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.”