Guy Who Sold Stolen Brains on eBay Sentenced

He took remains of mental patients from old hospital
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 26, 2015 3:26 PM CST
Guy Who Sold Stolen Brains on eBay Sentenced
This photo provided by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department shows David Charles of Indianapolis.   (AP Photo/Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department)

A man who stole the preserved brains of mental patients from a former hospital for the insane and sold them on eBay has been sentenced by a judge who wants him to find a less macabre way to make a living. David Charles, 23, was ordered to obtain a high school diploma as part of a four-year sentence that includes one year of home detention and two years of probation, reports Reuters. He was arrested for multiple burglaries at the Indiana Medical History Museum in Indianapolis after a sting operation in Dec. 2013 and, with evidence against him including dozens of recovered jars of brain and a bloody fingerprint he left behind, he pleaded guilty on Wednesday, the Indianapolis Star reports.

According to court documents, Charles sold six jars of brains for $600 to a San Diego man who contacted authorities when he noticed the labels on them, reports Reuters. The museum is on the site of the hospital, which treated mental patients from 1848 to 1994. After the theft, museum director Mary Ellen Nottage told the Star that the thefts had boosted attendance at the small museum, which, just a few years earlier, had held an exhibition on the "Gang of Ghouls"—grave robbers who plagued the city early last century, stealing freshly buried corpses to sell for use in medical schools. (A clergyman in Britain has been denied permission to dig up what he believes is William Shakespeare's skull.)

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