Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Former Colorado funeral home owner sentenced to 20 years for selling body parts

Estate planningMegan Hess, a former Colorado funeral home owner, was recently sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for defrauding relatives of the dead, along with her mother who was sentenced to 15 years. The mother-daughter duo used the access their funeral home business provided to dissect, steal, and sell body parts of over 560 corpses. 

This case was triggered after a 2016-2018 Reuter investigative series about the sale of body parts in the United States, which is a virtually unregulated industry. Former employees told Reuters about the unauthorized dismemberment of bodies and the forged donor forms used by Hess and Koch. Once the series was published, the FBI raided their business.

Hess’ attorney says that her client has been unfairly vilified as a “witch” and a “monster” rather than considering the traumatic brain injury she experienced at age 18 which left her a “broken human being.” U.S. District Judge Christine M. Arguello said that this was the most emotionally draining case she had experienced, noting the emotional pain experienced by family members and next of kin.

For more information see John Shiffman “Former Colorado funeral home owner sentenced to 20 years for selling body parts, Yahoo! News, January 3, 2023.

Special thanks to David S. Luber (Florida Probate Attorney) for bringing this article to my attention.


Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink


Post a comment