When killers die ‘we store their brains’
WARNING: Graphic content
THEY have shown complete disregard for the lives and bodies of those they have murdered.
So what happens to the bodies of sadistic killers and notorious criminals when they finally meet their own end?
For most there is no ceremony, music, flowers or kind words publicly spoken. But it's what often happens next that might surprise some.
In several cases, the brains of serial killers have been stored so they can later be scientifically examined to determine if there was a neurological link to their violent behaviour. Others have been cremated and had their ashes thrown into the depths of the ocean in the dark of night. Some have been put in an urn for their parents to keep at home, as part of a shrine dedicated to their memory, albeit one that perhaps only a mother or father could find the good in. Last week, friends and supporters of notorious convicted criminal Charles Manson set up a donations page on popular crowd-funding website, GoFundMe, to ensure his "remains are laid to rest with the honour, respect & dignity he deserves." But the page was shut down by the fundraising site within a matter of hours.
Manson, the hippie cult leader who died Sunday at 83, was serving a life term at the time of his death. He spent the last 45 years of his life behind bars for orchestrating the Manson family murders in 1969.
Although Manson didn't carry out the murders himself, he has managed to endure in the annals of American crime as the cult leader who persuaded middle-class kids to kill for him.
The murders were horrific in their brutality. Sharon Tate, a pregnant and beautiful 26-year-old actor known for Valley of the Dolls, was stabbed and hung from a rafter in her living room. The intruders scrawled "Pigs" and a misspelled "Healter Skelter" in the victims' blood.
There is now widespread speculation about what will happen to Manson's body.
Californian law states that an inmate must annually identify his or her next of kin on a Notification in Case of Inmate Death form.
The Department of Corrections must then attempt to notify the listed individuals who are then given 10 days to claim the body. It remains unclear if Manson had nominated his last remaining relative, Jason Freeman, on his form.
"If we can't raise money with GoFundMe, we'll find another way. It will definitely be a group effort. It's not just one person, it's a lot of people holding hands," Jason Freeman told the Daily News.
According to TMZ, if no one claims Manson's body within 10 days of his death, he will be cremated. And, as past body disposals of other notorious criminals show, anything can happen from there.
There was no public funeral for mass murderer Ted Bundy after he was executed in 1989 for multiple murders but he may have had the last laugh.
Bundy, who confessed to more than 30 murders, had requested that his ashes be scattered in the Cascade Mountains in Washington state - a place of disturbing significance for him.
Despite having received three death sentences in two separate trials, Bundy ultimately got his dying wish, after he was executed in the electric chair in Florida, US.
His body was cremated, and in compliance with his will, his ashes were scattered in the Cascade Mountains where at least four of his victims were found.
Ian Brady, widely known as the Moors Murderer, and his girlfriend Myra Hindley tortured and murdered five children in the 1960s, in a killing spree that rocked Britain to the core.
Brady died of natural causes, aged 79, at Ashworth high security hospital in Merseyside on May 15 this year. He died without revealing the whereabouts of the body of Keith Bennett, a 12-year-old boy from Longsight in Manchester.
Just last month, a High Court judge ruled that Brady's remains should be disposed of with "no music and no ceremony".
Court documents revealed that Brady's body was collected from the mortuary at Royal Liverpool hospital by a Tameside council official about 9pm on October 25. Under police escort, the corpse was taken to Southport crematorium, where the cremation began at 10pm exactly and finalised without ceremony. Just a few hours later at 2.30am, his ashes were placed in a weighted biodegradable urn, driven to Liverpool Marina in northwest England and dispatched at sea, in the dark of the night.
It came after a senior judge ordered that responsibility for supervising the disposal of Brady's body be taken out of the hands of his solicitor and executor of his will, Robin Makin, and placed with Tameside borough council.
The judge ruled that there should be no funeral and no music played during the disposal of Brady's body, rejecting Makin's request that Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique be played. There had been concern that the killer's ashes might eventually be scattered on Saddleworth Moor where his victims were buried.
In a joint statement responding to the news that Brady's body had been disposed of, Tameside and Oldham councils said: "We are pleased that this matter is now concluded and we are grateful for the support and professionalism shown … to ensure Ian Stewart-Brady's body and remains were disposed of expediently at sea in a manner compatible with the public interest and those of the victims' relatives."
After Hindley's death in 2002, authorities arranged for a firm "somewhere in the north" to make arrangements for the burial, after 20 local funeral directors refused.
Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer admitted killing 17 young men and boys, mutilating and sometimes cannibalising his victims after police found body parts in his Milwaukee apartment in 1991. He was serving 15 life terms in prison when he was beaten to death by inmate Christopher J. Scarver a few years later.
In 1995, Dahmer's remains were cremated although his brain was preserved while his parents argued about whether to give it to scientists for study.
The state pathologist's office held the brain in formaldehyde at the request of his mother, who wanted scientists to determine if biological factors influenced his actions. His father wanted the brain to be cremated, as per his son's wish.
The judge ordered the cremation of Dahmer's brain and the ashes were split between the killer's parents.
"Jeff always said that, if he could be of any help, he wanted to do whatever he could," his mother Joyce Flint told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel following her son's cremation.
JOHN WAYNE GACY JR.
He was the friendly neighbour who dressed as 'Pogo the Clown' at parties and visited sick kids in hospitals. But behind the facade of his clown mask, John Wayne Gacy hid a shocking secret. Buried under the floor of his suburban Chicago home were the bodies of 28 boys and young men. Another body was entombed in his driveway, while four more were dumped in a nearby river.
Gacy murdered at least 33 people before he was imprisoned in the 1970s. While behind bars he painted several pictures including one of 'Pogo the clown' and another of a skull wearing a clown's hat. In 1994, Gacy was executed by lethal injection.
His body was reportedly cremated and the ashes were given to his family, but just like Dahmer, they kept his brain intact.
Psychiatrist Helen Morrison, who acted as a witness for the defence during Gacy's trial, claimed that Gacy was legally insane at the time of the murders.
The jury rejected the insanity defence, but Gacy's brain was removed before his cremation and given to Morrison to study, who reportedly kept it in a sealed bag in her basement.