This article describes a criminal case involving hundreds of bodies that were looted for body parts without permission of surviving family members.
Prosecutors claim that an oral surgeon who had lost his license, Michael Mastromarino, made millions of dollars by covertly carving up bodies at a Brooklyn funeral home and then sold the stolen body parts. He teamed up with a mortician, Joseph Nicelli, who had embalming and cremation contracts in funeral homes in NYC, Rochester, Philadelphia and New Jersey. According to the article:
Mastromarino, owner of Biomedical Tissue Services of Fort Lee, N.J., Joseph Nicelli, a Brooklyn mortician, and two other defendants, Lee Crucetta and Christopher Aldorasi, pleaded not guilty to charges including enterprise corruption, body stealing, opening graves, unlawful dissection and forgery. Each would face up to 25 years in prison if convicted, prosecutors said.
The evidence against the defendants includes x-rays and photographs of the recently exhumed cadavers:
The images 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.
There was apparently a "secret operating room" wherein the looting occurred:
Nicelli was paid up to $1,000 per body to deliver corpses to a secret second-floor operating room at his funeral parlor, where Mastromarino would remove bones, skin, tendons and other non-organ body parts, authorities said. Crucetta, a nurse, and Aldorasi allegedly helped Mastromarino cut up the bodies without the knowledge of the families.
I definitely see a future "Law and Order" episode based upon this scheme.