'I see dead people': Reflections on a killer holiday season

Coroner reveals how his work rewards him with assumption-shattering insights into modern life

Thirty deaths, essentially one a day ... that's the number of coroner's cases I attended between the second of December and second of January.


They didn't arrive in digestible one-a-day doses, mind you. Unanticipated deaths are by definition unanticipated, and tend to come in flurries. There were 3-4 day stints when my phone didn't ring at all, followed by whirlwind days of four cases between breakfast and lunch.

But by the time I was done with the holiday rush and all the reports that went along with it, it was the busiest month I'd had since