The creepiest story of the year - bar none:
Hundreds of Americans are walking around with pieces of dead people inside them. The wrong dead people. And Alistair Cooke.
The Washington Post reports that a body harvesting firm from ... wait for it ... New Jersey is being investigated by the Brooklyn DA and the Food and Drug Administration. The allegation is that a former dentist went to funeral homes, extracted bone, tendons and skins from corpses without permision, and then a company called Biomedical Tissue Services, of Fort Lee, N.J., shipped them off to hospitals for surgeries.
We did a piece Jan. 15th. It's here.
Dozens of funeral homes are under investigation. Among those whose corpses were allegedly looted are Cooke, the late host of PBS''s "Masterpiece Theatre."
Writes the Post:
Heather Augustin, 42, lives in southern New Jersey and had two disks in her neck removed last year, supposedly replaced with bone taken from a youngish corpse. Three months later, her surgeon told her that her new neck bone had in fact come from rogue funeral homes, likely from the cadaver of a very old person.
Augustin hasn't slept particularly well since.
"You think, 'I'm carrying a bone in my neck from someone who didn't want to get chopped up,' " she said. "I'm, like, in total shock. What am I supposed to do with these thoughts?"
The article reports that between early 2004 and September 2005, 60 surgical patients at Shore Memorial Hospital in Somers Point, N.J., received implants said to have originated with the corpse-snatching ring.