Dearly Departed Newsletter – Black Death



Black Death


If you’re reading this email right now, we’d like to thank you. This time of year is especially stupid when it comes to emails and newsletters.  First the companies bombard you in anticipation for Black Friday.  Then it actually is Black Friday (which now begins on the day before, Thursday (Thanksgiving)) and extends through the weekend.  Then Cyber Monday.  And Giving Tuesday.  Then it’s into the holiday season.  BTW, how do I get a Receiving Wednesday?   Every single one of these days requires an email newsletter, a lot of times the same company sends multiple in a single day.  SCREW YOU, KOHLS!  It’s all a bit … much. (That’s being generous.)  So anyway, thank you for sticking with us and not deleting or unsubscribing.  It’s impossible not to be overwhelmed by these people coming in your box and asking for money like a crack hooker on Sunset Blvd.



Speaking of the holidays, we’re getting into the spirit by putting doll heads on a tree.  This is different than the Dead Celebrity Tree like years past so we wanted to point that out.  There wasn’t enough room for all the heads and other body parts so I keep those at home.  You can see the head tree at the shop.  In the meantime, if the police searched my home I would have a hard time trying to explain …



This complements our Sonny and Cher tree.  I’ll show you that one next week.



I don’t know if you caught the TV show The Doctors last week but I appeared and talked about why people are interested in true crime. (Answer: They’re human.)  We also talked about the Tate/La Bianca murders because of course.  I was happy that the hosts treated the topic seriously and were respectful of me.  Maybe this will surprise you but, y’know, that’s not always the case.  Watch the segment here.



What I escpecially liked about this appearance on The Doctors was that my mum and dad were on national TV and I was able to tell the story of my mother’s mosaic. My mum raised us 4 kids in the 60’s/70’s. As an outlet, she would sometimes draw or paint, or in this case make a glass mosaic. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I grew up on a weird intersection of Detroit where fatal accidents happened. I was able to run upstairs to my bedroom window for a better view. Honest. So my mother made this Three Kings mosaic out of car accident glass. It wasn’t some contrived statement, it was just… what we had available to us. “Scott, I need red glass, would you get me some please?” out to the curb I went to pick the glass off the street. This is back when car glass was really glass. I cherish this mosaic and it’s on display in our Artifact Museum.



Social Media

The other day I did a Facebook Live broadcast. There was a nice turnout so thank you to everyone who “showed up” and asked questions. I talked about Divine’s door, the Tate door and the door to hell, Benedict Canyon.  If you’d like to watch it you can do that here.  I’ll probably do more in the future so if you have any topics you’d like to discuss, let me know.



A lot of people have been wondering about when we’ll unveil the grave marker for James Anderson.  Anderson is buried in Valhalla Cemetery in North Hollywood and his grave marker has been made, we’re just waiting for it to be delivered and placed.  I’ll probably announce the placement of the marker the day before, so don’t worry if you can’t make it.  I’ll post a video somewhere.


James Anderson and Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird
James Anderson and Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird


Bring Out Yer Dead

Along with that theme, I attended the annual memorial service that is held for the indigent “unclaimed dead” in Los Angeles. 1457 people died in Los Angeles County in 2016, and no one claimed their bodies.  Street corners, county hospitals, wherever.  The County will make an effort to find family members (less than 15 of these individuals are unidentified), but after three years, its time.  They document each name in a ledger, then combine the cremains and bury all of them in one grave plot in the County Cemetery.  Representatives from many faiths are there for last rites.  Despite the fact that is was pissing down yesterday, it was a mooooooving ceremony.  Photographs by Brian Donnelly.



Since I was there I stopped by and said “hi” to our brothers and sisters from the 1969 batch.



Most of us are fortunate to have family or friends to look after us when we die. Some of us made our own arrangements. These 1457 people had nothing. No one came for them. Merry Christmas (or whatever). Cherish who you have.

No sarcasm intended.

Scott and the Dearly Departed Team



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3 thoughts on “Dearly Departed Newsletter – Black Death

  • December 28, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    I miss your yearly visits to Detroit area. Please let me know when you’re in town. I’d love to see you again. —Laura

  • December 20, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    Been loving this site for over 20 years now cannot speak enough good about it I only wish that when I die Scott you put me on here!

  • December 18, 2019 at 5:58 pm

    Love this site. Although sad to hear of someone dying. You do say some pretty stuff…God Bless/

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