L.I. Woman Finds Glass, Staples Mixed In With Late Father’s Ashes

AMITYVILLE, NY (CBSNewYork) — All she wanted was to preserve her dead father’s legacy and remains, but instead, a Long Island woman said her dad got trashed – literally.

Now, as CBS 2’s Scott Rapoport reports, Jennie Spooner is fighting back.

“I couldn’t believe it. I kept looking at it,” she said. “I couldn’t believe I was seeing this.

Spooner, of Amityville, said that when her beloved father, 79-year-old Harry, died last year, she immediately carried out his dying wish. He hoped to have his remains cremated, so she could scatter his ashes in his favorite places.

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reports: Attorney Says Family Doesn’t Know Who They Have In The Urn

“It should have been nice ashes,” she said.

Spooner said that when she got the ashes, she made a horrifying discovery.

“It’s garbage – it’s not my dad,” she said.

Spooner said that mixed in with her father’s remains, she found a crazy combination of garbage: glass, ballpoint pen springs, pieces of bone, and a half-melted crucifix.

“That’s my father, that’s a parent,” she said. “That’s someone you love all your life, and he’s mixed in with garbage.”

It all raises the horrifying question of how all the trash got into her father’s ashes.

“I’m wondering where that came from,” Spooner said.

Spooner said she called the director of Singer Hasgill Funeral Home in Amityville demanding an explanation, and she was stunned by what she was told.

“He said, ‘just bring it in, we’ll regrind it for you,’” she said.

The funeral home director told CBS 2 he had no comment. At the Long Island Cremation Company in West Babylon, an employee who didn’t want to be on camera refused comment, but gave a brief statement from the bushes outside.

“This is a sacred place, and we would like to protect the privacy and sanctity of the families that use our services,” the employee said.

Spooner said she has hired a lawyer and is considering a lawsuit against the funeral home, as the image of her father’s trashed remains is something she will never get over.

“It’ll always be in my heart and in my head,” she said.

“There were springs, glass fragments, wisk broom and the remains of a cross that Harry did not wear,” said attorney Jeffrey Lisabeth.

Lisabeth has filed an intent to sue the Singer Hasgill Funeral Home. The funeral home blamed the cremation company.

The New York State Division of Cemeteries is now reportedly investigating the case.

  • J. D. Hunter

    Aunt Alexis looked like kitty litter and brick shards when we poured her overboard. And some little lumps that I fugures were all the metal in her mouth.

    • Morbid Morgues

      At least there were no used condoms and wrappers in the mix.

  • NH Funeral Director

    Being a funeral director and having cremated hundreds of individuals I can say that everything found in that picture is 100% normal in a cremation. The springs and bits of metal are all either medical metal or from the cremation container. The bone fragments are normal as well, perhaps they just didn’t process it well enough and it only takes seconds to reprocess it. As for the “glass,” my guess is that it’s not glass but glue from the cremation container that melted into a glass-like structure (it happens). The only problem here is that the person processing the cremated remains did a poor job cleaning out the assorted NORMAL debris. The funeral home should have mentioned all this as a possibility and I also think that their cremation order will have all this mentioned too. She doesn’t have a court case.

  • Robert J Sebold

    its normal to find things in the pulverized bones..if you read and listen to the funeral directors, they cant clean the “oven” out completely so chances of you getting some of someone elses ashes is very common!

  • Robert J Sebold

    its normal to find things in the pulverized bones..if you read and listen to the funeral directors, they cant clean the “oven” out completely so chances of you getting some of someone elses ashes is very common

  • Deb

    I recently received my brother’s ashes. He was cremated in 1978 on Long Island and I too was very shocked. I found some of the same items in his and I could not believe that there were actual bones in his. What could I do though? 1978 was so long ago.

    • Director

      Ashes don’t burn pretty… Now they have power bone grinders but, back then when my dad was a Mortician, they had to grind the bones by hand. That is why people are not supposed to get curious and open urns, it’s pretty tramatic.

  • Director

    Those are not Ball point pen springs and “trash”. When someone is cremated, medical metal used in surgery doesn’t always melt. The only thing the funeral home did wrong was not take a magnet to the ashes to remove these pieces.

    • Stephen Holland

      I guess sometimes we find out. what a person is really worth

    • Dan

      the metal is rusted, Medical implants are made of stainless steel which does not rust, Also I know of now medical reason to put a spring into someone.

      • Director

        The metal is not rusted. It’s burnt. and I’m sure there is a medical reason to put a spring into someone. I have cremated numous people with tons of different metals in them!

  • Oneula

    Very obvious that they burn the body with trash…unless the body was sold for research and she just got some ashes from a garbage burn.

    • DJL

      “…unless the body was sold for research…”

      That was my first thought.

  • Nat

    Do people really think that when someone is cremated, they turn to pretty ash? They don’t. The cremains have to be ground to be like that. Apparently this company ddin’t grind them well enough, thus the bone. Apparently the broom they use to get the ashes out was also falling apart. I have no idea why the other stuff was in there… weird.

  • James Billington

    One man’s trash is another man’s ashes.

  • DJS

    A lot of people don’t look at the contents of the urn. Some feel quesy about it and others may feel it is disrespectful to the deceased (personally I do not). After my dad was cremated, I checked the ashes and for the metal tag that identifies the remains of the person (name, dod, etc.).

    This person look and was horrified and respectfully so. People need to check out the urns because of people/companies that do the cremation some do not care.

  • Yep

    Nothing is sacred anymore.

  • Gregory

    Take the funeral home to court; there are no other legal remedies, unfortunately.

  • indian

    The Horror of Amityville

  • Fireman Bill

    hey, whatever’s in the oven gets swept into the urn. Does she really think cremation is all that “clean”?

  • nyc

    The question is, where is Harry ?

    • danny


      • Moon Them

        Maybe it’s true after all…that Women are from Venus and Men are from Mars. That being the case then, from Mars you came, to Mars shall you return.

    • Anon

      living with the hendersons maybe?

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