In what seems like something out of a horror movie, police came across a macabre scene that made Jeffrey Dahmer seem like a complete poser when it comes to the butchery of human bodies.
Federal agents spent days using a pneumatic chisel to separate frozen clumps of heads, arms, legs, organs and torsos found in a Detroit warehouse in 2013, an FBI investigator testified Friday in the fraud trial of a body broker.
In some cases, body parts were found in ordinary beer coolers, Tupperware, paint cans, 50-gallon drums and even in a refrigerator next to ingredients for sandwiches, said FBI Agent Leslie Larsen during the opening day of the federal criminal trial for Arthur Rathburn.
Rathburn, 64, of Grosse Pointe Park, and his ex-wife Elizabeth Rathburn were accused of operating a body broker business named International Biological Inc. and fraudulently misrepresenting its unusual products — human body parts.
They purchased disease-infected bodies at a discount and failed to disclose infections to customers, according to federal investigators. Sepsis, HIV and hepatitis were among the infections that U.S. attorneys say Rathburn failed to disclose.
Customers would rent body parts that originated from dead people who donated their bodies and organs to science. The cadavers were dissected and displayed at “primarily seminars,” U.S. Attorney John Neal said during opening statements.
Arthur Rathburn is charged with 13 federal crimes, including nine counts of wire fraud, a count of illegal transport of hazardous material and two counts of making false statements to a public official.
Elizabeth Rathburn pleaded guilty to a count of wire fraud and agreed to be a witness against her ex-husband for the government.
The court testimony from the FBI agent Friday, Larsen called the warehouse “filthy” as she described photos she and her colleagues took while at the warehouse when it was raided in December 2013.
There were piles of dead flies and other insects — 10 to 20 piles, she estimated, bodies that had frozen together requiring a crowbar to separate and various power saws used to dismember cadavers in what she called the “cutting room.” Click here for more details.
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
January 8th, 2017
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