Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Judith Cleans Our Grimmest Scenes

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Judith Cleans Our Grimmest Scenes

Article excerpt

Byline: Lacey Burley

TOOWOOMBA woman Judith Hoppe has a job not many people could stomach Co cleaning up the city's murder, suicide, crime, and trauma scenes.

Mrs Hoppe, 60, began cleaning hospitals when she was 15 years old and started her business, J & C Cleaning Service, 27 years ago.

She and her staff have seen first-hand some of the Garden City's most horrific slaying scenes, but said often medical-related deaths were more gruesome.

C[pounds sterling]People think that murder and crime scenes are worse, but by the time police are done there is nothing left,C[yen] Mrs Hoppe said.

C[pounds sterling]Bits of carpet and walls have been cut out and everything is covered in black fingerprint dust.

C[pounds sterling]One terrible job we had was a fellow who died after his liver burst.

C[pounds sterling]He wasn't well and it was very tragic.

C[pounds sterling]There was a lot of blood and it was pretty gruesome.

C[pounds sterling]Police (had previously) told us to take Vicks to put under our nose as a tip to block the smell.C[yen]

Mrs Hoppe said she enjoyed the peace and quiet of her time night cleaning at the Borneo Barracks at Cabarlah years ago.

C[pounds sterling]The soldiers would sneak up behind me, trying to scare me,C[yen] she said.

C[pounds sterling]And my car was stolen from there. (Army staff) waved it out past security thinking I had forgotten something but it was being stolen.

C[pounds sterling]They (thieves) even stole my lunch.C[yen]

Mrs Hoppe said specialised training was needed to clean crime scenes. C[pounds sterling]The police got to know us and we seem to be the ones they refer,C[yen] she said.

C[pounds sterling]Blood is very hard to clean, even bleach won't take it away, which is why police use black lights to find blood traces.

C[pounds sterling]Anything that comes out of the human body is a protein so we have to use an enzyme cleaner as enzymes eat the protein. …

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