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LA County Coroner's Office Thinking About Shutting Down Its Whimsical Gift Shop

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In a city with a history full of famous and infamous deaths, the gift shop at the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office is one of the weirdest, most Los Angeles-y hidden gems in Los Angeles, and it's also kind of tasteless. Skeletons in the Closet opened in 1993 "as a joke," according to the LA Daily News, and today sells chalk outline beach towels, toy crime scene kits, body/garment bags, and all kinds of other LA County Coroner gear in a space off the lobby in the building where people come to identify their loved ones' bodies. (There's only one other coroner's gift shop in the country, in Clark County, NV, where tackiness is the biggest industry.) So the Coroner's office is thinking about changing it up, shutting it down, or at least moving it somewhere where it'll be less tasteless.

According to the LADN, ideas include turning the shop "into more of a museum, or 'Forensic Education Center,' with some merchandise," closing the store altogether, or just moving it somewhere where people will actually want to visit. It's barely noticeable and little-marked at the Coroner's building and it doesn't advertise, so it doesn't even make any money—it operates at an annual loss of $55,000. Still, a Coroner's rep admits it's good PR.
· L.A. County coroner might revamp Skeletons in the Closet gift shop [LADN]
· Inside the LA County Coroner's Secure Zombification Operation [Curbed LA]