Philadelphia


Michel Mastromarino, body snatcher

It sounds like a gruesome science fiction novel: body parts from corpses transplanted allegedly without the knowledge of loved ones. Imagine, having surgery to get a new lease on life.

Instead you find out what you got was something stolen, something diseased — a ticking time bomb in your body.

“I had last rights. I mean, I almost bought the farm,” said Betty Pfaff, a local woman who had a tissue transplant. In July 2005, Pfaff was rushed to Abington Memorial Hospital with a temperature of 106. Her family was told she probably wouldn’t make it. “The doctors couldn’t figure out what the problem was,” Pfaff said. They said they didn’t know about a man named Michel Mastromarino, who some call Frankenstein, Cahn reported. Mastromarino was arrested and charged with heading a multimillion-dollar operation some say was a butcher ring right out of a horror movie. They didn’t know about the Philadelphia funeral homes, where investigators said diseased cadavers were left in alleys then stripped of bone, skin and tissue to be sold. They said they didn’t know that, during a standard hernia operation, Pfaff had an infected piece of donor skin grafted onto her body — skin that came from unsanitary corpses.” I was in intensive care 11 days. I was on a ventilator. I was on dialysis,” Pfaff said. “I lost a year of my life.” But Mastromarino’s attorney told NBC 10 that his client is not guilty, that he’s the victim of unscrupulous funeral directors like James McCafferty, Louis Garzone and his brother, Gerald, in Philadelphia. ” Innocent until proven guilty,” said Gerald Garzone’s attorney. A recent grand jury report says, “The Garzones and McCafferty were paid approximately $250,000 over an 18-month period for their participation in the criminal scheme to steal and sell body parts.”

Innocent until proven guilty or, as in this case until admitting guilt. I’m just hoping he doesn’t have an eBay account.




  1. Animal Mother says:

    I was wondering why my wife’s breast augmentation makes her smell like the grave.

  2. bobbo says:

    You’d think transplant teams would test for more than just matching blood types?

    You’d think EVERY donated tissue would have a “chain of custody” about sources and middle men?

    Evidently not.

    All going to the “fraud and abuse” that “for profit” medicine causes in the GOUSA. Docs get paid for PROCEDURES, not outcomes.

    And so it goes.

  3. Mister Catshit says:

    When there is a buck to be made, forget about ethics.

  4. the Three-Headed Cat™ says:

    “I had last rights. I mean, I almost bought the farm,” said Betty Pfaff, a local woman who had a tissue transplant.

    Hmm. ‘Last rights,’ eh? I wonder if those are like Miranda rights – or maybe that farm she was gonna buy had fishing rights, y’think? :P

  5. edwinrogers says:

    A big hand for the US medical system. Proof that demand and supply, works.

  6. The Monster's Lawyer says:

    #4 – She had the rite to remain silent but didn’t. :-):-):-):-)

  7. god says:

    Back when the case started:

    http://www.dvorak.org/blog/?p=3639

  8. Noam Sane says:

    Abby Normal.

  9. eyeofthetiger says:

    Wow. PVC for bones. Now that is cutting corners.

  10. billabong says:

    I smell a made for T.V. movie here.

  11. Deehexi says:

    All this “organ doner” thing could be a lot easier. There is a european country that takes what they need from deceased unless they have something saying that they DO NOT want to donate anything. In Germany (my home country) you have to have a doner card saying that you are willing to donate. And I have one. So they can take whatever they want that is still usable when I die. I think this is the right thing to do. If I can save a life when I am dead…why not. What if I would be in the same situation and have to die because somebody don’t want to give up what they do not need anymore. Don’t make much sense. If everybody would carry such a card it would make it all easier and crime like this would be minimized. My spirit will live on anyway and not in hell either…(I bet my friend the pope thinks different about this…grin)

  12. TIHZ_HO says:

    Ok, I admit it, I’m weak, WEAK I tell you!! I tried my best not to say this…but…

    I thought this kind of shit only happens in third world countries and China not GOUSA!

    Ahhh….now I can carry on with my day. :)

    Cheers

  13. Mister Catshit says:

    #4, THC,

    I’m wondering, if she was that sick, why was she out trying to buy real estate. Maybe she wanted the last mineral rights before someone else grabbed them. Or something.

  14. Mister Catshit says:

    From the FDA’s web site

    Where are tissues sent once they are removed (recovered)?
    Tissues are sent to tissue banks for processing and distribution. Tissue banks are establishments that are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). By law, any company that wishes to receive, process, or distribute tissues must register with FDA and must adhere to all FDA regulations governing tissue banking. These establishments are subject to regular inspection by the FDA.

    Yup. That good ole fashioned “Gubermint Oversight” under the (ahem) current administration.

  15. the Three-Headed Cat™ says:

    Mr. C @#13 – That musta been it… :)

    (Hon. mention 2 the Monster’s Mouthpiece @#6…)