The City Morgue

LA morgue

 In case you haven’t heard the latest on Lindsay Lohan, a female judge sentenced her to do community service at the LA city morgue. I love it! I love it because the judge clearly thought of one of the most disgusting ways she could do community service, and I also think it may be to give her a wakeup call for where she might end up if she doesn’t get her shit together.

I smell dead people


But since I have never been to a city morgue, I consulted my brother who has been to Philadelphia’s city morgue many times so that I could tell you what it’s like. By the way, as my brother was telling me the details, it made me glad I never went there, and yet, I’ve always been interested in autopsies.

First of all, the bodies are brought in to the morgue in vans and delivery trucks. They pull up to loading areas with big garage doors and wheel the bodies in. There are several rooms including the “DECOMP” room (must smell nice in there) and a couple of autopsy rooms. The “DECOMP” room is lined with rows of bodies in various stages of decomposition and they are all unclaimed; everything from bodies that washed up in the Schuylkill River to unknown bodies that were found days or weeks after they died. It’s actually quite a sad and creepy sight from the description my brother gave me.  He told me that the entrance to that room is covered by those long plastic flaps that typically are in front of refrigerated areas, like in Costco or a walk-in freezer. An observation he made a point of mentioning is that all the rooms’ walls and floors are tiled and there are lots of of drains in the floors. I probably don’t have to tell you that this is most likely for easy clean up.

Here is something really gross, and considering that I am the only one of the four of us who never picked up a body, I’m as fascinated by this disgusting stuff as I hope you are.  John told me that there is fly paper everywhere that is covered with dead flies and once he looked over into the corner of the entrance to the room and there was a pile of something unrecognizable. Curiously, he walked over to the pile that was about 6 inches high, gently kicked it with his foot, and it was nothing but dead flies. Doesn’t this sound like a fun place to visit? Why didn’t someone sweep that shit up?

Next are the autopsy rooms where my brother had the interesting but unfortunate experience of seeing two bodies being autopsied at the same time. One was a man and the other was a kid of about 8 years old. When an autopsy is being performed they have to open the rib cage to get to the organs, so my brother saw the two bodies with the ribs open and sticking out of the torso. Are you still reading?  Also, the sound of a saw is a commonly heard noise at the city morgue.

My sister Kris also has made a few trips to the city morgue. She told me that while she was waiting to pick up a death certificate, they rolled a freshly dead body past her that they found. He had been shot and found in an abandoned house. She made a point of telling me he was wearing brand new sneakers. It’s funny how our minds retain certain odd details like that.

There are more fun stories from the city morgue, but I don’t want you to have too much fun at one time. Do you think Lindsay Lohan is having fun cleaning the floors and toilets of the city morgue? I hope you weren’t eating as you were reading this. My brother and I had this discussion over dinner, but we grew up having lots of gross dinner conversations, so I still enjoyed my chicken.

Wasn’t this a nice story to start your week?

About Death To Hollywood

My name is Celeste Donohue and I am a writer/comedian who started this blog to tell stories about my life growing up in a funeral home and my adult life which I have spent in Hollywood, California – hence the name, “Death To Hollywood”. Hopefully, you like to read those kinds of stories. If not, go read something serious and boring.....
This entry was posted in celebrities, death, family, funeral home, funerals, Hollywood, weird and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to The City Morgue

  1. Christine says:

    I just ate my chicken and then read your story.

    um. The Decomp room must be rather depressing on many levels.

  2. Christine says:

    Oh and the folks working the LA morgue will probably have a LOT OF FUN when Lindsey shows. They may have a betting pool on how long til she barfs.

    I know I’d start one!

  3. Kris says:

    Not a fun place to go, not even for community service!! Thankfully, i didn’t see the pile of flies…. I saw enough and heard enough for a lifetime:)

  4. mdonohue says:

    Dear,Celeste,i thought i was reading a script from Law and order.The morgue on that show is cleaned up for T.V.No doubt that girl will get an education,she’ll never forget.Love,Mom

  5. "the elder sister" says:

    Wow, I can’t believe you never went to a morgue to pick up anyone!!! They are not pleasant places. Autopsies are intereseting if the person isn’t related to you but there’s always that feeling that they belonged to someone once………
    Bravo to the judge who thought that community service project up!!!!!

  6. Mr Maryknoll says:

    That was simply wonderful, C. Like i said before, where else can one get these beautiful bits of life….Only in Death-to-Hollywood.

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