Monday, January 09, 2006


8:18 a.m.

After I get home from releasing the suicide, I tackle some PI work that has started to pile up when I was gone. Several hours of travel requests, investigator phone calls, and case reviews later, I'm eating my cat curry when my beeper goes off again. I look at the display. It says: "Please call Droi..." That's it.

Errg. I hate it when they try to text messages to me. They never come through all the way. I've told them 400 times to just send the phone number and I'll call them back. I call dispatch.

"Dispatch, Rollins."

"Yes, this is Polly from the ME's office. Did you guys paged me? I couldn't tell because the text didn't come thr..." She cuts me off.

"Oh. Yeah. Hold on."

Several cuss words and a short conversation with the supervisor later, I am calling the emergency room at one of the local hospitals. The ER nurse tells me she's got a 65-year-old male who collapsed after going for a jog this afternoon. The nurse said the decedent was in the garage and fell on the corner of a set of concrete stairs. The fall was not witnessed. "Polly, I've never seen a face split open like this. It looks like somebody took an axe to this guy's face... Right down the midline. I can't imagine anybody sustaining an injury like this from a simple fall."

Oh, great. Now I have images of the wife taking a frying pan to his face. But I'll come back to that later. First thing's first.

"Does he have a medical history?"

"Not recent. The last time he saw his doctor was 2 years ago. He was diagnosed with hypertension, but he refused to take medication for it. I already talked to Doctor Morris and he refuses to sign the death certificate."

I sigh. Doesn't look like I'm getting out of bringing this one in. Besides, I want to check out that facial laceration. It's got my spidey sense tingling.

"Is the family still there?"

"Yes. The wife is here and a son."

"Okay. Please ask them to stay. I want to question the wife. Oh...and how big is this guy?"

"Big. Maybe 6'5" and 375 lbs."


I pick up the van at the ME's office and drive around to the back of the hospital...where the morgue is located. I am concerned enough about the facial injuries that I shove several paper sacks in my satchel...just in case I'm suspicious enough of foul play that I need to bag the hands for trace. I hop out of the truck and two security guards are waiting for me in black dress pants and red blazers with gold embroidered lettering on the breast pocket. I love this hospital that way. They are so accommodating. I feel like the bellhop just met me at the door of a fancy hotel. One of them takes the cot to the morgue while the other escorts me to the ER.

There are several nurses and doctors gathered around the nurses station when I get there. They are listening intently to a cop who is telling them a story in hushed tones. I wait for a moment, but when it becomes clear that nobody is going to help me, I walk closer to get the nearest nurse's attention. The cop who is talking looks at me just then and stops his story. He gives me a big smile. "Polly! I haven't seen you since we moved that decomp the other day!" It's Officer Wink. I greet him and we chat for a few minutes while the nurses and doctors dispurse... Story time is over, I guess.

One of Wink's partners comes over and chats with us. After the introductions he says, "Yeah. Wink told me how you caught him trying to take a picture of your butt at that decomp scene." They giggle like a couple of 12-year-olds. I roll my eyes. Cops. We are interrupted by Charles, the nurse assigned to my Dead Guy's case. He tells me that the body is in Room 5 and the family has all had a chance to see him.

I ask Charles to take me to the body first. I want to examine that wound before talking to the wife.

I walk into the room. Dead Guy is covered in a sheet from head to toe. A small wooden cross has been laid on his chest. The chaplain must have been here. I glove up, remove the cross, and pull back the sheet. Oh, for crying out loud. The way that nurse was talking, I was expecting the man's face to have been practically cloven in two. This is a nasty laceration, but it certainly is within the realm of possiblity if he hit a concrete stair at just the right angle. I can feel myself relax. No spousal homicide today. That's good.

More later...


Higgy said...

Spousal Homicide WBAGNFAheavymetalBand....

motw said...

Wow, you've been bery bery busy this weekend. Did the cat curry ever get finished? Has the monkey-pooage magic stopped long enough to let you breathe some fresh air? What will set Polly's spider sense tingling again (LHM's dartgun, perhaps)?

omouscu - an Irish mouse EMT on a rescue mission.

Tamara said...

375 lbs. Jogging. Gravity. Yup.

Kafaleni said...

a day without spousal homicide is a good day. Well.. mostly a good day.

Some people have a gift for story-telling. I'm a nanny, and one of the little boys I worked with recently had to have a couple of stitches in his forehead after playing with his brother. The cut was wide and pretty deep (for a forehead wound), but it hardly bled much. By the time his mother had told the story a couple of times, you'd think he lost half of his blood volume in the accident. But nooooo.. because I was there. Didn't happen.

It is, however, more fun to tell injury stories if you've got a good gruesome tale, rather then "My brother and I were playing... and it just happened."

Olga said...

A pastor I knew once broke my toe.

rehqip - a second hip replacement surgery

Tamara said...

Kaf, that's the best photo of a dead cat lying on a platter of coffee beans I've ever seen!

(Actually, the thumbnail-size looked, to me, like a dead animal laying in a puddle of blood, but I thought I'd clean it up a bit, because I know most of Polly's fans are so squeamish...)

ehnkzex - "kinky sex"?

Jeff Meyerson said...

Besides, I want to check out that facial laceration. It's got my spidey sense tingling.

That's why we all love Polly; always the enquiring scientist.

375 lbs. Jogging. Gravity. Yup.

What Tamara said.

Kafaleni said...

Not coffee beans, T - dry kitty food. I got this in an email from one of my sisters years ago, that has long since (about two major computer crashes ago) disappeared from my Inbox. I had to Google to get this one. The email said something like "Tragic Photos" claiming it was a photo of a kitty overdose.
Seeing that, at the time, I had a big orange cat who'd once been a kitty who did things like that, (except half the time he'd eat till he made himself sick then go back for more.. kitty bullimia!), it seemed kinda funny to us.

It doesn't work very well as a thumbnail, though.

Vincent said...

Ooftah - a word for the ages.

Polly P.I. said...

Yaw, you betcha!

I'm just trying not to swear like a sailor so much. That was my New Year's resolution.

Everytime I curse I have to put a quarter in a jar and at the end of the year I deposit the booty in a Salvation Army pot.

They're going to make a fortune off of me.