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BUSTED: Stealing Body Parts From Corpses

In Rochester, NY, 3 funeral home directors and 4 former employees of a biomedical supply company secretly removed skin, bone, and other body parts from dozens of deceased people before their planned cremation (without the family's consent). The 7 are being charged with body stealing, unlawful dissection, and other counts. The most serious charges could earn them 20 years in prison.

In some instances, if the person who passed away wasn't being cremated, their bones were stolen, replaced with PVC piping, and then sewn back up before their burial (see the x-ray to the right).

Why did they do this? For the money, of course. They made millions of dollars selling body parts such as knees, heads, and elbows to biomedical companies that supply material for common procedures, including dental implants and hip replacements.

Think of those poor families who already went through the trauma of losing a loved one, and then later had to be told this horrendous news. It's just mortifying and unacceptable.

Trafficking of body parts is a huge, underground business, driven by the growing demand for human bones and tissue. Not only is it illegal, but it threatens the health of unknowing people who are accepting these "donated" body parts. Who knows what kinds of infections could be passed on?

While it's true that patients can definitely benefit from donated bones and skin, and medical students and researchers can learn a ton from using actual body parts, stricter regulations need to come into play here. Families need to know that they can trust funeral homes, and know that their wishes will be respected. What do you think about this?

Join The Conversation
AshNik AshNik 10 years
very unsettling... makes you think.. will people do this to me when i pass??
SU3 SU3 10 years
Disgusting and so sad...
peachygirl peachygirl 10 years
that is disgusting and terrifying.
JustSomeChick JustSomeChick 10 years
Ah, way to make my hometown proud!
pinupsweetheart pinupsweetheart 10 years
I think it is horrible to lose a loved one - you want to trust the people who are handling the body. But how would you know if it is a good funeral home? You are not thinking clearly when it happens, and it happens so fast. It is really a shame.
foudini foudini 10 years
The funeral industry is one of the most heavily regulated and yet it suffers from selective publicity. Stories like this, while very tragic, create the impression that the industry is completely corrupt. That just isn't the case. The FTC regulates the industry down to the smallest details (really) and funeral homes have surprise inspections all the time. There are other industries that are far more corrupt but aren't watched as closely nor reported on in the same way. When was the last time you heard a story about the funeral director or arranger and embalmer doing something wonderful for a family? It happens all the time everyday in 99% of cases but that's not what the news wants to print.
ZergGirl ZergGirl 10 years
ZergGirl ZergGirl 10 years
Something like this makes me thing perhaps we should bring back flogging....
Fitness Fitness 10 years
I know, and all I can think about are those poor families who later had to find out what really happened to their loved one...
rhondak rhondak 10 years
Wow...that's really disturbing.
Amity-A Amity-A 10 years
krisua krisua 10 years
sorry: not to mention immoral*
krisua krisua 10 years
Gross, not sayt mention immoral.
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