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Body snatchers

Human beings can be so vile and deviant; I just cannot fathom the behavior or motivation (besides naked greed and mental defect) behind something like this.

I’m riding in to work, listening to NPR, and this story comes on about “Masterpiece Theatre” host Alistair Cooke’s bones being stolen after his body was delivered to New York Mortuary Services and awaited cremation. The sick freaks carved the bones out of Cooke’s body and sold them for $7,000.


From bones to dental implants.

It gets worse. The BBC broadcaster died of cancer at the age of 95 — of lung cancer that had spread to his bones. These same diseased bones were then sold for eventual transplant procedures.

This makes you want to hurl. (NYDN):

The alleged leader of the body-snatching ring is Michael Mastromarino, whose operations are under investigation by the Brooklyn district attorney’s office. Mastromarino ran Biomedical Tissue Services Ltd., a tremendously profitable tissue recovery business that sold body parts, including bone, skin and cardiac valves.

After processing, Cooke’s bones could have been used for dental implants or numerous orthopedic procedures including dowels for damaged spines…The use of cancerous bone for transplant is a violation of Food and Drug Administration regulations and the use of body parts from the aged also is against transplant protocol.

But in paperwork given the two processing companies, Mastromarino allegedly changed Cooke’s “cause of death” to heart attack and changed his age from 95 to 85, according to sources.

And Mastromarino has been in the news before; a NJ man sued, alleging bone used in his operation was taken from a corpse without permission from the family of the deceased — or was tested for disease. And then this, back in November:

An 82-year-old Queens grandmother exhumed as part of the body snatchers probe was discovered carved in half, with most of her bones missing below the waist, the Daily News has learned.

Plastic plumbing pipe was found stuffed inside deteriorating clothing where Esfir Perelmuter’s legs should have been when investigators opened her plain pine coffin Monday.

…That investigation, which involves hundreds of bodies illicitly harvested at funeral homes, centers on an operation managed by ex-dentist Michael Mastromarino.

This man is a sick pig; what on earth could drive someone to be this base?

This case reminds me of the unhinged funeral director in Georgia, Ray Brent Marsh of Tri-State Crematory, who buried, stacked and hid bodies all over his property rather than just cremating them back in 2002. He even sunk them in his pond, where he allowed people to fish. We’re talking about hundreds of bodies. It would have been easier for the man to have cremated them than to find places to hide them.

Marsh was sentenced of twelve years in prison. He didn’t explain his behavior.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding