Man charged with selling human brains on eBay

By John Vibes | January 4, 2013 | 2:00am EST

A man was recently arrested for attempting to sell stolen human brains on eBay

Portions of brain of Charles J. Guiteau, Assassin of President Garfield. Date received: June 30, 1882. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Portions of brain of Charles J. Guiteau, Assassin of President Garfield. Date received: June 30, 1882. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

INDIANA (INTELLIHUB) — Suspect David Charles allegedly stole more than 60 jars of brain and other human tissues from a warehouse space at the Indiana Medical History Museum this past October, according to the Marion County prosecutor’s office.

He is accused of breaking into the museum and taking jars of brains and tissue from autopsies performed on patients in the 1890s.

Court documents said some jars were sold on the auction site eBay by a middleman, despite a company policy against listing “humans, the human body, or any human body parts or products.”

The museum, located at 3045 W. Vermont St. in Indianapolis, is the site of the former Central State Hospital, which served patients with psychiatric and mental disorders from 1848 to 1994.

Indianapolis police had investigated several break-ins at the museum’s storage facility before a California phone call led police to Charles.

Mary Ellen Hennessey Nottage, the executive director of the museum, received a call last month from a man in California who said he had purchased “six jars of brain matter” for $600 on eBay, according to court documents.  She then called the police who set up a sting operation and arrested suspect David Charles on December 16th.

In an interview with The Indianapolis Star Nottage said that “It’s horrid anytime a museum collection is robbed.  A museum’s mission is to hold these materials as cultural and scientific objects in the public interest. To have that disturbed — to have that broken — is extraordinarily disturbing to those of us in the museum field.”

 

Sources:

[1] Man tries to sell stolen brains on eBay, police say – CNN

[2] Police: Indy man stole brains from museum, sold them for cash – IndyStar

 

Writer Bio:

VibesJG Vibes is an Intellihub.com investigative journalist, staff writer and editor. He is also the author of “Alchemy of the Modern Renaissance”, an 87 chapter e-book and is an artist with an established record label. Find him on his Facebook.
For media inquires, interviews, questions or suggestions for this author, email: vibes@intellihub.com or telephone: (347) 759-6075.
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