North America

Gruesome ‘body broker’ trade

WHEN FBI investigators entered a Detroit warehouse in 2013, they were met with a grisly sight.

Human remains were found “frozen together in flesh-on-flesh chunks” in the space with no running water or heating.

The “cutting room” floor was covered in blood, while the place was strewn with piles of dead flies, gallon drums and blunt instruments like a chainsaw and a circular saw.

That’s what FBI agent Leslie Larson told a jury this week at the trial of businessman Arthur Rathburn, a man accused of supplying customers body parts infected with HIV and hepatitis.

“Body parts were out in the open, in coolers,” Ms Larson told the jury. “Some of the freezers had heads and torsos, some had arms and legs.

The jury heard how the body parts were frozen in clumps so that a crowbar was needed to separate them. Mr Rathburn has denied the charges against him and his lawyer, James Howarth, blamed another person.

“This case is so sensitive because the nature of the evidence is going to …

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