What Becomes of Body Parts?

I've been doing a series of radio interviews on The Anatomy Murders: I just completed one with Jean Dean on Viewpoint, WRVC AM, Huntington, W. Virginia, and I had another yesterday on Conversations with Peter Solomon, WIP AM Philadelphia. Of course it's always great to talk about the seamy side of medical history, and I've been struck with how quickly the topic turns to body parts today -- and where they end up.

For those of you who remember the scandal of Alistaire Cooke's remains going missing, but are fuzzy on the details, here's a well-informed piece by Kerry Howley from March, 2007 issue of Reason.com: http://reason.com/archives/2007/02/07/who-owns-your-body-parts/singlepage  When Cooke died of cancer at the age of 94, his daughter arranged for him to be cremated. Instead, his body, like more than a thousand others, was cut open and sold for spare parts. The bones were worth about $7000. An intact, younger, healthier cadaver -- once sliced and diced into its saleable components -- can be worth as much as $100,000.