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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 12/22/2005 6:10:27 PM EDT


Alistair Cooke's bones stolen by transplant gang
By Alec Russell in Washington
(Filed: 23/12/2005)

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/12/23/ncooke23.xml&DCMP=EMC-new_23122005

Relatives of Alistair Cooke, the late broadcaster, have spoken of their revulsion after it was found that his bones were cut from his body by a criminal gang and sold for transplant tissue.

New York police said his body was one of dozens chopped up for profit by rogue morticians in Brooklyn.


Alistair Cooke died in March 2004

After presenting BBC radio's Letter from America for more than half a century, Cooke died in March last year of lung cancer, aged 95.

The "body-snatchers", as the New York tabloids call them, surgically carved out his bones the day after he died, said the Daily News.

His remains were then returned to the family for cremation.

Unnamed sources said the bones were sold for more than $7,000 to two tissue processing companies for use in transplant operations.

"I hope those guys burn in hell for what they did," said David Grossberg, a lawyer for the Cooke family.

It is believed that after being processed his bones could have been used for dental implants or for orthopaedic surgery. But by the time of his death the cancer had spread to his bones.

Cooke's stepdaughter, Holly Rumbold, spoke yesterday of her shock both at the desecration and at the idea of the cancerous bones being passed off as healthy tissue.

"He died in the night and the undertakers collected him," Miss Rumbold told Radio 4's The World at One. "His ashes or what we thought were his ashes were returned the next day. They were scattered in Central Park.

"Who knows, maybe some of the ashes were his - how do you know? It defies the imagination. It's so corrupt and evil.

"I'm most shocked by the violation of the medical ethics that my stepfather's ancient and cancerous bones should have been passed off as healthy tissue to innocent patients in their quest for better health."

His daughter, Susan Kittredge, told the Daily News: "That people in need of healing should have received his body parts considering his age and the fact that he was ill when he died, is as appalling to the family as it is that his remains were violated."

The outrage came to light when police looked through the records of a mortuary they are investigating for serial abuse of bodies.

It was raided this week as part of an investigation into funeral directors, surgeons and businessmen who are alleged to have collaborated in stealing parts from bodies.

Officers found that the person who supposedly authorised the donation did not exist, said the New York Post.

America has an active market in human bone with 400,000 grafts a year.

Cadaveric bones and splinters are used to repair accident damage, to ease deformity and to replace bone destroyed or removed because of cancer.

Human bone is ground for cement in orthopaedic operations and as dental filler.

In Britain, which has bone banks around the country, about 10,000 bone transplants are carried out each year.

In January, a laboratory manager was jailed for stealing bones from a freezer at a hospital in Yorkshire and selling them for £12,000 to two private clinics.






Link Posted: 12/22/2005 6:12:16 PM EDT

I remember watching "Alistair Cooke's America" in grade school.

That's my only comment.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 6:15:19 PM EDT
I read this story earlier today (while sitting on the hopper, actually) on the Beeb. "WTF" doesn't even begin to describe my incredulity over this sick shit. There's a special corner of Hell reserved for those who would desecrate a corpse for profit. The really twisted part of this particular case is that Cooke's bones had fucking Cancer! So, not only have these savages robbed his bones, they've passed on cancerous tissue to another unwitting victim. I thought this sort of thing only went on in hte back-alley clinics of Bangalore.

Link Posted: 12/22/2005 6:25:00 PM EDT
OK, I'm gonna tell you the rest of the story.

The guy that did this I personally know, went to school together, shady guy from day one. did our residencies in different hospitals in the same city (NYC). He lost his license to practice when he got into some drug issues, got it back, and lost it again for insurance fraud, whiplash clinic type crap. Opened up a harvesting service, and sold donor bone to many of the national suppliers, but took it another step, and was paying cash to funeral directors to harvest bone in the mortuary from unsuspecting DB's. Filled the extremities with PVC pipe so the next of kin wouldn't know. Now the latest shit with Allistair Cook.

There are several exhumations going on as part of this case.

I dont think it is a CoC violation to post his name, as it was in several news articles in NY over the last couple of months. Google Michael Mastromarino for the details.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 6:28:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DzlBenz:
I read this story earlier today (while sitting on the hopper, actually) on the Beeb. "WTF" doesn't even begin to describe my incredulity over this sick shit. There's a special corner of Hell reserved for those who would desecrate a corpse for profit. The really twisted part of this particular case is that Cooke's bones had fucking Cancer! So, not only have these savages robbed his bones, they've passed on cancerous tissue to another unwitting victim. I thought this sort of thing only went on in hte back-alley clinics of Bangalore.




It is not an issue. The bone is irradiated, dessicated, and treated about 6 different ways to help stop transmission of anything. He sold the bone to legit processors, so the end product is fine. Every doc who uses bone graft material has been notified by the companies. I've been getting notices for months.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 6:33:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fish223:
It is not an issue. The bone is irradiated, dessicated, and treated about 6 different ways to help stop transmission of anything. He sold the bone to legit processors, so the end product is fine. Every doc who uses bone graft material has been notified by the companies. I've been getting notices for months.

Thank you. Very interesting insight, Doc! Nevertheless, I'd have to take issue with your comment that the buyers were completely legit. I'm sure they're going to get rung up for buying the illicitly-harvested tissue.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 6:36:04 PM EDT
Pfffffft! Like none of you have ever done this! Gimme a break you bunch of fibbers.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 6:38:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DzlBenz:

Originally Posted By fish223:
It is not an issue. The bone is irradiated, dessicated, and treated about 6 different ways to help stop transmission of anything. He sold the bone to legit processors, so the end product is fine. Every doc who uses bone graft material has been notified by the companies. I've been getting notices for months.

Thank you. Very interesting insight, Doc! Nevertheless, I'd have to take issue with your comment that the buyers were completely legit. I'm sure they're going to get rung up for buying the illicitly-harvested tissue.



No worries for the processors. Mastromarino actually had a properly licenced harvesting facility, and sold to most of the major players in the market. They had no way of knowing the the paper trail he created was bogus. I have no doubt that there will be some procedural changes for the future, but the actual retail processors / sellers are all in the clear.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 6:46:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fish223:
No worries for the processors. Mastromarino actually had a properly licenced harvesting facility, and sold to most of the major players in the market. They had no way of knowing the the paper trail he created was bogus. I have no doubt that there will be some procedural changes for the future, but the actual retail processors / sellers are all in the clear.

Thanks again, Doc. You know, tissue and organ donation is an incredibly important part of modern medicine. It's sad to see asshats mucking it up for the legitimate procedures. I'd expect a temporary drop in organ donation volunteers for a while. I signed up with my first driver's license. In 1989, I almost made good on my committment, but I got better! Actually, a big part of my recovery was thanks to blood donations by lifesavers I will never know, but who will always be part of me.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 6:59:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DzlBenz:
.......tissue and organ donation is an incredibly important part of modern medicine.

......lifesavers I will never know, but who will always be part of me.



Agreed, and thank god for good people who understand the importance of donation, both blood, and other tissues.

I hate to admit it, but the ONE thing that is good about France, is that any hospital can harvest anything they need, without specific permission from the next-of-kin. The donor or relatives have to specifically deny permission in advance, opposite of our system, otherwise its all fair game.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 7:10:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fish223:

Originally Posted By DzlBenz:
.......tissue and organ donation is an incredibly important part of modern medicine.

......lifesavers I will never know, but who will always be part of me.



Agreed, and thank god for good people who understand the importance of donation, both blood, and other tissues.

I hate to admit it, but the ONE thing that is good about France, is that any hospital can harvest anything they need, without specific permission from the next-of-kin. The donor or relatives have to specifically deny permission in advance, opposite of our system, otherwise its all fair game.




Not from me- no way. Esp. after reading the article. What dies with me stays with me. You have no say in where this stuff goes under such a system, esp. with grieving relatives who are an easy mark for the ghouls with the release forms and guilt trips.

For example, how do I know that my healthy, smoke-free lungs wouldn't go to save Sarah Brady's life?
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 7:12:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 95thFoot:
For example, how do I know that my healthy, smoke-free lungs wouldn't go to save Sarah Brady's life?



Works both ways. How would you feel if Sarah Bradys kids liver saved your kid?
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 7:25:10 PM EDT
Monsterpiece Theatre
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 6:30:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/23/2005 6:31:12 AM EDT by 95thFoot]

Originally Posted By raven:
Monsterpiece Theatre



With your host, Alistair Cookie.....






I'm trying to laugh about this, but it's tough. Alistair Cooke was a great guy, a great American (naturalized) who stood up for America even when everybody else in the media was howling against us, from before WW2, through Vietnam, all the way to Gulf War II. After having lived through Munich in 1938 and the utter duplicity and spinelessness of the West, he never forgot what appeasing dictators brought- utter ruin, and he was always willing to call a spade a spade, even when people called him "out of touch", racist, insensitive, mean-spirited. I still miss his words.

I hope his robbers suffer the same fate as his bones, but may their bones be taken from them while they are still alive.
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