“A Homicide to Remember-Part II”

Click here for “A Homicide to Remember–Part I”

The detectives immediately began briefing me as they walked towards the crime scene, so I never had a chance to look panicked. I tried desperately to keep up with what they were saying as I scribbled down notes that I could only hope to be able to interpret later. By the time we reached the door of the apartment they were finished with their part of my visit and ready for me to start with mine.

It was at that very moment I was blindsided by an overwhelming sense of self doubt. It started when I second guessed whether I had given the correct name to the officer in charge of the crime scene log and rapidly peaked. In an instant, everything I thought I knew about death investigation seemed as useless as a wallet in another pair of pants. There I was—reaching into an empty pocket with a cart full of groceries and a line of soon-to-be pissed off customers behind me.

Fortunately, I was about to experience an unanticipated aspect of death scene investigation. As I entered the apartment to begin, there was a very surrealistic feeling that seemed to shroud the apartment. I can now look back and recognize that feeling as a byproduct of the situation.

Picture doing this:

You drive to a part of the city you would normally avoid because of your affinity for living. When you get there, the police cars blocking the street move out of your way but continue to keep everyone else at the end of the block. Detectives willingly provide you with details they won’t provide to the media. You then walk into a complete stranger’s house to examine that same complete stranger as they lay dead in the floor of their living room. As you examine the surroundings and the body, homicide detectives stand to the side and make notes based on your findings and impressions.

Needless to say, the end result is a truly unique situation—even more so when one considers the presence of violent trauma and the significance of playing a role in the investigation. That uniqueness created the surrealistic feeling that ultimately helped me focus on the task at hand.

I started off by looking around the scene very slowly, hoping to give the impression that I was being very thorough. The truth is that I was stalling for time. After I was “mentally acclimated,? I was able to recall enough of the protocols and proceeded from there. In retrospect, if I had gone in without that feeling, I might not have taken it slow and could have missed something important. The end result was that I made a good impression on the homicide detectives and the crime scene techs.

I’m not sure if anyone else has ever experienced this feeling. As for me, the sensation went away after the first few scenes. I’m at the point now that just about any scene investigation seems as natural as a routine household chore. Even though I can do just as good of a job without that sensation, I can’t help but wonder where it went.

As for the homicide itself, apart from it being my “first,? it wasn’t that remarkable compared to others I have worked since. Still, in the interest of closure here are the remaining details:

The end result of the investigation was that both of the female roommates were prostitutes who occasionally worked out of their apartment. The male acquaintance was a potential client and fled the scene for fear of involvement. He was later located and it was ultimately determined that both he and the roommate had sound alibis. No suspect or murder weapon was ever found and at this time the investigation is closed pending any new information.


5 Responses to ““A Homicide to Remember-Part II””

  1. February 8, 2005 at 10:05 am

    I think your blog is fascinating, not just because of the subject matter but also due to your captivating writing style. I will definitely be back.

  2. February 10, 2005 at 2:54 pm

    Found you through Blog Explosion – what a cool blog! I’ll definitely be back.

  3. February 12, 2005 at 12:26 pm

    My dh recently joined the police force (and don’t think that was an easy feat!) and was required to go with “his” body (he was first one there I guess) to the coroners for the autopsy. He said the coroners were especially gleeful to see him and quite willing, no, intensely desirous it would seem, to reveal to his virgin eyes all manner of gore and the great skill involved in getting at it. The end result, he avoided eating meat for at least a week.

  4. 4 A Douglas
    February 13, 2005 at 3:51 pm


    That’s a fairly common practice worthy of a entire entry. I’ll try to include one down the road…

  5. February 18, 2005 at 12:17 am

    Okay, so it wasn’t the bloody coroners but the “autopsy guys”(geez who knows the difference or cares anyways) who gave my dh (actually make that just plain h) the blood and guts guided tour. Some people are so picky already. I tried to tell him that everyone knows I wrote that above message and not him!!! Men!

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