We are sad to report that Gidget Gein has died from a drug overdose. Our condolences go out to his family.
We are re-running Gein’s last interview that was done by his good friend, and G&C writer, Hollie Stevens which ran in Issue #3 of Girls and Corpses Magazine
An Interview with GIDGET GEIN
By Hollie Stevens
©GirlsandCorpses.com. All right Reserved
HS: I’m sure people would like to hear about your experience as former bass player for Marilyn Manson or about your artwork (which I am a fan of) but, being that this magazine is called Girls and Corpses we’d like to talk about another profession in which you were involved. Picking up dead bodies. Tell me how it all began.
GG: Well, when I first did it, I was really strung out. I was trying to get clean but I definitely still had a habit. I was homeless so I ended up living at my mom’s house and she told me that I had to get a job. So, I stumble upon this add that says Mortuary Assistant Wanted. I’m thinking well, this sounds cool. So, I call the guy and go in for an interview. I go to this warehouse district in Ft. Lauderdale, a real desolate shithole, and I find this dank warehouse. I stroll into the back room and there’s this 400-pound guy sitting behind a desk smoking a stinky cigar. He starts telling me about the job. “Hey kid, do you know what you’re getting into? Your job is to remove the dead from the crime scenes and take them to the coroner. You might get some mother who killed her baby and put it in a microwave and then killed herself and there’s blood everywhere and you’ve got to take the baby out of the microwave.” I’m thinking to myself, wow, I hope this guy doesn’t see the twinkle in my eye. I’m just trying to contain my excitement. It sounds badass.
HS: Was the job all it was cracked up to be?
G.G. Yeah, one time I showed up at one scene where there was this biker and he got hit by a semi and was dragged. So, for a quarter of a mile I had to pick up the body parts. Mostly internal organs and such but one thing I had to pick up was his brain. It was so weird. Anyway, there were chunks of skull all over along with the other parts. I picked up the largest chunk and threw it on the side of the road to try and hide it because I was planning on coming back to get it but one of the guys at the scene caught me and made it put it in the biohazard bag with the rest of the parts.
H.S. So, what was it like on the first day on the job?
G.G As I mentioned earlier, I was strung out at the time. I was dope sick and had to pick up the body in the middle of the summer. They put me in a van with this crazy Cuban guy and we went to this nursing home and we went into this hospital room, this is like fifteen minutes of me being on the job. I’m in the room and there’s a lady there dead and one of the guys tells me that he’ll be right back because he’s got to go fill out the paperwork. So, now I’m stuck there in the room with this dead lady and I’ve never seen a dead body in my life. It was just so surreal. I was in the room with her by myself for twenty minutes. The guy finally comes back and we get the body onto the gurney and wheel her out, put her into the van and drive to the medical examiner’s office. We drove around to the back door, like a big garage. There are these plastic gurneys that have a big lip, kind of like a bucket table of some sort. We can’t just slide the body over, we have to pick it up and dump the body onto the table. My partner asks me “Do you want the feet or the head to pick up?’ I decided to take the head. He then tells me “Ok, on the count of three, pick her up off of the gurney and put her on the examiner table.” We counted to three, I pick her up and he didn’t tell me where to grab her, or anything. Keep in mind this is half and hour into the job so I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m not scared but I’m kind of nervous. Count of three I pick her up by her head and her head snaps and almost comes completely off and all of this juice just starts coming out of her neck.
H.S. That was the first time you ever saw a dead body?
G.G. Well, I’d been to funerals.
H.S. I’m sure this has got to be different
G.G. Yeah, and I was a junky at this time. A fucking criminal scumbag. So, when I was in the room by myself with the dead body, all I was thinking about was what I could take from her. I didn’t take anything but, that was the first thing that came to mind. I wasn’t scared because there was a dead body; I guess I was in a bad space at that period of time.
H.S. Another other body bag stories leap to mind?
GG: Yeah, it was shortly after my first one. We go to this scene down in Kendall, which is south of Miami. It’s during the summer so it’s really hot and humid. I was feeling very uncomfortable and not feeling so good but I’m still doing my job. I’m feeling proud of myself because I’ve got a job and I’m wearing a shirt with the tie.
H.S. You actually had to wear a tie when you were picking up bodies?
G.G. Yeah! We’d wear a white shirt, black suit and tie. We kind of looked like a cross between the Reservoir Dogs and the Blues Brothers when we’d go to the scene. We went to get the body and it’s at this apartment complex. We go to the front door, which we normally do, and see a sign that read, “Medical Examiner go around the back.” I immediately knew it had to be bad. We get to the back and there’s a sliding door and a cop outside smoking a cigarette with his head was in his hand. “I hope you guys are ready for this,” was all he said. My partner goes in first and I follow behind him. He walks past the bedroom and into a bathroom where the stink came from. I stayed in the bedroom. There’s the big king size bed, no sheets on the mattress and big stain on it. There were newspapers pilled up everywhere, along with random trash, and Twinkie wrappers. The room was full of stuff thrown everywhere and the room smelled stale. I hear my partner yell, “Oh my God ,you’ve got to see this!” I go to the bathroom and there’s this lady on the toilet. She had to be 500 pounds. Maybe she was 300 but she had been there for a few days and was all bloated. Her eyes were black and with stuff running out of them. I said something like, “Oh grandma, what nice black holes for eyes you have!” along with several other jokes. I ask my partner, “How are we going to get her...” Before I could finish my sentence, he grabs her feet and yanks her off the toilet and the body slams onto the ground. He pulls her out of the bathroom and now lying in the bedroom. We grab the gurney and are able to drop it to the ground but we still have to pick her up. I’ve had no training for this. It’s not like I go to the job, they tell me how to handle a body or inform me about the diseases you can catch. They just give you a pair of rubber gloves and tell you to pick them up. So, I’m gently trying to nudge her over to get her on the gurney and my partner says ,“Just pull her grab her or yank her. You’re not going to hurt her, she’s dead!” On the count of three, I grab her arm and her side and he’s got her feet, trying to pull her over. I pulled with all of my might and all of her skin just peeled off and I go flying across the room. I started cracking up. The cop is still outside and can see what’s going. He tells us we’re fucked up and to just get her out of there. We finally got her onto the gurney. As we did, I remember my mom telling me, “Make sure you don’t breath through your nose.” I could hear my mom saying this in my head but, for some reason I take a whiff and the smell was a combination of dirty feet, ass, shit and road kill. Basically the worst things you could think of thrown in a blender and left out in the sun for a week...times a million. I ran outside and gagged. Eventually, I got my composure, went back inside and I finished the job. Once everything was wrapped up, the cop said, “Damn, how much do you guys make a year? You guys must make 100 grand a year!” I told him that we didn’t do it for the money. If I were doing it for the money, I’d be doing something else. On average, I was making two hundred a week. It was really pathetic. Most of the people who were hired for this job were people straight out of prison.
H.S. What were some of the craziest crime scenes that you’ve had to encounter?
G.G. I had to go to this crime scene that was in a parking garage. There was a guy in the back of this pick up truck with this chainsaw and he’s mangled, almost cut in half. I asked the cops what happened, and they told me that it was a suicide. With a chainsaw?
HS: Who kills themselves with a chainsaw?
G.G. I know... that’s what I said. And the cop tells, “Well, you see that up there? That’s a security cam. They caught the whole thing on tape.” I would have loved to see that on video. So I guess what had happened was the guy drove his pick up truck into the parking garage early in the morning, got in the back of the truck, started up the chainsaw, picked it up and I don’t know if he tried to cut his head off but, he jammed it and it went through his neck and out of his back. It was a huge gash and looked like he was almost cut in half.
HS: Any other suicides by power tools?
G.G. Yep, I go to this house one time and the garage door is closed but there is a pool of blood running down the driveway. So, they open up the garage door for us and I guess the guy got under a circular saw, started it up, pulled it over his head and decapitated himself. He didn’t do it all the way. Well, he went through his spinal cord and everything but a little bit of skin on the back of his neck was still there. So, when I pulled him over, his head was looked like one of those Pez dispensers. There was blood everywhere and apparently he was institutionalized but had just gotten out. He was in a nice house too. I mean, I think to commit suicide for any reason you’d have to be some sort of crazed individual. And those people who attempt suicide, most people don’t know this, but they usually don’t succeed. People who try using a gun, it’s a 50/50 chance of succeeding. They could blow off half of their head or become a vegetable or the gun will jam, something fucked up will happen. If you think about it, when you have a gun to your head, it takes a lot of balls so, you’re nervous to begin with. Then you go to pull the trigger and at the last second, your reflex is to pull away but still, you take a chunk of your head off. People who hang themselves can become paralyzed. Pills, pills are one of the worst ways to go. There’s a real scientific way going about it. People will take pill and throw them up and some of them will get into your system and you can wind up in a coma. Suicide is a tricky thing. There are no guarantees. Most people who try to commit suicide usually do it as a cry for help anyway.
HS: Any other examples?
G.G: There was another case where this guy tried to commit suicide. I think he read this in the book “Final Exit” for inspiration. What he did was, he got a helium tank and put a bag over his head and a doctors mask over his mouth. The reason for the doctor’s mask is if you just put a bag over your head then the bag will go into your mouth and it’s very uncomfortable and eventually you’re going to pull the bag off of your head. The mask makes it a little bit easier. So, the guy did everything in the book, hooked up the helium tank up to him and we found him like this. He successfully killed himself. I couldn’t help but wonder what his last words were after being hooked up to a helium tank. I imagine it was high pitch squeal shouting “goodbye cruel world!” In some sort of cartoon voice.
H.S. So, I’m sure it’s safe to say that you’ve seen a ridiculous amount of bodies in your lifetime?
GG: Say on a low end I see three dead bodies a day, so that’s I’m guessing about 3,000 dead bodies. I’ve touched 3,000 dead people. I’ve seen 10,000; most people don’t see one dead body. I’ve seen autopsies; I’ve stood about a foot away from them cutting the top of some guy’s head off and scooping the brain out.
H.S. Yeah, I hear those guys show no mercy on autopsies.
G.G. Yeah, I’d bring a body to the coroner while they’d be in the middle of working on an autopsy. I remember once, seeing the body laid out and its thigh had been cut open and the rib cage was opened as well. They had taken the liver and other parts out so it was just a big hole and the body’s head was back and its mouth was open and I thought, man that would be a great centerpiece! The ribs could be the chip bowl, and the head could be for the onion dip. Not a real dead body, but to make a sculpture of that would be so great.
H.S. My dad passed away when I was 16 and I remember seeing the incisions on parts of his body from the autopsy at the funeral home. It was weird because, well, the way he died was in a car wreck and the way he fell on his head knocked him out and he suffocated. They cut in on the back of his head. It was creepy because I saw the job they did when he was in the casket thanks to my aunt. For some reason she pulled the pillow down from his head and you just saw this massive cut.
G.G. Yeah, when they go to the funeral home, they make the front look good, but everything in the back is fucked up. You take the suit off and there’ll be a big scar.
H.S. He had, well I don’t remember what they put in him but his torso was covered in what felt like tissue paper. When you’d touch it, it would crinkle like tissue paper through the suit.
G.G. Well, when you have an autopsy, they take everything out of you; your heart, your liver, and every inch of an organ they’ll take a slice and they’ll save it but everything else they’ll just throw away. They throw it in the dumpster. And the insides, sometimes they’ll stuff you with cotton. When they take your brain out, they use a circular saw and they cut around and peel your face down and then they take a chisel and chisel your skull. They pop that off; take your brain out with something that looks like a soup ladle. So, they scoop your brain out and then they do this thing with your tongue. They cut some thing and then they pull your tongue out and with the tongue, your whole esophagus comes out. It looks like an alien.