A professional crime scene cleaner has admitted that his job doesn’t bother him in the slightest, despite him having to clean up grisly suicide and murder scenes on a daily basis.
Neal Smither, lives in San Fransicsco with his wife and children, and started up his company Crime Scene Cleaners Inc 25 years ago, which now turns over an estimated $1 million (£770,000) a year.
Comparing the job to ‘working in McDonald’s’, Neal says he has witnessed the scenes of torture, death by shotgun and poison and even had to clean up after someone who jumped into a wood chipper – but says he has never found it traumatic.
Despite now cleaning up as many as 25 crime scenes a day, he says when he first started the company – inspired by a scene in Pulp Fiction – he didn’t get a call for the first year. In California the state does not provide a clean up service for crime scenes, which need to be attended to privately.
Speaking about his first case, Neal told Ladbible that he only felt excitement, recalling : ‘It was a lady who had beaten cancer once and then came out of remission – so she killed herself with a gun to the head’.
Describing the scenes he has witnessed, he continued: ‘I’ve been to jobs where people have been locked up and tortured, someone else jumped into a wood-chipper. I’ve seen suicides, homicides, death with shot guns, poison… you name it.
‘It’s never been traumatic for me, ever, and it still isn’t. For me, I get there and it’s a service. It’s just like McDonald’s – the guy making the burgers, he doesn’t see that burger anymore because he’s done it 10,000 times. He’s just making it and not thinking about it and it’s the same thing for me.’
He says that his team always arrive within an hour of being called, but is keen to stress that it’s not ‘romantic detective work’ but simply ‘cleaning’.
And his work is often dependent on seasons, with rain slowing demand down as people often stay in and don’t discover the bodies of deceased relatives until the weather picks up.
Neal’s job has racked up such a fascination, that his Instagram account has racked up thousands of followers, and he even sells merchandise.
He shares before and after pictures of the scenes, but doesn’t go into detail about the crimes – which he believes ‘drives followers’ imaginations’.