Human body parts for sale: life-saving industry or a law breaking international black market?

Cadaver encadenado en la UASD

Cadaver encadenado en la UASD (Photo credit: pics)

Images of a Frankenstein movie, grave robbers, body snatchers and stealing body parts from corpses all make great selling horror flick plots.  But, true to life stories of these same subjects are just below the surface of the evening news and are skin crawling, nauseating in detail.

Squeamish people  stop here.

The most recent published incident of stolen body parts happened in Oneida County, Wisconsin when medical examiner, Traci England was arrested in January 2012 for stealing parts of the spine from a corpse entrusted to the care of the medical examiner for an autopsy.

But, it gets even better, Traci England decided to check on another autopsy that was underway in the morgue and helped herself to more tissue that she placed in a plastic bag along with the spine sections. She was observed with the parcel in her possession when she left the premises.

The State of Wisconsin Probable Cause statement reads like a chapter from a science fiction book or plot of a horror film.  A tip from a concerned co-worker caused the following:

“a search warrant was executed at the residence the defendant…….located in the town of Newbold in Oneida County, Wisconsin on January 4, 2012.  The search warrant return indicates that a brown paper bag containing a white plastic bag was located on a shelf in the garage of the residence.  Inside the white plastic bag was a white plastic bowl containing what appeared to [be] a blood-like substance and tissue-like substance resembling liver and brain tissue.  Also located inside the white plastic bag were [sic] one Ziploc bag containing what appeared to be hair with blood-like substance and particles and another Ziploc bag containing what appeared to be bone with blood and tissue-like material attached.”

The Criminal complaint, case number 2012SC-0000099 was assigned to District Attorney Steven M. Michlig.

The defendant, Medical Examiner, Traci England was charged with “a Class A Misdemeanor and could be imprisoned not more than nine months and fined not more than $10,000, or both”, according to the  arrest record.

The reason for the theft of the body parts and tissue: England was planning to use these for training her cadaver dog, according to the news report.

Asked if she had permission from the families to take the body parts, England claimed she did.  However the local police investigator located the nearest relatives of the corpses involved in the heist and when asked if they had donated parts from their relatives body – they responded that they had not given any permission according to the arrest record.

7 responses to this post.

  1. […] Human body parts for sale: life-saving industry or a law breaking international black market? ( […]



  2. […] Human body parts for sale: life-saving industry or a law breaking international black market? ( […]



  3. Posted by beton on August 7, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    I have recently started a web site, the information you provide on this web site has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time &; work.



  4. was a topic in the actual German news magazine DER SPIEGEL too – very sad …



  5. […] Human body parts for sale: life-saving industry or a law breaking international black market? […]



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