A. Marie Silver

A. Marie Silver

Don’t Lie to the Death Investigator. It’s Rude!

>First and foremost I would like to state that I really do enjoy all of the police officers that I work with.  They definitely make things a little more entertaining for me when I respond to a scene.  However, there are a few that irritate the hell out of me -mainly, the ones who lie to me and actually think they can get away with it. 

To all the Future and Current police officers out there please be advised that you should never lie to the death investigator.  It’s completely unnecessary and quite frankly rude!  If you don’t want to go inside and look at the icky dead guy, that’s just fine by me.  Some of my colleagues may chastise you for it but truthfully, we would all agree that it’s just better not to lie about it.  Why?  Well, for one thing, in addition to chastising you for it, some of us may actually go above and beyond and make you look stupid for it too.

Case in Point.  Once upon a time I received a call from a police officer who had responded to the scene of a decomposed individual.  Among all the other information I usually ask, I also always ask who they have for next-of-kin.

His response:  “We searched high and low through the apartment and couldn’t find anything.  Mr. X. did not list an emergency contact with the rental officer either.”

Yay!  I get to dig through a dead, smelly guy’s apartment looking for next-of-kin!  Yay!

That day, I dragged a long the office intern.  I have to say she’s a really good sport because we made her do all the dirty work.  Like digging through the maggot masses on the body to make sure there weren’t any injuries hiding underneath.

When we arrived on scene I handed the intern my camera and asked her to begin taking photographs while I dug through my scene kit getting all of my “toys” together that I would need.

Intern:  “Um.  I think you should take a look at this.”

Me:  “Why?  What did you find?”

Intern:  “There’s something on the wall I think you should see.”

Me:  “It’s not a bullet defect is it?  Cause we didn’t order a homicide today?”

Intern:  “No.”

The apartment was fairly small.  All I really had to do from the doorway was turn a corner and then I was in the living room with the intern.  The only other door in the apartment led into the bedroom where my “new friend” was waiting.  On the wall, right next to the door, up at eye level, and, impossible for anyone to miss was a note that read the following:

          In Case of Emergency Please Call:

           ___________  ______________


          This Is His Daughter

Me:   “Couldn’t find next-of-kin, huh?”

After photographing that piece of paper I took it down from the wall, walked back outside and handed to one of the officers.

Me:  “Would you mind making notification.  Here’s the next-of-kin information.”

Police Officer:  “Wow!  You guys must be magicians!  Where’d you find that?”

Me:  “Oh I didn’t.  The intern did.  It was on the wall next to the door that led into the bedroom.”

Police Officer:  “Oh.”

If it had occurred to me at the time this is how this would have ended.

Me:  “Oh by the way.  This guy’s been shot.  I think it’s a homicide.”

Both officers jumped when they heard this.

Police Officer:  “Seriously?”

Me:  “No.  Not seriously.  But you’d know that if you actually looked at him.”

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A. Marie Smith

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