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  • Hard to get used to??

    Hello again.

    In my last CRJ class last week we were shown pictures of bodies that had been murdered, hanged, asphyxiated, naturally died etc. I didnt find the pictures disturbing, but i didnt find it sick with what people do to each other.

    Now i know it is different when it comes to being in person seeing those sights. I am wondering if it had been difficult for you all when you first had to look at those sights.

    How long did it take you to be able to handle it each time??

    I am just wondering your insight.

    Thanks.

    -Dan

  • #2
    You never truly get used to it, but with time & experience you will learn to handle it better.
    Now the person that it doesn't effect is the person that worries me.
    All Units Code Zero on one, Code Zero on one...all non-emergency traffic go to TAC-2

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    • #3
      Sometimes I have a harder time dealing with distraught family members than the victims. That,and the injured/killed children are the worst. Pictures are one thing. Real life is another. You will remember every one you see for the rest of your life.
      If you stare into the abyss long enough,sometimes it stares back.

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      • #4
        You will NEVER forget the SMELL of DEATH or Burnt Flesh! Photpgraphs are one thing but actually sitting and keeping "watch" of an individual who died at his residence is another. I'm not referring to the same day of death but days After! The STENCH is OVERPOWERING!!!!! In New York City P.O.'s responding - a foot patrol stays behind to wait for the Coroner to come and to insure nothing is disturbed just in case it turns out to be a "Crime Scene."

        As J.Dixon already stated children are THE MOST DIFFICULT to deal with especially when the do not expire of natural causes. Grieving family members are problematic because you have to remain objective and not let YOUR emotions come into play.

        You will soon learn and observe firsthand that Man is the most intelligent of species and the MOST CRUEL and sometimes SAVAGE!

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        • #5
          Over time I got used to it... I worked homicide for a number of years and I think saw about every kind of death imaginable. But it took a long time....

          The worst was when I worked uniform in a poor neighborhood. We had a lot of old people who lived in barricaded houses. We'd get calls on ones "not seen" for some time and would break into the house. The smell of death is apparent and walking around the house looking for the dead body was eerie as hell. I hated that part. Once I found them, I was okay, but the anticipation was terrible. Usually they were found in the bathroom. People often mistook a heart problem for gas or heartburn and were looking for a medicine to relieve it.

          The homicide team investigating always was present at the autopsies. The first one is usually pretty hard to take, but after the third or so, it's just business as usual. You realize that this is no longer a person that's on the table, but the remains of what used to be one.

          Jim
          "Life's tough, it's tougher if you're stupid." John Wayne

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          • #6
            Tough to look at

            When I did my internship with a city department here in PA, I got to see all their old photo books. Sick Murders, fires, bug infestations, but by far away the most disgusting was bodies found after several days in the water. Water can do some NASTY damage to the human body. Don't even look human.

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            • #7
              I have worked security in a hospital for many years now so unfortunately dead bodies are a common occurance. We get everything from natural causes, to fires, bloaters(water), weeks in the heat, accidents, suicides name it we see it. Our hospital morgue acted as the city morgue, yay...

              You never truly get used to it, but with time & experience you will learn to handle it better.
              codezero has it summed up right there... I actually am used to seeing dead bodies, being around it daily. However like many have stated sometimes it makes you think about life. Makes you realize how short life is, and the stupid **** people do. When i put kids into the morgue, that have been victims of crimes, accidents or suicides, it upsets and ****es me off.

              And yeah, the smell of burnt flesh, rotting flesh, and bloaters are enough to ruin lunch for days... I suggest vapo rub if your gonna be around that **** for an extended period of time.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by skwashie
                I suggest vapo rub if your gonna be around that **** for an extended period of time.
                I have heard vapo rub makes it worse.

                I find that eating something spicy after being on scene with a stinker helps. Seems that smell stays with you until you push it out with something stronger.
                Do your best, do what is right

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                • #9
                  Guys,I think we can all agree that when it comes to stinkers,nothing really works. I think we're just trying to fool ourselves.
                  If you stare into the abyss long enough,sometimes it stares back.

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                  • #10
                    Cotton surgical type masks with whatever you want to use as an odor inhibitor usually helps. It also keeps the flies from going in your mouth.

                    The first autopsy I went to weirded me out. It wasn't so much seeing a person from the inside out, but rather the cold manner in which it was handled. Yeah, there is a smell present in one of these, too.

                    You may never learn to not let it affect you, but you find ways to focus on the job at hand which is very important.

                    As for as how long it took. I got lucky and was gradually introduced to deaths. A few naturals with a short time lapse, then a couple suicides, then a homicide where the victim was still breathing when I got on scene (died a few hours later-didn't stand a chance), then the stinkers. The first stinker...there's something you don't forget too soon!

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                    • #11
                      I had a partner that would make ripe dead people smell like roses after he farted....

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                      • #12
                        my father tells me this story.....

                        one time he responds to a call, and finds an old man dead. apparantly, the guy was standing up in his kitchen, had a heart attack and fell straight back. the old guy's head got lodged between the fridge and the counter and it held there.

                        the guy had been dead for a day or so. the coroner shows up and they grab the guy by his legs to pull him out, well the pulled him out alright, just left his head right there between the counter and fridge!


                        he's never gotten over that one!

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                        • #13
                          yea i can imagine seeing a head wedged between the counter and fridge would stick with you.
                          I have one case that never leaves my mind... after an autopsy and the person being a donor with o- blood type they took everything, including bones man when i "tried" to lift that body bag, the entire "contents" rolled into the middle of the bag like a baggie of jello. Yep, thats well engraved...

                          yea for the real stinkers there isnt much you can do, and i never feel like eating after being around one. Ill have to try the spicy food thing though, never heard of that one.

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                          • #14
                            I've got to agree with Gunky. The first autopsy is always the most memorable. Just the way the doctor calmy cut open the body and began removing parts, piece by piece. Talking about non-sensical things or even what's for lunch!!! The rib-cracker and the skull-saw are probably the most disturbing aspects.(and smell)

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                            • #15
                              What's a CRJ class?

                              CanadianBacon... 'first autopsy is always memorable' ???
                              I didn't know officers have to watch that stuff.

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