Illinois Woman Confronts Detroit-Area Body Parts Broker in Courtroom

May 22, 2018

A woman who says her late father's head ended up in the Detroit warehouse of a body parts broker has confronted the man in court, and offered him the directive to "burn in hell."

Arthur Rathburn’s sentence was yesterday in Detroit federal court, four months after he was convicted of dealing diseased body parts for medical training without disclosing their conditions. The government is seeking a 14-year prison sentence.

Tracy Smolka of Kankakee, Illinois, was allowed to speak in court as a victim. Her father died in 2010 of ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, and his body was supposed to be used for research before cremation.

 Randolph Wright's body didn't have communicable diseases. But Smolka says she still had no idea that parts were sold to Rathburn until investigators searched a warehouse.