“It’s a crazy life. It’s my life… Welcome to my life in the trenches.”
Catherine DeYoung studied fine arts, photography, and video at Otis Art Institute, Parsons School of Design, a Division of The New School for Social Research, Los Angeles, CA and Parsons-Paris, The New School, Paris, France. Catherine grew up in the Los Angeles suburbs of Orange County. Moving to metro Los Angeles at eighteen, she fell in love with exploring the many facets of the city. Catherine’s passion became documenting life, not so ordinarily seen, living on the fringes of society. She explored such topics as the Americanization of the Vietnamese Culture in Orange County and the Orange County Hardcore Scene. While photographing Los Angeles street gangs, drug dealers, and a prostitute, Catherine’s attention turned to capturing the interactions of these subcultures with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. Utilizing participant-observation, Catherine worked with VICE Squad, CRASH Unit, Narcotics, DUI/Sobriety Checkpoint among other joint-task forces, to create her photographic vignettes providing voyeuristic glimpses into these interactions.
Through the years, Catherine worked in various photographic roles in the television, movie, and music industries; government, space, and aerospace contracts; and courtroom graphics for some of the top litigation attorneys in Los Angeles. Coming full circle back to her law enforcement roots, Catherine then began working as a forensic investigator at the crime lab of a major metropolitan police department. During her service years at the crime lab, Catherine conducted approximately 30,000 fingerprint analysis and over 6,000 field investigations. Being assigned to investigate high-profile and media-worthy crime scenes, Catherine found herself in some of the wealthiest neighborhoods to the most notorious parts of the city. In 2009, Catherine was decorated for obtaining the forensic evidence that led to the solving of a 3-year crime spree which resulted in over $10 million worth of valuables and cash being stolen from nearly 150 homes in upscale neighborhoods. Catherine was twice approached by television producers to be featured in reality television shows and rumor has it that she inspired a certain character on a certain hit television show when Hollywood writers came to the crime lab to observe them while developing the show.
After leaving the police department, Catherine moved to Texas where her adventures continue: From working as a private investigator for an all-female agency to purchasing a house used as a filming location in a popular television show and being a fan favorite on the Austin Weird Homes Tour two years running. With new adventures and still many more crime scene stories to tell, we have not heard the last of Catherine DeYoung.