Phoenix's Biological Resource Center advertised that it would collect your relatives' remains and dispose of their body parts for medical purposes, cremating the unused portions and returning them; it was founded by the aptly named Stephen Gore, whose highest level of educational attainment was a high school diploma and who learned the processes by which he dismembered and preserved the bodies in his care "from books or the internet."
Arizona does not regulate body donations. The state legislature passed a law that imposes some regulation on the industry in 2017, following revelations about Gore's operation, but has not yet implemented or enforced it.
Gore's business was raided by the FBI in 2014, and the agent who performed the search discovered "unsettling scenes" including "a cooler filled with male genitalia;" a "large torso with the head removed and replaced with a smaller head sewn together in a 'Frankenstein' manner;" buckets of heads, arms and legs; unidentified body parts in piles, and "large male torsos with limbs and genitalia removed."
Gore faced a variety of charges; in 2015 he pleaded guilty to supplying his customers with "contaminated body parts" and "using body parts in ways the donors had not permitted."
Gore is currently defending himself in a civil case brought by 33 families who entrusted him with their loved ones' remains. They say that Gore deceived them about the details of how the remains would be handled, tricking some of them into thinking that they were making organ donations or providing cadavers for medical research. They also claim that Gore "plastinated" parts of their loved ones, something their agreement did not cover.
Not all were aware the Biological Resource Center often dismembered and sold various body parts.
A 2013 price list that is part of the court file indicates sale prices for body parts:
* Whole body with no shoulders or head: $2,900.
* Torso with head: $2,400.
* Whole spine: $950.
* Whole leg: $1,100.
* Whole foot: $450.
* Knee: $375.
* Pelvis: $400.
'Cooler filled with male genitalia' found in raid of Phoenix body-donation company [Stephanie Innes/Arizona Republic]