NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Brooklyn dentist who was accused of stealing bones, organ tissue and other body parts from more than 1,200 corpses has died of cancer.
Michael Mastromarino, 49, who was nicknamed “the Brooklyn bone snatcher,” died over the weekend while serving his 30-year sentence in the New York State Prison system, according to NJ.com. He had been suffering from liver cancer that had metastasized to his brain and bones, the publication reported.
Mastromarino was the mastermind behind an illegal and profitable business from 2001 until 2005 that harvested corpses, CBS News reported.
The operation involved taking deceased bodies from funeral homes, whose owners conspired with Mastromarino, and removing body parts without permission from the families or proper medical screening, then selling the parts around the country, CBS News reported.
The parts were sold for dental implants, knee and hip replacements and other procedures.
Mastromarino pleaded guilty in Brooklyn Supreme Court to body stealing, enterprise corruption, and reckless endangerment in the $4.6 million operation, according to published reports.
One of the bodies that he desecrated was that of Alistair Cooke, the British journalist and former “Masterpiece Theatre” host, the publication reported.
Mastromarino was sentenced to 18-54 years in prison as part of a plea deal, CBS News reported.
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