Use Cases

Chicago Morgue Now Publishing Photos of the Unidentified Dead Online

"It's worth it to reunite some families."
(wikipedia)

(wikipedia)

We’ve heard cops are pinning mugshots and sifting through social media for gang members. But this report from Chicago’s Fox 32 News might be the eeriest Internet use case yet: The local medical examiner is now publishing pictures of the faces and identifying markers of the unidentified dead. The goal is to put names to remains.

If that makes you a little uncomfortable, well, don’t expect the medical examiner to back down in the face of your squeamishness. As far as they’re concerned, the noble ends justify the gruesome means. Fox 32 reports

[Medical examiner Dr. Steve] Cina knows the images are graphic, but he makes no apologies. He did take some safeguards, though, making sure a warning page pops up before people see the pictures.

“For the some discomfort that it may show, that people may feel looking at some of the images, it’s worth it to reunite some families,” Dr. Cina says.

The images appear on both the office’s own website and in NAMUS, a national database of unidentified persons.

We’re sure the Internet will treat these photos with the gravity they deserve.

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com