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2016’s Most Memorable Death Articles and More

2016 will very likely be remembered as the year of the Dead Celebrity. Prince was certainly a tough death for Death Ref.

And yet, a plethora of other articles and radio programmes on diverse death topics also appeared in 2016. This is not to belittle everything written about Dead Celebrities, but we here at the Death Reference Desk want to highlight some of the year’s most compelling pieces on non-celebrity death, dying, and dead bodies.

Death Ref started running a year end feature last year. As with the 2015 list, many of the 2016 pieces came from the New York Times, which continues to produce really good essays and articles on human mortality.

Collecting the 2016 material was a bit more systematic than last year. Throughout 2016 articles were placed in a folder that was then reviewed. By today, December 31, 2016, there were over forty different items in that folder.

What follows below is a sampling of those essays, articles, and radio stories.

It was good to see so many articles in 2016 about the legacy of AIDS and the political movements that formed around the Epidemic in the 1980s and 1990s. A couple of pieces towards the bottom of the 2016 list highlighted this forgotten, but crucial history. Death Ref also recommends that everyone signs-up for the BBC Radio 4 We Need To Talk About Death podcast. The shows started at the end of 2016 and will continue into 2017. Finally, we were saddened to learn that our good friends at the Morbid Anatomy Museum closed its doors in December. Death Ref John was the MAM’s Scholar in Residence in 2014 and you can read his essay about the Morbid Anatomy Museum here.

As with last year, that’s it for 2016. The Death Reference Desk (Meg, Kim, and John) all look forward to 2017 and what will most certainly be an unpredictable year for death.

For Martin Luther King’s Birthday, Black Leaders as Obituaries Portrayed Them
by Sam Roberts, New York Times (January 18, 2016)
To commemorate the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. — he would have been 87 — in advance of Black History Month in February, The New York Times culled its historical obituary files for a retrospective on how he and other prominent black Americans were regarded at their deaths.


Death Predicts if People Vote for Donald Trump
by Jeff Guo, Washington Post (March 04, 2016)
It seems that Donald Trump performed the best in places where middle-aged whites are dying the fastest.


Why Slaves’ Graves Matter
by Sandra Arnold, New York Times (April 02, 2016)
Those who lived through slavery were human beings, not abstractions.


When Your Mother’s Death Is Kept Secret From You
by Alexa Tsoulis-Reay, Science of Us (May 25, 2016)
The reverberating effects of hiding the truth.


Alton Sterling and When Black Lives Stop Mattering
by Roxanne Gay, New York Times (July 06, 2016)
Tiny cameras allow us to bear witness to injustice. What does that change?


Solving All the Wrong Problems
by Allison Arieff, New York Times (July 09, 2016)
Do we really need an app that lets us brew our coffee from anywhere?


‘Transfesto’ Launches to Tackle Transgender Discrimination After Death
by Jenny Marc, The Independent (June 30, 2016)
In 2016 researchers and activists in London released a ‘transfesto’, calling for greater awareness of issues faced by transgender, non-binary and gender nonconforming people after they die. The manifesto calls on the funeral industry to develop more trans-friendly practices and for official death-related paperwork to be more trans-inclusive. It also outlines plans to make trans-specific legal information more easily accessible.


THIRD human foot found in Bath, England
by Amanda Cameron, Bath Chronicle (August 05, 2016)
Another human foot has been discovered in Bath….(NB: Death Ref John lives in Bath and can’t get enough of these severed feet stories)


10 of the World’s Most Iconic Cemeteries, Mausoleums, and Crematoriums
by Demie Kim, Artsy (August 09, 2016)
Though we may think of cemeteries as transporting us to the past to remember and honor our loved ones, they have historically been spaces of innovation and reinvention in art, architecture, and design.


Death & The Maidens: Why Women are Working with Death
by Sarah Troop, Death and the Maiden (August 15, 2016)
Death & the Maiden’s co-founder, Sarah Troop, delves into the reasons underlying the current interest many women seem to have with death, and the rise of the Death Positive movement.


Playing God
by Radiolab (August 21, 2016)
When people are dying and you can only save some, how do you choose? Maybe you save the youngest. Or the sickest. Maybe you even just put all the names in a hat and pick at random. Would your answer change if a sick person was standing right in front of you?


On Assisted Suicide, Going Beyond ‘Do No Harm’
by Dr. Haider Javed Warraich, New York Times (November 04, 2016)
Fewer people experience a “natural death” anymore. Doctors should rethink their opposition to right-to-die laws.


LGBTQ Activist Cleve Jones: ‘I’m Well Aware How Fragile Life Is’
Terry Gross radio interview on Fresh Air (November 29, 2016)
Jones became an activist after Harvey Milk’s assassination, and he lost countless friends to the AIDS epidemic. He says, “There are some days when it is so painful that I really can barely function.”


The Reinvention of Radical Protest: Life on the Frontline of the AIDS Epidemic
by David France, The Guardian Long Read (November 29, 2016)
As reports of a mysterious plague swept through the gay community in the 1980s, activists developed shock tactics to get the support they desperately needed.


America Is Failing the Bad-Break Test and People Are Dying
by Jesse Singal, Science of Us (December 09, 2016)
The United States likes to view itself as a singular force of prosperity and opportunity, but by many public-health metrics — including infant mortality and preventable deaths and a variety of others — it doesn’t look like a top-tier world power.


The Rooms they Left Behind
by Mitch Epstein, New York Times Magazine (December 21, 2016)
After the deaths of these 10 notable people, The New York Times photographed their private spaces — as they left them.


We Need to Talk About Death
with Joan Bakewell, BBC Radio 4 (Ongoing Series started in December 2016 — download the Podcasts)
Joan Bakewell and her panel discuss death and dying, exploring the choices open to us and confronting the questions we fear the most.

Death + Crime Death + Popular Culture Death + Technology Death + the Law

Necrophilia Laws and Abusing the Corpse at the Morbid Anatomy Museum

Abusing the Corpse Even More: Understanding Necrophilia Laws in the USA — Now with more Necro! And more Philia!
An Illustrated Lecture by Dr. John Troyer
Thursday, April 09, 2015
8:00 pm – 10:00 pm $8
Morbid Anatomy Museum
424A 3rd Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Wisconsin (and Ohio…) are two states that just keep giving and giving when it comes to American necrophilia cases.

On April 09, Death Ref John is returning to the Morbid Anatomy Museum to give an updated talk on the current state of US necrophilia jurisprudence.

Abusing the Corpse Even More: Understanding Necrophilia Laws in the USA — Now with more Necro! And more Philia!
An Illustrated Lecture by Dr. John Troyer

It will be very exciting! We promise!

You can also click here to see April’s calendar on the Morbid Anatomy Museum website.

Death + Crime Death + Disaster Death + the Law

Day 21: Dealing with Dead Bodies in Mass Fatality Events

Dutch Investigators Finally Gain Access to MH17 Remains
Caroline Bankoff, Daily Intelligencer (July 21, 2014)

Last week’s shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the Ukraine has become a rolling demonstration of what’s not supposed to happen after a mass fatality event involving dozens of dead bodies.

For various reasons, I’ve participated in mass fatality response workshops so watching what is clearly a crime scene go uninvestigated by professionals is maddening.

At a minimum, there should be portable mortuaries/morgues up on the site. An international cohort of pathology technicians, forensic investigators, law enforcement officials, dental experts, sniffer dog teams, general support crews, and even funeral directors should be on hand for Disaster Victim Identification or DVI.

These are only some of the groups I would expect. There would actually be more and the whole operation would need a central command.

All of this is to say, that what’s happened in the Ukraine has become a textbook example of worst case scenarios.

The whole situation has also reminded me of previous Death Ref stories on the different kind of mass fatality responses in both Haiti and Japan. You can read those posts here.

I’ll update Death Ref with any relevant information I see on MH17.

Death + Crime Death + Technology Death + the Law

Day 13: Online Volunteers Who Identify Unidentified Human Remains

Online Supersleuths
There’s an estimated 40,000 unidentified human remains in the United States. When writer Deborah Halber heard this figure, she did some research and discovered a thriving community of internet sleuths who spend hours trying to attach names to these John and Jane Does.
Brooke Gladstone, On the Media (July 12, 2014)

WNYC’s radio programme, On the Media, has been an invaluable resource for the Death Reference Desk these past five years. I never created an ‘On the Media’ tag, but I know that I’ve used its shows a number of times.

This week is a great example of the stories that OTM runs. Brooke Gladstone interviews Deborah Halber about her book Skeleton Crew: How Amateur Sleuths Are Solving America’s Coldest Cases and the volunteers who work on unsolved and cold cases involving unidentified human remains.

I have to imagine that some of Death Ref’s regulars, particularly the librarians, might already know about this online crime solving.

Feel free to send the Death Reference Desk examples of cases that were helped and/or solved through online volunteers.

You can listen to the interview here:

Death + Crime Death + Technology Death + the Law Grief + Mourning Suicide

Reflections on Mass Shootings in America

Packing Protection or Packing Suicide Risk?
Shankar Vedantam, Washington Post (July 07, 2008)


Anatomy of a Murder-Suicide
Andrew Solomon, New York Times (December 22, 2012)

Where to begin? I’ve been asking myself this question all week as I watched the Newtown, CT, news coverage. The Death Reference Desk hasn’t really covered other mass shootings, and, in fact, our posts directly related to guns number two. The first story involved a funeral director trying to stop gun violence with a billboard. The second post, something I wrote, discussed a new company offering to fill gun ammunition with a person’s created remains. I was surprised, actually, that Meg, Kim, and I hadn’t written about guns and death more often, but so it goes.

The entire Newtown shooting reminded me, yet again, of a 2008 Washington Post article by Shankar Vedantam regarding the correlation between liberalized gun laws and increases in successful suicides by gunshot. Vendatam’s article (posted above) does an excellent job explaining this phenomena and how it has been tracked for several years.

But I couldn’t quite bring everything together: increasingly loose gun laws, mass shootings, and individual suicides. Then today, Sunday, Andrew Solomon penned a salient and cogent op/ed for the New York Times. His entire article is worth reading but it was this section towards the end that caught my eye:

The United States is the only country in the world where the primary means of suicide is guns. In 2010, 19,392 Americans killed themselves with guns. That’s twice the number of people murdered by guns that year. Historically, the states with the weakest gun-control laws have had substantially higher suicide rates than those with the strongest laws. Someone who has to look for a gun often has time to think better of using it, while someone who can grab one in a moment of passion does not.


We need to offer children better mental health screenings and to understand that mental health service works best not on a vaccine model, in which a single dramatic intervention eliminates a problem forever, but on a dental model, in which constant care is required to prevent decay. Only by understanding why Adam Lanza wished to die can we understand why he killed. We would be well advised to look past the evil against others that most horrifies us and focus on the pathos that engendered it.

It is worth noting that Andrew Solomon recently wrote a book called Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity that examines children (and young adults) who commit violent acts. You can listen to him discuss the book here.

Yet, these thoughts on the Newtown murders and Adam Lanza’s own suicide (after killing 20 children and 6 adults) still feel incomplete since human language seems inadequate given the event’s severity. For me, the most compelling stories emerged in unlikely places. With the Honan Funeral Home in Newtown, for example, the only funeral home in the town and where most of the funerals took place. And in a series of articles in Slate that took different angles on the school shooting and gun violence in America:

Since 1980, 302 People Have Been Killed in School Shootings: An interactive chart of every school shooting and its death toll


In the Wake of the Newtown Shooting, Should We Fear a Wave of Copycat Crimes?: “We Still Look at Ourselves as Survivors”: More Than Eighty Years Later, Remembering the Deadliest School Massacre in American History


We Have the Technology To Make Safer Guns: Too bad gunmakers don’t care

I have no idea what kinds of gun law changes the Newtown shootings might produce. It’s hard to say, and if previous mass shootings are any guide, not much will happen.

That said, I’m hopeful that the relationship between suicide and guns is given significantly more attention and care. I’m also hopeful that the Death Reference Desk doesn’t end up running a whole series of gun death posts– but the odds don’t look good at this very moment.


Gun Show photo by M Glasgow on Flickr

Death + Crime Death + Popular Culture Death + the Law

DeathRef’s Guide to ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE Preparedness

Naked Man Killed by Police Near MacArthur Causeway was ‘Eating’ Face Off Victim
Daniela Guzman and Julie K. Brown, Miami Herald (May 28, 2012)

We all knew that it was going to happen sooner or later. The Undead would RISE UP and begin their unstoppable decimation of the Living. Oh the HUMANITY!

Here at the Death Reference Desk we never thought that Miami, Florida would be ground zero for the Zombie Apocalypse but there you have it.


In perhaps the greatest understatement of all time, a Miami police official explained how it is that an officer could repeatedly shoot a man who was discovered chewing the face off of another man in the middle of the road:

Sergeant Altarr Williams, supervisor of Miami police’s Homicide Unit, said a man doesn’t have to be armed to be dangerous.

“There are other ways to injure people,’’ Williams said. “Some people know martial arts, others are very strong and can kill you with their hands.’’

Or, maybe just maybe the person is a freaking ZOMBIE!

Your good friends at DeathRef have been preparing for the inevitable Zombie Attack and we’ve assembled an entire section on zombies.

So, make sure that you’ve got everything that you need in your Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kit and listen to these wise words from the late, great Dennis Hopper.

Death + Crime Death + the Economy Death + the Law

Prisoner Cemetery for the Unclaimed Dead in Texas

Texas Prisoner Burials Are a Gentle Touch in a Punitive System
Manny Fernandez, New York Times (January 05, 2012)
At a cemetery in Texas, murderers and other convicts whose bodies are unclaimed can be interred and, for a few moments, remembered.

Here’s a really interesting article on the cemetery used by Texas prison officials. These are for the unclaimed dead bodies of convicted prisoners, who are given a burial more respectful than you might expect out of this tough-on-crime state.

It reminds me of the post on Hart Island, where New York’s unclaimed dead bodies are buried.

I’d like to create an entire map of all unclaimed dead body cemeteries/repositories around the world. Welcome to 2012’s big project.

Captain Joe Byrd Cemetery TX DOC photo by Cranky Amy on Flickr

Death + Crime Death + Popular Culture

Unexplained Dollhouse Deaths in LONDON

Of Dolls and Murder UK Premier
Horse Hospital in London (November 30, 2011)


“Of Dolls & Murder”: The World’s First True Crime Puppet Show
Colin Covert, Star Tribune (September 27, 2011)


Of Dolls and Murder
Bruce Goldfarb, Welcome to Baltimore, Hon! (September 25, 2010)

This is a Death Reference Desk post which begins in December 2007.

At that time, I was contacted by Minneapolis based filmmaker and writer Susan Marks about her new documentary film. She was working on a film about the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, located in Baltimore, Maryland. I had never heard of the “Nutshells” (as they’re called by those in the know) but once Susan brought me up to speed on the project, I wanted in.

The Nutshells are an astoundingly detailed set of miniature dollhouse dioramas, some 18 in total, and each of them represents an unexplained death. All of the dioramas were painstakingly created by Frances Glessner Lee, a wealthy woman who went a long ways in founding the field of modern forensic science. All of this during the first half of the twentieth century. Harvard University (where Frances Glessner Lee was based) originally kept the Nutshells but then sold them to the Maryland Department of Health in Baltimore.

Of Dolls and Murder

Here’s the rub: the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death are so exquisitely detailed that police departments still use them today for crime scene investigation training. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, nothing beats a well built diorama!

This all brings me back to 2007. Susan wanted to interview me about representations of death, dying, and dead bodies in popular culture, film, art, and science. Making a documentary film about the Nutshells was pretty straightforward (more or less) but what Susan wanted to ponder was a bigger question. She wanted to understand how the Nutshells might shed light on the current fascination with all things dead, dying, and CSI.

I have never seen the Nutshells, only photographs, but in those images I was struck by the following thought: We humans aren’t looking at the dead dolls for crime scene clues. No. We humans look at those dead dolls (and the dolls look back) in order to find some kind meaning, if that’s even possible, in death.

The Nutshells aren’t about unsolved deaths. They’re about the human imagination grappling with the postmortem insecurities which surround the dead self.

The finished documentary, Of Dolls and Murder, will premiere in the UK on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at the Horse Hospital in London.

John Waters narrates the documentary (he’s from Baltimore too…).

I’ll be conducting a Q and A after the Horse Hospital screening.

Keep an eye out for Of Dolls and Murder. I have a hunch that it is going to be much discussed this year and next. It’s already won audience awards all over the world.

Here’s another trailer to sample of the darkness.


Death + Crime Death + the Economy Death + the Law Death Ethics

Cook County Gives Unclaimed Dead Bodies a Two Week Notice (sort of…)

Under Recent Policy, Cook County Begins Donating Unclaimed Bodies after 2 Weeks
Cadavers that are left in morgue are given to medical research
Becky Schlikerman, William Lee and Ronnie Reese, Chicago Tribune (October 04, 2011)


Medical Examiner: Families Who Object to Body Donation Can Opt for Burial
Becky Schlikerman, Chicago Tribune (October 05, 2011)

There was a bit of a dead body tug-of-war this week in Chicago. According to an October 4 article in the Chicago Tribune, any dead body left unclaimed for two weeks in the Medical Examiner’s office will be handed over to the Illinois Anatomical Gift Association.

But wait, that’s not totally true.

According to an October 5 article in the Chicago Tribune, the Medical Examiner’s office will not donate any unclaimed body to the Anatomical Gift Association when the ME’s office knows that the next-of-kin cannot afford to have the dead body claimed and the next-of-kin want a burial.

Here is the bigger issue in this story: the overall costs for retrieving a body from a Medical Examiner’s office have become too expensive for many families.

We started covering this situation in 2009, when the Death Reference Desk launched. You can look over all those previous posts in the Death + the Economy section.

More and more county morgues across America are dealing with not only unclaimed dead bodies, but unclaimed dead bodies and families who know exactly where said dead body is located but can’t afford to do anything about it.

As a result, the Cook County story is hardly surprising.

Given the economic difficulties more and more American families face, this story represents not an anomaly but the future.

For more on Medical Examiners and their work, watch the fantastic Frontline documentary Post Mortem: Death Investigation in America

Death + Crime Death + Popular Culture

Fook On Sing Funeral Supplies Store Raided by New York Cops for Copyright Violations

Yes, He Sold Fakes. They Are Supposed to Be Fake.
Jeffrey E. Singer and Corey Kilgannon, The New York Times (August 24, 2011)
Paper imitations of luxury items are traditional at Chinese funerals as gifts for the dead, but a seller of cardboard handbags was arrested on copyright-infringement charges on Tuesday.

Ok ok. So the the Fook On Sing Funeral Supplies store on Mulberry Street wasn’t raided, per se, but one of its workers (Wing Su Mak) was arrested by the New York police for offering to sell cardboard reproductions of high-end consumer goods, including authentic cardboard Burberry and Louis Vuitton handbags.

Two things.

  1. The use of cardboard replicas in Chinese funerals, which go in the casket with the deceased and then are incinerated during cremation, is a long-standing funereal custom. And since this is a long-time tradition it means that the objects people want in the casket also change with the times. Ergo, the cardboard swag.
  2. I have been in the Fook On Sing Funeral Supplies store on Mulberry street and purchased cardboard replicas of items which I proudly display in my office. One of my favorite purchases was the cardboard laptop computer with the Apple computer apple on it.
Fook On Sing Funeral Supplies Laptop. photo by John Troyer in his office
Fook On Sing Funeral Supplies Laptop. photo by John Troyer in his office

Come and get me Coppers!!!

The people at Fook On Sing are also really nice and when I visited the store in April 2011, Wing Su Mak took time to explain why people wanted the newer kinds of objects.

So here is what will hopefully happen in the coming days: The NYPD will say sorry for making a mistake and all charges will be dropped. I can only hope that this entire situation becomes the proverbial ‘teachable moment.’

If not, then look out NYPD. You’re going to have the world of Death Studies Scholars leaping to Fook On Sing Funeral Supplies’ legal defense.

And that, my friends, will be no joke.

Fook On Sing Funeral Supplies Inc photo at top by Adam Elmquist

Burial Death + Crime Death + Popular Culture Death + the Law Death Ethics

On the Death of Osama Bin Laden

Watery Grave, Murky Law
Leor Halevi, New York Times (May 08, 2011)
Osama bin Laden’s burial at sea and the history of Shariah.


Bin Laden Exits the Scene
On the Media, WNYC and National Public Radio (May 06, 2011)

It has been one week since President Obama announced that Osama Bin Laden was dead. I happened to be in New York City when the announcement was made so I immediately began taking stock of the entire situation. Within the annals of infamous dead bodies (Eva Peron, Hitler, Che Guevara, Mao, Lenin, etc.) Bin Laden’s corpse is an important specter for twenty-first century human history. I began collecting news articles on what exactly happened to Bin Laden’s dead body since I knew that controversy was sure to follow.

My first inkling that something was askew came on Monday morning when National Public Radio reported that Bin Laden received a sea burial with full Muslim funeral rites. I’m not a Muslim burial rites specialist but at no time have I ever read about a Muslim burial at sea. The Death Reference Desk has certainly covered contemporary (mostly American) Muslim burial practices and you can read that information here. But even the most contemporary, American Muslim traditions still hew to much older Islamic funeral traditions.



Over the course of last week much back and forth ensued over what exactly happened to Bin Laden’s dead body and how, if at all, it conformed to Islamic funeral practices.’s Explainer column posted one of the first good pieces on the entire concept: Bin Laden Sleeps With the Fishes. Central to what occurred was a choice by US Government Officials (I can only assume that this starts with President Obama) that burying Bin Laden anywhere would be problematic. This is a point that many people discussed so I won’t belabor it.

There is one place, however, that I imagine could be used for a “proper” burial and that is Guantanamo Bay. But even mentioning that scenario would create global havoc. That said, I bet money that Gitmo got mentioned by someone and then quickly passed over.

As a result, Osama Bin Laden’s dead body got put in the ocean because the United States wanted to get rid of it. I don’t think that the narrative is much more complicated than that. The use of Muslim funeral rites are nice but what happened to Bin Laden’s body was not a particularly Muslim burial.

Here’s the rub: that might not be a problem. In Sunday’s New York Times, Vanderbilt University history professor Leor Halevi wrote an a particularly good op/ed piece on this very topic, linked at the top of the page. Halevi’s article is the best that I have come across to date. Here’s the crux:

Bin Laden’s religious status is a matter of contention among Muslims. On one end of the spectrum are Muslims who consider him an outsider to Islam: if not quite an apostate, a terrorist whose right to an official Muslim prayer is debatable at best. (In 2005 the Islamic Commission of Spain essentially excommunicated Bin Laden, arguing that he should not be treated as a Muslim.) They must find it as perplexing as I do that the United States government granted the man it identified not as a Muslim, but as a “mass murderer of Muslims,” the dubious honor of a quasi-Islamic funeral.


On the other end are Muslims who believe that Bin Laden is now enjoying the blessings of martyrdom. From a theological perspective, it matters little to them how Americans on the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson disposed of the corpse.


Which is all to say that Bin Laden’s burial was doctrinally irrelevant to some Muslims, and confusing to others. Most of the rest feel uneasy. Perhaps the United States could not have avoided that. But a deeper understanding of the history of Islam’s sacred law could have prevented us from seeming so at sea.

Here is what I know for sure: by the middle of this coming week everyone in America will be talking about something else and that over time conversations will come and go, mostly amongst academics, on whether or not Osama Bin Laden got a proper funeral.

The more immediate political question focuses on whether or not the photo(s) of Bin Laden’s dead body should be released. This question, too, will go away by the middle of the week. The photos were not released now but they will surface in the future. How soon is an open question but we will eventually see the images.

The On The Media program at the top has several good radio segments on Bin Laden, his dead body, and the future of his memory.

I have a hunch that Meg, Kim, and I will be discussing Osama Bin Laden’s dead body again in the near future since America has a long history of dealing with the infamous dead and in ways that keep those infamous dead bodies very much alive.

Death + Art / Architecture Death + Crime

12:31 – Killer Photos

Project 12:31
Croix Gagnon and Frank Schott

via Today and Tomorrow, “12:31”

All DeathRef bloggers will one day answer for their sins of gratuitous and gauche headline puns. But, wow, you gotta check this out. Using cross-sectional cadaver slides from the Visible Human Project as source material, Croix Gagnon and Frank Schott piece together haunting “light paintings” of the corpse of an executed murderer floating through nocturnal scenes.

See all the images and read the story at their website, or just feast your eyes on this creepy animation of all the slides, crown to sole: