Pennsylvania man pleads guilty in case of stolen human body parts from Harvard Medical School

19:14 09.09.2023

In a shocking case that has left authorities reeling, a self-proclaimed "human blood artist" from Pennsylvania, Jeremy Pauley, has pleaded guilty in federal court to trafficking in human remains. Pauley, 41, of Enola, was initially charged with abuse of a corpse, receiving stolen property, and dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities. However, during his appearance in US District Court in Scranton on Friday, Pauley confessed to his involvement in a nationwide network that bought and sold human remains stolen from prestigious institutions, including Harvard Medical School and an Arkansas mortuary.

Pauley, a body modification artist known for his heavily tattooed face and metal spikes adorning his head, utilized his now-deleted Facebook page, "The Grand Wunderkammer," to market the body parts. The page, which described itself as a vendor of the odd and unusual, showcased images of bags and piles of femurs, vertebrae, clavicles, ribs, and human teeth for sale. Pauley claimed to be a collector of oddities and insisted that the remains were obtained legally. Initial investigations seemed to support his claim, as the police discovered older human remains, including full skeletons, that were determined to be legally obtained. However, a subsequent tip about more recent acquisitions in Pauley's possession led investigators to uncover a disturbing cache of body parts.

Inside Pauley's home, law enforcement found three five-gallon buckets containing an assortment of body parts, including two brains, human skin and fat, a heart, a kidney, livers, lungs, a trachea, and even a child's mandible with teeth. These gruesome discoveries were detailed in a criminal complaint cited by Fox 43. Subsequently, federal and state law enforcement agencies intercepted packages addressed to Pauley from an Arkansas woman named Candace Scott. The packages were alleged to contain additional body parts. During questioning, Pauley admitted his intention to resell the stolen remains, including half a human head, and had arranged to pay Scott $4,000 for the body parts through Facebook Messenger.

As the investigation progressed, it became evident that Pauley was not acting alone. Five others, including Candace Scott, were charged alongside Pauley and are awaiting trial, according to the US Attorney's office. The full extent of their involvement is still being determined. Meanwhile, Pauley now faces up to 15 years in prison as a result of his guilty plea, although no sentencing date has been scheduled yet.

This case has also shed light on the larger network of theft and sale of human body parts. Trials for the other defendants, including Cedric Lodge of Goffstown, New Hampshire, are still pending. Lodge stands accused of stealing dissected portions of cadavers donated to Harvard Medical School over a span of five years. The scheme involved Lodge taking the body parts, which ranged from heads to brains, skin, and bones, without the school's knowledge or permission. Some of the remains were then sent to buyers through the mail, while others were handpicked by buyers visiting the morgue. Lodge's wife, Denise, is also facing charges related to the case.

Harvard Medical School, renowned for its medical education, teaching, and research, has cooperated fully with the investigation. Typically, once the bodies donated to the school are no longer needed, they are cremated, and the ashes are either returned to the donor's family or buried. The discovery of this illegal trade in human remains has sent shockwaves through the medical community and raised concerns regarding the security and ethical handling of donated bodies.

As these trials progress, authorities hope to shed more light on this grim underworld and bring justice to those involved in the illicit trade of human remains. The full extent of the harm caused by this criminal network and the impact on the families of the deceased remains to be seen.

/ Saturday, September 9, 2023, 7:14 PM /

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