My dad is a retired crime scene photographer. When I got my drivers license he prepared a slide show to dissuade me from ever driving drunk or without a seatbelt. You wouldn't believe the way a body can contort after it has been in an accident. Not many people make it out with all their limbs either. The one that will always stick with me though has to have been one women who wasn't wearing a seatbelt while on the highway and got in a collision. She flew out of the front windshield of the car. A few of the slides showed the trail of brain matter from her head skidding across the road. Then it got to her. Her head looked like it was split open like a banana. Still brings back chills just thinking about it.
Side note: Please wear your seatbelt it really does save lives.
I'm not a crime scene photographer, but I interned for the public defender's office in high school and saw a bunch of crime scene photos. 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.
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. I was going through a pretty dark time in my life, but seeing those photos really made me reevaluate any thoughts of suicide I had.
I'm not a crime scene photographer, but I do work at a newspaper and we often photograph fatal car accidents, etc.
Just last week, one of our reporters was put to the task of photographing an accident that claimed the lives of two young men. Obviously, we do not print photos with any gore, as it would be disrespectful to families of victims.
A lot, if not all newspaper photographers eventually find themselves in situations where they're photographing a nasty crime/accident scene. It isn't easy, and many consider it to be the worst part of the job.
My parents owned a photo lab back when those were a relevant - I remember seeing pictures they developed for various police departments. One of them was of Chris Farley dead and bloated on his floor with foam coming out of his mouth. That sucked.
Not a crime scene photographer, but I majored in forensic anthropology and have seen a good many crime scene photos. 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. The next photo in the intro to forensic science class presentation was the reconstructed head in the lab. It was only slightly marred by the lack of orbital sockets which seemed to have been vaporized. I'm still stunned by the amount of work that must of gone into that.
A friend of my family is a crime scene photographer, I was babysitting their kids one night while his wife was on a night out and he'd had to work late. 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 (soccer) 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. Such a sickening thought, kept be awake for nights...
A medical photographer I know got called to help at the Loma Prieta quake in San Francisco in 1989. Remember the elevated freeway that pancaked into the cars below? He had to crawl into that and photograph the corpses. It stayed with him a while.
I had arrived at the emergency room at Natividad Medical Center for a separate story. 10 minutes before, Victor Sosa, 57 of Salinas, died in the ER after being stabbed multiple times only 2 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 Salinas police officers slam through the ER bay door with a bloodied up young guy is handcuffs. It was Richard Gutierrez, 22, who was being arrested for the stabbing homicide. The cops sat him down within 3 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 have 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 Gutierrez. He refused, so I set up outside of the ER bay door for a shot of the cops dragging Gutierrez 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 working on helping patch up the person that killed the first one.
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...4 years later I remember the look on her face.
I took a forensic photography class in college and we would start every morning looking at new crime scene photos. A couple of the worst I saw were a teenager who committed suicide by tying a rope around his neck the other end to a tree and the sped away in his car. The rope snapped after it tightened down to a 4 inch circle around his neck. The other was an autopsy of an 8 year old boy whose father had beat him to death. He was hit so hard the there was bruising on the inside of his skull. Those two have stuck with me for the past 10 years.
I've been a crime scene photog in Pasadena, California for 23 years. The worst thing by far was one time I had to take a duck-face selfie in a bathroom mirror where somebody'd left a turd in the toilet.
So my grandfather is not a crime scene photographer but I'm guessing you want gore stories. My grandfather used to have a machine that he could towed around that could pull metal apart. I have no idea what the machine was, this was a story my mom told me. He got a call from a friend who needed his help trying to get to a certain car in a horrible accident. An 18 wheeler ran full speed into a car that was behind another 18 wheeler, completely flattening the car. They needed the machine to pull the two 18 wheeler trucks apart to get to the car, which had a family of four in it. He said he pulled them apart and just saw blood, bones and small limbs. He has two kids of his own and couldn't handle what he saw. After that, he immediately sold the machine and is still haunted by what he witnessed. Terrible stuff.
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. It was a black & white photo, but you could clearly see that his faced was very discolored from asphyxiation. The accompanying report indicated that he probably retained consciousness for several minutes after the incident.
I knew a guy who used to be a medical examiner. I was interested in his field of work so he took me with him on the job one day. They brought a woman in who was brutally raped and murdered by showing a broomstick up her vagina. Said broomstick tore through the uterus, through her intestines, all the way up to her heart and out her shoulder.
I did trauma cleanup (murders, suicide, gruesome accidents) at a previous job so this isn't exactly what you're looking for but maybe someone would like to read it. The job itself was disaster restoration (wind/water/fire damage) that also did carpet and air duct cleanings and occasionally the aforementioned trauma cleanup.
There wasn't a whole lot to see because the bodies were gone by the time I got there. One was a late teens to early 20's girl who had just given birth less than 3 months prior. She was living with her parents and decided for some reason to slit her wrist in her bedroom. She bled out. I had to cut out the affected carpet, carpet pad, and then treat the floor underneath. You'd be surprised at how little blood there can be when someone slits their wrist. But it was an all-around sad situation. The family was there, holding the baby and were all just an emotional wreck.
A guy who was pretty sick and spent all day in pain laying in bed. He finally had enough and put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. Had to pick up pieces of skull and brain matter and clean anything that blood/brain/skull/whatever could have gotten on. Was hauling the hazmat box back to the van and one of their family friends showed up being all cheerful. They saw the disaster restoration logo on the van and asked in a joking manner if one of the pipes had burst and referenced swimming in the house. Caught me completely off-guard so I stammered a bit but finally managed to say no and that the family was inside if she wanted to find out more. It was seriously one of the most awkward moments of my life because how the hell can you prepare for something like that?
The guy who decided to commit suicide by cop while in his truck. We were asked by the police to clean up the truck. For some reason, it sat in our parking lot for a couple of weeks in the summer. I stayed the hell away from it because it absolutely reeked. Not 100% sure if we ended up taking care of it or if they got another company to do it. I just know that I wasn't part of it and the truck just wasn't there one day.