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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 10, 1990 | JOHN JOHNSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In what is believed to be the first murder prosecution in American history for oleander poisoning, authorities filed charges Friday against a former Pasadena funeral home worker accused of using the lethal plant's leaves to poison a rival mortician. David Wayne Sconce, 33, was charged with poisoning Timothy R. Waters, 24, a rival Burbank mortician, in 1985. The motive, according to Los Angeles County Assistant Chief Deputy Dist. Atty.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 20, 2013 | By Matt Stevens
The Stanislaus County coroner has removed 17 bodies from a Modesto funeral home after a months-long investigation into cremation delays. The unusual move left at least one family questioning the authenticity of their loved one's remains. In a brief statement released Friday, the Sheriff's Department acknowledged “an investigation into potential criminal and civil violations with the business for the past several months.” Multiple media outlets have identified the business as McGuire Cremation & Funeral Service.
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BUSINESS
July 31, 2011 | By Shan Li, Los Angeles Times
After Getty Images photographer Chris Hondros was killed covering the Libyan uprising this spring, more than a thousand people crowded into a Brooklyn, N.Y., church for his memorial service. Another thousand attended — virtually — through a webcast streamed onto their computers. The $12-billion funeral industry is going high tech. Crematories are being equipped with touch screen controls. Quick response bar codes are being chiseled onto headstones for visitors to decipher using their smartphones.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 2, 2013 | By T.L. Stanley
One look at the setting - a barn dressed with livestock, bales of hay and picnic tables - and it's immediately obvious that this is no ordinary funeral. The casket's shaped like an oversized grill used for smoking meat, and pallbearers are wearing crisp white aprons and chef's hats. Live pigs squeal and run amok, while a tabletop fountain spits out barbecue sauce instead of chocolate, perfect for dipping freshly cooked ribs. This is the eternal send-off, after all, of Willie "Wolf" McCoy, the man whose soulful voice is immediately recognizable to millions of people.
NEWS
October 13, 1996 | Associated Press
Ten funeral homes in six Massachusetts cities were fined for not giving price lists to consumers, as required by law. One out of four funeral homes visited by undercover federal agents violated the requirement, officials said. Each will pay a fine averaging $2,000 and be required to bring their policies into compliance with the Federal Trade Commission rule.
BUSINESS
July 7, 1995 | Times Wire Services
Seven funeral homes in Nashville, Tenn., and one operating in Illinois and Indiana on Thursday became the first to be charged under a Federal Trade Commission crackdown on marketing practices. Funeral homes are supposed to provide consumers with detailed price lists about caskets and other services, as well as information on legal rights and purchases that are not required. Yet despite efforts to educate companies and enforce the rule, the FTC said, there is little compliance.
BUSINESS
May 4, 2010 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
California funeral directors are eager to start offering clients a new natural and greener way to dispose of their loved ones' remains, but they need a change in state law first. Funeral homes and crematoria want to use a liquid chemical process to dissolve bodies instead of cremating them with fire. "It's green. It's clean. It's environmentally friendly and it reduces the carbon footprint," said California state Assemblyman Jeff Miller (R-Corona), who wrote legislation to make the so-called bio-cremation method legal.
NEWS
December 29, 2001 | From Times Wire Reports
For revelers determined to drink and drive on New Year's Eve, a group of Southern funeral homes is offering a sobering incentive to think again: free burial service if they die as a result of driving drunk. In an effort to drive home the dangers of drinking and driving, six funeral homes in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and South Carolina will pay for the coffin, embalming and burial of people who sign up for their New Year's offer.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 11, 1994
Nearly three dozen criminal charges, dismissed five years ago in the trial of Lamb Funeral Home owners David, Laurieanne and Jerry Sconce have been reinstated by an appeals court. The decision this week by the 2nd District Court of Appeal means that the Sconces, still awaiting trial on other criminal charges, could be tried on 34 additional charges.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 27, 1988
The owners and operators of Lamb Funeral Home in Pasadena, already facing charges of stealing body parts and mutilating corpses, have pleaded not guilty to new charges of bribing witnesses. David Sconce and his parents, Jerry Sconce and Laurieanne Lamb Sconce, were also charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice and solicitation of a witness to commit perjury.
WORLD
October 9, 2012 | By Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times
MEXICO CITY - He was called the Executioner, a founding member and top leader of the vicious Zetas paramilitary force. On Tuesday, the Mexican navy said fingerprints confirmed that it had killed him in a shootout last weekend. But before the government could even begin to celebrate such an important victory in its battle against the drug cartels, officials learned that an armed gang had invaded a funeral home and snatched the body. The embarrassing turn of events left a raft of unanswered questions, including: How do you identify a body if there is no body?
NATIONAL
February 23, 2012 | By Rene Lynch
The National Enquirer's photo of the late Whitney Houston in her casket was unauthorized and had nothing to do with the funeral home where the singer's body was prepared, the funeral home's owner told The Times on Thursday. Outrage has followed the publication of the photo in the latest issue of the Enquirer, as have questions about how it was obtained. That has cast suspicion on Whigham Funeral Home in Newark, N.J., but owner Carolyn Whigham insisted that the funeral home did not play a role.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 23, 2011 | By Thomas Curwen, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Desert Hot Springs, Calif. -- Briefcase in hand, Steve Allen knocks on the back door of Rose Mortuary and Crematory. He's been on the road for two hours, and it's a little before 9; the late-autumn sun paints the distant cliffs of Mt. San Jacinto yellow and gold. Manager Thomas Moen is surprised by the visit. He glances about to make sure that the consumer guide and price lists are displayed as required by law. "How ya doing?" Allen's voice projects a robust exuberance.
NATIONAL
December 3, 2011 | By Thomas Curwen, Los Angeles Times
A hush fell upon the embalmers at Thibodaux Funeral Home as the gurney with the black body bag was wheeled into their room. They stopped what they were doing and drew near. Glenn Bergeron had been dreading this moment. Eight years as an undertaker, and he had never attended to anyone who had died so young, so violently. He made the sign of the cross. One of the newer members of the staff, a student at mortuary science school with a kindergartner at home, held back. She had to be encouraged.
BUSINESS
July 31, 2011 | By Shan Li, Los Angeles Times
After Getty Images photographer Chris Hondros was killed covering the Libyan uprising this spring, more than a thousand people crowded into a Brooklyn, N.Y., church for his memorial service. Another thousand attended — virtually — through a webcast streamed onto their computers. The $12-billion funeral industry is going high tech. Crematories are being equipped with touch screen controls. Quick response bar codes are being chiseled onto headstones for visitors to decipher using their smartphones.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 17, 2011 | By Ann M. Simmons, Los Angeles Times
Known for her flamboyant hats and dazzling jewelry, Bernice Woods relished being in the public eye. So when the longtime community volunteer and former Compton city councilwoman died last month, her children opted to place her open casket in the drive-thru display window of Robert L. Adams Mortuary in Compton. "My mother was a community person," said Gregory W. Woods, 55, the youngest of the deceased woman's 10 children. "She meant so much to so many people. It is only fitting and proper that she would be viewed this way. " Adams funeral parlor, a fixture in Compton since 1974, brings to the business of death a convenience of the living: drive-thru viewing of the dead.
BUSINESS
September 18, 1996 | From Associated Press
In a business where people are supposed to be soothing and supportive, the world's biggest funeral-home company on Tuesday made what was viewed as an unfriendly, expensive bid for even more power. Service Corp. International, the Houston-based owner of more than 2,800 funeral homes worldwide, disclosed it had approached Canada's Loewen Group, its rapidly expanding rival, with a proposed takeover valued at just over $2 billion.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 10, 1988 | ASHLEY DUNN, Times Staff Writer
After an eight-month preliminary hearing, three operators of a Pasadena funeral home have been ordered to stand trial in Pasadena Superior Court on 67 charges that include illegally removing body parts, harvesting dental gold from corpses and commingling human remains. Concluding the longest preliminary hearing in Pasadena Municipal Court history, Judge Victor H.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 10, 2011 | Steve Lopez
Lawrence Tolliver II, a barber by trade, wasn't sure he could do it at first. But now he thinks he's ready. The tools are in his backpack, and he is preparing to travel to a funeral home on South Crenshaw Boulevard to cut the hair of his deceased son. He did it for his father back in 2004, and he has done it for close friends, paying tribute with one last cleanup, on the house. But with a son, he's feeling a different kind of pain and loss, the natural order of things undone. "I wasn't afraid with my father," Mr. Tolliver says.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 13, 2011 | By Michael J. Mishak, Los Angeles Times
Assemblyman Jeff Miller needed one more vote last spring on his bill to legalize "bio-cremation," a chemical process that he called a water-based alternative to incineration. "Going green," Miller said, holding back a grin, "is not just a way of life. " His Assembly colleagues laughed and shipped Miller's one-page proposal to the state Senate with no questions ? and unanimous support. Half of the Legislature had signed off on a bill that could have serious environmental effects.
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