news on JBR's coroner

Discussion in 'JonBenet Ramsey' started by ellen13, Jan 20, 2006.

  1. ellen13

    ellen13 New Member

    Messages:
    749
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
  2. Loading...


  3. Seeker

    Seeker Former Member

    Messages:
    3,475
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Even though he offered his "expert" opinion over and over on the case, Dr Wecht wasn't actually JBR's coroner...John Meyer was.
     
  4. tipper

    tipper Former Member

    Messages:
    1,795
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    http://www.mankatofreepress.com/feeds/apcontent/apstories/apstorysection/D8F8HAIO5.xml.txt/resources_apstoryview
    Celebrity Coroner Indicted on Fraud, Theft

    By JOE MANDAK
    The Associated Press

    PITTSBURGH —

    Dr. Cyril Wecht, a high-profile coroner who has consulted on deaths from Elvis Presley to JonBenet Ramsey, was indicted on federal charges of using government resources to further his private practice.

    The 84-count indictment includes mail fraud, wire fraud, theft of honest services and theft from the Allegheny County coroner's office, which Wecht heads.

    FBI agents searched his office, seizing computers and his private files last spring, and three of his employees resigned as the federal investigation proceeded.
    [...]
     
  5. scandi

    scandi New Member

    Messages:
    18,228
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    OMG Thanks Tipper for posting this. We all know him so well from his commentary on the Scott Peterson case! I never knew he had such skeletons in his closet. He must be doing again what he did back in the early 80's that is considered against the law.

    Can anyone tell a layman like me what he is doing that is exactly wrong? Thanks.


    Scandi
     
  6. Seeker

    Seeker Former Member

    Messages:
    3,475
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It's a conflict of interest to earn money for your private business at the same time you are being paid by your government employer for starters.

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/trib/pmupdate/s_415595.html
     
  7. scandi

    scandi New Member

    Messages:
    18,228
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Looks like he is in deep doo-doo!

    How could such an intelligent man like this do something so blatently against the law? Amazing! Trading bodies for a service.
    We do have someone here at WS who either is a coroner or works for a mortuary - she worked in the place where Elvis' body was readied for buriel I think. It would be interesting to hear from this poster. I'm wondering if this is normal practice for coroners - does this practice go on regularly in that business? How do medical schools get their bodies? I know already they must pay for them. LOL


    Scandi
     
  8. tipper

    tipper Former Member

    Messages:
    1,795
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    And earn a LOT of money too, it seems.

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/trib/pmupdate/s_415595.html
    […]
    From 1997 to 2004, while Wecht was serving his second stint as an elected coroner, his private business, Cyril H. Wecht and Pathology Associates, generated more than $8.75 million in revenue, and from that Wecht was paid more than $4.65 million, according to the indictment.
    […]
     
  9. Seeker

    Seeker Former Member

    Messages:
    3,475
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Not necessarily. People can will their body to science and designate a particular school, or research facility to be the recipient of their remains.
     
  10. Nehemiah

    Nehemiah Active Member

    Messages:
    1,622
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    The school my son attends uses a lot of homeless peoples' bodies.

    Wecht sure was energetic.
     
  11. tipper

    tipper Former Member

    Messages:
    1,795
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Either way, why would Wecht think they were his bodies to trade to benefit his private company?

    Added:
    He's been trying to settle.
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,182343,00.html
    His defense attorneys, including former U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh, have said they met with federal prosecutors in recent weeks to try to negotiate a settlement. His defense attorneys, including former U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh, have said they met with federal prosecutors in recent weeks to try to negotiate a settlement.
     
  12. ellen13

    ellen13 New Member

    Messages:
    749
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Seeker,
    Thanks for the clarification. What are your thoughts on Wecht? Was he in agreement with Meyer?
     
  13. capps

    capps New Member

    Messages:
    2,970
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Let's not kid ourselves .... I'm not saying all doctors are corrupt,but things like this happen all the time. The only difference is,Dr.Wecht,unfortunately for him ... got caught.
     
  14. Jayelles

    Jayelles New Member

    Messages:
    2,389
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I don't know Wecht apart from his book on the ramsey case which I bought. I appreciated his ability to explain the autopsy in lay terms - only a real expert can do that.

    If he fiddled his books, he deserves to be punished. However, it doesn't mean that he doesn't know his stuff. There are a lot of brilliant but unscrupulous people in the world.

    Not sure about the bodies thing. There are two distinct arguments here. On one hand, there is a human rights issue - who give anyone the right to trade in cadavers? On the other hand, it seems that a lot of good may have come out of the dirty deeds in terms of medical advancement. I don't know what the laws are about this. In the UK, Burke and Hare were the notorious "bodysnatcher" who obtained fresh corpses which they sold to medical schools for research. Awful for the families but how many of us benefited from the medical research?

    There have been lots of high-publicity cases of hospitals removing body parts for experimentation and research without the families' consent. Years later, the body parts turn up in some cupboard and the families thought they buried the entire corpse.

    Personally, I don't have an issue with this. We're a family of organ donors, blood donors and and bone-marrow donors. I am also considering leaving my body to medical research at the moment. The only thing which is holding me back is the thought that I'd be used for a student prank!
     
  15. tipper

    tipper Former Member

    Messages:
    1,795
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I don't think the problem is in the use of cadavers per se. If the charges are true he converted an asset he gained access to as a state employee to benefit his private company. We'll have to wait and see what the evidence is.



    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06021/641975.stm

    [...]

    U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan outlined the indictment at a news conference yesterday, including a charge that Dr. Wecht provided bodies that went unclaimed at the coroner's office for use as cadavers in the forensic sciences program at Carlow University. The government said the bodies were provided at no cost in exchange for lab space for his private practice.

    A cadaver typically costs between $1,800 and $4,000.

    Ms. Buchanan would not say how many bodies were involved but that there were several each month. The indictment said the practice went on from June 2003 to December 2005.

    "Cyril Wecht allowed the bodies to be used by the school for practice," Ms. Buchanan said.

    Carlow University officials in a statement yesterday denied there was any kind of trade agreement with Dr. Wecht for use of its labs.

    "Carlow provided facilities to Dr. Wecht for the purpose of teaching autopsy procedure as part of the course of instruction in the university's forensic sciences program," the statement read. "At no time, did Carlow trade laboratory space for cadavers."

    The college said it believed Dr. Wecht was acting lawfully and that the autopsies were performed as part of his private practice and had no relation to his duties as the county coroner.

    Ms. Buchanan said that a body in Pennsylvania should not be autopsied unless the cause of death is unclear. In these instances with the unclaimed bodies, there was no need for an autopsy, she said.

    [...]
     
  16. Jayelles

    Jayelles New Member

    Messages:
    2,389
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    So he "stole" from his employer? I suppose this is a bit like one of use using our employer's photocopier for personal use ... except on a much grander scale? Is he guilty of medical malpractice? Or of cooking his books?
     
  17. BlueCrab

    BlueCrab New Member

    Messages:
    3,053
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The whole Wecht inictment issue reeks of jealousy and politics at its worse. Dr. Wecht doesn't appear to have violated the law at all. Even the college denies it traded anything for the cadavers -- a direct rebuttal of what the DA considers his main charge against Wecht. The goal of the indictment is an attempt to politically smear someone who holds an elected office as coroner and also has a perfectly legal private practice in the same field.

    BlueCrab
     
  18. Tricia

    Tricia Owner Websleuths.com Staff Member Administrator

    Messages:
    23,683
    Likes Received:
    2,183
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Have I told you that I love you BlueCrab :woohoo:

    This is exactly what I think is going on.
     
  19. ellen13

    ellen13 New Member

    Messages:
    749
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Tricia,

    One day you're going to love me too, you just don't know it yet LOL!
    I'm too new to be trusted and my theories and knowledge of this case
    are so minimal, but I think highly of you for starting this board. I think time
    will reveal that I'm a good egg-LOL!!
    I feel like I have a life again here on the JBR board-LOL!

    Ellen13:p
     
  20. leann coburn

    leann coburn New Member

    Messages:
    834
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm the ex-embalmer with years in every aspect of the funeral business, starting with removal and ending with working with families. I have commented on several threads before how prevalent abuse of the deceased is in our funeral homes in America. Parts are sold off by order. When you sign the paperwork to be embalmed, the paper says "some removal of tissue and/or fluid" is to be expected during the procedure. Duh. But this opens the door for them to take whatever they want from the corpse, as long as it isn't visible. If you are cremated, you can become a buffet. All inplants etc. must be removed before cremation. If they have an "order" they will take what they can from those to be cremated. I have seen most of the bones taken from corpses. If there is dental gold present, the chart will be marked w/ a giant AU for gold and the gold will be ripped out. Ever wonder why there are so many commercials to buy dental gold?

    Remember around christmas when it was reported that Alistair Cooke's bones had been stolen and had exposed the top of the iceberg as to the parts-snatching going on in New York City? Someone there touched a lady's legs in her casket and found them to be pvc pipe. They use chicken wire to fill empty skulls. They wire then superglue your lips together. If decapitated, let's just say the procedure isn't complicated and only included a long dowel rod and some wire. Use your imagination. When the high class (and it is) funeral home I worked for last ran out of mouth formers (that keep the lips from sinking in) they used business cards from anywhere for a while, which is a shocking thing to see.

    Most colleges and research institutes will pay around $5000 for a complete spinal column. I have delivered a box of spinal columns several times to a research facility in downtown Memphis and let me tell you it's disgusting.

    Designate a "watcher" to observe the process your loved ones go through after death. That's your only protection. Or be honest and just go ahead and give your body to science. But be aware, if no local teaching facility is currently "openly" looking for a free body, they may not even come pick it up. It's funny how this works. Then you usually end up in the pauper's cemetery with everyone else and it never really mattered anyway.

    Fact is, it's an industry formed from smoke and mirrors and false "memory pictures". If one chooses traditional services, then their wishes and rights as well as those of the family should be fiercely followed.

    imo
     
  21. leann coburn

    leann coburn New Member

    Messages:
    834
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    And by the way, let's not even get started on the double and triple cremations and the slow response to cremation requests. I don't want to ever encounter another "ripe" person in the back hall of funeral home basement. Oops, just a little ripe. Try to get to it soon, the cooler is full of cases to be embalmed. To say that I hated my many years in this "business" is to put it lightly. Funeral directors and workers on the whole (w/a few exceptions) could make any crooked used car salesman feel good about himself. Selling funeral goods based on their inflated commissions, they are disgusting after sitting with a bereaved family and then handing the paperwork downstairs in the end. The only thing they want to know (and it's a competition) is how much their take will be. If you get them to buy the rose quartz vault and the presidential casket, you can get a total of around $15,000 or more. Then they celebrate and take off for lunch at the local hooter's (but worse) Vampires!!

    Just an honest reality check. And if anyone is interested, I consistently worked for the two largest funeral corporations in the world. You can google that and yes, HOUSTON, we do have a problem.....
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice