‘Sex dungeon’ destroyed for dying man
"I want you to crash my funeral."
These were the words from the first client of self-titled coffin confessor Bill Edgar back in 2017.
The man was terminally ill and surrounded by family members who were behaving "like vultures", Mr Edgar told news.com.au on Thursday.
"They were stealing from him, they were going through his drawers.
"I thought, I'll lend my voice to you for sure."
He said it was inspiring for him, and a relief for his client, to interrupt the service and tell the man's family he had some things "left unsaid".
"I said to him, basically, I'm there to respect my clients not the living, and that's how I've determined it since. Those that are left are not my care or concern. It's my client first and foremost. Everything else is collateral damage."
FAMILIES LEFT 'SHOCKED AND SURPRISED'
The 52-year-old private investigator, from the Gold Coast, said his job is "getting paid to interrupt a funeral service on behalf of the deceased."
A woman got in touch with him after the first confession to do her aunt's service, and Mr Edgar has done 22 funerals and home sweeps since.
"Which means I clean it," he told news.com.au.
He has four non-refundable deposits from the UK and two from New Zealand but primarily works in Australia. The fee is $10,000 plus travel.
"But every person I speak with, every client, they don't need the money. They don't need it where they're going," he said.
Mr Edgar said his first home sweep was an 88-year-old "gentleman" who was taken to hospital and then into palliative care.
He said the client therefore couldn't return home to get rid of items before his son would likely find them.
"I was pretty shocked. It was like a sex dungeon," Mr Edgar said.
When he is called to a home by a living client, he either visits them for a key or sits with them and finds out how to secretly access the property.
"I have to get in and get out pretty quick, then show my client the evidence that it's all been destroyed," Mr Edgar said.
"I video it. I show them everything that has been piled up and put in the incinerator and it's gone."
Mr Edgar said he has destroyed sex toys, money, drugs, pornography and even wills.
"But I've had to make sure that I'm legally able to do these things," he said.
On one occasion, a female client told her daughter what had happened and the woman tried to get Mr Edgar arrested for getting rid of the will.
"You can't be arrested for destroying your own property," he said.
In contrast, some of the coffin confessor's clients actually want their loved ones to find certain items inside their home.
Mr Edgar was asked by one woman to tell her husband she had hidden messages and a bottle of port for him.
"When he was confronted with that, it would've been half a dozen little letters, it was so lovely," he said.
"The last thing she said to him was: 'Time to let me go but I'll make the place for ya.' She was going to make a home for him when he dies too."
'MY CLIENT'S GOT TO COME WITH ME'
Mr Edgar said he has received a "long list of different things" people want at funerals including revelations about sexuality, affairs, and outfits or items to be placed in the coffin.
He told a group of men at a bikie funeral "that their best mate was gay and the lover was in the audience".
"The bikies were a bit upset but to be honest, the true friends already knew and said 'we don't care'. The lover did come and speak to me about a week later, top bloke."
He said he has been asked to play solar lights in the coffin and for the body to be placed on its side instead of laying down.
"A lot of people want their mobile phone in the coffin with them basically because it's a torch and people are scared of the dark," he said.
"Food and water, alcohol, cigarettes.
"You get the fancy dress ones and then you get the odd one, a couple of ladies have said 'I want to be dressed in sexy lingerie'. Some people actually want the coffin bolted and nailed shut. It's crazy what they all want.
"I suppose the most common one out of all of those would be the one that has a request for me to pin prick them in the arm or the eye or somewhere to prove that they're dead."
Some of the actions are pre-arranged with the funeral undertaker.
For one man against having a religious funeral, Mr Edgar stood up and told the priest: "We are not praying, you will sit down and shut up."
He also told the best mate of a client in the middle of the eulogy to do the same.
"My client knew his best mate was trying to screw his wife," he said.
"Ultimately he left."
At another service, Mr Edgar said he outed three attendees who "hadn't been at my client's side for 30 years".
"He (the client) said: 'When you're there, I want you to tell them to f**k off.' So I did.
"They were shocked and surprised and then many others started leaving as well."
Mr Edgar has never been kicked out for interrupting a service but once came "close" and has a backup plan which involves another undertaker.
"There could be a case one day with 100 people there and 80 people want me gone," he said.
"(I'd say) sorry I've got to go, and my client's got to come with me."
CONFESSIONS ON THE CARDS
At the core of Mr Edgar's work is confidentiality for an indefinite period.
However, he shared with news.com.au some of the confessions he has been asked to make in the future.
"I can tell you that I have a brother that's confessing to sleeping with his brother's wife for the last six years," he said.
"I have a girlfriend, obviously I don't know when they're going to pass, but she's confessed to sleeping with her boyfriend's mother and father for the last three years.
"This one's a really good one. He's in his 80s, he's a really nice bloke. You'd think he's a very astute and very well renowned businessman but to be honest with you, he won Gold Lotto.
"He never told anyone in his family and his family continues to think he's the best businessman in the world and he's never worked a day in his life. He's fooled them all - he just won lotto. He lives a great life."
Mr Edgar said the man claims to work in "offshore deals and sales" but at his funeral the truth will be revealed.
"That will come out plus how much each child will get which is cool, so he didn't spend it all," he said.
"That's going to be a shock to a few in the family."
Mr Edgar also offers a $10 online service allowing people to upload eulogies or confessions and nominating a next of kin to receive the login details to download it when they die.
He said since COVID-19 took hold globally earlier this year, there have been 8200 uploads.
"That's only the COVID ones, that's just people worried about COVID," he said.
In addition to his future bookings, Mr Edgar has signed a contract with a producer for "a movie or drama series" about the coffin confessor.
"I can't say anything more because I don't know where it's going," he said.
"I think a lady would do well … but then again I like the voice of Russell Crowe but I wouldn't have him doing it if it was me.
"Someone younger, more in your face but at the same time compassionate. That's why I think a woman would be better. That's up to them I suppose."
Originally published as 'Sex dungeon' destroyed for dying man