Arizona man thought he donated his mom’s body to Alzheimer’s research when she died. Turns out, it was actually sold to the U.S. military, which blew up her body as part of an IED experiment.
When Doris passed away in 2013 after suffering from Alzheimer’s, her son Jim Stauffer hoped to donate her brain to Phoenix’s Biological Research Center so it could be used by doctors to learn more about the disease, but he says that is not what happened.
According to Reuters, Stauffer’s mom was one of many bodies sold to the US Army for blast testing.
“She was then supposedly strapped in a chair on some sort of an apparatus, and a detonation took place underneath her to basically get an idea of what the human body goes through when a vehicle is hit by an IED,” Stauffer said. “Every time I dream about my mom – I told you she was a quiet person – this person in my dream was angry.”
Every time there’s a memory, every time there’s a photograph you look at, there’s this ugly thing that happened just right there, staring right at you. She will never be forgotten here, Stauffer said.
Stauffer is one of more than 30 plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the BRC, which was raided by the FBI as part of a human body parts trafficking investigation in 2014.
Many families had donated the bodies of their loved ones to the facility with the understanding they would be used for scientific purposes, but authorities say that’s not what happened and that many of the bodies were badly mistreated.
Dozens of those families have been left without answers as to what happened to their loved ones.
Who was held accountable?
The owner of the BRC, Stephen Gore, was sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to running an illegal enterprise in 2015.
“He didn’t care about the families, he didn’t care about the people and he didn’t care about the memories,” Stauffer said. “If I can be a little small part of his personal financial destruction, I don’t care.”
While the lawsuit into the BRC is ongoing, the facility is now closed.