Thursday, May 2, 2013

INSIDE LOOK: Death Project 2013 Investigation: Crime Scene Cleanup

Our Artistic Project Manager, Meridith Friedman, recently spoke with Doug Baruchin, owner of Island Trauma Services, a New York based Crime Scene Cleanup Company. With over 25 years of experience, the staff of ITS are experts in Crime Scene and Trauma Scene Cleanup Service. You can find out more about Island Trauma Services, Inc. HERE.

"We usually know what happened. Um, we'll get a call saying, oh this was a homicide,  and sometimes I'll look on the internet to find out, ok, homicide in Queens or Brooklyn or New York City, just so I have an idea of what I'm going to see before I walk in. Because no matter how many times I do this, walking across a threshold every time is a little bit of like, you know, what am I going to see. 

I remember the first one that I did was an elderly man. He was about 78 years old, and he put a pillow in front of his face and shot himself on Easter. And I remember thinking, you know, my God this is what you hear about. Suicide rates increase around the holidays. And I remember seeing this scene, and this poor man who was alone, I don't know why he was sad, maybe he lost somebody, but it got me. That I took home with me. 

I do know that New Yorkers, especially Manhattanites, are very resilient. And very, I can handle this. I've had several people come into the scene with me in New York City. Other people, “I can't go in that room; I don't want to be reminded.” Some New Yorkers I found were very curious, even about somebody they were related to. “So this is where they died, what is this stuff?” This is a conversation I never want to have with somebody. “Oh, this is, you know, probably his blood, this is where his head was.” 

Doug with a fellow ITS technician
I look at the people in Newtown, and how they all came together and supported each other and that's just...beyond anything I've ever done. We actually did call the school to offer to go up there and help them out for free, because it's just, you know, anything you can do to help somebody like that get back together is a huge thing. One of the hardest things to do is to move past what happened while everything is still there. You'll never go into that bedroom again and look at it the same way, but until it's at the very least cleared out, you can't really move past anything."

Thanks Doug and Meridith for sharing! Check back here every Thursday for a look inside our investigation into death, dying and the afterlife in NY. Stay tuned for details on a June performance date!


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