For the love of a job
At 23, Kathleen Vernon is definitely young for her job as Albany County coroner in southeastern Wyoming, but she seems born to do the work. Her mother was a homicide detective in California, her father was a special agent for the BLM, and "the walls of her childhood home were decorated with framed pictures of blood spatters, taken by her mother using her own blood as a study into different types of blood patterns," reports the Casper Star-Tribune. Vernon, who beat her Republican opponent in the last election by just 400 votes, has had her work cut out for her: Eight deaths required investigation during her first 12 days in office. And because she makes just $23,000 a year, Vernon still works two part-time jobs -- conducting surveys for the University of Wyoming and administering security for a business. Yet being a coroner is what she loves best, despite murders, tragedy and gore. Her job's main downside turns out to be practical: "I'm not really sure that I could live the rest of my adult life on this level of compensation."