Allegheny County Medical Examiner

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The Office of Allegheny County Medical Examiner investigates cases of persons who die within Allegheny County, Pennsylvania from criminal violence by casualty or by suicide, when unattended by a physician; under correctional custody or any other suspicious or unusual manner. The office's jurisdiction includes the city of Pittsburgh and its immediate suburbs.

Prior to 2005 the "Coroner" was an elected position within the county, however on December 29, 2005 the position was abolished and retitled "Medical Examiner" with all future office holders being appointees of the Allegheny County Executive (Mayor) once approved by county council. Longtime coroner Wecht continued to serve as both the last coroner and first medical examiner.[1]

The Medical Examiner's Office also houses the Forensic Laboratory Division for the county. The disciplines within the laboratory are Drug Chemistry, Environmental Health, Firearms/Toolmarks, Forensic Biology, Latent Prints, Mobile Crime Unit, Toxicology, and Trace Evidence.

The office made headlines in the 1930s in its investigations into some of the Mad Butcher Killings.[2] In the 1950s the office (headed by William McClelland) was a leader in attempting to raise the driving age from 16 to 18.[3] The 1970s had the office gaining national prominence as Dr. Wecht led several investigations into the Kennedy Assassination.[4][5][6]

County Medical Examiner office


The office, then known as the Corner's office, was located at #6 Eighth Street in 1901.[7]

The office has been headed by several notable coroners/medical examiners including:

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Lovering, Daniel (December 30, 2005). "Famous coroner Wecht to be county's first medical examiner". Retrieved December 30, 2011.
  2. ^ "Say 'Butcher' Slew 3 Here". Youngstown Vindicator. May 4, 1940. Retrieved 2013-07-22.
  3. ^ "Pittsburgh Coroner Urges Minimum Driving Age of Eighteen for State". Washington Reporter. June 8, 1957. Retrieved 2013-07-22.
  4. ^ "On JFK slaying: Coroner claims views twisted". Spokane Spokesman-Review. June 12, 1975. Retrieved 2013-07-22.
  5. ^ Gilmore, Daniel (September 8, 1978). "JFK Panel Reaffirms One Bullet". Schenectady Gazette. Retrieved 2013-07-22.
  6. ^ "Doctor Claims Panel Distorted His Opinion". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. June 11, 1975. Retrieved 2013-07-22.
  7. ^ "Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette - Google News Archive Search".
  8. ^ "Onorato Names New Medical Examiner". WPXI-TV. 2006-12-22. Archived from the original on 2013-07-18. Retrieved 2013-07-21.
  9. ^ O'Toole, James (1990-07-21). "County politician William Hunt dies". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2013-07-21.
  10. ^ "Ex-Coroner Joseph Dobbs Dies at 63". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 1968-11-11. Retrieved 2013-07-21.
  11. ^ Pierce, Henry (March 8, 1963). "Expert Rips Coroners' Setup Here". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2013-07-21.
  12. ^ "McClelland Drubbed in Spankard's Ward". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 1954-05-19. Retrieved 2013-07-21.
  13. ^ "McClelland proposes State Ticket". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. March 9, 1950. Retrieved 2013-07-21.
  14. ^ "Coroner Says He'll Run Again". Pittsburgh Press. July 1, 1937. Retrieved 2013-07-22.
  15. ^ "The Allegheny County Morgue on the move". Old Pittsburgh photos and stories | The Digs. Retrieved 2018-07-27.

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