Well, well, Hollywood managed to intertwine murder and family incest with used cooking oil and biofuels in a television show called Criminal Minds.

On an episode that aired in April, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents travel to the back woods of West Virginia to help solve the murders of two men from two long-feuding families. Since the families had long ago been involved in producing moonshine, the agents instinctively decided they were now involved in drug production, “meth” to be exact. One FBI agent’s dirt-digging turned up online shipping invoices that showed lye, sodium hydroxide, methanol, mixing beakers, digital scales, and safety goggles being sent to the home of one of the families. Ah, that was the “smoking gun” the FBI needed.

As agents raided the old dilapidated barn on the property, after escaping flying bullets, of course, one looked puzzled, saying the smell was more like cooking oil than drugs. A second agent pulled off the lid on a drum and proclaimed, “More like used cooking oil,” at which time he proceeded to explain how this waste collected by restaurants is just thrown out like garbage. He then went on to describe how he had read about biofuels where one can take the oil and turn it into an ethanol gas.

“A conversion method similar to meth,” the head agent declared.

“Yea, but this stuff is legal and, believe it or not, this stuff is way more profitable,” answered the second agent. Wow, where do the show’s writers come up with this stuff?

Upon questioning the “suspect” as to why he didn’t confess to agents what was really being made, his answer was, “If outsiders knew how much money we were making, we’d become targets.”

Turns out the biofuel storyline of the disturbing hour-long episode was just a side note, nothing more, but it sure caught the attention of this editor. (Although it must be noted, it was purely by accident, as this editor has never watched this show before.) Yet, why were biofuels included at all? And why as a secret, back woods, moonshine-type operation? Has the biofuels industry become that cutthroat?

Criminal minds want to know.

June 2014 RENDER | back