and i am from Memphis. My granddaddy was a MPD and caught Machine Gun Kelly in the 30's. I love Sgt.Mason and she can be my partner anytime. She is one good Homicide detective....Go Girl!!!!!

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Posted by steve on 04/25/2008 at 12:43 AM

HEY THERE MS. MASON. JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW I'M A BIG FAN OF YOURS. I REALLY LOVE THE SHOW. WELL GIRL I JUST WANTED TO TELL YOU THAT YOU ARE FABULOUS IN YOUR LOOKS AND IN YOUR WORK. GOD BLESS YOU AND MAY HE CONTINUE GUILDING YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. YOU GO WORK IT GIRL!! HEY!!!!!!!!!

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Posted by AIDA COSME on 04/25/2008 at 4:21 PM

Sgt Mason. I am so proud of you. I am a black female trooper in NC and have learned to respect you and what you are doing for the victims. What's more impressive is that you do it in "go get 'em" heels. People need to realize that you can be a WOMAN and still do what many believe is a man's job. Keep it moving Ms. Mason and stay sharp. Break them down while being sexy.

report 3 likes, 1 dislike   
Posted by Pamela on 05/07/2008 at 6:38 AM
Showing 1-25 of 113

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