People Who Clean Crime Scenes Describe The Worst Thing They've Ever Witnessed On The Job
Image by Patricia Srigley from Pixabay

Cleaning up is hard enough when it's just clearing a month of dust bunnies. Can you imagine cleaning the debris left by murder, suicide and violence? I have a really great friend who used to do crime scene clean-up for a living. The pay is incredible; it starts at $55 an hour. But there is a much higher cost in mental well being. Death affects you in ways you don't always feel immediately. My friend has stories of nightmares, depression and pain after leaving scenes of horror. Why make all that money just to spend it on therapy? It takes a certain type of person.


Redditor u/MemegodDave wanted to hear from the people who have the stomach to come in after crime and tragedy

to try to bring back some form of normalcy to the location by asking... People who make their living out of cleaning murder scenes, accidents and the like, what is the worst thing you have experienced in your career?

Wrapped Up

Dad had to saran wrap a guy's intestines back into his body once.

Dude had surgery and pushed too hard on the toilet. Dude was fine, according to Dad, just holding himself together on the toilet while a group of firefighters tried to figure out why the hell they were sent instead of paramedics.

Update When he pushed too hard he opened a scar on his torso/ab area and it all fell out onto his lap. Should have mentioned this when I wrote the post.



One that stuck with me was a suicide in a bathtub, we couldn't drain the tub, so had to use a coagulant then scoop up the bloody mess into biohazard bags. Same for the toilet. Another was a suicide by gun in a basement full of boxes which was a nightmare to clean as even the smallest bit of flesh had to be found and cleaned up. The smell of the smallest piece of flesh meant the job wasn't done until it was found.

One scene, the cops thought it would be helpful to put newspaper on top of the leftover melted body oils which dried to the floors and was terrible to clean up. Sad cleaning up these things when family is in the other room as well. Not working the job anymore but definitely gave me an appreciation for the hard work biohazard clean up crews do. Mostly on-call as well so you never know how long you will be away from home.

Walk Away

Medic here, first responder to a motorcycle collision. Guy who crashed was a friend. He'd been torn in half and almost decapitated.

Had to walk away from the scene and let my driver and another crew handle it. Think about it daily.


All over the House

I posted this on another thread so just copy and pasted it but this was one that I had to do

Clean up after a murder. It was a rehab house for ex cons, 4 bedroom house with communal bathroom and kitchen. Sunday morning and guy A is in his room listening to music pretty loud, guy B is in the kitchen cooking his breakfast, B knocks on A's door and tells him to turn it down, there's a small argument and B returns to his breakfast and A turns his music up. So B grabs the biggest knife in the kitchen, kicks in A's door and stabs him through his left shoulder, entering by his collar bone.

A runs out of his room, across the landing, down the stairs, out the front door, back inside, back up the stairs and collapses on the landing. When I got there it was like a scene from a movie, walls and ceilings, everywhere A had been were caked with blood. Apparently after B stabbed him, he returned to cooking his breakfast. There was a half eaten breakfast in the kitchen when I got there.



Not a cleaner, but my brother's best friend is a police officer and I heard all about this horrible experience:

My brother's friend took him on "ride-alongs," all the time. One day, they were responding to a welfare check. This guy's neighbor saw his apartment door cracked open for several days and called the police. They went to check it out and found a college student (18-19) who had shot himself.

The most disturbing part to my brother was that the kid had all of his belongings boxed up and labeled, he had letters written out and labeled for who they were supposed to go to, and he even went as far as laying out a tarp, and then putting heavy blankets over himself before he shot himself - as a courtesy to the people that would have to clean his remains.

This wasn't a spur-of-the-moment decision, this was a very well-thought-out suicide and the guy was obviously thinking about everyone who would have to deal with it too. So sad to imagine such a thoughtful person in so much pain that he meticulously orchestrated his suicide. My brother said the scene messed him up. Not because of the gore, but the lack thereof. Because this guy so meticulously and thoughtfully offed himself.


Melt Away

When I was a bartender, a couple of clients told me the worst part about the job is cleaning melted bodies.

I don't know the science behind that, but from what I understand is if a body stays for a while in a certain condition of temperature and humidity, it melts. And those guys have to remove that person's remains in buckets.



I had a great uncle who helped clean up the bodies left behind by hurricane Audrey in 1957 and he said that the smell persisted in his nose for weeks after. It got so bad that he went to the doctor to see if they could do anything and they clipped all of his nose hairs and the smell went away. It was explained to him that the smell had soaked into the hair but I don't claim to know the validity of that statement.

The hurricane hit south Louisiana in June of that year and most of the bodies recovered were found in the salt water marshes that cover the area, so it's safe to assume that they were in an advanced state of decay. I've heard it said that the smell of the decomposing bodies was so bad that the alligators would actively avoid the areas



One of my first jobs after moving I did this, and the job that had me walking wasn't even a scene as described. We did all types of hazmat cleans and the worst was actually a couple went on vacation and came back to backed up sceptic. Think about 1 ft thick hard dried out crusty sceptic waste spread throughout the entire 1st floor of a house. Not going further into detail here. Was nasty.

Septic, not sceptic. On break and mobile, so yeah...


After the Crash...

Working for a tow truck driver that get the calls after crashes. The worst one for me was a family of 6 coming back with over 10 pizzas for a baseball team. It was a head on with a tractor trailer (18 wheeler). The ambulance took the bodies away of course, everyone died but one little guy. There was so much blood and vomit, diapers, toy dolls covered in blood, the pizza was everywhere inside of the car like 2" thick on everything and all over the road.

There was so many backpacks and things just covered in pizza blood, It is hard to even describe it to this day. it was oozing out all over the road and was like an exploded pizza pocket. Everyone that was waiting in the traffic jam looked horrified.


Fresh Meat

Friend of mine does this.

His worst was an elderly woman who died in a bath. Skin falls off like long cooked meat. So he just saw piles of skin/flesh

God just writing this makes me gag.


If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at


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