Cleaner (crime)

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A cleaner is a person who "cleans up" after crimes to physically erase their trace, or uses pressure or bribes to limit fallout from a criminal act. A fixer plays a similar but often less hands-on role, often minimizing bad publicity for public officials or media figures by quelling stories of their misadventures, but is also capable of heavier-handed tactics as necessary.

A cleaner may destroy or remove incriminating evidence at the scene of a crime. A popular figure in crime fiction, a cleaner may also be a contract killer who commits murder to "clean up" a situation. Cleaner is also a slang term for someone, usually a member of a crime organization or a covert government agency, who disposes of a corpse after a hit.

Legal crime scene cleanup is a legitimate industry, eliminating blood and other biohazardous materials such as dangerous chemicals used in an illegal drug lab[1] as permitted by responsible authorities.

A fictional example of a cleaner is Shoulders from the comic strip Dick Tracy.[citation needed] More contemporary is Harvey Keitel's role in the Quentin Tarantino film Pulp Fiction (1994) and Jonathan Banks's character Mike Ehrmantraut from Breaking Bad. It was parodied in the sitcom Seinfeld's episode 155, "The Muffin Tops", where Newman makes the problem of leftover muffin stumps go away by eating them. Another example is the character Ray Donovan in the Showtime television series of the same name.

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