Woman's head attached to man's body found in Arizona body donation center
33 defendants are suing after they found out that Biological Resource Center (BRC) was misusing donated bodies.
The Arizona donation clinic claimed they were using the bodies for disease research and organ donation. Really, they were cutting up and selling peoples' deceased loved ones for profit.
In a 2014 raid, FBI agents found 1,755 human body parts - or 10 tons worth - that filled 142 body bags. Among these parts were a woman's head on a male's body, a cooler of penises and a bucket of limbs without identification tags or labels. Former FBI special agent Mark Cwynar compared the scene to Frankenstein.
BRC was selling these parts for a healthy sum of money, too. According to the Arizona Republic, a whole body with no shoulders or head sells for $2,900, while a whole leg is worth $1,100 and a foot is worth $450.
BRC owner Stephen Gore pleaded guilty to this illegal business. The Arizona Republic reports that Gore wrote a letter to Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Warren Granville that read:
"I could have been more open about the process of donation on the brochure we put in public view," Gore wrote. "When deciding which donors could be eligible to donate, I should have hired a medical director rather than relying on medical knowledge from books or the internet."
As a result, Gore will receive jail time, several years on probation and $121,000 in restitution. The civil case in Maricopa County Superior Court will take place in October.
After the uprising about not treating loved ones' bodies with respect, Arizona passed a law in 2017 which said body donation companies couldn't operate without a license. But the law has yet to be implemented or enforced.
As of now, places in Arizona are only one of the many regulatory-free zones for body part sale in the United States. With lower regulations for bodies donated to science, many U.S. bodies are disassembled behind-the-scenes and shipped to other countries.