Workers at the New York Morgue have been “leering” at autopsy photos of dead celebrities, claims a whistleblower.
According to the Daily Mail, workers at the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office and Morgue have been accused of appalling abuses of privilege by gawking at autopsy reports and photos of recently dead celebrities such as Philip Seymour Hoffman and Mick Jagger’s girlfriend, L’Wren Scott.
In a report filed by whistleblowers, the final details and images of certain celebrities most intimate, final moments have been handed around like a bad joke among unauthorized morgue workers. These details — including morgue photographs — are supposed to be secured by the medical examiner’s office, but insiders tell the New York Post that the practice of unauthorized morgue personnel accessing dead celebrity files is commonplace.
A source at the ME office said:
“Too many people have access to the files — crime scene photos, autopsy reports — and share it with coworkers.”
Though attempts have been made to stop the practice from happening, insiders say the security at the morgue is far from fool-proof. “There’s a million holes,” cited one source.
At the morgue, ME spokeswoman Julie Bolcer refused to believe the whistleblower’s claims.
“Only authorized employees who use our systems for their daily casework have access. There are extensive security measures in place.”
The news comes on the heels of two high-profile celebrity deaths in New York City. Philip Seymour Hoffman, the acclaimed actor who died in February of a drug overdose, and L’Wren Scott, a fashion designer and Mick Jagger’s girlfriend, who committed suicide in March. Information and photographs regarding the two celebrities were accessed and leered at by morgue workers, say whistleblowers.
Morgue autopsy reports document an autopsy for medical or legal purposes. The autopsy consists of a thorough examination externally and internally of a corpse to determine the cause of death, and/or to evaluate any injury or disease that may be present. In the course of an autopsy, detailed notes and photographs are taken in the morgue before the body is weighed, cleaned and sewn back together.
Both Hoffman and Scott experienced dramatic deaths — something that most likely fueled the intense voyeurism and gossip allegedly exhibited by workers at the New York Morgue.
Hoffman’s struggles with drugs were well documented, and even admitted to by the actor himself. Mimi O’Donnell, Hoffman’s longtime girlfriend and the mother of his children, had actually thrown him out of their apartment shortly before his death, telling him that he needed to get his drug problem under control. L’Wren Scott was rumored to be suffering financially at the time of her suicide.
No criminal or civil charges have been filed in connection with the alleged security breaches at the New York Morgue.