28 min

Postmortem, Ep. 5: A reckoning Last Seen

    • True Crime

In Episode 5 of Postmortem: The Stolen Bodies of Harvard, reporter Ally Jarmanning digs deeper into the "legitimate" realm of body-parts collecting ⁠— museums ⁠— and asks the burning question: How different is this from the world of Jeremy Pauley in his basement or Cedric Lodge seizing a financial opportunity at Harvard's morgue.

At the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia, she takes us through displays of skeletons and sometimes-troubling human specimens. What comes up here and at museums around the country ⁠— did the people who used to belong to these bodies ever imagine themselves in a jar, or on a shelf? Did they give permission for decades of gawking?

After all this reporting, Jarmanning examines the ethics of it all, probing how we should treat the dead, and who gets to decide. And she returns us to Harvard, where hardly anyone, except Lodge, has been held to account.

If you have questions, comments or tips about this story, you can reach us at LastSeen@wbur.org.

In Episode 5 of Postmortem: The Stolen Bodies of Harvard, reporter Ally Jarmanning digs deeper into the "legitimate" realm of body-parts collecting ⁠— museums ⁠— and asks the burning question: How different is this from the world of Jeremy Pauley in his basement or Cedric Lodge seizing a financial opportunity at Harvard's morgue.

At the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia, she takes us through displays of skeletons and sometimes-troubling human specimens. What comes up here and at museums around the country ⁠— did the people who used to belong to these bodies ever imagine themselves in a jar, or on a shelf? Did they give permission for decades of gawking?

After all this reporting, Jarmanning examines the ethics of it all, probing how we should treat the dead, and who gets to decide. And she returns us to Harvard, where hardly anyone, except Lodge, has been held to account.

If you have questions, comments or tips about this story, you can reach us at LastSeen@wbur.org.

28 min

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