Tressie Benson and Nadine Walker of Nashville run a company called Colossal Inc. that cleans up crime scenes. The Tennessean newspaper was allowed to describe their work at one site on the condition that the crime victims were not identified. About one and a half hours into what they expected to be a five and one half hour job, they sweated inside white Tyvek suits, blue booties, and dust masks.
When they arrived, Walker, 31, photographed the room as it had been left by the family, with the contents of a dresser heaped on the floor. “We’re getting into the nitty-gritty now,” said Benson, 43, as they moved the mattress, revealing hidden crusts and splashes of blood. Walker and Benson are former customer-service employees of Saturn. Benson got the crime-scene cleanup idea from a Seattle business she saw featured on television. She thought the gory nature of the profession would bother her more than it has. “To see the look on the families’ faces, to have them tell us over and over how much they really appreciate what we do, that tells me I’m doing the right thing,” she said. “Nothing’s been too gruesome.” They founded the business in 2001 and are expanding into the areas of hazardous materials and methamphetamine lab cleanup. They are generally paid by insurance companies, and they have been paid $1,000-$60,000 per job.