Support the news

Body Snatchers43:41
Download

Play
photo

The story out of Brooklyn sounds like a cross between The Sopranos and Six Feet Under, and Alistair Cooke put a face on it. The courtly British-born PBS host was one of a thousand dead whose bodies, prosecutors charge, were run through a funeral home turned chop shop in New York.

Bodies delivered for embalming and burial were allegedly stripped of truckloads of valuable parts — skin, bone, tendons, heart valves — then stuffed in coffins as if nothing had happened. Body-snatching is as old as history.

But new medical science is pumping up demand for body parts, and challenging old notions of what is sacrosanct.

Hear about new science and the booming, shadowy trade in body parts.

Guests:

William Sherman, reporter for the New York Daily News

Annie Cheney, author of "Body Brokers: Inside America's Underground Trade in Human Remains"

Dr. Todd Olson, Professor of Anatomy & Structural Biology, Albert Einstein School of Medicine

Gary Laderman, Associate Professor of Religion at Emory University and author of "Rest in Peace: A Cultural History of Death and the Funeral Home in 20th Century America"

This program aired on March 9, 2006.

+Join the discussion
TwitterfacebookEmail

Support the news