Philly Corpse-Plundering Case Ends in Guilty Pleas

Masterpiece Theatre host among corpses
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Sep 2, 2008 1:55 PM CDT
Court evidence from the body parts harvesting trial show the first page of the consent form indicating some of the body parts taken from "Masterpiece Theatre" host Alistair Cooke.    (AP Photo/ Brooklyn state Supreme Court)
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(Newser) – Two brothers who ran a Philadelphia funeral home pleaded guilty today to selling corpses, including that of Masterpiece Theatre host Alistair Cooke, to a company that trafficked in stolen body parts, the AP reports. They may get life sentences for allowing the remains of 244 clients to be dismembered for $1,000 each by a corrupt tissue bank.

The head of the company, who pleaded guilty to hundreds of charges Friday, took parts of 1,077 bodies from New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania funeral homes without family permission or medical tests, earning him almost $4 million. The judge said many of the deceased should have been ineligible for use in implants because they died of cancer or HIV.