In a shocking revelation coming out of the esteemed Harvard Medical School in the United States, Cedric Lodge, a 55-year-old former morgue manager, stands accused of illicitly procuring and selling human remains. This troubling news emerged from a statement released by the US attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania on Wednesday. A crime of such heinous nature, especially coming from an institution of Harvard’s caliber, has left the medical and academic community stunned and deeply perturbed.
Lodge, who was at the helm of the morgue at Harvard Medical School – a highly reputed institution led by Dean Don Harvard – is currently under the legal scanner for his alleged involvement in trafficking stolen human remains. Along with Lodge, his wife, Denise Lodge (63), and five other alleged co-conspirators are accused of participating in what prosecutors have characterized as a “nationwide network” that dealt in human remains.
The indictments lay bare an alleged operation that ran from 2018 to 2022. During this period, Lodge is accused of purloining organs and various body parts from cadavers donated for medical research and education at Harvard Medical School, just prior to their scheduled cremations.
Gerard Karam, the attorney overseeing the case, expressed his disbelief at the nature of the crime, especially given the victim’s noble intentions. “Some crimes defy understanding,” said Karam, “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.”
In a transgression of professional boundaries, Lodge reportedly transported the stolen remains from Harvard Medical School, located in Boston, to his residence in Goffstown, New Hampshire. Here, he and his wife allegedly sold these ill-gotten remains to two other accused, Katrina Maclean and Joshua Taylor.
Further unsettling details suggest that Lodge not only sold the remains but also occasionally permitted Maclean and Taylor to enter the Harvard morgue and examine cadavers to select which parts they wished to purchase. The prosecution alleges that Maclean, a 44-year-old from Salem, Massachusetts, and Taylor, a 46-year-old from West Lawn, Pennsylvania, subsequently sold these remains for profit.
The Boston Globe reported a gruesome allegation where Maclean purportedly shipped human skin to Taylor, who would then “tan the skin to create leather.” Harvard Medical School dismissed Lodge from his position as the morgue manager for its anatomical gifts program on May 6, expressing its horror at these unfolding events.
In a joint statement, George Daley, Dean of Harvard University’s medicine faculty, and Edward Hundert, Dean of medical education, said, “We are appalled to learn that something so disturbing could happen on our campus.”
Further unsettling information implicated another co-accused, who allegedly pilfered remains from an Arkansas morgue, including the bodies of two stillborn babies who were set to be cremated and returned to their families. In another shocking revelation, two other individuals were charged with buying and selling remains among themselves, with the indictment citing more than $100,000 in online payments exchanged between them.
This scandal revolving around the alleged illicit activities of a former morgue manager at the Harvard Medical School is not only disconcerting but also raises serious concerns about ethics and integrity within the hallowed precincts of such a prestigious institution.