Body bags go for $20. Yellow crime scene tape is $6. Toe tags are normally $5, but they were sold out this month. The merchandise comes in a white plastic shopping bag that says “Los Angeles County Department of Coroner.”
Tucked in the corner of a squat brick building that houses a huge depository of the dead is the strangest of gift shops. For years, the county coroner has run the shop, aptly named Skeletons in the Closet, selling knickknacks playing off the rather morbid humor that the department’s business arouses in many people.
But it turns out that the shop’s slogan — “We’re dying for your business!” — is all too accurate. The shop was once supposed to make enough money to pay for an anti-drunken-driving course for teenagers that includes a visit to the morgue.
A visit to the morgue has been a post-drunken-driving stop for far too many as well.
Officer Alvarado, who was there with his girlfriend, said he frequently wore his favorite purchase — a barbecue apron emblazoned “L.A. County Coroner Has ♥” in the center and two pockets labeled “spare ribs” and “spare hands.”
Ms. Pereyda said that much of the merchandise in the store had been the same for years, leaving many regular customers eager for more. So she is brainstorming new ideas and is particularly excited about a shipment of water bottles that is supposed to arrive next month.
The containers will be labeled “bodily fluids.”
I'm sure we all like the autopsies on NCIS and various CSIs, but for the real deal, watch North Mission Road. The DVD makes a great gift too!