Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Coroner's Gift Shops, Did You Know?

Did you know the County of Los Angeles Department of Coroner has a gift shop? Yes, it's true. It's  named "Skeletons in the Closet". 

The picture below shows the lobby of the Coroners office. The door on the right is the gift shop. It's very unassuming and you have to know there is a gift shop to even look for it. The sign in front of it on the red ropes says "Please Be Considerate of our Families Here on Business." A rather sobering reminder of what this place is really about.

It's a strange feeling opening that door and walking into a Coroner's gift shop. I didn't know what to expect. It's a fun tongue-in-cheek humorous room filled with lots of giggles.

The focal point of the room is this casket looking sofa. It's surrounded by skeletons, of course.

Below is the front view of the casket sofa. Would you want to take your afternoon nap on this?

After getting one's bearings in such a store, it's time to turn around and do some serious shopping. Would you want to take home this sun shade for your car? It might remind you to drive carefully.

A toe tag magnet on your refrigerator might take away your appetite if you really think about it. All that extra food just might get you to the Coroner's office sooner than you want.

On the Skeletons in the Closet web site they have this to say about their gift shop: 

Skeletons In The Closet Gift Store has been operating since September 1993. The purpose of the store is to promote how fragile life is and create awareness and responsibility toward one's actions. A complete line of quality souvenir items, such as beach towels, t-shirts, baseball caps, key chains, and more, is offered for sale in the store. Each item displays a unique Los Angeles County Coroner design such as a skeleton in Sherlock Holmes attire, a chalked-out body outline, or the L.A. County Coroner seal. 

The gift shop has many things to look at and consider buying. Below you'll see some of the displays.

Lots of T-shirts...

Body bag for your suit or dress...
Aprons for those backyard BBQs...


Water bottles...
Coffee cups... 
Skull business card holders...
Mouse pads..
Note pads...

And they take shoplifting very seriously...Don't even think of it! 

When you look at the Coroner's office from outside it just looks like an ordinary building. There are no "Gift Shop" signs or hints of what's inside. 


You might see a marked car in the parking lot but otherwise it looks like an ordinary place of business. If you're in Los Angeles, it's worth the visit. I even bought a T-shirt there. If you don't plan to visit Los Angles, you can go to their web site and request a catalog. If you order on line you can fill out your wish list as you go along.

While visiting Skeletons in the Closet, I found out only one other coroner in the country has a gift shop. It's in Las Vegas. If you know me well, you could guess it was quickly added to my Bucket List. To my delight, four months later I was heading to Las Vegas for a Jimmy Buffet concert. Since we were driving there, I begged my husband to go out of his way and drive me to the Clark County, Nevada, Coroner's office.

Arriving in the parking lot I knew we were at the right place.  The line up of cars all displayed Coroner signs and seals. Even a license plate told of one's vocation. 


The Las Vegas Coroner's Office has a whole different feel than the one in Los Angeles. I had to admit to the lady at the front counter what I was doing there while my husband embarrassingly stood back . (In Los Angeles we were able to just wander in on our own.) We had to wait a few minutes until someone was available to escort us into their gift shop area. As you can see below it is just a glass enclosed, locked cabinet with three shelves of items. However, all their items are also available to order on line at The Las Vegas Coroner Store.  They have a wishlist available so you can line up all the items you'd love to buy or have gifted to you. There are patches, T-shirts, coffee mugs, toe tag reels, boxer shorts, lanyards, jawbone business card holder, license plate, stolen pens, duffle bags and hats of all kinds. I bought another coroner T-shirt and a pin. 

Having been a volunteer victim advocate with police departments and having rubbed elbows with the Coroner, I probably have an unusual interest in all things related. Some people just do not understand my enthusiasm for these gift shops but that's okay. It's all in fun.
I hope my post has perhaps inspired you to buy an awesome gift for that person who is hard to shop for. I feel it's good to share the valuable information I collect up when I'm in Roaming Rita mode. And may those who have gone before us, rest in peace.


  1. I love this! Who would have thought?

  2. You might see a marked car in the parking lot but otherwise it looks like an ordinary place of business Personalization Mall Coupon

  3. Thank you for stopping by my blog. Skeletons in the Closet was a fun discovery in Los Angeles and I hope others will want to take a look themselves.

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