I performed an autopsy on the body of JANIS JOPLIN
at OFFICE OF CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMINER-CORONER, HALL OF JUSTICE,
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
and from the anatomic findings and pertinent history I ascribe the death to:
I. Pulmonary edema and congestion.
II. Visceral congestion.
III. Needle marks, arms, bilateral.
IV. Fatty metamorphosis of liver.
The unembalmed body is that of a Caucasian female, appearing the
stated age of 27. A tattoo of a bracelet is present around the left wrist. A small tattoo of a flower is present just behind the lateral malleolus on
the right heel. There is also a small heart tattooed over, and medial to,
the left breast. Numerous needle marks are present in the arms
bilaterally, both in the antecubital fossa and on the left lateral anterior
margin of the left arm. On sectioning, there appears to be at least two
fresh hemorrhagic areas on the lateral margin of the left arm. The
antecubital fossa shows, what appears to be, old needle marks and some
are of relatively recent origin. An old surgical scar is present in the
right lower quadrant of the abdomen. There is a slight amount of bloody
material present in the mouth and on further examination, some
disruption of the mucosa is noted. No evidence of major trauma or of
violence is present. The hair is of moderate length and shows a varying
shade of, from blond to brunette. The eyes are blue and show moderate
dilatation of the pupils. The external genitalia is female. There is some
irregular dependent livor with the pressure changes chiefly on the left
side, suggesting body rest on the left side.