[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
A man who works for a company that distributes human body parts for medical research got the surprise of his lifetime recently when he found THREE SEVERED HEADS at his desk.
Never thought you’d read that sentence, did you? We never thought we’d write it, either. But the story behind the disembodied heads goes far deeper than that — and it gets even more disturbing.
This all started a few months ago when a man named Dale Wheatley (pictured above) began to complain about the working conditions at his job site.
Wheatley works for the Anatomical Gift Association of Illinois. That company accepts donated dead bodies and distributes them to universities and other organizations that do scientific research. But Wheatley, who is the company’s transportation coordinator, apparently started to see some shady things.
According to Wheatley’s attorney David Fish, Dale filed a formal complaint last month with his bosses. In it, he claimed coworkers were not properly embalming or storing dead bodies. In turn, those bodies were subject to “rotting and mold,” per Fish. In one particularly gruesome case, Wheatley’s attorney told People that rats had chewed through cadaver storage bags and begun chewing on one bodies’ feet. In other cases, bodies were so badly decomposed that they were unusable for research.
But after Wheatley’s complaint, things didn’t get better. Like, at all. Instead, per the Chicago Tribune, one morning when Dale came into the office, he found a blue plastic storage tub sitting at his desk. When he looked inside, he discovered three severed heads all lined up.
Wheatley spoke to People about the discovery:
“At first I was confused. My boss walked by, and I asked him why the heads were at my desk. He said they need to get back with their bodies so we can send them to cremation.”
According to the Chicago Tribune, Wheatley noted that the heads had an “obnoxious smell.” Jeez…
Speaking to People about the find, the shocked transportation coordinator continued:
“I asked [my boss] why they were at my desk, and he said, ‘I don’t know Dale, there’s a lot of strange things going on.'”
Terrified that human heads were just sitting out in the open on his desk, Wheatley went to the authorities. He lodged official complaints with both the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office and the Illinois Department of Public Health. And he also filed a police report for harassment.
That police report came into play because Dale and his lawyer believe the heads were left as a retaliatory response to his prior workplace complaints. Plus, the 37-year-old man claimed to People that in addition to the heads, he also found “rolled up bunches of smoldering sage throughout the office.”
That, Wheatley alleges, was a sign that his co-workers were harassing him via some sort of ritual:
“I think they were trying to say it’s for warding off evil spirits, and I was the evil spirit.”
This is getting more unsettling by the minute… The sage is one thing, but Wheatley’s concern is the state of the workplace. Bodies aren’t being cremated and returned to loved ones following research as quickly as they should be, he claims. And conditions on site are allegedly “deplorable.”
In a press conference given to WFLD and other Chicago-area media outlets, Wheatley said:
“The place is deplorable. It’s in shabby conditions. If you’re in there for more than five minutes, if you start walking around, you start to stick to the floor. … There are people that are in our cooler now that need their body parts back and they have been there for three years or more. Right now at AGA, we have a number of cremains that need to go back to the families.”
However, the Executive Vice President of the Anatomical Gift Association William O’Connor “strongly disputed” the embattled man’s accusations. Per the Chicago Tribune, O’Connor denied Wheatley was retaliated against and claimed the AGA “receives some bodies in poorer states than others.”
Even so, the newspaper quoted Wheatley in a particularly poignant closer. Recalling the horror of finding those heads strewn about his desk, the man said:
“This is the only thing I can think about. I can’t even sleep. Just the only thing I can think about, running it over and over in my head. I can’t believe this is happening.”
Here is more on the shocking and disturbing dead body story via Fox 32 Chicago (below):
What an unsettling situation.
Not much more to say, really. We just hope the families who donated loved ones’ bodies to medical science in Chicago get their cremated ashes back in short order, and that conditions within the AGA can improve quickly.
Reactions, Perezcious readers?