18 Stories

Pa. Coroner: Heroin Deaths Are Homicides

Other coroners may follow suit

(Newser) - There were two dozen drug overdose deaths in Pennsylvania's Lycoming County last year—each labeled accidental. Then coroner Charles Kiessling had to pronounce his friend's son dead from a heroin overdose, though he'd promised the victim's mother he'd talk to him about overcoming his addiction.... More »

Coroner Quits as 180 Bodies Pile Up in Morgue

Mark Fajardo says goodbye to LA County Coroner's Office

(Newser) - With dead bodies stacking up and a budget that apparently falls short, the LA County coroner has quit his job. Mark Fajardo abruptly announced last week that he's resigning after two years as top medical examiner, the LA Times reports. "Ultimately, I wasn’t supplied the resources I... More »

Ex-Coroner Stole From Dead People: Authorities

He was sentenced today to 3 years in prison

(Newser) - One apparent "perk" of being a coroner: If someone dies without any apparent family members, you can steal from them. But Grover Tuten got caught doing just that, causing him to resign as Georgia's Richmond County coroner and be sentenced today to three years in prison. Tuten, who... More »

Family Furious to Find Loved One's Remains at Crash Site

There was supposedly nothing left of Jared McPherson, but family found body parts

(Newser) - It's devastating enough to lose a loved one in a car crash. But the family of Jared McPherson didn't expect to have their trauma compounded when they went to pay their respects at the crash site. "I looked down and [his fiancee] was holding part of a... More »

Court: Coroners Don't Have to Return Bodies With All Their Parts

Parents buried son, learned of brain in a jar months later

(Newser) - Families who bury loved ones whose body has been looked at by a medical examiner may not be burying their whole bodies. And New York's highest court ruled yesterday that it's OK. The unusual case involves the death of 17-year-old Jesse Shipley of New York City in a... More »

Coroner: No Booze, Drugs in Suicide of Robin Williams

Report confirms suicide by hanging

(Newser) - The coroner in Marin County, Calif., today confirmed that Robin Williams' death was indeed caused by suicide , reports CNN . The 63-year-old had no alcohol in his system when he hanged himself at his home, and the only drugs found were from prescribed medication in "therapeutic concentrations." The coroner... More »

Chicago to Post Photos of Mystery Stiffs Online

Cook County aims to give closure to victims, even if it's not pretty

(Newser) - If your loved one died in a grisly way, finding a grisly photo of them online might not be your favorite way of finding out, but the Cook County medical examiner's office is betting it's better than nothing. The county, which includes Chicago, has begun posting photos of... More »

Coroner: Lottery Winner Murdered With Cyanide

Urooj Khan's death officially ruled a homicide, but no no clues emerge

(Newser) - It's official: Urooj Khan didn't die of natural causes. Cook County Medical Examiner Stephen Cina today ruled the lottery winner's death a homicide, saying he'd died of cyanide toxicity and confirming his initial diagnosis in January, CNN reports. But because there's no cyanide left in... More »

Tony Scott Was Cancer- Free: Coroner

Still no known motive behind Top Gun director's suicide

(Newser) - Contrary to earlier reports , Top Gun director Tony Scott wasn't suffering from brain cancer or any other serious illness when he committed suicide in August, the coroner says. Scott did, however, have "therapeutic levels" of sleep drug Lunesta and antidepressant Mirtazipine in his body, the Los Angeles Times... More »

UK Spy's Death Likely Unsolvable: Coroner

She speculates that MI6 itself may have killed Gareth Williams

(Newser) - A UK coroner has concluded that Gareth Williams probably didn't lock himself in the sports bag his body was found in, meaning his death was "on the balance of probabilities" unlawful, but says she's otherwise stumped as to how the MI6 code-breaker died. Dr. Fiona Wilcox issued... More »

Girl's Death From School Fight Ruled a Homicide

Joanna Ramos of Long Beach, Calif., was struck in an after-school fight

(Newser) - A coroner ruled today that the death of a 10-year-old Southern California girl in an afterschool alley fight is a homicide, the AP and Long Beach Press-Telegram report. Joanna Ramos of Long Beach apparently faced an 11-year-old girl in a fight without any weapons Friday, and never fell down—but... More »

The Scary Truth About America's Morgues

Mistakes have sent innocents to jail, let guilty go free, ProPublica finds

(Newser) - Misplaced bones and bodies, overlooked bullet holes, corpses cremated before an investigation was complete: Most real morgues bear little resemblance to the shiny, high-tech world of CSI’s labs, a new investigation reveals. ProPublica , Frontline, and NPR took a yearlong look at the country’s coroner and medical examiner offices... More »

New Autopsy: Peterson's 3rd Wife Murdered

Bruises show struggle; coroner had called death accidental

(Newser) - Drew Peterson’s third wife was killed, a new autopsy says, countering the original coroner’s report that concluded Kathleen Savio’s death was an accident, CNN reports. Bruises point to a struggle in the new autopsy by a top forensic pathologist. Peterson, a former Illinois cop, has been charged... More »

Coroner Grills Jacko Dermatologist

(Newser) - Investigators probing Michael Jackson's death have quizzed his dermatologist and subpoenaed records from his office, ABC News reports. Arnold Klein's lawyer says his client—a personal friend of Jackson's and his dermatologist for more than 20 years—is cooperating fully with the investigation. Klein denies prescribing the singer any of... More »

Jacksons Told Death May Be Crime, Med Files Subpoenaed

(Newser) - The Los Angeles coroner has subpoenaed all of Michael Jackson's medical records, and his family has been told that the investigation into his death could become a criminal prosecution, a source tells CNN. Detectives have spoken to several of Jackson's past and present doctors, and they will decide whether to... More »

'No Red Flag' in Jackson Doc Interview: LAPD

2nd autopsy done for family, but likely without singer's brain

(Newser) - Los Angeles police interviewed Michael Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray, for 3 hours last night and found “no red flag” or indication of foul play in the pop icon's death, a source tells the LA Times. The LAPD says Murray is cooperating and is not a suspect, but Jackson's family... More »

Coroner: No Foul Play in Jackson Death

(Newser) - A spokesman for the Los Angeles County coroner said this afternoon there is “no indication of foul play” in the death yesterday of Michael Jackson, the AP reports. The officer acknowledged that the pop star, 50, took a variety of prescription drugs but said it was too soon to... More »

Sixth Foot to Wash Ashore Is a Hoax

Prankster in Canada put animal paw in running shoe

(Newser) - The latest severed foot to wash ashore in Canada is a hoax, the Toronto Globe and Mail reports. The sneaker found this week near Vancouver actually contained an animal paw stuffed into a sock, authorities say. An official described the prank as “reprehensible and very disrespectful to the families... More »

18 Stories