Harvard’s Morgue Manager Accused Of Stealing Human Brains, Skin, And Bones To Sell On The Black Market

Published June 16, 2023

Cedric Lodge and his wife, along with four others, face charges of conspiracy and transporting stolen goods across state lines.

Cedric Lodge

TwitterCedric Lodge, the former morgue manager of Harvard Medical School for nearly three decades, is accused of stealing various human remains and shipping them to buyers.

The manager of Harvard Medical School’s morgue has been accused of stealing body parts from donated cadavers and selling them on the black market over the past five years.

As NBC Boston reported, buyers were allegedly permitted by the morgue manager, Cedric Lodge, to examine the dead bodies and select which body parts they wished to purchase. Also indicted were his wife Denise Lodge and alleged buyers Katrina Maclean, Joshua Taylor, Mathew Lampi, and Jeremy Pauley.

According to the indictment, Lodge stole the requested body parts from the morgue — including brains, skin, and bones — then took them to his home in New Hampshire, where he packaged and shipped them to buyers via the post.

Officially, the defendants are facing charges of conspiracy and transporting stolen goods across state lines, with potential sentences of up to 15 years in prison.

U.S. Attorney Gerard Karam said, “Some crimes defy understanding. The theft and trafficking of human remains strikes at the very essence of what makes us human. It is particularly egregious that so many of the victims here volunteered to allow their remains to be used to educate medical professionals and advance the interests of science and healing. For them and their families to be taken advantage of in the name of profit is appalling.”

Katrina Maclean

FacebookKatrina Maclean of Salem, Massachusetts, another defendant accused of buying and selling human remains.

Cedric Lodge was fired from his position on May 6, 2023, with the Harvard Medical deans calling his actions “an abhorrent betrayal.” Lodge had been the morgue’s manager for nearly 30 years.

“We are appalled to learn that something so disturbing could happen on our campus — a community dedicated to healing and serving others,” the deans wrote in a community statement. “We are so very sorry for the pain this news will cause for our anatomical donors’ families and loved ones, and HMS pledges to engage with them during this deeply distressing time.”

Joshua Taylor of West Lawn, Pennsylvania, allegedly sent the Lodges more than $37,000 through PayPal, with one payment of $200 sent to Denise Lodge for “braiiiiiins.”

One defendant, Katrina Maclean, runs a store called Kat’s Creepy Creations in Peabody, Massachusetts, which was searched in March. Court documents show that in 2020, Maclean allegedly purchased two desiccated faces for $600 and shipped human skin to a man in Pennsylvania.

Kat's Creepy Creations

FacebookA photo of some of the oddities sold at Kat’s Creepy Creations.

Kat’s Creepy Creations sells macabre and horror-themed oddities, and posts on the store’s Instagram page feature images of human skulls. In one post from February 2020, the caption reads, “If you’re in the market for human bones hit me up!”

In addition to accusations of purchasing the body parts, Maclean is also accused of sending human skin to 41-year-old Jeremy Pauley of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. Pauley was arrested in 2022 and also faces accusations of purchasing human remains from a mortuary employee in Arkansas, including two stillborn babies who were scheduled for cremation.

Pauley’s Instagram, like Maclean’s, features photographs of numerous human remains, which he had listed for sale. He and 52-year-old Matthew Lampi of East Bethel, Minnesota, allegedly bought and sold goods made from human remains, exchanging more than $100,000.

Jeremy Pauley

Jeremy Pauley is a self-described “human blood artist.”

While many were shocked and appalled by the news, none were impacted more than the victims’ families.

“We were just disgusted — sick, like we were going to throw up,” said Paula Peltonovich, whose parents each willed their bodies to Harvard Medical through its Anatomical Gift Program. “It’s just unthinkable. There’s no words.”

Per the New York Post, Peltonovich’s father, Nicholas Pichowicz, passed away in 2019 at the age of 87. Her mother, Joan Pichowicz, died in March 2023 at 86.

Nicholas’ remains were among those sold on the black market, but Peltonovich, of Newton, New Hampshire, said it is unclear if her mother’s remains are still in the Harvard morgue.

“I don’t want them to touch my mom,” she said. “I mean, can you blame me? I mean, seriously. It’s just, the whole thing’s wrong.”

After reading about this macabre series of crimes, read about the teenager who found a suitcase full of human remains and posted it on TikTok. Or, read about the gallon-sized jugs of human remains found in this crawlspace.

Austin Harvey
A staff writer for All That's Interesting, Austin Harvey has also had work published with Discover Magazine, Giddy, and Lucid covering topics on mental health, sexual health, history, and sociology. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Point Park University.
Matt Crabtree
Matt Crabtree is an assistant editor at All That's Interesting. A writer and editor based in Salt Lake City, Utah, Matt has a Bachelor's degree in journalism from Utah State University and a passion for idiosyncratic news and stories that offer unique perspectives on the world, film, politics, and more.
Cite This Article
Harvey, Austin. "Harvard’s Morgue Manager Accused Of Stealing Human Brains, Skin, And Bones To Sell On The Black Market." AllThatsInteresting.com, June 16, 2023, https://allthatsinteresting.com/cedric-lodge-body-parts-theft. Accessed April 19, 2024.