In December 2005, Cooke’s family learned that his body had been surgically plundered and the pieces sold to different bidders. A body brokerage company had harvested his bones, falsified his medical records–claiming he had died at 85 of a heart attack–to make them more marketable, and then sold them to at least two tissue banks.
Cooke’s was one of more than 1,000 bodies allegedly stolen by the company, New Jersey–based Biomedical Tissue Services. Prosecutors say the company and the funeral home, Daniel George & Son, made millions of dollars harvesting pieces of the cadavers, instead stuffing bodies for burial with broomsticks and piping. An investigation is ongoing.
Here is the full story, and thanks to Bookman for the pointer.