On the morning of Thursday, March 3, one or more thieves broke into a medical van east of downtown Denver. They absconded with two items: a dolly, and a box of human heads.
As KDVR reports, the white cardboard box measures 20 inches by 15 inches by 18 inches and features the blue, three-leaf logo of the company that owns it: Science Care, which connects people who’d like to donate their bodies to science with institutions that will use them for education and research purposes. The contents of the box—labeled “exempt human specimen”—had been lent out for a medical training session and were being taken back to headquarters.
“It’s the type of headline you might see on The Onion. I read it over and was like, ‘Is this real?’” Kevin Channell, a resident of Denver's Central Park, the neighborhood where the theft occurred, told CBS4. Another local, Karen Goodson, speculated that the robbers filched the heads by accident, mistaking them for “some sort of expensive medical equipment or something worth some money.”
In fact, depending on the condition of the remains, they actually could be worth some money: Social media has spawned a booming human bones trade. But, needless to say, theft is illegal, and there are also abuse-of-corpse laws that the criminals would likely be breaking if they tampered with the heads at all. Even if a loved one expressly gave you permission to keep their skull after their death, there’s a chance abuse-of-corpse laws would prevent the funeral home from turning it over.
This bizarre burglary is far from the first time a head has mysteriously disappeared. Mata Hari’s, for example, has been missing for decades.