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Episode 24: The Body Snatcher

Case File

The Body Snatcher

  • The Dentist
  • Michael Mastromarino once was a dentist with a thriving Manhattan practice. Described as a handsome guy with a beautiful wife and family, he had a promising career and good reputation. But the doctor became addicted to drugs and soon lost his lucrative practice. Now he has to find a new way to make money.
  • The Tissue
  • TradeMastromarino turns to the tissue trade... a worldwide multi-billion dollar business. He's long familiar with the need for human tissue to repair knees, hips and spinal discs. He knows the business and the loopholes that allow suppliers to make big money. Mastromarino creates a body harvesting operation.
  • The Dark Corner of Commerce
  • He sets up shop in a Brooklyn, NY funeral home. His plan is to harvest skin, bone and tendons from corpses and sell the parts to biotech companies. But there's a problem. Family members of the deceased do not want to donate their loved ones' tissue. Mastromarino decides to work outside the law. He plunders a thousand bodies selling the parts for four million dollars.

Web Extras

  • "The Body Snatcher" Evidence Files Thursday, 5 Mar 2009 | 10:00 AM ET
    A disgraced dentist carves out a gruesome new business. From a secret room in a Brooklyn funeral home he runs a multi-million dollar business… cutting up corpses and stripping the bodies for parts. American Greed profiles the dark corner of commerce.

     From a secret room in a Brooklyn funeral home a disgraced dentist runs a multi-million dollar business...cutting up corpses and stripping the bodies for parts. Click to learn more.

  • The Body Snatcher/American Greed     Wednesday, 4 Mar 2009 | 12:00 AM ET

    Prosecutor Michael Vecchione and reporter William Sherman take us inside the cutting room of Michael Mastromarino's body harvesting operation.

  • Letter from the Physician Thursday, 5 Mar 2009 | 10:25 AM ET
    Betty Pfaff received this letter from her physician recommending that she go in for testing of infectious diseases after receiving contaminated tissue from Lifecell Corporation.

    Betty Pfaff received this letter from her physician recommending that she go in for testing of infectious diseases after receiving contaminated tissue from Lifecell Corporation. Learn more.

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