The care of older people in residential aged care services could be improved by optimising the use of existing information gathered for medico-legal death investigations. The authors address three myths contributing to underuse of this information: deaths are not preventable; public health gains are too small; and it is someone else's charter or responsibility A significant proportion of deaths are preventable, specifically those occurring prematurely from natural causes or due to injury and trauma. By addressing these preventable deaths, significant public health cost savings and better health outcomes for our growing ageing population can be achieved. Despite substantive monitoring of the provision of aged care, no single entity is explicitly responsible for systematically analysing medico-legal death information. The data and skills for using information from medico-legal death investigations currently exist. Dispelling the myths removes one impediment to investing in this area of public health.