24 Forensic Scientists Describe Their Most WTF Cases

If you're glued to every Criminal Minds and Law & Order episode - or just a forensic science geek - this is the list for you. These forensic science horror stories are the real deal. Forensic scientists and other crime scene workers shared some of their grossest, most stomach-churning stories on reddit

Seriously, make sure you're not the queasy kind before reading - because dealing with dead bodies and crime is bad enough, but these stories have a special WTF element. Lost limbs, flying clothes dryers, penis holes (yes, you read that right, penis holes) - these people have seen it all. And it's far more graphic than anything you get to see on your favorite TV show. The imagination is a beautiful thing, so let your imagination fill in the images in these stories. If you can make it through the entire list, that is. And before you get the urge to Google "giraffe neck" - don't. Just let it be.

  • Fingered

    "A friend of mine is a forensic scientist and her department dealt with burglary cases only. Usually generating pretty uninteresting stuff to tell people.

    "But her only good story is that once she got a pair of gloves found at the crime scene, she went to examine them and felt that there was something hard inside. She turned the gloves up to get it out, and out falls a thumb, ripped off at the first joint.

    "Apparently this particular burglar was holding up a safe while his mate went underneath it, dropped the safe on his hands, ripped his hands out, and ran."

  • Scared to Death

    "Anchorage Alaska, 2008. A 27-year-old woman hasn't paid her rent in four months, the landlord gave her a bit of a reprieve because he knew she was very poor and she was in low-income housing. But after four months of zero contact, enough is enough and he calls the cops to get into her place and either see her to talk or change the locks and remove her stuff to a storage shed so the apartment can be re-leased to someone else.

    "The cops find the front door to be bolted, and use the landlord's key to get in, then find the woman dead in her shower. Just sort of slumped as if she fell against the wall and slid down. The water wasn't on, and as this is AK and the winter, the water is never shut off by the city because if hot water isn't moving through the pipes they freeze and burst. The fact that her shower is off means she never turned it on, or someone turned it off.

    "The body is taken to the morgue and autopsied at the family's request because no obvious means of death can be found. As far as the examination could conclude, she died from an adrenal surge causing her heart to stop. More commonly known as 'frightened to death', which yes, can actually happen in some rare cases.

    "The body was old, but no test showed any residual drugs in her system, none were found in the apartment, nor was any sign of anyone having entered or left before the cops. The young pretty average health woman appears to have gotten into her shower, and then her heart stopped due to terror."

  • Like a Teddy Bear

    "This is a story from my fake uncle, a forensic officer who was leading a team of juniors in a suicide case. The victim of the suicide had filled a water pressure-based fire extinguisher with explosive material (he didn't go into detail) and hugged it like a teddy bear. Naturally when he went off and out with a bang, he went all over the roof, walls, and floor. My uncle proceeded to find a foot with all the tendons hanging out and paraded it in front of the juniors and pulled all the tendons, making the toes wiggle. His only regret was not finding a hand."

  • Penis Pump Dilemma

    "I worked in a morgue for a while. Lots of weird things. One case in particular stands out. A man was found dead in a food truck. He looked pretty normal from the outside. After we took off his clothes, things started looking a bit odd. He was wearing women's underwear that had holes cut in them for his penis. He probably had on around twenty pairs of the underwear. He also had a penis pump on his penis with a few condoms on. I don't remember what the cause of death was... Wonder what his family thought about it... Maybe not the most gruesome, but definitely one of the weirder things I saw."

  • Giraffe Neck

    "Father-in-law is a cop. Years ago, he got called to a scene of a suicide by hanging. The body had been there for a while. Apparently the deceased had managed to do quite a bit a of damage to his neck vertebrae, because his spine had snapped and his neck stretched down several feet from the noose.

    "The cops at the scene took pictures of 'giraffe neck' and passed them around the department. Somehow, my wife saw the pictures when she was at the tender age of 12, which screwed her up good..."

  • Back from the Dead

    "A friend is a psychologist whose previous life was in crime scene photography. She went to the scene of a suicide in a garage. This guy had a project car that he had worked on his whole life, when he decided to end it all he wanted to go with the car, so he shut the garage and turned on the engine and waited. To top if off, he had taken a bunch of pain and sleeping pills. When my friend got there it was a good while after his death, EMTs and other specialists were there looking for details and whatnot (he was the VP of a fairly large chain of local businesses, so there was an insurance settlement to consider). My friend is in the middle of photographing the scene and the guy was laying there, pronounced dead hours ago and he suddenly just shook hard. She thought it was a death rattle so she kept taking pictures. Eventually the guy sat up and nodded and the EMTs were called back in to stabilize him and eventually save him. Apparently the car had run out of gas right at the moment he went out and he was pronounced dead on the scene. He couldn't talk or do much, but he had actually survived."