Michael Jackson's Death Certificate Over-Manhandled

L.A. Times reports that coroner's office officials are investigating security breaches within the department

By Natalie Finn Jul 23, 2009 4:02 AMTags
Michael Jackson, Craig HarveyMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images, Pool Photographer/Getty Images

Let us just say we are shocked—shocked!—by the news that Michael Jackson's death certificate has been improperly accessed, like, 300 times.

To think that the same metropolitan area that is home to people who sold info about Farrah Fawcett's cancer battle to the National Enquirer and poked through Britney Spears' medical history could possibly produce such looky-loos!

Alas, it's true.

The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that the L.A. County Coroner's Office is investigating a number of security breaches in connection with the ongoing Jackson death probe, as well as system vulnerabilities found in the computers where confidential investigation records are stored.

At least six employees are suspected of needlessly peeking at the King of Pop's death certificate (which, pending the final autopsy report, currently lists the cause as "deferred") and in some cases printing copies of it before it had become public record.

"There's only one person in the investigation of Mr. Jackson who needed to have a copy of the death certificate, and that was the investigator," coroner's office spokesman Craig Harvey told the Times.

In a July 9 email, a coroner's captain advised errant staffers to destroy any copies made of the certificate and to keep their eyes on their own paperwork from that point on, as employees are only supposed to access the Electronic Death Registration System "strictly in the performance of [their] official coroner duties."

Harvey said that no law enforcement agency has been contacted because no laws appear to have been broken, only internal protocol.

Not to mention, once again, the boundaries of good taste.


Pour yourself a stiff drink (or a bowl of cereal) and catch up on all of our Jackson coverage.