Michigan cadaver dealer indicted over selling and renting body parts
From time to time we all find the necessity to rent something. Having a party, rent tables and chairs – in between moves rent some furniture – car breaks down, rent a car – sewer gets plugged up, rent a snake – there are even people that rent other people for a few hours for their personal gratification.
Than we have some sicko named Arthur Rathburn and his old lady from Michigan that bring the word and meaning of RENT to a hole new level. These two degenerate scavengers rented out and sold body parts on the side and did pretty well at it. Through the years they made 100’s of thousands of dollars.
It appears that the Dissecting Duo have been in the slicing and dicing business of renting and selling body parts for years.
Now this line KILLS me (sorry for the pun). On Friday, after years of being watched by the FBI, yes, after years of watching by the FBI, Rathburn of Grosse Pointe Parkwas indicted on numerous charges in U.S. District Court in Detroit, accused of running a nationwide scheme that involved cutting up bodies without consent and renting heads, arms and legs riddled with disease to unsuspecting medical researchers. After years of watching them; what the hell was the FBI wait for, for them to empty a cemetery?
Last week Rathburn dazed and homeless sat in court listening to the 19-page indictment that accused him of heinous acts, like cutting up bodies with chainsaws, shipping blood-filled coolers of fresh heads on commercial airliners — falsely claiming the blood was Listerine — and storing more than 1,000 body parts on ice at his rundown warehouse in Detroit.
According to the indictment unsealed Friday, the Rathburns knowingly bought infected body parts from cadaver centers in Arizona and Illinois and then rented them to customers for medical or dental training without revealing the parts were diseased.
Storage locker at the university where the deplorable duo acquired some of the body parts.
Among the examples outlined in the indictment:
• In 2011, the Rathburns rented a head and neck for $13,108 to be used in a course titled “Advances in Periodontology” at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Cambridge, Mass. The head and neck came from an individual who tested positive for Hepatitis B, though the Rathburns hid that.
• In July 2011, another head and neck with Hepatitis B was rented for $7,360 to be used for “Advanced Bone Grafting” training provided by the California Implant Institute in San Diego.
• In October 2012, remains infected with Hepatitis B and HIV were provided for a meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists in Washington, D.C. The Rathburns collected $55,225 for those parts.
• In February 2012, the Rathburns delivered a package of eight fresh human heads using a Delta cargo airplane to a customer. None of the heads were embalmed, even though Rathburn claimed they were. One of those heads came from someone who had sepsis and pneumonia.
“This alleged scheme to distribute diseased body parts not only defrauded customers from the monetary value of their contracts, but also exposed them and others to infection,” U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said in announcing the indictment. “The alleged conduct risked the health of medical students, dental students and baggage handlers.”
It may sound a little unethical but according to authorities, the selling of body parts in itself is not illegal; as long as the proper steps are followed by getting permission from family members prior to the sale. For the most part, the selling of body parts were to the medical field for experimental purposes.
Rathburns old lady was his partner in crime. It is not clear what her role in this morbid business was; possibly she may have held the corpse down while her hubby carved away with the chain saw.
Rathburn didn’t have to go far to gather his collection of parts. He was the coordinator of the University of Michigan’s anatomical donation program from 1984-90. During that period he was not the least bit hesitant about helping himself to whatever the market called for that week. Rumor is, one week he was running a sale on left feet.
When Rathburn was asked by the FBI (Finally Been Indited) why he ever chose such a morbid business to get into; he said to them with a straight face; I was just trying to get a-head in life.