NY - Michael Mastromarino & others charged in body part theft ring, Bronx, 2005

Discussion in 'Recently Sentenced and Beyond' started by mysteriew, Oct 17, 2005.

  1. mysteriew

    mysteriew A diamond in process

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    For the first time, the family of a dead man whose body parts were ghoulishly harvested without permission has come forward to blame the ex-dentist under investigation for the illicit theft of bones and tissue.
    In a dramatic interview that exposed the full horror of the macabre plot, the heartbroken son of the man also revealed that his lawyer will file a lawsuit charging his name was forged on a document giving permission to remove his father's body parts.

    Vito Bruno, whose father, Michael, died two years ago, is still reeling from the shock of learning last week that his father's cancer-ravaged body may have been plundered for profit.

    Vito Bruno was floored when the detectives showed him a death certificate stating that his father had died of a heart attack, not cancer. Then he was asked to inspect a donor card which granted permission to harvest his father's body.

    Michael Bruno's body parts "were very weak and diseased" and could pose a risk to those who received them, said Rubenstein.
    http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/356058p-303481c.html
     
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  3. mysteriew

    mysteriew A diamond in process

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    Joseph Nicelli was born into the funeral home industry, becoming a master embalmer well-known in the city's mortuary circles.
    Michael Mastromarino followed a very different path into the same ghoulish world, turning to the profession when he needed a new career in his late 30s.

    But court records, other documents and interviews with several people who know them provide new insight into their relationship, revealing they have much in common besides their recent partnership in the human bone and tissue recovery business.

    Both are originally from Brooklyn, in their 40s, married with children and solid family men. Both are well-off, despite having histories of legal troubles.

    Now, both have hired criminal defense attorneys.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/356050p-303484c.html
     
  4. SpongeBathHotPants

    SpongeBathHotPants Verified insider - Kenneth Coakley case

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    The only good news is that the transplant team examine the organs before they transplant them so maybe they didn't get used. All in all a sick story.
     
  5. mysteriew

    mysteriew A diamond in process

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    Did you read the defense attorney's statement at the end of the the first article? He says the families weren't hurt, they are just being greedy!
     
  6. Marisa714

    Marisa714 New Member

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    Yes I couldn't believe he would say that! This is so awful, how dare someone do this! This defense attorney is one of the most ignorant people IMO if he thinks the FAMILIES were being greedy! Um, hello doesn't this guy make money off of the parts he sells?! Geesh! Sorry if I'm mistaken!
     
  7. TheShadow

    TheShadow New Member

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    TV host Alistair Cooke's bones allegedly stolen

    Thieves sold venerable broadcaster's body parts for $7,000, report says

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10574333/

    This is so revolting. I can't believe these ghouls! :furious:
     
  8. Becba

    Becba Former Member

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    They surgically carved out his bones before he was cremated and then sold them for transplant research.

    These Crematoriums are getting to be bad places to send a body.
     
  9. deanws

    deanws Former Member

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    What is with these sickos lately!!?!!?:doh:
     
  10. SadieMae

    SadieMae Former Member

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    I can't even think of a word to call this!!! :furious:
     
  11. Linda7NJ

    Linda7NJ New Member

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    If I didn't know better I would say this was an urban legend!

    :chicken: That's scary!

    To be perfectly honest, I really wouldn't care much if his parts could have been safely used and the perps did it to save someones life. It's not like the dead need them. But to steal them and LIE for money, that's twisted!
     
  12. Norma

    Norma Pook

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    Story link

    Authorities investigate possible theft of body parts
    By TOM HAYS
    Associated Press Writer

    December 23, 2005, 2:25 PM EST


    But a recent investigation has uncovered a ghoulish side to Bruno's death. Authorities believe his body and those of hundreds of other people _ including famed British broadcaster Alistair Cooke _ were secretly carved up in the back rooms of several funeral parlors citywide to remove human bone, skin and tendons without their families' permission. Authorities allege the body parts were then sold for a profit.

    Worse, health officials fear some of the stolen body parts were diseased, and could infect patients who received them in skin grafts, dental implants or other orthopedic procedures _ a risk concealed by paperwork doctored with forged signatures and false information.

    "It's not just disrespectful to my father," said Vito Bruno, who has sued one of the funeral homes. "It's an absolutely hideous crime against other people."
     
  13. BillyGoatGruff

    BillyGoatGruff New Member

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    What I can't figure out is why would the medical black market want a really old guy's bones in the first place? Wouldn't they be more-or-less worthless after a certain chronological age?
     
  14. Marine Mom

    Marine Mom New Member

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    Here's an update:

    NEW YORK - The owner of a biomedical supply house and three others were charged with selling body parts for use in transplants in a scheme a district attorney called “something out of a cheap horror movie.”

    Prosecutors said Thursday the defendants made millions of dollars obtaining bodies from funeral parlors in three states and forging death certificates and organ donor consent forms to make it look as if the bones, skin, tendons, heart valves and other tissue were legally removed.

    The indictment was the first set of charges to come out of a widening scandal involving scores of funeral homes and hundreds of bodies, including that of “Masterpiece Theatre” host Alistair Cooke, who died in 2004. The investigation has raised fears that some of the body parts could spread disease to transplant recipients.

    “I think we can agree that the conduct uncovered in this case is among the most ghastly imaginable,” said Rose Gill Hearn, commissioner of the city Department of Investigation. “It was shockingly callous in its disregard for the sanctity of human remains.”

    Michael Mastromarino, owner of Biomedical Tissue Services of Fort Lee, N.J., was charged along with Brooklyn funeral home owner Joseph Nicelli.

    Mastromarino was an oral surgeon who went into the tissue business after losing his dentist license, prosecutors said. Nicelli was a partner in the business, they said. The other defendants were Lee Crucetta and Christopher Aldorasi.

    All four pleaded not guilty to charges of enterprise corruption, body stealing and opening graves, unlawful dissection, forgery and other counts.

    Prosecutors said the defendants took organs from people who had not given consent or were too old or too sick to donate. The defendants forged consent forms and altered the death certificates to indicate the victims had been younger and healthier, authorities said.

    X-rays and photos of recently exhumed cadavers show that where leg bones should have been, someone had inserted white plastic pipes — the kind used for home plumbing projects, available at any hardware store. The pipes were crudely reconnected to hip and ankle bones with screws before the legs were sewn back up.

    Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes called it “something out of a cheap horror movie.”

    Prosecutors said the body parts were sold to tissue suppliers and ultimately used in disk replacements, knee operations, dental implants and a variety of other surgical procedures performed by unsuspecting doctors across the United States and in Canada.

    The bodies came from funeral homes in New York City, Rochester, Philadelphia and New Jersey that contracted with the Brooklyn funeral parlor for embalming. Prosecutors said more arrests were possible.

    Nicelli was paid up to $1,000 per body to deliver corpses to a secret operating room at his funeral parlor, where Mastromarino would remove body parts, authorities said. Crucetta, a nurse, and Aldorasi allegedly helped Mastromarino.

    Mastromarino made up to $7,000 a body by selling the tissue, authorities said, and the corpses were then returned to unsuspecting funeral directors for burial.

    More at link http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11523641/
     
  15. Gmommy

    Gmommy Inactive

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    Unbelievable. They're right when they say it's a plot right out of a cheap horror movie. I don't know how the bodies could be returned to "unsuspecting" funeral directors for burial without going noticed...seems to me that if they were prepping a body for burial they would notice that sort of thing.

    I was most shocked about replacing the leg bones with PVC pipe. I could not even imagine burying a loved one and finding out something that shocking that your loved one was not given the dignity in death that they deserve. I hope there is severe punishment for the people involved.
     
  16. Marine Mom

    Marine Mom New Member

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    Amazing what people will do for money.

    snip from article linked earlier:

    Throughout the years, Nicelli built up a large business as a "trade embalmer," working with dozens of funeral homes.

    Working out of English Brothers Funeral Home, 2203 Avenue Z in Gravesend, Nicelli also shipped the bodies of those who had died in New York City to locations throughout the United States for burial.

    "He did the embalming and other preparations and then arranged for transportation," said an associate, who requested anonymity.


    And another snip:

    In one case, sources said investigators are concentrating on a corpse illicitly snatched for harvesting between the time it was in an open casket at a church and a day later when it was supposedly being transported for cremation.


    This is just creepy. Right up my alley! :rolleyes:
     
  17. strach304

    strach304 New Member

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    You can see how sneaky there were about it with the info about the pvc piping used to replace bones so it's possible that's why it wasn't detected. What bothers me is the health risks they had to know and didn't care. It's clear they think they hurt noone in what they did to the dead bodies but what can they say about the living?
     
  18. BillyGoatGruff

    BillyGoatGruff New Member

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    The organs couldn't even be legitimately used for transplants--you have to harvest organs within minutes of (if not before) brain death and put them on ice ASAP as they begin to deteriorate almost instantly. And people with cancers, AIDS, hepatis, TB are NEVER harvested, even if they sign a organ donor card. So they were harvesting organs that were basically unusable in the first place and selling them as legit goods. So EVERYONE was getting screwed.

    As for embalmers not noticing whether a body has all its organs or not, I suggest you read up on how autopsies are routinely performed. Unless there were gaping wounds, there would be no way of telling.

    Also, I suspect the leg bone might not have been taken per se, but a medical implant like a artifical joint or surgical metal rod removed, since those can be (legitimately) recycled.
     
  19. PlasmaFiend024

    PlasmaFiend024 New Member

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    my mom was freaking out this morning saying she so hopes that didnt happen to her sister who we buried 2 years ago.i know they said it was good amount of funeral homes that did this in the city.so we dont really know .thats way beyond horriable for them to do that:(
     
  20. Jacklad

    Jacklad Dazed and Confused since 1960...

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    While I agree that this was a dangerous and unethical practice, tissue (unlike organs) can be harvested much later. That means skin, cartilage, tendons, arteries, corneas, bones (and in particular femurs - the largest and strongest bone in the body) can be safely harvested days after death. This is true of almost all connective tissues - that collagen injected in your face may be cadaver harvested.

    Cadaver tissue is big business.

    http://www.ocregister.com/features/body/day5.shtml
    http://news.aol.com/topnews/articles?id=n20060218132109990001&cid=474
    http://www.geocities.com/newcannibals/Ch9BodyPartsandBusiness.html
    http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/html/dictionary/cadaver.html

    Jackie
     
  21. mysteriew

    mysteriew A diamond in process

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    This article is from the 20th. Local news talked with a person who recieved bone matter. So it wasn't just tissue.

    And to top it off, here is a quote from the letter he recieved advising him of the problem:
     

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