McDeath: It Had To Happen

Worth — Friday, 1 April 1994

Among the Mexican Americans of Los Angeles, Vidal Herrera is known simply as El Muerto. But even Angelenos who don't know his grisly reputation may be familiar with Herrera-he tools around in a van emblazoned with his memorable instate toll-free number: 1-800-AUTOPSY. Does the world really need a coroner who makes house calls? Herrera says it's a growing business: He hopes to open 20 franchises of his Autopsy/Post Services nationwide. His own staff performs about 600 autopsies a year-including about 100 for private citizens, Now A/PS is branching into specialties such as “posttraumatic and decomposition cleanup.” that's mopping up mass-murder scenes, to a layman. “It's recession-proof,” he says cheerfully.