US undertakers admit corpse scam

By | October 19, 2006

US undertakers admit corpse scam

Seven undertakers in the New York area have admitted being part of a scheme to steal body parts for transplants. The criminal operation saw body parts removed from corpses without the consent of relatives and sold to biomedical companies.

The body of veteran BBC broadcaster Alistair Cooke was among those used.

Brooklyn district attorney Charles Hynes said that hundreds of parts were sold for millions of dollars, and that more people were likely to be charged.

One of those who pleaded guilty was the undertaker who removed parts from the body of Alistair Cooke, who died in 2004 aged 95, Associated Press reported.

Brooklyn district attorney Michael Vecchione said: “They falsified documents indicating the bones were of people who had no diseases, when in fact most of them did have diseases – which would make the harvesting of those bones, and the reselling of them, illegal.”

Other evidence includes X-rays and photographs of exhumed corpses showing that where leg bones should have been, someone had inserted white plastic pipes.

The pipes were crudely reconnected to hip and ankle bones with screws before the legs were sewn back up. – bbc

So, someone may now be walking around with Alistair Cooke’s stolen cancerous leg bones? That has to be the strangest thing I’ll hear all day.

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