This job is not without humor.
I don’t mean gallows humor. Not the kind of amusement, that comes with working with bodies, blood, and mayhem. I mean just plain funny.
I was printing photos for a case of child neglect. Without thinking about it at the time I took pictures as the suspect was manipulating popular themed dolls to depict how he thought a baby’s leg was broken. Showing child’s play, using one doll on its back with another sitting on it he maneuvered the dolls around on the floor to depict his scenario. The doll on top was a teddy bear. The doll on the bottom was a well-known character that I will avoid mentioning because I can’t afford a law suit from the company that used it in several movies. Let’s say this; the doll on the bottom had a look of exuberant confidence, a cracked smile, and pie eyed enthusiasm. Happy doll on bottom and a teddy bear on top. I hope you get the picture, this blog is PG rated.
Murders that have me working in an alley’s are quite common. Some alleys are better than others. This one I was at was worse than most. It was strewn with moldy living room furniture that hosted rats and who knows what. Potholes that could hold fish were full of water from a late morning downpour. Weeds were knee high except where cars were crushing them down. The group of us, some five officers and two detectives came together in a spot that was at least, not muddy or had things that were ready to jump out and infect you. With nothing better to do, I mean nothing; I began to play a popular game on my smart phone. This game involves birds and has many levels. The theme song and sound effects were so well known that it must have inspired others to try and go up in score. Soon, as though in an amphitheater with an echo I was surrounded by officers who also had nothing else to do but pass the time with me in spirit. Partners cheered each other on and tips on what to do were passed out liberally.
Downtown Los Angeles hosts a lot of crime and crime scene shows. Within a block of Broadway and fifth I was supposed to report to a major robbery. I still don’t get the odd on one side, even on the other fact of addresses. So, I get close and look for my peeps. A burglary is when someone comes around and realizes something has been taken. A robbery is when one or several robbers shows up armed or not and takes things from people or places while others are there. Armed robbery with several suspects involved usually ends up being a big scene. I expect to find units parked in various positions around the store and some form of human dishevelment where normally prim business attire is the norm. I walk in, oh so confidently, into the scene on Broadway. Everyone looks confused which is normal enough. I am face to face with an officer who is looking scared so I think he may have been involved in a gun battle which makes sense because there are bullet holes, plaster chunks, a make-up artist and a craft service table that has nuts, fruits and coffee. “Hey man, who’s the IO?” I said to the officer whom I did not take a very close look at.
“I’m sorry you are?” A tall perplexed man says walking up behind me.
I turn around and am about to tell him to go wait somewhere while I talk to the officer since I don’t like talking to civilian’s, distraught as they may be, I don’t know who the bad guy is and who the victim is. “I am with LAPD Scientific Investigation Division and…. This is not a crime scene is it?” I start to notice the officer’s phony badge and some movie camera equipment
Some nervous laughter breaks out. The tall man with what I now recognize as a production radio smiles broadly and shaking his head tells me no. I excuse myself.
I walk out and begin to recognize other parts of production like lighting and what appeared to be some other actors. I found my crime scene across the street and a few doors down. I hoped that my sincere mistaking of the set as a crime scene would be taken, as a compliment and that I did not offend anyone.
For the many times I have wanted to do something else for a living I also remember times like these. The grass always looks greener somewhere else. Stop, take a second look, you may find plenty of green around you.