A journalist was able to buy a dead man’s spine for $300.

In the mostly unregulated industry of body brokering, thousands of bodies are being donated to companies under the deception that they’re going to be used to further science. However, many loved one’s remains are being used for something far more sinister.

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Photo by Rory Waldegrave on Unsplash

When Megan Hess and Shirley Koch were arrested for mail fraud and transporting hazardous material, the residents of Montrose, Colorado were surprised. However, when they found out they’d been selling the bodies of their loved ones, that initial reaction turned to rage and shock.

Between 2010 and 2018, the mother and daughter team sold remains and body parts from…

Despite numerous television appeals, her identity is still unknown.

She’s been featured on America’s Most Wanted, Missing on HBO and has even been fictionalised on the MTV show Fear, but her family has never been found and as her headstone reads, she lies dead among strangers. It’s time she reclaimed her name.

On the 15th of July 1982, a maintenance worker came across her body at the southeast corner of Cedar Ridge Cemetery in Blairstown, New Jersey. She was found lying on her stomach and when she was turned onto her back, officers saw that her face had been viciously beaten beyond any recognition and her skull had been…

Hazel Drew’s death remains unsolved, unlike her on-screen counterpart.

In the summer of 1908, the resort town of Sand Lake in Rensselaer County, New York was busy. The usual population of around 2,000 made way for holidaymakers and the July temperature was climbing. However, the visiting families would soon be joined by reporters and investigators, when the body of a woman turned up in Teal’s Pond.

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Hazel Drew via Times Union courtesy of Bob Moore, Sand Lake Historian

Twenty-year-old Hazel Drew was born on a farm, in East Poestenkill. At fourteen, she left to work in the home of an affluent family, eventually becoming a governess. …

What we can learn from the demise of Billy McFarland and Fyre Media Inc.

Hands making a heart shape at performers on stage at a music festival
Hands making a heart shape at performers on stage at a music festival
Photo by Anthony DELANOIX on Unsplash

Back in 2017, a strange phenomenon began to appear on social media. Influencers from around the world began posting a seemingly cryptic burnt orange square, telling their followers that they too could attend utopia, by clicking on the website link. The warm glow of the square filled social feeds and from there, one of the most infamous marketing campaigns began.

Fyre Festival commenced with the perfect recipe; they had top influencers on their payroll, a large budget and a great agency behind them, but behind the scenes, the foundations that the festival was built on was a web of lies…

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Photo by Wolfgang Hasselmann on Unsplash

Did anyone else think that February went quickly? Normally, the cold, rainy month takes a while to build up some speed, but whoosh, here we are at the end of it.

How many of you watched the Netflix four-part documentary on the Cecil Hotel? Personally, I learned a lot. The crime junkie in me was horrified that it took so long to find her, and I was ready to fall down the rabbit hole of online conspiracies, once I’d finished the last episode. …

Baby “Delta Dawn” now has a name.

When witnesses saw a mother and young child walking in the early hours of the 3rd of December 1982, they were concerned. The young woman was in a state of distress and walking barefoot along the Mississippi State Highway 63, with a toddler who wasn’t wearing a coat, despite the cold night.

She refused help from passers-by and as her journey continued, she was the topic of discussion over the truck driver’s radios that morning. What the drivers didn’t know, was that the little girl being carried would soon be found dead in the river.

Two days later, a truck…

The nightmare phone call leading to his capture lasted 20 minutes before help arrived.

Shawn Grate had a long history of violence, but his good looks and charisma meant he charmed everyone he met. He was known as a ‘nice guy’, and that’s what made him even more deadly.

The missing

On the 16th of August 2016, Elizabeth Griffith went missing from a car park in Ashland, Ohio. According to CCTV, the 29-year-old was shopping in Walmart at the time of her abduction and from there, her movements are unknown.

Elizabeth’s story was picked up locally but very little was done about her disappearance by the police. Stacey Stanley’s disappearance was handled similarly.

The 43-year-old went…

He had already picked out another two victims.

Days after Johnny Altinger had disappeared, his friends decided to break into his home. Police had refused to help them as he was an adult, but they knew their friend hadn’t gone on holiday; he was missing.

On Friday the 10th of October 2008, Johnny was getting ready to meet a woman he’d been chatting to on the dating website, Plenty of Fish. They were getting on well and 38-year-old had told his friends about the plans he’d made that evening. He was excited.

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Johnny Altinger via edmontonjournal.com

Johnny worked as an oilfield equipment manufacturer and loved technology. As he got older, his adoration…


Back in 1988, police knew who the murderer was, but errors in early DNA testing had already ruled him out.

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Gayle Barrus with battlecreekenquirer.com

Gayle Barrus disappeared on the 9th of October 1988 from Battle Creek, Michigan. The manhunt for the mother of three lasted sixteen days until she was finally discovered by trackers along River Road. Gayle had been sexually assaulted and stabbed to death. A DNA sample was taken from Gayle’s body but forensic testing wasn’t what it was now and the sample was stored until a suspect could be found.

“They started a missing person’s report, but it wasn’t until the hunters found her in Emmett Township that they realized that it was a homicide.” — Detective Scott Marshall.

30-year-old Gayle…

Scandi Crime

Engla Höglund’s murderer had killed before but a bungled police investigation let him kill again.

Crime in Scandinavian countries has always been much lower than many, due to laidback culture and population sizes. Dubbed the world’s 13th most peaceful nation, Sweden’s murder and manslaughter averages were just 96 cases per year and haven’t changed in over a decade. Unfortunately, at least one of these cases could have been prevented, and a little girl would have grown up, instead of having her life cut short.

On Saturday the 5th of April 2008, Engla Höglund was on her way home from playing football at the local community centre, when she went missing. The 10-year-old lived in Stjärnsund…

Josie Klakström

Josie is a freelance journalist who writes about true crime, lifestyle and marketing. www.klakstrom.com

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