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Coroner Wants To Display Corpses

April 22, 1998

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ The stained glass and stunning architecture should be enough to please visitors, even without the corpses.

Allegheny County Coroner Cyril Wecht wants to reopen a chapel in his office where bodies in need of identification were once displayed to the public.

Ed Iandiorio, 69, first saw the bodies in the chapel when he was about 14 in the 1940s. He later did what other guys did _ he took a girl with him, hoping for a frightened cuddle.

``After you got older and you had a date, you would take her down there and scare the hell out of her,″ he said. ``Everybody went down there.″

The corpse display ended when the chapel closed in 1966. The coroner at the time, William T. Hunt, considered it ghoulish because most people visited out of idle curiosity.

Now Wecht wants to convert the chapel into offices and reopen at least part of it for visitors. He’d like to cap the chapel’s sanctuary with a second floor for offices and a conference room, and preserve the stained-glass windows and arched ceiling.

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