Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME)


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ABC Gotham

Society & Culture

CSI tells us only part of the story.  After an unexplained death, what happens back at the morgue?  Who is in charge of making sure clues are recorded so crimes can be prosecuted?  New York City's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) is currently one of the best in the world, but that hasn't always been the case.  It was not so long ago that New York City was saddled with a corrupt and ineffective system, with coroners accepting bribes to change death certificates or ignore inconvenient homicides.  Listen as Kate and Kathleen tell you all about some truly reprehensible coroners from the past, and the struggle to implement our current medical examiner system. Kate was horrified to discover, in the course of her research, that Murderpedia is a thing. Blood On The Table by Colin Evans is really interesting. It's the whole reason Kathleen made Kate do this topic. A coroner would get paid $27.75 per body in 1868, so they were very motivated to grab all the bodies they could find.  That's approximately $477.00 in today's money, according to MeasuringWorth.  And that scant $11,000 annual salary?  That's $189,000 today. Um, yes, please. OCME had a close relationship with Bellevue Hospital early in its existence.  Learn more about this beautiful and storied institution thanks to Untapped Cities! Learn more about the Jake Walk that afflicted drinkers of Jamaican rum extract during Prohibition.  Because it was poisoned. On purpose. No joke. PBS American Experience bring you an interactive comic book.  Follow forensic chemist Alexander Gettler and chief medical examiner Dr. Charles Norris through 1920s New York City as they help solve crimes with groundbreaking forensic science. Former CME Micheal Baden loves the spotlight.  He investigated the deaths of the lost Tsar Nicholas, John Belushi, the president of Poland, Nicole Brown Simpson, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner. A bit more detail about the Murder at The Met. And don't forget to check our Facebook page for lots of great images, including gorgeous photos of Bellevue!  (Nothing gory, we promise.  Some bones, that's all.)