Museum of Death

Museum of Death is a museum with locations on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, Los Angeles, and New Orleans.[1] It was established in June 1995 by J. D. Healy and Catherine Shultz with the museum's stated goal being "to make people happy to be alive".[2]

The museum was originally established in 1995 in San Diego,[3] in a building the owners claimed was the city's first mortuary. It began as a hobby of the founders J. D. Healy and Catherine Shultz. They would write to serial killers they were interested in, and then show off the artwork their pen pals had created once a year at a specialist show. In 1995, after a few years of exhibitions, the collection, and many other materials, were made into a museum.[4]

In late 1999, the couple attempted to acquire a large amount of materials from the Heaven's Gate cult suicides. Although they had been able to purchase many items prior to the main police auction, their interest in buying enough merchandise to recreate the scene in its entirety, led to enormous press interest and publicity. They were subsequently evicted by their landlord, and moved to Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles.[2]

Prior to the new Los Angeles building becoming a museum, the building was the home of Westbeach Recorders, and prior to that, Producers Studio,[1][5] where Pink Floyd and others recorded.[6] The walls include deadening agents to help with recordings, which now serve to lend a quiet acoustic setting for the various exhibitions.[1]

New Orleans branch

Musee de Mort Orleans
Established2014
Location227 Dauphine St.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Coordinates29°57′22″N 90°04′11″W / 29.9560°N 90.0698°W

As of 2014, the couple had opened up a new branch of the museum in New Orleans called "Musee de Mort Orleans".[7][8] The new museum branch will have around 12,000 square metres of space, which will allow more of the collection to be displayed. The limited space at the California museum means that only a third of the items available can be shown at one time.[9]

Museum of Death
Museum of Death in Hollywood
Hollywood Branch of Museum of Death
Established1995
Location6031 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
Coordinates34°06′06″N 118°19′16″W / 34.1018°N 118.3212°W
Founder
  • J. D. Healy (a.k.a. James Dean Healy)
  • Catherine Shultz
Websitemuseumofdeath.net

Collection

Head of Henri Landru
Severed head presented as Henri Landru's.

The museum displays a wide variety of art and artifacts surrounding the subject of death. Baby coffins are in one section, letters and artwork from various serial killers in another. There are films regarding autopsies as well as graphic photographs of crime victims. There is also a room filled exclusively with taxidermy of various types of animals. The museum's recreation of the Heaven's Gate mass suicide includes the original beds.[10] However, the most notable item at the museum is the head of Henri Landru.[1] In 2014 the museum also acquired Thanatron, one of the original suicide machines built by Jack Kevorkian.[7]

Once a year, the museum holds a Black Dahlia look-alike competition, where contestants have to dress as both pre and post-mortem Dahlia.[11]

A 2001 attempt to procure a real electric chair was unsuccessful.[12]

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Museum of Death". Roadside America. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Gumbel, Andrew (December 8, 1999). "American Times: Hollywood, California, The Doyenne of Death Heads for Tinseltown". The Independent. London, UK. p. 15.
  3. ^ Recinos, Eva (February 12, 2012), "Museum of Death pays tribute to more than the dead", Daily Trojan
  4. ^ Canto, Minerva (November 1, 1999). "Museum of Death moving to Hollywood". The Associated Press State & Local Wire.
  5. ^ About us, Boulevard Recording, retrieved 2015-01-01
  6. ^ "Dark destinations: The Museum of Death", thecabinet.com, June 7, 2009
  7. ^ a b Rylah, Juliet Bennett (July 24, 2014). "The Museum Of Death In Hollywood Bought Dr. Kevorkian's Suicide Machine". LAist.
  8. ^ Sarah Cascone (July 22, 2014), "Museum of Death Buys Dr. Kevorkian's Suicide Device", Artnet News
  9. ^ Boehm, Mike (July 21, 2014). "Museum of Death in L.A. buys Kevorkian suicide device Thanatron". Retrieved December 28, 2014.
  10. ^ Fox, Ben (November 22, 1999). "Bidders snap up household items from site of worst mass suicide". The Associated Press State & Local Wire.
  11. ^ Renzetti, Elizabeth (October 25, 2000). "Ghost town; Hollywood, more than any other place on; earth, is death-obsessed. ELIZABETH RENZETTI; takes us on a ghoulish tour of Tinsel Town". The Globe and Mail. Canada. pp. T1.
  12. ^ "Electric chair could end up in museum". The Associated Press State & Local Wire. August 20, 2001.

External links

Algor mortis

Algor mortis (Latin: algor—coldness; mortis—of death), the second stage of death, is the change in body temperature post mortem, until the ambient temperature is matched. This is generally a steady decline, although if the ambient temperature is above the body temperature (such as in a hot desert), the change in temperature will be positive, as the (relatively) cooler body acclimates to the warmer environment. External factors can have a significant influence.

The term was first used by Dowler in 1849. The first published measurements of the intervals of temperature after death were done by Dr John Davey in 1839.

Dead on arrival

Dead on arrival (DOA), also dead in the field and brought in dead (BID), indicates that a patient was found to be already clinically dead upon the arrival of professional medical assistance, often in the form of first responders such as emergency medical technicians, paramedics, or police.

In some jurisdictions, first responders must consult verbally with a physician before officially pronouncing a patient deceased, but once cardiopulmonary resuscitation is initiated, it must be continued until a physician can pronounce the patient dead.

Death mask

A death mask is a likeness (typically in wax or plaster cast) of a person's face following death, often made by taking a cast or impression directly from the corpse. Death masks may be mementos of the dead, or be used for creation of portraits. Such casts obviate idealised representations by revealing the actual features. It is sometimes possible to identify portraits that have been painted from death masks, because of the characteristic slight distortions of the features caused by the weight of the plaster during the making of the mold.

The main purpose of the death mask from the Middle Ages until the 19th century was to serve as a model for sculptors in creating statues and busts of the deceased person. Not until the 1800s did such masks become valued for themselves.In other cultures a death mask may be a funeral mask, an image placed on the face of the deceased before burial rites, and normally buried with them. The best known of these are the masks used in ancient Egypt as part of the mummification process, such as Tutankhamun's mask, and those from Mycenaean Greece such as the Mask of Agamemnon.

In some European countries, it was common for death masks to be used as part of the effigy of the deceased, displayed at state funerals; the coffin portrait was an alternative. Mourning portraits were also painted, showing the subject lying in repose. During the 18th and 19th centuries masks were also used to permanently record the features of unknown corpses for purposes of identification. This function was later replaced by post-mortem photography.

In the cases of people whose faces were damaged by their death, it was common to take casts of their hands. An example of this occurred in the case of Thomas D'Arcy McGee, the Canadian statesman whose face was shattered by the bullet which assassinated him in 1868.

When taken from a living subject, such a cast is called a life mask. Proponents of phrenology used both death masks and life masks for pseudoscientific purposes.

Death messenger

Death messengers, in former times, were those who were dispatched to spread the news that an inhabitant of their city or village had died. They were to wear unadorned black and go door to door with the message, "You are asked to attend the funeral of the departed __________ at (time, date, and place)." This was all they were allowed to say, and were to move on to the next house immediately after uttering the announcement. This tradition persisted in some areas to as late as the mid-19th century.

Death rattle

Terminal respiratory secretions (or simply terminal secretions), known colloquially as a death rattle, are sounds often produced by someone who is near death as a result of fluids such as saliva and bronchial secretions accumulating in the throat and upper chest. Those who are dying may lose their ability to swallow and may have increased production of bronchial secretions, resulting in such an accumulation. Usually, two or three days earlier, the symptoms of approaching death can be observed as saliva accumulates in the throat, making it very difficult to take even a spoonful of water. Related symptoms can include shortness of breath and rapid chest movement. While death rattle is a strong indication that someone is near death, it can also be produced by other problems that cause interference with the swallowing reflex, such as brain injuries.It is sometimes misinterpreted as the sound of the person choking to death, or alternatively, that they are gargling.

Death threat

A death threat is a threat, often made anonymously, by one person or a group of people to kill another person or group of people. These threats are often designed to intimidate victims in order to manipulate their behaviour, and thus a death threat can be a form of coercion. For example, a death threat could be used to dissuade a public figure from pursuing a criminal investigation or an advocacy campaign.

In most jurisdictions, death threats are a serious type of criminal offence. Death threats are often covered by coercion statutes. For instance, the coercion statute in Alaska says:

A person commits the crime of coercion if the person compels another to engage in conduct from which there is a legal right to abstain or abstain from conduct in which there is a legal right to engage, by means of instilling in the person who is compelled a fear that, if the demand is not complied with, the person who makes the demand or another may inflict physical injury on anyone....

Dignified death

Dignified death is a somewhat elusive concept often related to suicide. One factor that has been cited as a core component of dignified death is maintaining a sense of control. Another view is that a truly dignified death is an extension of a dignified life. There is some concern that assisted suicide does not guarantee a dignified death, since some patients may experience complications such as nausea and vomiting. There is some concern that age discrimination denies the elderly a dignified death.

Fan death

Fan death is a well-known superstition in Korean culture, where it is thought that running an electric fan in a closed room with unopened or no windows will prove fatal. Despite no concrete evidence to support the concept, belief in fan death persists to this day in Korea, and also to a lesser extent in Japan.

Funeral director

A funeral director, also known as an undertaker (British English) or mortician (American English), is a professional involved in the business of funeral rites. These tasks often entail the embalming and burial or cremation of the dead, as well as the arrangements for the funeral ceremony (although not the directing and conducting of the funeral itself unless clergy are not present). Funeral directors may at times be asked to perform tasks such as dressing (in garments usually suitable for daily wear), casketing (placing the human body in the coffin), and cossetting (applying any sort of cosmetic or substance to the best viewable areas of the corpse for the purpose of enhancing its appearance). A funeral director may work at a funeral home or be an independent employee.

Lazarus sign

The Lazarus sign or Lazarus reflex is a reflex movement in brain-dead or brainstem failure patients, which causes them to briefly raise their arms and drop them crossed on their chests (in a position similar to some Egyptian mummies). The phenomenon is named after the Biblical figure Lazarus of Bethany, whom Jesus Christ raised from the dead in the Gospel of John.

Megadeath

Megadeath (or megacorpse) is one million human deaths, usually caused by a nuclear explosion. The term was used by scientists and thinkers who strategized likely outcomes of all-out nuclear warfare.

Morgue

A morgue or mortuary (in a hospital or elsewhere) is used for the storage of human corpses awaiting identification or removal for autopsy or respectful burial, cremation or other method. In modern times corpses have customarily been refrigerated to delay decomposition.

Necromancy

Necromancy () is a practice of magic involving communication with the dead – either by summoning their spirit as an apparition or raising them bodily – for the purpose of divination, imparting the means to foretell future events, discover hidden knowledge, to bring someone back from the dead, or to use the dead as a weapon. Sometimes referred to as "Death Magic", the term may also sometimes be used in a more general sense to refer to black magic or witchcraft.The word "necromancy" is adapted from Late Latin necromantia, itself borrowed from post-Classical Greek νεκρομαντεία (nekromanteía), a compound of Ancient Greek νεκρός (nekrós), "dead body", and μαντεία (manteía), "divination by means of"; this compound form was first used by Origen of Alexandria in the 3rd century AD. The Classical Greek term was ἡ νέκυια (nekyia), from the episode of the Odyssey in which Odysseus visits the realm of the dead and νεκρομαντεία in Hellenistic Greek, rendered as necromantīa in Latin, and as necromancy in 17th-century English.

Necronym

A necronym (from the Greek words νεκρός, nekros, "dead" and ὄνομα ónoma, "name") is a reference to, or name of, a person who has died. Many cultures have taboos and traditions associated with referring to such a person. These vary from the extreme of never again speaking the person's real name, often using some circumlocution instead, to the opposite extreme of commemorating it incessantly by naming other things or people after the deceased.

For instance, in some cultures it is common for a newborn child to receive the name (a necronym) of a relative who has recently died, while in others to reuse such a name would be considered extremely inappropriate or even forbidden. While this varies from culture to culture, the use of necronyms is quite common.

Obituary

An obituary (obit for short) is a news article that reports the recent death of a person, typically along with an account of the person's life and information about the upcoming funeral. In large cities and larger newspapers, obituaries are written only for people considered significant. In local newspapers, an obituary may be published for any local resident upon death. A necrology is a register or list of records of the deaths of people related to a particular organization, group or field, which may only contain the sparsest details, or small obituaries. Historical necrologies can be important sources of information.

Two types of paid advertisements are related to obituaries. One, known as a death notice, omits most biographical details and may be a legally required public notice under some circumstances. The other type, a paid memorial advertisement, is usually written by family members or friends, perhaps with assistance from a funeral home. Both types of paid advertisements are usually run as classified advertisements.

Pallor mortis

Pallor mortis (Latin: pallor "paleness", mortis "of death"), the first stage of death, is an after-death paleness that occurs in those with light/white skin.

Post-mortem interval

Post-mortem interval (PMI) is the time that has elapsed since a person has died. If the time in question is not known, a number of medical/scientific techniques are used to determine it. This also can refer to the stage of decomposition of the body.

Rigor mortis

Rigor mortis (Latin: rigor "stiffness", mortis "of death"), or postmortem rigidity, is the third stage of death. It is one of the recognizable signs of death, characterized by stiffening of the limbs of the corpse caused by chemical changes in the muscles postmortem. In humans, rigor mortis can occur as soon as four hours after death.

Siriraj Medical Museum

The Siriraj Medical Museum, nicknamed the Museum of Death, is a medical museum in Bangkok, Thailand. Siriraj Medical Museum is open to the public and is a valuable resource for medical professionals and students. This museum consists of seven small medical museums:Siriraj Bimuksthan Museum, Ellis Pathological Museum, Congdon Anatomical Museum, Songkran Niyomsan Forensic Medicine Museum, Parasitological Museum, Touch Museum in Honor of Queen Mother Sirikit, and Sood Sangvichien Prehistoric Museum Laboratory.

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