19 Crime Scene Photographers Reveal The Worst Things They’ve Ever Had To Shoot


19 Crime Scene Photographers Reveal The Worst Things They’ve Ever Had To Shoot

Though they’re often made to look incredibly entertaining on television shows and in movies, crime scenes are absolutely horrible in real life. In fact, most people who have to involve themselves with the gore of violent crime only do so out of necessity – not morbid curiosity. While onlookers and gawkers tend to flock to car accidents and other such regrettable incidents, when they actually see the scene, they’re terrified. Some are even repulsed to be so close to death as it’s a constant reminder of their own mortality.

Crime scene photographers must not only witness this type of morbidity, they have to immortalize it as well. For them, it can be incredibly difficult to ever forget the brutality of their shoots. Reddit asked a few of these photographers to share the raw renditions of their trade. To read them is to be truly haunted.

A Jealous Mistress Completely Cleaved One Family Apart

Redditor mesohungie:

“The worst was a woman who was chased through her house by her husband’s jealous mistress who was armed with a cleaver.

There was a series of pics showing deep gashes in the back and side of her head. The last picture was by far the most terrifying. It was a close up of her face with a chunk missing from the right corner of her forehead and her eyes are wide open, staring vacantly into the camera. For a week or so I saw that face when I closed my eyes when I tried to go to sleep.”

One Victim Was Intent On His Own Demise

Redditor coprolite_hobbyist:

“A few examples come to mind; the first is due to the amount of skill involved. An individual decided to commit suicide by firing both a .308 and a .30-06 rifle into his head at the same time. The photo of the crime scene showed not much more than a truncated neck with a good deal of tissue on the surrounding walls.”

Elevator Surfing Wasn’t As Fun As It Sounded

Redditor coprolite_hobbyist:

“Another I recall because the sheer stupidity involved. A college student engaged in what is called ‘elevator surfing’ in his high rise dorm building. His head became caught in the mechanism of the elevator while he was riding on top of the car and was twisted around a few times… You could clearly see that his face was very discolored from asphyxiation. The accompanying report indicated that he probably retained consciousness for several minutes after the incident.”

There Was A Trail Of Blood And Feces

Redditor spacenerdchris:

“I get a call on the alert phone. It’s the base police. They ask me to report to building XXX whatever… I walk downstairs and find the on-scene commander. He tells me to follow him.

As we near the entrance to the dayroom (lounge area) I see a blood trail and start snapping shots. We keep walking… I am now inside. We open the door and there’s feces and blood… EVERYWHERE. On the phone, on the pool table, on the TV…

All of a sudden I hear a cop say ‘found the probe.’ Not words I want to hear when I see blood and poo. I turn around to see this cop holding a billiard cue with the tiny end covered in blood and poop dripping down the handle.

We never found the bleeder.”

The Photo Negatives Were Almost As Bad As The Developed Work

Redditor vondelpark420:

“[I] used to develop crime scene photos for the local police departments nearby. A few photos have stayed etched in my mind, mostly car accidents, but the worst one was of a suicide. I could tell that it was going to be fairly bloody by the amount of green on the negative, but I wasn’t really prepared for what I saw. This person must have put the gun in their mouth and blew the back of their head off…”

He Had To Photograph A Friend

Redditor spacenerdchris:

“I once had to take photos of a friend who had died. She was wearing a football jersey and underwear, sitting there down on the floor with her face on the toilet – alcohol poisoning. I had to kneel down next to her to and take a photo of her face before they moved her. Standard practice is to take a wide, medium, and close up shot of every single picture.

I kneel next to her, breathing erratically. I pull the camera up to shoot and I see her face through the viewfinder. She’s dead, but her eyes are wide open. Staring at me. I still remember that… four years later I remember the look on her face…

The thing is, I didn’t know it was her until I was in her face. Then it was like time stopped and I was frozen there, staring at this dead girl who now had an identity.”

This Was One Of The Worst Drunk Driving Cases

Redditor bringbackoptimism:

“A friend of my family is a crime scene photographer, I was babysitting [for him one night]. When he got back, he looked awful so I asked what had happened. Apparently, a group of young lads, about 16-years-old, had got drunk and been riding their motorbikes around on a football… field. One of the boys had driven full speed into the actual post of the goalpost and literally split in half right down the middle, from the face down.”

The Worst Part Might Be The Unexplained Limbs

Redditor Googles_Janitor:

“Former crime scene investigator here. I had to photograph and document countless rape, fire, stabbing, etc. victims. The worst by far was a serial killing victim who was quartered. When I arrived on scene, each limb was in a separate pot on the stove and the head/torso was hanging from the ceiling in front of the refrigerator. No person should ever have to see that.”


One Photographer Had His Work Cut Out For Him

Redditor Dookiestain_LaFlair:

“Some sick f*ck cut out a woman’s butt hole and left it there on the table. It was like when you eat a rib eye and there is that one little circle left with pieces of meat on the outside.”

This Photographer Captured Purplish Blood On Film

Redditor rytis:

“[I] was a freelance photographer… My newspaper would always buy shots of horrible car accident scenes… [I] used to have a scanner and would arrive at car accidents sometimes before EMS. I saw a lot of dead bodies, crushed in the front seat of a car. You didn’t really see the whole body, but a bloody arm or the top of their head pinned against the windshield. Also amazing how many times the head would go through the windshield.

[The] worst thing I saw was a pedestrian who had been hit by a car and was lying dead in a pool of purplish blood…”

The Victims Were Placed In A Compromising Position

Former Redditor:

“A couple, dead. They were placed in the missionary position… F*cking disgusting. I nearly threw up when I first saw it.”

Hungry Dogs Turned On Their Owner For Survival

Redditor ilikebeardss:

“I have seen many crime scene photos in the past four years; some of the worst include a photo of a woman whose face was eaten off by her dog after being dead for a few days…

Unfortunately yeah, it was horrific.”

No Corpse Found In The Hudson River Ever Met A Favorable End

Redditor mesohungie:

“Another [I saw] was an overturned couch the cops found by the Hudson River. They turned it back over to find a dead body. It was all contorted, discolored, and bloated. At least the eyes were closed but [it was] still jarring…”

One Photographer Looked A Murderer Right In The Eye

Redditor Moto_Journo:

“I’m a newspaper photographer and a crime reporter. Anything involving injured kids is always hard and never, ever gets easier to deal with. You always feel like the biggest vulture…

I had arrived at the emergency room [where a victim] died in the ER after being stabbed multiple times only two hours before. I would see his lifeless body surrounded by pools of blood on the floor of the trauma bay as doctors and nurses walked in and out of the curtained off room.

I was looking for a place to cover all the commotion without being in the way when two… police officers slammed through the ER bay door with a bloodied up young guy in handcuffs. It was [the murderer] who was being arrested for the stabbing homicide. The cops sat him down within three feet from where I was standing. I looked up at the same time he did and I looked straight into the eyes of a guy who had just taken another life.

In my years as a news photographer, I had never come so physically close to someone who had killed another person so recently. As our glances met, I had never seen such darkness in a person’s eyes. I don’t think he regretted what he had done, but I have never seen so much fear in a person before. It was surreal because the body of the man he had allegedly killed was still in the ER, a mere 20 feet from where we sat in the hallway.

I wasn’t allowed to photograph a patient without their permission but I asked [the murderer]. He refused, so I set up outside of the ER bay door for a shot of the cops dragging [him] off to jail. Needless to say, he was less than happy about me taking his picture…

I was chatting with the ER doctor about it later on and he thought for a second and said something along the lines of during all his years in the ER, he can’t recall a time when he had worked on saving one person’s life, then moments later, also [worked to] patch up the person that killed the first one.”

The Photographer Had To Take Closeups Of Adult Toys

Redditor spacenerdchris:

“Spouse abuse case. I show up and the husband is like, six feet tall, 150 pounds… black eyes, red face, busted lip. His wife, no taller than five feet five inches, at least 300lb+, is sitting there telling the cops why she beat him up. I also have to document the entire house to ensure they are upholding a proper ‘standard of living’ and find a series of dildos on their entertainment suite. When I get to that area, I look at the scene commander and ask, ‘You want me to shoot the dildos?’ He said, ‘Yep, and I want close ups.'”

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