Disturbing details emerge in the case of the unethical treatment and sale of donated cadavers in Arizona
July 30, 2019
A Biological Resource Center in Phoenix, Arizona that was officially closed down in 2014 has been the subject of headlines recently after the details of the original FBI raid were publically revealed in court in a civil lawsuit against the facility. The FBI was originally searching for evidence on a multi-state case of the illegal trafficking and sale of human body parts, however they got more than they bargained for when they were met with what can only be described as a scene from a horror movie inside the lab.
Scattered and piled around the facility were severed pieces and parts of donated bodies. A cooler box filled with severed penises was discovered, disembodied arms and legs were found in piles with no record of which limb belonged to which donor, piles of severed heads, fluids and bloods that had mixed and pooled in the freezers used to improperly store the cadavers and most disturbingly, some of the bodies appeared to have been stitched together to create what is being described in the media as “Frankenstein-like” creations. Hung up on one of the walls was the torso of a large man sewn together and crowned with the head of a much smaller woman in what the FBI believe was an attempt at a sick and freakish joke. An agent described the body parts as “infected”. The bodies were said to be improperly stored and badly preserved and no formal protocol to document them had even been attempted.
The science facility, owned by a Mr. Stephen Gore, collected biomedical tissue and cadavers which they claimed would be used in the name of scientific research and organ donation. According to one of the families who donated the remains of a loved one, Gore explained to them that the body would be collected free of charge and then transported to the biological resource center in Phoenix where it would be used in the name of research with the goal of curing often terminal diseases such as various cancers.
The pamphlets and Literature promoting the nature of the facility was said to be highly misleading. Families who believed that the bodies of their loved ones were going on to benefit humanity for the greater good were actually unknowingly putting profit into the hands of a man who had no medical background who had neglected to complete his high school education. “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” he shockingly admitted to the court.
“I could have been more open about the process of donation on the brochure we put in public view” he added.
In reality, Gore was selling on parts of the cadavers to various contacts and companies for a profit. He dismembered the bodies and sold them in pieces. According to a report in The Independent, a complete cadaver can go for around $5000 and limbs can go from anywhere from $400 to $700. It’s safe to imagine that Gore likely profited generously from the facility.
Instruments and tools such as chainsaws and electric saws were recovered from the lab, illustrating the crude way in which Gore had dismembered the cadavers before selling the parts to various middlemen. A report in the Times states that families were clearly lied to or deliberately mislead about what exactly would happen to the remains of the relatives. They were informed that the cadavers would be used for specific purposes, mainly research on diseases like Leukemia, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, when in reality they would be sold for something much different, like military testing, without their consent. Donated cadavers are often used to test military safety equipment but specific forms must be signed in order to do so. Some of the bodies were sold off and shipped away to companies to be used as human cadaver crash test dummies.
The form the families were required to fill out had a series of check boxes, one of which stated” "No, I do not authorize Biological Resource Center to use this bequest for such special non-medical projects", although all families check off the box, the contract was not respected and the bodies were not only wrongly stored, un-catalogued and hacked away at with non-medical saws and tools, but also shipped off to the first buyer, regardless of intention.
The disturbing details of the gory goings-on at the Phoenix based Biological Resource Center came out earlier this week after 33 family members of the loved ones of those whose remains were donated to Gore’s facility filed a lawsuit against him. The bodies in question were donated to the facility from 2010 – 2014 and no forms of consent were signed allowing Gore to sell on remains to agencies such as The Department of Defense or any company that did not intend to use the cadavers for scientific research.
In court Gore looked remorseful and upset and owned up to his wrong-doings in a letter that he had prepared earlier, but it all seemed too little too late in a case so disturbing where a clear lack of disrespect for both the families and the remains of their loved ones is sickeningly apparent.