If you've ever wondered what happens to bodies donated to science, the answer can be a grisly tale. Nobly donated bodies are cut up, and the parts used for research are distributed to various organizations. But there are times where the body broker black market rears its ugly head. Arthur Rathburn was one such body broker. Along with his wife he not only sold body parts to public organizations through questionable means, but also HIV-diseased body parts. Chainsaws, warehouses of bodies, leaky bloody camper coolers, and even body parts preserved in mouthwash were the norm in the Rathburns' business model for decades.
Body brokers sound like something out of a science fiction movie, but they they are a very real thing in today's world. When families find it impossible to afford a funeral or after-death wishes for a loved one. Because of this, they can sometimes sell or offer the bodies of their dead to "body brokers." Often, brokers have deals with funeral homes, and will then take the bodies and sell various body parts and organs to research organizations and groups, then return the ashes of the rest of the body to the family for disposal. Sometimes, these brokers will even sell or rent parts of the bodies to individuals for the right price. Possibly the most terrifying part of all this is that it's pretty much legal. What's more is there's a huge market for it because of a lack of body donations and a huge number of organizations needing bodies for research. One body broker firm managed earn at least 12 million dollars over three years of selling human tissue to buyers. It's a barely regulated practice, and bodies are often used under...less than scrupulous circumstances.
Read this grisly tale at your own risk, but take solace in the notion that these two are behind bars, even if there are many more black market body brokers out there.
He Distributed Body Parts Infected With HIV And Told No One
He Used A Chainsaw To Dismember Bodies
He Sold The Genitals Of Dead PeoplePhoto: AlishaV / Flickr/Creative Commons
He Stored Human Heads In A Disease-Riddled WarehousePhoto: WXYZ-TV Detroit | Channel 7 / YouTube
He Was Caught Trying To Transport Body Parts Through The Airport
He Was A Body Brokering Entrepreneur Working On The Black MarketPhoto: WXYZ-TV Detroit | Channel 7 / YouTube