In Los Angeles, places associated with death are often popular. One such popular place is the Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner. When someone dies and the cause of death is undetermined or suspicious, the body is brought here for examination. It is the coroner's job to determine the time, cause, and manner of death. Sometimes the coroner will have to perform an autopsy, which is like an operation on a dead body to try to figure out how the person died. One of the reasons the L.A. Coroner's Office is so popular is because of the number of famous people who have been examined there. Some of those people include Marilyn Monroe, Robert F. Kennedy, Michael Jackson, and Whitney Houston.
The Los Angeles Coroner's Office is so popular that there is even a gift shop where visitors can buy items like shirts, caps, and mugs with the Coroner's logo on them. One tee-shirt people can buy even says, "Our bodies of work speak for themselves". They even sell beach towels with body outlines. The store is open five days a week. They also have a website and a paper catalog for those who are not close enough to visit. The Coroner's Office claims the purpose of the store is to tell people how fragile life is and to create awareness and responsibility toward one's actions. Some people feel that having a store in the same place where dead people are is disrespectful.
There have been a number of television shows about the L.A. Coroner's Office. Some of these are reality TV shows featuring what workers really do there. An example is called "Death Detectives". Other shows are fictional like "Quincy M.E." The M.E. stands for medical examiner, the person who performs the autopsies.