A lawsuit against Arizona-based Biological Resource Center (BRC) has described how the donation clinic misused loved ones’ bodies in grisly scenes similar to the horror novel Frankenstein.
The chilling descriptions came to light this week as part civil action filed by 33 defendants whose loved ones’ bodies were donated to the facility.
Plaintiffs state that they were misled by the company who led them to believe that the bodies would be used for disease research or organ donation.
The reality was a lot more horrifying and owner Stephen Gore, 52, was found guilty of operating an illegal business in 2015 after it was discovered that he had been been selling body parts.
More than 1,755 human body parts were found at the facility, which took 142 body bags to move and weighed 10 tons, according to Reuters.
A lawsuit filed against Biological Resource Center in Phoenix, Arizona claims the body donation clinic misled families and misused their loved ones’ body. During the 2014 raid on the center (above) one FBI agent said that more than 1,755 human body parts were found
Owner Stephen Gore admitted that he could have been ‘more open’ about what would happen after bodies were donated. Pictured: Gore with his wife and daughters
In a declaration for the new lawsuit, former FBI special agent Mark Cwynar described ‘various unsettling scenes’ at the site in Phoenix, AZ Central reported.
Cwynar told of a small woman’s head sewn onto a large male torso that was hanging from the wall in a ‘Frankenstein manner’ according to the New York Post.
It was described as ‘an apparent morbid joke’.
He also spoke of a ‘cooler filled with male genitalia’, ‘infected heads’ and ‘bucket of heads, arms and legs’ without any identification tags.
There were also blood and bodily fluids on the floor of the freezer.
The initial 2014 raids occurred as part of a multi-state investigation into the illegal trafficking and sale of human body parts.
Inside Edition reported that some of the body parts were sent to a Department of Defense testing facility in Virginia.
‘They used him as a crash test dummy for military testing,’ Jill Hansen said of her late husband.
Gore does not have more than a high school diploma, nor any licenses or certifications applicable to body donation program operations. Pictured: Gore, right, with his wife and three children
The father-of-three appears to have a license as an insurance agent in the state of Florida. Pictured: Gore with his wife and children
Investigators found the small head of a woman sewn onto a large male torso hanging from a wall in a ‘Frankenstein manner’. Above, body parts are removed from the site
Biological Resource Center price list for body parts
The Biological Resource Center had a physical price list available for buyers.
It’s unclear who its clients were, but one report states that some parts were sent to a Department of Defense testing facility in Virginia.
Full body: $5,000 – $10,000
Whole upper torso: $4,000
Intact torso: $2,900
Whole spine: $1,900
Leg from mid-femur to toe tip: $600
Whole foot: $450
The BRC picked up the bodies of deceased loved ones from family homes, and from there they sold the parts to middlemen for profit, the NY Post reported.
Bodies were cut up using chain saws and band saws, tools that are not supposed to be used when medically dismembering cadavers.
There was even a price list for body parts, according to AZ Central and Inside Edition.
This included a whole upper torso for $4,000, an intact torso for $2,900, a spine for $1,900, a leg from mid-femur to toe tip for $600, a head for $500 and a knee for $375.
A full, intact body could cost anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000.
After the investigations, business owner Gore pleaded guilty in October 2015 to federal charges of conducting an illegal enterprise, the NY Post reported.
He admitted that the bodies were not used in a way that donors had permitted and that he was ‘overwhelmed’ working in an industry without regulation.
His wife, children and siblings pleaded for a lenient sentence, describing him as a ‘family man’, reported Fox 10 Phoenix.
Gore was sentenced to one year deferred jail time, four years probation and was forced to pay $121,000 in restitution.
‘I could have been more open about the process of donation on the brochure we put in public view’ Gore said, according to AZ Central.
Records appear to show that Gore is married with two daughters and a son.
His highest level of education is high school, and he allegedly did not receive any licenses or certifications applicable to body donation program operations.
DailyMail.com could only find a license Gore received as an insurance agent in the state of Florida for Gore & Associates Insurance Services LLC.
Gore has been contacted by DailyMail.com for comment, but has not responded.
BRC owner Stephen Gore admitted that he could have been ‘more open’ about what would happen after bodies were donated. He pleaded guilty to conducting an illegal business in 2015
FBI and police raided the site in 2014 as part of a multi-state investigation into the illegal trafficking and sale of human body parts
A screenshot from a 2013 training video by the BRC shows a construction saw used by technicians to remove a man’s spine.
After Gore’s conviction, family members of the deceased who had agreed to donate their bodies spoke of their disgust.
HOW DOES BODY DONATION WORK?
Body donation occurs when a whole body is donated after death for medical education and research. Organs can also be harvested for donation.
Conditions that are studied include:
- Bone and Joint Replacement
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Surgical training
- Tumor Removal
These programs are not regulated by either the federal government or state governments.
Generally, body donation programs do not accept bodies infected with Hepatitis (A, B, and C), HIV/AIDS or of someone who had a history of illicit drug use.
Any remaining tissues are typically cremated and sent back to the next of kin at no cost.
Letters are often sent to the family updating them on what research projects their loved one has contributed to.
There are several private companies to which people can donate their bodies to.
However, this comes with the risk of the body parts being sold or leased for profit.
Gwen Aloia told Fox10Phoenix: ‘I just had to come to see what this animal looked like.’
Her husband’s body was donated in 2013 after he died of cancer. ‘It’s just disgusting,’ she added.
Another, Michelle Leader whose mother also died of cancer, said that their loved ones had ‘selflessly’ given themselves to research.
‘To take that away from them without permission is wrong in every sense of the word,’ Leader told Fox.
Gwen Aloia (left) in 2015 when attending court to see Gore’s face. The body of her husband (right) was donated in 2013 after he died of cancer
Michelle Leader (left) donated the body of her mother (right) to BRC after she died of cancer. Leader said to disrespect the wishes of loved ones was ‘wrong in ever sense of the word’
One FBI agent who worked on the case explained that moving body bags left resulted in a diagnosis for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Matthew Parker told Reuters: ‘I couldn’t sleep at night after seeing that. It looked like a junkyard chop shop where they are just ripping things apart.’
One of the plaintiffs Troy Harp, who donated both his mother and grandmother’s bodies to BRC in 2012 and 2013, told KTVK of his shock after finding out the truth.
‘Cancer, and leukemia and whatever else, using sample cells… That’s what I was told.’ Harp told the station. ‘This is a horror story. It’s just unbelievable. This story is unbelievable.’
Arizona passed a law in 2017 that does not allow body donation companies to operate without a license. However, the law as yet to be enforced.
The case is set for trial in Maricopa County Superior Court on October 21.
One FBI Agent Matthew Parker told Reuters that he was suffering from PTSD after the horrors of going inside the BRC site