What’s in your cooler?

Trade in body parts from the dead in the US is a murky business. Is it legal? Illegal? (It’s illegal – sort of: people can only sell body parts if they have filled out a donor card before they die). Companies often advertise free cremation in exchange for donating a body for ‘medical research’. In the US almost anything goes.

Thus it should be no surprise at all that the FBI raided the Biological Resource Center in Phoenix, Arizona, which flogged body parts and offered services to dispose of corpses. The Feds found in 2014 heaps of bodies, buckets of severed heads and limbs, a cooler filled with male genitals, and a large torso with its head removed and a much smaller head sewn back onto the neck. Arizona passed a law in 2017 that prevented body donation centers from operating without a license, however the law has not yet been enacted and therefore can not be enforced. 

Now more than 30 people are suing the company and its owner, who is called Stephen Gore.