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Brothers stole parts from 244 corpses
Posted 9/2/08 , edited 9/3/08
http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/09/02/philly.body.parts.ap/index.html

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (AP) -- Two brothers who ran a funeral home and crematorium admitted Tuesday that they sold corpses to a company that trafficked stolen body parts, a macabre scheme that left families aghast and unclear about the fate of their loved ones.

Louis and Gerald Garzone pleaded guilty to charges including conspiracy, theft, abuse of corpse and welfare fraud.

The gruesome allegations read in court drew gasps, murmurs and tears from about two dozen people who had entrusted the bodies of their loved ones to the Garzones' facilities in Philadelphia.

The brothers allowed at least 244 corpses to be carved up without families' permission and without medical tests, prosecutors said. Skin, bones, tendons and other parts -- some of them diseased -- were then sold around the country for dental implants, knee and hip replacements, and other procedures.

Some bodies were only torsos by the time the hacking was done, said Assistant District Attorney Evangelia Manos.

The mastermind of the scheme, Michael Mastromarino, pleaded guilty Friday to hundreds of charges that could send him to prison for life. He is already serving 18 to 54 years for running the scam in New York.

Mastromarino's company, New Jersey-based Biomedical Tissue Services, took bodies from funeral homes in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Among the corpses plundered was that of "Masterpiece Theatre" host Alistair Cooke.

In Philadelphia, he paid the Garzones and their partner, James McCafferty, more than $245,000 for at least 244 cadavers between February 2004 and October 2005, prosecutors said.

Mastromarino would then send a "cutting" crew, led by former nurse Lee Cruceta, to Philadelphia to dissect the bodies. Cruceta pleaded guilty in January to abusing corpses and other charges; McCafferty pleaded guilty last month to conspiracy and theft charges.

The tissue plundered from a single body often fetched about $4,000, and Mastromarino made millions from the scheme, prosecutors said.

Authorities were able to identify only 49 of the 244 bodies, since the scam entailed falsifying names, ages and causes of death to disguise corpses that were too old or too diseased to be harvested legally. The Garzones burned their records in the crematorium when investigators started asking questions, Manos said.

One of the harvested bodies was that of Lois Elder, 58, of Philadelphia, who died of complications from a stroke in April 2005, said Taya Elder, her daughter.

Elder, 39, said she is glad to be spared a trial. Even though she heard many of the chilling details during the grand jury investigation that led to the indictments, listening to them again in court Tuesday brought her to tears.

"It took me for a loop," Elder said. "It really is shocking."

Her mother was supposed to be cremated. Today, Elder said she can only assume the ashes she has are what was left of mother's body after the cutting crew finished its work.
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Posted 9/2/08 , edited 9/2/08
enterprising and now they are liable for their actions
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28 / M / Port of Coimbra
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Posted 9/2/08
somehow it reminds me of


that's gruesome
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26 / アメリカ
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Posted 9/2/08
I got the chicks finger in my cereal.
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27 / M / in a world where...
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Posted 9/2/08
whoa anyway to make a quick buck
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116 / M / Earth
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Posted 9/3/08
well those were corpses already, they didnt deserved a life time jail... there are worst pplz and they get less punishment..irony...
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76 / M
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Posted 9/3/08
That's why I'm having my body cremated.
Posted 9/3/08
woah didnt kno u culd make money out of a dead person
Posted 9/3/08
That's creepy.

Dead already or not ,
that is the sickest way to earn money ever .
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26 / M / Phoenix, Arizona
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Posted 9/3/08
i'm not surprised at all. people will do anything for money.
Posted 9/3/08
Well, it's disrespectful towards the dead bodies, and well the family members, but in the end those bodies would have turned into dust anyway, with or without that tendon or bone.

Some criminals who abused their own child for an endless amount of time got freed after just a few months, etc. I think people should re-evaluate some laws/morals/values.

Floetry~
Posted 9/3/08
peoples do anything to get money, even like this. There is illegal jobs where you get a body and sell them, where it will be used to eat or medical surgery. I read a news that in Africa (or South America? ehh Africa) a Tribe is targeted, and hunter get their body parts for some kind of soup or medical used.

Some body already have diseases and will be implant on someone, so I'm guessing they might as well die. Without permission is bad so they will be in court. In short: Anyone can do stuff for money, even a government at a poor country can pay to get votes.
Posted 9/3/08
another reason why u should get cremated upon death.
Posted 9/3/08
wow thats scary. .O____O;;;;;
Posted 9/3/08
creepy....lol but i sure could use a leg in my dismembered body parts collection
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