Who Is Mark Kamps and Why Criminal Minds Dedicated an Episode to Him

As a fan of crime drama, I can name a lot of shows I recommend you watch if you’re also into this drama. Shows like 24 are still good even if their finale aired almost five years ago. Law and Order: SVU is still a show that rings a hint of truth with today’s heinous crimes despite running for almost 20 years. And the Spanish series Money Heist is a show that really drives you to binge watch the series on Netflix.

But out of all the shows, the most memorable on my list has to be Criminal Minds. While it’s not as old as SVU or 24, it was the first crime drama that really got me hooked on the drama. The danger of having a premise like theirs is that one illogical step or an unlikely deus ex machina that helps solve crimes is enough to turn viewers away. In the years it has aired, I’ve never felt like anything from the show was a mere cop-out.

I’ve recently been re-watching episodes of Criminal Minds again, and I recently reached season three when I noticed a dedication to a certain Mark Kamps around the third episode. He wasn’t an actor, as far as I could tell, and after doing a quick search, I found that people were just as curious to know who that dedication was for and why.

Who Is Mark Kamps?

Mark Kamps is not an actor from Criminal Minds, but he was one of the major members of the crew behind-the-scenes. From 2005 to 2006, he was the sound supervisor for 29 episodes, and then from 2006 to 2007, he was the supervising sound editor for 17 episodes. This meant he had a hand at sound editing every episode in the first and second season of the series.

Around the third season, which aired on September 2007, Kamps passed away on August 24, 2007 in Ventura, California. He only managed to edit the first two episodes of seasons three before passing away. Less than a month after his death, the third episode aired. CBS decided to dedicate the episode to him, as episode three, entitled “Scared to Death,” marked the first episode without Kamps’ hand in the project.

Scared to Death
Source: Criminal Minds Wiki – Fandom


Mark Kamps Outside Criminal Minds

Based on further research, I found that Mark Kamps wasn’t just the sound editor from Criminal Minds. He was a sound designer and sound editor for documentaries, TV series, and films from 1984 until 2007, including “Murder, She Wrote,” “Beverly Hills, 90210,” and Waterworld. Kamps was also a director of an award-winning short film Last Sunday Morning (1984) and editor of the film Little Ninjas (1990).

Throughout his career, Kamps would earn three nominations for a Primetime Emmy for his contributions to sound editing for the TV series Sleeper Cell (2005) and The Pretender (1996) and the TV film Desperation (2006). He also had two nominations in the Golden Reel Awards for sound editing Sleeper Cell, Meltdown (2004), and Six Feet Under (2001). He earned a Gold Award in the WorldFest Houston for his role as director in the film Last Sunday Morning.

Personal Life

Born in November 1, 1962, Mark Kamps was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. He graduated high school in Brophy College Preparatory and then went on to study at Loyola Marymount University, a private Catholic university in Los Angeles, where he graduated in 1984. According to The Arizona Republic, he managed to graduate both schools by paying his education costs through their student work programs.

Despite his successful career in editing and directing, Kamps would later return to his alma mater’s Recording Arts Department, where he would serve as an adjunct professor. The obituary said he was an inspiration and a visionary in the eyes of his students and colleagues, delivering his work with precision and artistry within the given deadline and budget. During his free time, he was sharing his craft with both his students and independent film makers interested to learn from his long list of experience.

Mark Kamps
Source: Criminal Minds Fanatic

When I first saw Criminal Mind’s dedication to Mark Kamps, I honestly had no idea who the man was or what he had done to deserve such a memorial, one that millions of viewers would see. It’s likely that a huge majority of viewers saw the dedication, was curious to who he was, and then totally forgot about it once the episode ended.

But doing my research uncovered an inspiring man whose life extends way beyond that of a simple dedication for one episode. In fact, it stems beyond all the episodes of Criminal Minds. His contribution to my favorite crime drama may be one we may never see, but there’s no doubt that his contribution led to each episode’s quality, which led to the reason why Criminal Minds is a show that continues to this day.

It is interesting what story you can find underneath a simple dedication in one episode. If you ever see one on your favorite show, don’t hesitate to do a quick search on that person. You’d be surprised what you’d discover and just how accomplished that person is to merit a few seconds on your favorite primetime show.

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