I have to say that my favorite people to work with are police officers. They are some of the funniest and strangest people I’ve worked with at death scenes.
About two years ago I responded to the scene of an individual who was in her forties and had very little medical history. The scene was in an apartment building with an outside stairwell. As I got out of my car I saw the officer who reported the death along with two young kids that were sitting on the stairwell with their legs dangling through the railing.
“Oh that’s so cute,” I thought. “He brought his kids with him to a crime scene.”
I began my trek up to the third floor of the apartment building. As I rounded my way up the second floor I got a closer look at these “kids”. They were dressed in business attire and were too old to be this officer’s kids.
By the time I made it up to the third floor I now had a very good look at the “interns”. Though they were baby-faced, they also had a badge, a holster and very pretty guns.
“I’m such an idiot.” Yes my friends, those “interns” were the detectives sent to investigate the death. (So much for being a trained observer.)
I introduced myself and got the basic demographic information on the decendent, such as Name, Age, Date of Birth, and so forth. Then we went inside.
Now these Detectives were cute. I won’t lie about that. But they were also a little weird. Of course, if you were to ask them, they’d probably tell you I was weird.
When I’m at a scene, my examinations are pretty straight forward. First I run my hands along the head to make sure there’s no obvious head injuries, such as a bump or blood that shouldn’t be there. In this case, she passed the clean glove test. Then I look at the eyes for petechiael hemorrhaging which could mean a couple of things. It could mean that she was strangled. It could also be an indicator of congestive heart failure. In this case, she didn’t have that either. As I made my way down to her abdomen (where I rule out the presence of holes that shouldn’t be there) I heard a strange sound from one of the detectives that was standing next to me. He was making this weird techno sound and when I looked up he was swaying his hips to the beat of the techno sound. I shit you not! I thought he was doing some weird porn dance.
I looked up at him. “What are you doing?” Then I scolded him. “Don’t do that around my dead person.”
I pointed to a corner of the room. “Get away from my dead person.”
He chuckled and then began going through some stuff on her book shelf.
“Is that yours?” I asked. “I don’t think so. Don’t touch that. She wasn’t murdered and it’s not gonna give me a cause of death. Please, respect the nice dead lady’s things.”
I felt like I was baby-sitting. And what was really scary about the whole thing, these guys were my age. I feel old. Detectives shouldn’t be my age. They should be older. Much, much older. That’s how it was when I first started, that’s how it should stay.