Crime Scene Cleaners: 'We'll make it go away'

Saturday, November 21, 2015
Crime Scene Cleaners: 'We'll make it go away'
Once crime scene evidence is collected, Emergency Response Crime Scene Cleaning is called to take care of the rest.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Most people are used to seeing crime scene investigators collection evidence. But after all their pictures of the scene are taken, someone has to come in and clean up.

Hollywood has often portrayed the crime scene clean-up process.

The film "Sunshine Cleaning" profiles two women who start a crime scene cleaning company. In "Pulp Fiction," actors John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson famously get help from Harvey Keitel to clean up their own crime scene.

And ABC's "How to Get Away with Murder" shows people desperately trying to clean crime scene evidence.

But in real life, the legal clean-up truck that arrives is from Emergency Response Crime Scene Cleaning.

Ben Mihm founded the company after being shot and forced to retire early as a Glendale police homicide detective.

"I was like, you know there's no one doing this job. There's nobody out here to help these people," Mihm said.

Mihm patented his own vacuum filtration system that can suck blood off the street.

"As it pressure washes the concrete it vacuums it right back up," Mihm explained. "All the debris then goes through the filtration unit."

Mihm also worked with 3M to create odor-killing masks.

Most cleaning takes about a day to complete and is done with about 10 percent bleach and water.

The clean-ups are typically paid for with homeowner insurance.

When tear gas is fired, it takes up to three months to clean.

Mihm cleaned up the Los Angeles International Airport after the shootings back in 2013.

"We were noticing droplets of blood, well those were the victims that were shot and they were running through the airport trying to get away from the suspect," Mihm said. "Emotionally it takes it toll."

While some may ask who would want to do this job, Mihm said his employees like the fact it's always something different every day at work.

"You'll never see the same thing twice, you never know what you're going into at the end of the day," Mihm described.

Mihm said he is proud to help people on what is often the worst day of their lives.

"The lady called me and she said, 'I don't want to see anything and I don't want my daughter to see it.' And I said, 'We'll make it go away," Mihm said.