Morbid Millie visits the Celebrity Morgue

There’s a thread over in GD about whether Dale Earnhardt’s autopsy photos should be released to a local paper. Now—first—let me go on record as saying his family should do everything they can to keep them from being released.

But. That having been said, haven’t you peeked at books or Web sites of celebrity death photos with a mixture of total guilt and “oooh—cool!” Someone asked me, “If you’d have found a photo of Jean Harlow in her coffin, would you have put it in your book?” and I thought no, I wouldn’t have—but I’d sure like to have SEEN it!

Now, honestly—if someone told you they had some postmortem photos of, say, Princess Di or Vic Morrow, wouldn’t you wanna SEE 'em? Yeah, you’d feel dirty and guilty and grossed-out . . . But wouldn’t you take a peek?

. . . Keep in mind, I’m the gal with that “Life” photo of Evelyn McHale up at her desk . . .


No, I’m not always the first person to respond to your threads, it just seems that way…

I’ll step right up and admit to visiting a “morgue” site. The autopsy photos of Nicole Simpson were not only gruesome, but reinforced my belief that whoever did the heinous deed (we all know, of course, that it wasn’t OJ, he was acquited for God’s sake) was so possessed by rage and hate as to have become an animal.

Why do we do it? Perhaps its to be reassured that while things may be bad, at least we’re still alive. Sort of “There but for the grace of God, go I.” Oddly enough, I can look at a photo of Nicole Brown laying on a slab, slit from ear to ear, and not be particular repulsed, but to see somethine more gruesome in real life (I posted about it in the “Things That Made Your Jaw Drop Thread”) upset me so much that I was out of work for two weeks. Its that distance that makes it easier.

Besides, who doesn’t want to see photos of Sylvia Plath with her head in the oven or Marilyn Monroe is such a peaceful repose?

“Peaceful repose?” Yikes—you must have seen a much more flattering autopsy photo of Marilyn than I did!

On the other hand, I saw a handful of photos of Sharon Tate, and all I could think was, "she looks better dead than I do alive . . . "

Ah, hell, I’ve seen Rasputin’s corpse photos! Eek!

Death bed, lying in state of important persons is one thing…but a drowned fake monk with a really eerie look on his face…

Autopsy photos could be considered the ultimate in embarassing moments; you really have no control over personal grooming. And for celebs who made a career out of cultivating their public images, theses photos must seem like a natural comeuppance to the rest of us (we may be nobodies - but now the celeb is nothing but a body).

That being said, I will allow that the morgue photo of John Dillinger with the prodigous tent-pole structure did wonders for his reputation.

may I suggest this lovely site.

I knew I should have checked it first. It was a really sick/interesting site.

I haven’t been there in a while, maybe I got the name wrong…let me go look…

no morgue shots here, although reading an autopsy report is rather fascinating. i think that unless the morgue shots are used as evidence in a trial they should be kept private.

strange as it may seem in our family photo box thing, there are a few pictures of loved ones in coffin shots. apparently it was the thing to do in the 20’s and 30’s. they are rather surreal, sepia coloured pictures. my grandmother had a rather large picture of my aunt in a coffin hanging over her bed. after my grandmother died i kept the picture in my room. other than the coffin shot there is only one picture of my aunt. then there is the one of the two brothers one alive and standing next to the coffin of the other…

It’s been around longer than that. Deathbed pictures were VERY common since the beginning of photography-I don’t know when they stopped.

  1. You mean, you haven’t? Now, where did I see that picture? That would be a coup, digging that up again.

  2. Evelyn McHale = beautiful model draped across a soft, shiny cushion that is really the caved-in roof of a '47 DeSoto?

Since I am, I admit, every bit the ghoul* you are, Eve, OF COURSE I love that stuff. My favorites are Ted Bundy’s autopsy photos, with the discolored indentations from the electrodes and the skullcap basted on with twine, and the ever-popular, if not entirely accurate, Chicago Tribune caption, “The white object on the hood of the car is Miss Mansfield’s head.” Then there are pictures of the Black Dahlia crime scene, which I won’t link in this relatively wholesome place, and the suspicious JFK photos that don’t show the wounds we say him receive in the Zapruder film, and, well, I could go on.

    • Except, with my Archeology degree, I’m a credentialed ghoul. Licensed to rob graves!

I have always been fascinated with things of this nature. I have no idea why. Just am.

I bought Kenneth Anger’s Babylon books for the pictures alone. The text really sucked, and was chock-full of innuendo and lies, but the photos were great.

Years ago at a state fair, they had the car that Jayne Mansfield died in. I went just to see that car, even though I had seen pictures of it countless times. If it wasn’t the same car, it was an exact replica, and I went away, satisified I had laid eyes on the real McCoy.

I don’t “like” these things. I am just morbidly curious about seeing them. As of now, I really DON’T want to see Dale Earnhardt’s autopsy photos. It’s a little fresh for me (plus my husband would probably go into a spiraling depression) but I won’t say I wouldn’t like, one day, to see them, or at least know I could see them if I wanted to. The nature of this beast, I guess. But I do know if I were Teresa Earnhardt, I would fight like hell to keep them private. I’m on her side on this one, too.

And like others have said, maybe it’s a way of reminding us we all have to go sometime, but hey, lookie! Somebody beat us to the punch! And we have pictures to prove it! I suppose it’s a solemn reminder.

Inmates are allowed to keep a legal material in the possession. This includes photgraphs that were used as evidence in their trial. I once frisked the cell of an inmate who had been convicted of killing his wife. He had a several dozen photos of his wife’s autopsy which he had placed in a photo album apparently so he could leaf through them at his leisure. All I could think was that that had to have been one seriously troubled marriage.

I have a really, really low “eeewwwwwww” threshold, so, no, I don’t wanna see anything even remotely ooogie. I had enough problems looking at my own healing surgical incisions. I have absolutely no curiosity regarding autopsy photos.

The Marilyn Monroe photos I saw were of her dead on her bed (said Dr. Seuss), not her autopsy photos. IIRC, she did look very peaceful and the picture was rather serene- but then again the Kennedy’s were always known for their tidiness.

Oooh, Droppie—a CREDENTIALED ghoul! My kinda guy!

Plnnr—Whatever you saw, then, wasn’t dead Marilyn. Probably one of those glamour shots of her reclining in bed which someone labeled “Marilyn Monroe Dead!” There is an autopsy photo of her in which—to be kind—she does NOT look her best.

Salon recently did a piece on, which has its own celebrity morgue—including Marilyn, Chris Farley, Sharon tate and others. FairyChatMom, DON’T LOOK!


zombie zgy here.

Yes, I have to look at these pictures once in a while. I suppose part of it is from being raised Polish Catholic. After you’ve walked up to a life-size Christ on the Cross, you get a little blasé. :smiley:

Okay, proved to me that I still have a threshold of gross. I’m impressed.

Wife used to do forensic xrays (you can imagine the dinner conversations) and her reaction to watching Disinterment TV, like I enjoy, is, “At least they can’t photograph the smell.” She objects to the use of Vicks Vapo-Rub under th nostrils, as used in “Silence of the Lambs,” because some Avon roll-on perfume works much better, is a very lady-like addition to one’s kit, and doesn’t leave you smelling all mediciney. She recommends the jasmine.

A new co-worker ran from the room when presented with a corpse. Wife went and got her with the words, “Let’s get the bastard who did this.” Melodramatic, but true and effective.