Mass Burial Held For Over 1,600 LA County Residents

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The remains of hundreds of Los Angeles County residents whose bodies were never claimed by family or friends were buried in a mass burial Wednesday.

“This holiday season many of us are reminded how fortunate we are to be surrounded by our loved ones,” Supervisor Don Knabe said Tuesday, when he and his colleagues on the Board of Supervisors observed a moment of silence for the people being buried. “Sadly, not everyone shares this blessing.”

He said the 1,639 people designated for the mass interment at the Los Angeles County Crematory and Cemetery “are individuals that, for one reason or another, have no one but the county to provide them with a respectful and dignified burial.”

“700 [were] basically just neglected, unclaimed individuals, which is so sad, they just had no one,” said Knabe. “The remainder were either homeless, indigent, with no immediate family members or no contact with family for many, many years and the family just said,’Let the county do it’.”

KNX 1070’s Brian Ping reports the county has been performing these mass interments for over a century.

If a family member is contacted upon a death, Knabe said, they have 30 days to decide whether to claim the body. After that, the remains are cremated and held for three years, after which they are buried if still unclaimed.

“Regardless of what their status in life was, each one of their lives matters,” he said. “It matters to us, their county family.”

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

  • Terrence

    I didn’t know that mass graves were legal in this country. R.I.P.

    • Brit

      It’s much better than the landfill our Air force provided for 274 troops.. that had families. So sad…

      • Justavet

        Kris, a landfill is not the proper venue for the disposal of body parts. I suggest you read the article which states that these were the partial remains of 274 troops, not surgically removed biological waste. Accordingly, they should have been interned with the deceased or scattered at sea (which is the current practice). Dumping the ashes in a landfill was showing a lack of respect. But, than again, it sounds like you have little idea what respect for the military, and especially those that gave their lives means.

      • Kris

        While I don’t like that the Air Force sent the cremated remails of our military to a landfill, that is not the whole story. The medical waste, which is what it is when a bomb goes off and you have small pieces left over that can not be indentified, were incinerated and disposed of. Some of those pieces I’m sure belonged to both surviving and deceased men and women from the same explosion. We don’t get upset when a hospital takes left overs from a surgery and disposes of them, this is a similar situation. Now saying that, there is no excuse for the remains to be dumped in a landfill. I was shocked when I read the story and would have expected the ashes to be taken out to sea. The remains could not be returned to the family because they could not be identified, they just knew which people were involved in each incident. So sad.

    • RJ

      its not a mass grave as you might be viewing it what they do is creamte the remains and bury them in a MASS SERVICE meaning LOTS OF LITTLE HOLES not one big one for everyone

      • RJ

        DR i have been present at one of these burials in the past and i assure you IT IS NOT ONE MASS GRAVE that would not be legal they take each box of remains and place them in SEPARATE little holes marked with the ID number of that person incase a day comes that someone comes forward looking for their loved one and YES that has happen. a few months after the burial i took part in a family from back east who had hired a PI to track their missing son showed up here in LA because the PI had tracked their son here. and they came to the morgue to see if in fact it was their son that the PI had located.
        the morgue pulled up the file based on the discription they gave showed the family the file photo of the young man who had died in a hit and run and he had no ID on him and no fingerprint record and for some reason the police back east had not sent the MISSING PERSON report out this far. it was in deed their son and the county then went and retrieved his remains and gave them to the family

      • DR

        Thats not the case. The cremains are put in a single, mass plot. They are emptied by hand from the wooden boxes they have sat in for the two years the county requires them to sit. It is one hole.

      • walljasper

        Oh good, we can continue to use the expression “mass holes” to describe Washington D.C. in the traditional manner.

        (actually – thanks for the explanation – good info and comforting too)

      • Terrence

        That makes more sense and is much more respectful. Thanks for the info.



  • Cynthia

    I’m sure he came up with it himself. He was my neighbor when I was a child and he is a kind man and a great father.

  • David Dearth

    I was sent here by Drudge Report who said that 1,600 were buried in A MASS GRAVE. Singular. Indefinite singular article A with a singular noun GRAVE. As in 1,600 people in one grave. Drudge needs to learn the grammar rules of the English language. It turns out 1,000 people were buried in a mass BURIAL. False and inflammatory reporting.

    • Il Bui

      The Drudge HL was correct. ONE grave for all the remains. HOWEVER, you being a lib (I.Q. <50) means that you are incapable of reading.

    • Hollywood HIck


    • J Land

      Did you read the article?

      “…He said the 1,639 people designated for the mass interment at the Los Angeles County Crematory and Cemetery…”

      How is that 1000? as for the grave… they do all end up in one grave…

      • hossmandu

        It’s okay J Land, David was likely just responding to a MediaMatters email that went out. They are currently working on a way to either blame this on Bush or blame it on everyone not having free healthcare.

    • hossmandu

      No, the remains of over 1600 people were buried in a mass grave. Emptied into a single (Grave) large hole. NOT false and inflammatory.

    • Neednewpresident

      You should stay with MSNBC then genius for really ” professional ” reporting , and the occasional tingle up your leg.

  • TJG

    I heard that 1649 people also registered for the Democrat party on Wednesday as well…surely just a coincidence.

    • Ruth

      really I see dead voters

    • omstrat

      It would be funny if it wasn’t all that possible . They do it here in New Jersey ALL the time.

    • hossmandu

      haha! Not like it’s needed out here in SoCal, or SocialistCal

    • Roger

      Outstanding, cannot breath, laughing too hard… gotta catch my breath or be buried with all these poor souls. RIP

    • Jacqueline West

      Good one.

  • Chuck McCann

    What’s sad to me is their last moment alive, alone, looking back, probably searching back for some place in time looking for a memory of when someone loved them, or wondering if anyone every loved them, and then maybe thinking what what what was this?? What life was this?

    • Sean C

      I’m guessing more likely the last thought was:

      “Where’d that truck come from . . .”
      “I didn’t think he had a gun. . .”
      “That wasn’t heroine. . .”
      “Where’s my bottle. . .”

      • 4ur411

        Sounds more like it…lol

  • Mass Burial Held For Over 1,600 LA County Residents « Newsessentials Blog

    […] 7, 2011 11:02 AM LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The remains of hundreds of Los Angeles County residents whose bodies were never claimed by […]

  • hossmandu

    A sad, sad tale of what the welfare state cultivates. Life has no value. $16 trillion into the war on poverty, yet the same policies that defend that fallacy cause what I call the “Soccer generation”. Don’t keep score, everyone wins, everybody gets a trophy. I’m sure that these people touched someone during their lives, but there is such a culture of apathy with regard to family and friends there is little hope for our union (I’m talking about the USA for the kiddies).

  • jp martin

    Everyone counts, this is a gracious move by the city/state

    • AL in LA

      Not City, not State….this was the COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES, represented by its five Elected County Supervisors who represent close to 11 million residents.

    • Andy Hangley

      Keeping these bodies cost money. The city/state is just trying to save money. If they were truly gracious they would not have let them pile up like this in the first place.

      • fed_up

        Probably they got tired of waiting for the families to step up and pay the freight. The families ain’t gonna do that; do you know how many 40-ouncers and rocks you can buy with what it costs to fund a funeral?

  • Mass Burial Held For Over 1,600 LA County Residents

    […] […]

  • Shutthedoor

    Official: USA is a third world country!

    • freecheese

      Did they forget the Third World style candel ilgit vigil ?

  • rightwingwackjob

    Finally, we have found a legitimate service that government can perform effectively…..there must have been less than two cars in the funeral procession.

  • flynny

    Sad what our Country has become. Our Country has lost it’s soul. The poor could ask the county to cremate your loved one and hand them over. I’m sure if your poor, it’s a small fee. I would have then taken the cremains to a private place, the beach, a river, a lake, a state park our your Parents/loved one’s favorite spot they liked to visit and just scatter the ashes. The thing is though, you just do not ask anyone for approval, you just go and do it.

    Because it’s the right thing to do. Creamins are just small fragments and dust, that wont hurt a thing.

    • yankeefan

      I have handled the cremated remains of family members, I would guess each weighed about 3-4 pounds X 1639 we’re talking about more than a couple of tons of ashes.

      • Andy

        And your point is??????

      • Dino

        What’s the big deal? I can dispose of 5 lbs of ashes easier and cheaper than 150-250 lbs of flesh and bone. The impact of disposing the ashes is minimal. You can discard ashes almost anywhere…even in your flower garden…without any environmental impact.

    • Cheif Board Monitor

      The people interred do not care and I’m certain their ashes do not care either. What you are describing is a ceremony for the liviing loved ones left behind after someone dies. The ceremony is to honor their memory and contributions to other’s lives. These people obviously didn’t instill those feelings in anyone.

      I think the county is very generous in disposing of the bodies at your cost, even more so warehousing them for years. Death, as you fail to see, is a natural end to life; nothing more. I think you are placing romantic and sentimental feelings on their unfortunate end so that you can get a feeling of self worth and importance. I’m sure not all of these were your beloved honorable poor, but felons and sociopaths who brought no joy to anyone. Your feelings of romanticism are understood, but if those feelings are so important, your time would be better spent building those relationships while you are living so that they are truly meaningful and enjoyed.

  • Sean B

    Six hours he’s riding the subway before anybody notices his corpse doing laps around L.A., people on and off sitting next to him. Nobody notices.

  • Commen Sense

    Can you say illegal immigration?

    Secure the border and citizens will know where their kin are. Simple.

  • The Calling

    Turn away from all the suffering That surrounds Our time on this earth
    For some their life has been a curse.

  • Erich

    Government practicing for the impending FEMA concentration camps and subsequent interrment of “non-compliant” citizens, perhaps?

  • Steve-oh

    This has been a long standing policy by counties all over the country since the colonies signed the Articles of Confederation. They go by various names such as “beggars graves” to “vagrant graves” and even “hobo gardens.” The end of year is when morgues literally clean out the place of unclaimed bodies that died where they are not needed as evidence. Considering local state law, some become cadavers for medical schools. There have been various internment methods including burial at sea. Many of these people were runaways, on the lam, hobo and general nee-do-wells. I don’t have any grief for them, they chose the life they had and most knew Mother Nature would take care of them when they didn’t help themselves.

    • thecleansingisnigh

      Hey STEVE-OH!
      Just 10 years ago I was making 6 figures for over 30 yrs and owned my own business here in THE LAND OF THE “Once Upon a Time….” American Dream! My mother got cancer and I lost everything RADIATING HER BEFORE I KNEW THAT CANCER can be cured with natural devices LIKE HEMP oil ! Which OUR beloved corrupt for centuries GOV (look that up!) has demonized because they want to PUSH COKE & HEROIN via the CIA, (proven, caught countless times shipping it to YOUR KIDS!) and VIA these wars ALL the way back to Vietnam, NOW AFGHANISTAN, etc (before we bombed them heroin sales to the USA from Afghanistan was NIL! NOW ITS 90% to our US streets FROM THE US ARMY & Marine GUARDED USA/ Afgan POPPY FIELDS!) ….and with this prohibition MAKE A MIRACLE MEDICINAL PLANT ILLEGAL!
      Now I flip burgers….with A MASTERS DEGREE! AND volunteer at homeless shelters, take homeless families into my now rented home until they can get on their feet….ALSO PITCHED TO THE ROAD STRAY CATS & DOGS UNTIL we find them a FOREVER home….AND DO NOT & WILL NOT EVER have again the worthless UNCONSTITUTIONAL FEDERAL RESERVE GREEN PAPER to BUY myself a plot or a funeral….AND I KNOW 100′s IN THIS SAME BOAT! BECAUSE OF THE BLATANT, incremental, PLANNED, GLOBAL IMF DEBT BASED “CENTRAL” BANK destruction of America now….HAVE YA NOTICED? YOU WILL!
      HOW DO YOU KNOW WHO these people are? Walk one foot in OUR SHOES!
      Hey….Heres a HISTORY LESSON FOR YA…..and a prediction to the NOW & the very near future FOR ALL America & THE PLANET!
      GUESS WHO?
      “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered…I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies… The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”

      • yankeefan

        Methinks you have been ingesting too much of that “hemp oil” smoke

      • Steve-oh

        Are you on the road to a forgotten grave too?

      • Dino

        I agree with Yankeefan, you should probably have the munchies about now….just don’t eat any more brownies and you’ll be fine by evening!

  • Steve from Ohio

    Gee, that’s a better burial than some of our soldiers killed in battle, cremated and then thrown in a city landfill dump with garbage.

    • SickOfBigGovernment

      Yes… the idiot that made the decision to dispose of the soldier’s cremains in the landfill should be fired… I was outraged when I read that story…. They should have put all of the soldiers cremains together and placed them at Arlington National cemetery or something similiar.. or put them out to sea like they are ‘supposedly’ doing now.

  • fred

    Crackheads, drug addicts, deviants, and other b hussein supporters do not believe in family nor do they have any respect for life!

    • David

      Fred, your comment suggests you may be a psychopath.

      • audaxrex

        ….thank Heaven he’s not a liberal. The right can keep him.

  • mm

    It’s nice to see California authorities finally doing something on the side of morals and decency. Hopefully they can keep it up, but then again, this is California – A once beautiful state now taken over by socialism.

    • audaxrex

      …socialism? isn’t it the state where the voters did away with funding schools from tax dollars? That’s not socialism. That’s shortsighted selfish idiocy.

  • Garr Obo

    So what do you expect? A ten thousand dollat funeral for each one of them? Get a life.

  • Dan c

    Homeless people with no one and derelicts. Some, as unfeeling as it may sound, people do not want to spend the money.
    Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, how long does it take for a body in a “socially sanctioned” burial to return to the dust whence it came. Cremate everyone and spread the ashes to the winds and be done with it.

    • Wolf's Lair

      Cremation only ensures your body will never reunite with the spirit. Cremation is WRONG!

      • Mark

        I think God himself can figure out where the molecules that made up your body are located, and create the glorified body to reunite your soul with. He is God you know!

  • RobbieK

    Yes, you too can become a mortician and rip off the public! Hey Garr Obo, $10,000 for each one of them would be another rip off mortician scheme, but morticians should have been told to do it for free! Cheap schlocky you are.

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