Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran

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Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran
Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner for the County of Los Angeles
In office
18 February 1992 – 11 August 2013
Preceded byJ. Lawrence Cogan (Acting)
Succeeded byMark A. Fajardo
Personal details
BornChennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Alma materLoyola College, Chennai
Stanley Medical College
OccupationMedical Examiner

Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran (Tamil: லட்சுமணன் சத்யவாகீஸ்வரன்) is the former Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner for the County of Los Angeles. In 2016, he again took over this position on an interim basis.

Education and early career[edit]

Sathyavagiswaran graduated from Loyola College, Chennai in 1965 and Stanley Medical College in 1971. In 1972 he immigrated to the United States, where he interned at the Jewish Hospital of Brooklyn. From 1972 to 1973 he trained in anatomical and clinical pathology at St. Luke's Hospital of Columbia University. From 1973 to 1977 he was the senior resident in medicine at Brooklyn Cumberland Hospital.[1]

Los Angeles County Coroner[edit]

In 1977 he joined the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office. He worked his way up to the position of chief of forensic medicine. In 1990 he was passed over in favor of J. Lawrence Cogan for the position of Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner.[2]

Sathyavagiswaran was appointed Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner in 1992. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors' first selection, Dr. Joshua Perper of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, declined the job due to Los Angeles' high housing costs. The Board's second choice, Dr. Yong-Myun Rho of Queens, New York, thrice failed the state medical exam. Sathyavagiswaran was then selected over Cogan after the Board of Supervisors received a letter signed by several deputy medical examiners requesting the County to consider the in house candidates rather than outsiders.[2]

He was the medical examiner during the O. J. Simpson murder case and testified during the criminal[3] and civil trials.[4] Sathyavagiswaran also testified in the trials of Dean Carter and Phil Spector,[5] as well as in the wrongful death suit brought against the Los Angeles Police Department by the family of Emil Matasareanu.[6]

Sathyavagiswaran supervised the autopsy on the body of Michael Jackson on 26 June 2009.

Following the unexpected resignation of Sathyavagiswaran′s successor Dr. Mark Fajardo in March 2016, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to appoint Sathyavagiswaran as interim coroner even though he retired 3 years earlier.[7]


  1. ^ Who's Who among Asian Americans, 1994-95. Gale Research. 1994.
  2. ^ a b Simon, Richard (12 February 1992). "No. 2 Man Selected as County Coroner". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
  3. ^ Noble, Kenneth B. (15 June 1995). "Trying on Bloody Gloves, Simpson Finds Them Tight". New York Times. Retrieved 17 June 2009.
  4. ^ Associated Press (18 October 1996). "Coroner lays out detailed theories of killings". USA Today. Retrieved 17 June 2009.
  5. ^ "Phil Spector's second mudrer trial: Defence presents case". The Daily Telegraph. 27 January 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2009.
  6. ^ "WITNESS SOFTENS TESTIMONY POLICE GOT AID FOR ANOTHER MAN THEY THOUGHT WAS A SUSPECT". Los Angeles Daily News. 24 February 2000. Retrieved 17 June 2009.
  7. ^