A Kentucky man was busted with dozens of stolen human skulls and other bones that he used as decorations — and which he allegedly trafficked in a body parts ring linked to Harvard Medical School, federal authorities said Thursday.
At least 40 human skulls — including one with a scarf wrapped around its neck — along with hip bones, rib cages and spines were found in James William Nott’s Mount Washington apartment during an FBI raid Tuesday, according to a criminal complaint cited by kmov.com.
Asked by an agent if anyone else was in his home, Nott, 40, allegedly replied, “Only my dead friends.”
The bone collector is accused of using the name “William Burke” to sell the human remains — which he fastened to his bed and furniture as creepy home decor, according to federal officials.
He allegedly worked with the ring to buy and sell the bones, which were linked to Harvard Medical School, where a morgue manager was arrested last month for selling the parts of corpses, authorities said.
A Harvard medical bag was found in Nott’s home, along with loaded firearms, including at least one AK-47, according to the criminal complaint.
In a Facebook message last month, Nott allegedly talked to another bone buff, Jeremy Pauley of Pennsylvania, about selling the bones, authorities said.
“How much total for the couple and the last video you sent plus the spines?” Pauley allegedly asked Nott, before assuring him he’d get paid.
Pauly was later investigated and told agents about the network of body part sellers, which allegedly also hawked hearts, brains and lungs.
Last month, federal authorities alleged that Cedric Lodge, a long-time employee of Harvard Medical School, let buyers come into a mortuary unit at the Ivy League school to pick out parts of corpses to buy.
In total, seven people were charged with selling human remains at the time.
Lodge, manager at the Harvard Medical School Anatomical Gift Program, is suspected of being part of the same ring, according to federal authorities.