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  1. #1
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    Aug 2003
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    Man makes good living cleaning up bloody crime scenes, accidents

    Anybody else happening on a car crash with body parts shredded by twisted metal and left scattered along the highway might, just might, be bothered by it.

    Not Neal Smither, entrepreneur.

    Cleaning up the horrors of death -- puddles of blood, oozing body fluids, rotting flesh and their stains, stink and maggots -- is his business.

    Other people might say: "Yuck! How disgusting!"

    Smither says: "Money. Job stability."

    At 36, Smither has a $1 million-plus house on a golf course in ritzy Alamo. A "hottie," he says, almost 10 years younger for a wife. Headquarters in Orinda with 218 employees in offices in 18 states. A business that makes money 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. And last year, gross revenues of $7 million, with this year on pace for double digits.

    Not bad for an ex-surfer dude, skateboarder, pot connoisseur, mortgage lender and appliance store salesman from Santa Cruz who, by the way, is a high school dropout.

    Now who's disgusted?

    And he's got a movie to thank for inspiring his business.

    Smither was in his mid-20s when he began to wonder what life is all about. His job at his family's mortgage business ended when the business did, and selling washing machines for somebody else was just what it was cracked up to be, a boring job.

    What did he want to do with the rest of his life? He knew he didn't want to work too hard. He didn't want to do sales or have to talk much to people --

    "I'm not really a people person,'' he says, though he's got the schmooze and clean-cut, boyish looks of a natural salesman. He wanted to make a lot of money, but he didn't want to hustle all the time to get it. He wanted a career where the business came to him.

    Finally, it hit him: mortician. Perfect.

    Smither found a mortician school in San Francisco, enrolled and was all set to go when destiny called. Or, rather, it was a movie on TV, "Pulp Fiction. ''

    In one scene, a hit man accidentally shoots somebody in a car, blowing his brains out all over the upholstery and just making a mess of it. To the rescue comes a mob fix-it guy named the Wolf, played by actor Harvey Keitel. Lickety-split, he gets the hit man and his buddy to pick up the brains and skull fragments, wipe up the blood and make it all spotless, nobody the wiser.

    "Hey," thought Smither after watching the movie. "Who does do the cleanup after murders and suicides and accidents and stuff?" He did a little research, found a few guys in the Bay Area who did it as a sideline and figured there was enough demand and so little competition that he would go into the business himself.

    Or as he puts it: "Hell, man, if I can stuff a body, I can clean the mess. ''

    He went to police departments around the Bay Area. It took him months of bribing the front- window receptionists with doughnuts and sweet talk, but he finally got past them to talk some police captains into sending him referrals. His first job was in Richmond on June 2, 1996. Just as in the movie, it was to clean up after someone whose head had been blown out by a gun, though this was a suicide. And Crime Scene Cleaners was begun.

    http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cg...DGHK7JC9A1.DTL

  2. #2
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    Aug 2003
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    SAN DIEGO
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    Wink Somebody Has To Do It..!!

    Well I guess someone has to do it. YIKES !! it sounds like its a money maker as well..!!



    ALOHA !! FROM SAN DIEGO

    MOTTO TO LIVE BY:

    "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming.

    WOOHOO, what a ride!!!"

  3. #3
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    Dec 2003
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    santa cruz, california
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    2,085

    locale boy does good

    'Not bad for an ex-surfer dude, skateboarder, pot connoisseur, mortgage lender and appliance store salesman from Santa Cruz who, by the way, is a high school dropout.'

    " he was a good boy, i always knew he was going to amount to something. (i can just hear his mom saying)

  4. #4
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    Sep 2003
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    nocal
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    Also attended Catholic private school

    I was a grade ahead of Neal in school and have to be honest had quite a crush on him!!!
    be well-
    raygirl:}
    IMO

  5. #5
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    Aug 2003
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    886
    If you ever watch "Mythbusters" on the Discovery channel, they had this guy on once when they put a pig into a Corvette and let it rot. The point of this was to see if you could get a car clean enough to sell it after a body was in it for a long period of time. Everyone else on the show was wearing breathing appartus and protecive clothing and still turning green from the disgusting mess and smell. This guy just stands there with nothing on, breathing all the fumes, and makes pithy comments about how it really isn't as bad as some things he's seen. This guy has a cast iron stomach and no sense of smell. (IMO) I found him fairly disturbing.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by raygirl
    I was a grade ahead of Neal in school and have to be honest had quite a crush on him!!!
    Are you over it now???

  7. #7
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    Dec 2003
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    santa cruz, california
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    small world

    Quote Originally Posted by raygirl
    I was a grade ahead of Neal in school and have to be honest had quite a crush on him!!!
    hi raygirl! did you grow up in santa cruz? do i know you?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    nocal
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    No not Santa Cruz

    I don't know if Neal wants this out, but when we went to school together it was in MODESTO, believe it or not. I am proud to say I am still a resident of this very beautiful town/city. I actually saw Neal on a comedy central show with Dave Atell(?sp) about people who have interesting night jobs about a year ago and also saw the Mythbusters show, which I LOVE so much I have it season passed on my TiVo.
    be well-
    raygirl:}
    IMO