Modern-Day Frankenstein

By RodneyHatfieldJr for Into The Mind

Before we begin, permit me to remind you of a saying I tend to use quite often. “Life is scarier than anything we can imagine or watch in a movie.” This is why I enjoy history. It is full of macabre. Now to the story.

The Biological Resource Center (BRC) in Phoenix, a business that assists people with donating their bodies to science. The FBI raided the facility in January 2014 as part of a nationwide criminal investigation. New court documents of a civil lawsuit against the BRC have now revealed more grueling details of the investigation that the police did not initially release to the public.


The former owner of the BCR, Stephen Gore, 52 (fitting name), pleaded guilty to one count of illegal control of an enterprise in 2015 and received a sentence of four years probation. However, he currently faces a civil lawsuit. At least 33 plaintiffs are suing the body-broking business, alleging the remains of their family members were obtained through "false statements" and their bodies were unstored, treated, or disposed of appropriately. He must have some very powerful friends to get probation.


The FBI agents stumbled upon a house of horrors after raiding a body-donation company in Arizona. They discovered a warehouse containing a refrigerator filled with penises, buckets of limbs, pools of blood, and a human head sewn onto another body “in a Frankenstein’ manner” hanging on a wall.


Former FBI agent Mark Cwynar stated in a new interview that he saw “various unsettling scenes” at the BRC in Phoenix, including numerous dead bodies that appeared to have been played with as a "morbid joke.” One of the most shocking scenes he witnessed was a small woman’s head sewn onto a large male body “like Frankenstein” that was then hung up on the wall. 


From the official court documents, one document contained a price list for the various body parts:

Whole-body with no shoulders or head: $2,900

Torso with the head: $2,400

Whole spine: $950

Whole leg: $1,100

Whole foot: $450

Knee: $375

Pelvis: $400


According to a Reuters investigation from 2017, the Arizona-based BRC received donations from over 5,000 people and distributed more than 20,000 body parts to a number of unknown research facilities or medical training programs. After raiding the warehouse in 2014, agents discovered 10 tons of frozen human remains, including 281 heads, 241 shoulders, 337 legs, and 97 spines. 


“I couldn’t sleep at night after seeing that,” Matthew Parker, another former agent who raided the warehouse and retired after suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after the case, told news reporters.“It looked like a junkyard chop shop where they are just ripping things apart.”


You must be asking yourself how this could happen. Well, the body-broking industry remains remarkably unregulated in the US, especially in Arizona. Because of this high-profile case, a new law was implemented in 2017. Before that law, body donation companies in Arizona didn’t require a state license to practice their business.

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