A member of a network of gruesome individuals has pleaded guilty to procuring and selling body parts, some sourced from the morgue at Harvard Medical School.
In a press release, the US District Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a 41-year-old man named Jeremy Pauley had pleaded guilty for taking part in the remains-trafficking ring that included, allegedly, body parts given to the Anatomical Gifts Program at Harvard Medical School, which was where some folks' bodies go after they decide to donate them to science.
To be clear, Pauley wasn't the one who procured the Harvard morgue parts — that distinction goes to one Cedric Lodge, the manager of the Anatomical Gifts Program morgue and who, the press release notes, allegedly "stole organs and other parts of cadavers donated for medical research and education before their scheduled cremations."
Lodge not only took the parts and stored them in his house in New Hampshire, but he and his wife Denise also, the district attorney's office claims, let other co-conspirators come into the Harvard morgue to "examine cadavers" and decide what they wanted to buy.
Though he was not the ringleader, Pauley's physical appearance — with half his face tattooed (including one of his eyes) and metal spikes implanted on his shaved head — lends a very particular aesthetic characteristic to the entire ghoulish scheme.
Pennsylvania man Jeremy Lee Pauley was arrested for trying to buy human remains. Now, does this look like a guy who would try to buy human remains? pic.twitter.com/Mj2X2sIpjl
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) August 20, 2022
The self-styled "blood artist" was also, as the local FOX43 reports, found with multiple buckets full of human remains when the cops came knocking with a search warrant. Inside those buckets, police found multiple human brains and other organs, as well as a child's mandible with teeth intact.
Pauley was initially arrested last summer, FOX43 reported, after someone called the cops and tipped them off to the scheme. When police interviewed him, the man admitted to having in his possession multiple full skeletons and between 15 and 20 human skulls, but said he bought them legally. The cops apparently agreed after they checked the parts out and said they looked "very old" and appeared to be from "a legitimate purchase."
Soon after that first interaction, however, the police got another tip that Pauley had buckets full of human skin and organs. It was only after executing a search warrant for the whole house that authorities found the rest of the remains — and that they discovered he had more on the way, which they intercepted at a post office in Scranton.
"This is one of the most bizarre investigations I have encountered," Sean McCormack, the district attorney for Cumberland County, where Pauley lived, said in his office's statement last fall. "Just when I think I have seen it all, a case like this comes around."
More on the great beyond: Rocket Carrying Cremated Remains Explodes Seconds After Launch
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