Blood and gore in West Hartford

Blood is sprayed on the apartment walls and flecked across the beige carpet. Bloody smears and handprints stain the hall and a child’s bedroom door. Wide swaths of gore smudge an ivory-colored couch. The phone on a nearby end table is spattered with blood, and there’s more around the corner in the master bedroom.

James Cheyne is on his hands and knees by the foot of the bed, focused on a scarlet drizzle on the light carpet. Encased in a light-blue hazmat suit, Cheyne sprays and scrubs the red circles with a sponge and rag, breaking up the tougher spots with the tip of a heavy screwdriver. The apartment is warm, and he’s sweating.”This is the stuff you don’t see on `CSI,'” he says, his voice muffled by a respirator mask and face shield.

Two women survived a knife attack at this West Hartford apartment about three weeks ago. A suspect was arrested.

That’s from a story in today’s Hartford Courant (it’s a half-interesting tale about someone who cleans up crime scenes).

What I found most interesting, though, is that we’re only hearing about this gory, sickening attack now. Where were the details when it happened? Why are we getting this story weeks later? Does somebody at the Courant think we care more about cleaning up apartments than we do about vicious criminal attacks occurring in our town?

Here’s how the story ends: 

Cheyne says he isn’t interested in how a crime or accident occurred, and, in fact, he tries not to absorb too many details of a victim’s life through photos and other personal items left at a scene. It’s better for his own mental health.

“My job,” he says, “is just to clean it to make it look like it didn’t happen.”

I wonder sometimes if the Courant itself doesn’t take that as its motto for West Hartford coverage: “Just clean it up and make it look like it didn’t happen.”



Filed under crime, Hartford Courant, News, police, Public safety

3 responses to “Blood and gore in West Hartford

  1. Rick Green


    WEST HARTFORD — Police Friday were seeking a man they believe stabbed a former girlfriend and a female relative of hers during a domestic dispute Thursday night on Steven Street.

    The stabbing occurred during an argument between the estranged couple, police said.

    A 19-year-old woman was stabbed several times in the face and sides, police said. They said the wounds were not life-threatening and the woman was treated at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford.

    A 22-year-old woman, the younger woman’s relative, had minor cuts in her rib area and refused medical attention, police said.

    Police believed the 19-year-old’s ex-boyfriend was responsible but initially had trouble determining his name, said police spokeswoman Capt. Lori Coppinger. On Friday, police said they had the name and were looking for the man, but would not identify him.

  2. Pete

    Looks like Rick Green wins that round. 🙂

  3. Fair enough, Rick Green. I suppose it was a cheap shot, and I apologize.
    I do wonder about the follow-up to the story, however. We know from the cleanup tale that this was a vicious attack, much more serious than the initial report made it sound like.
    Have the police made an arrest? Who are they looking for? What’s been going on for the last three weeks? I think we can both agree that the first story that you quote is hardly the last word on something like this.

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