Stories Of A Crime Scene Cleaner

As of this writing, I have been a crime scene cleaner for 5 years, 11 months, and 22 days. It’s not a pretty job, as I’m sure you can guess. The technical term would be “biohazard remediation”, but I’m all fancy like that. I clean up nasty shit. I work for an independent cleanup company that is hired by both law enforcement and private parties. I’ve done it all, homicide cleanup, suicide cleanup, decomposition cleanup after an unattended death, hazardous materials removal, industrial accidents, infectious disease contamination. Everything. But I’m not really writing this to talk about the job itself. I’m here to talk about the bizarre, unexplainable, downright *wierd* things that have happened to me in my almost 6 years as a crime scene cleaner. Though 6 years isn’t exactly the longest time to have been doing this, I have quite the collection of experiences to recount.   My third job was a suicide cleanup. The victim was a 26 year old woman who had taken her father’s shotgun and discharged it with the barrel in her mouth. She did it in the “family room” of her parent’s home while they were away. Before her death, the room was *entirely* white, save for the TV mounted to the wall.  Though the family room was the primary scene, we were told that detectives believed that the victim was practicing self-mutilation through cutting shortly before her death, in the basement bathroom […]

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The Tunnel

In the Virginia mountains, roads go directly through mountains, via tunnels dug through them. Last year, I was travelling from Florida up to the Midwest, and took the route that took me through the aforementioned Virginia mountains. The trip went fine until I got there. Normally, I found myself driving either alone or with one or two other cars on the road. At one point, though, traffic became heavy.   I was in a line of cars approaching a tunnel. It was moving slow due to some unseen obstruction ahead. I entered the tunnel and crept along slowly with the rest of the cars, before coming to a stop. The westbound road was at a standstill, while the eastbound road was wide open with no cars heading in that direction. I was almost dead-center of the tunnel, just for reference. Lights lined the walls of the tunnel, illuminating everything within. Until they didn’t. The lights all simultaneously shut off, making it quite dark in the tunnel.   Sunlight was the only source of light in the tunnel now, but it only reached so far from each entrance to the tunnel. Me being in the middle, I was essentially in the dark. A car a few behind me pulled onto the eastbound side and sped ahead of the rest of us that were stopped. I redirected my attention to him, and watched him drive the rest of the way down the […]

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The Outside Friend (Poem)

There once was a boy with a friend who lived outside He’d come to the boys window at night and smile so wide He’d whisper he wanted him to come out and play But the boy would complain he had school the next day The weekend came and there were no more excuses The boy snuck out out his window while his parents were snoozing The friend said he had a fort in the woods But the boy was worried, didn’t know if he should But the friend convinced him, and off they went And walked until they came across a broken down tent The two went inside and the boy never came out The parents woke up the next morning with screams and shouts Their little boy was gone, vanished with no trace The police received letters, laughing in their face The parents wished they had listened to the boy when he told them about his new outside friend They thought it was his imagination and play and the boy was just making pretend 10 years later, they received their last letter, with a note that provided some hope They walked to the place where the tent once stood, there was now a man hanging by rope With an arrow on his shirt pointing down to the ground so they dug until they pulled something out The shovel hit something and the man looked down and gave out a […]

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A Strange Therapy Appointment 

The following event took place in 2010.  I am a therapist who specializes in addiction. Have been for quite some time, and probably still will be for years to come. But something happened in 2010 that made me question if I wanted to remain in the field, even if I ever wanted to interact with another…human being…at all. I am not going to give my name or location, or the name of the patient due to privacy guidelines that I’m currently breaking. I’ve kept this story inside me for years now, and it’s time someone else knew. __________ It was time for my 1:00pm appointment, and the receptionist called me and told me the patient would be walking in momentarily. I thanked her and waited. The patient, a young man I will refer to as John, who had a problem with methamphetamine and PCP, walked in looking severely distraught. His clothes were a mess, dirty and torn to shreds in some places. His eyes were deeply sunken into his skull, with bags underneath them darker than midnight. His lips were dry and cracked, and his nose was running, with blood caked at the bottom of his nostrils. It looked to me like a going through a severe case of withdrawal. ”You’re not looking too hot, John.” ”No shit…” He replied as he slowly sat down. ”Are you withdrawing? How long has it been?” ”I don’t know what it is. I […]

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The Woman By The River

I’ve never told anyone this before.  I was 11 years old. My friend Adam and I were inseparable. We lived on the same street with only one house between ours, but even with that being the case, we spent most of our time traversing the woods at the end of our street, and having whatever fun we could have along the river that ran through them. It was a sweltering July day, and the previous night, Adam had slept over at my house. We had gotten up, eaten breakfast and headed out on our way. We hiked through the woods and reached the river after about 20 minutes. We had a spot where there was a small rock collection that ran through the river to the other side that was usually our stopping point at which we’d stay for most of our time before heading back home. For whatever reason, on this particular day, Adam wanted to go further than our normal stopping point. It was broad daylight, and we knew how to keep track of ourselves so we wouldn’t get lost, so I agreed. We got past our point and walked for about another 20 minutes. At some point we stopped and messed around for a while. We skipped rocks, jumped our way across larger rocks across the river, and climbed trees. After some time, I don’t really remember how long it was exactly, a few hours maybe, we […]

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Stay On The Highway

I was helping a friend move from Wisconsin to Seattle a few summers back. I was driving one car full of stuff, he and our other buddy were driving another car for this particular leg of the trip. At one point, we stopped off for food and took a nap, and in getting back on the road, my friend insisted that the way to go was to take a road called “200” instead of the main highway. I knew this was wrong, but he was stubborn.  This particular night, we decided we weren’t tired and we were going to start driving since it was already 4 am and we had just napped. About 70 miles into the Montana 200, I had my windows down, and I kept feeling like I was hearing something over the music I had playing. I turned it down, wondering if it was some noise coming from my friends car in front of me. With the music now off, I listen intently out the window. The road was a 2 lane road, so I could see anyone coming towards us, and would surely see anyone coming up from behind, which was unlikely as we were going about 90 mph. Unless their lights were off and they were doing 110+, I would’ve seen them.  I say this because a few seconds into listening out the window, I hear laughing. It wasn’t one person either, it was like […]

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The Last Job I’ll Ever Take On Craigslist

So…over the last 7 months, I’ve been working for someone I responded to on Craigslist. Well, I’ll just explain everything. This seems like an appropriate place to post this. I was scouring the internet for some sort of paying gig, I didn’t really care what. Then I came across a post on Craigslist, I had just refreshed the page and there it was. Someone was looking for a person to come by and feed their pets. I assumed they were going out of town or something. So I contacted them and left my number through email. I got a response immediately in the form of a phone call. The caller was a man, who explained to me that he was moving out of town, and his parents had cats they wanted fed daily. I gave the man my name so he could run me through a cursory background check, and in about 20 minutes, I was hired. I went there the next morning to get all the instructions and whatnot, and met the man I’d spoken to on the phone. His name was Ben. Ben explained to me that he would no longer be able to care for his parents cats, and that his parents needed to focus on themselves, so I was being brought on to take care of that. J The money would be left on the kitchen table at the end of every week, $200 a week […]

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Worst Thanksgiving Ever

We never really had an extended family with which to celebrate holidays.  As such, our holidays were spent at our house comprised of me, my wife, and our 2 girls. We both had extended family, but neither me or my wife kept in touch with our respective kin. Earlier this week, we received a letter from my wife’s great uncle. According to him, his father, my wife’s grandfather, had passed away. Because the unfortunate death basically coincided with Thanksgiving, we were invited to his ranch house about 3 hours away to celebrate the holiday and pay any respects we might want to pay. After some discussion, we decided we would attend the funeral, and the Thanksgiving feast the next night. Since all we had planned this year was the same as the last however many, just our small family at the house, we thought it might be nice to do something different for a change. We set out yesterday morning and made it to our hotel at about 2am. We spent most of the day hanging out in the hotel, then made the half hour drive to her uncle’s house, where the wake was set up. We thought it was odd that the wake was at his residence, but they were strange people, according to my wife. Really, the only reason she agreed to go was because she vaguely remembered spending time with her grandfather when she was much younger, […]

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The Hospital In Happiness

If you ever find yourself in a town called Happiness, leave. Immediately. That is the best advice anyone will ever give you. Sorry for the length of this, I just hope my details will sway you from ever trying to find such a place, and dissuade you from sticking around should you ever find yourself there. I was driving cross country a few years ago, and I got what I’m certain was food poisoning somewhere in the midwest. After driving for about an hour, throwing up on the side of the road every 10 minutes, I decided to find the nearest hospital (since I didn’t know what was wrong with me at the time). I found I was nearly 2 hours away from the nearest town. Figuring I had no other choice, I began driving. After about 40 minutes, I drove into a town called Happiness. Happiness wasn’t marked on any map, or located on any GPS I had, but there were signs directing me to a hospital. I arrived at a place called Happiness General, which was located on the outskirts of the small town. The outside of the building looked very modern, relatively new even, so there was no cause for concern at the sight of the place. I parked my car in what was a mostly empty lot (which again didn’t surprise me, as it was a very small town I was in), and entered through the […]

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