Gift Wrapping With Your eBay Brain Tissue Purchase?
January 8, 2014

Gift Wrapping With Your eBay Brain Tissue Purchase?

Lots and lots of people enjoy the auctioning fun of eBay every day, heck every second. People love to search around the site for their favorite goods. Some of these are long lost toys from their youth, and some items are simply things people desire while some others still are necessities. Then there are the collectors, those who use eBay to continue their collections. Many people use eBay all of the time for these and many other reasons.

Recently, though, one eBay auction made the news, the weird and odd news. According to UPI, one San Diego man bought—wait for it—six jars of human brain tissue for $600 plus $70 shipping. So you have $670.00 to spend on eBay, why not buy some brain tissue? Seems like an average, everyday purchase. Why did he purchase six jars of human brain tissue? Well, just because he really likes to collect odd things. Yep. And human brain tissue definitely falls into the odd category.

However, the fact that one man bought six jars of human brain tissue is not the really weird part of the story. I know. What could be weirder than that? Well, he bought six jars of stolen human brain tissue. That’s right. Stolen. As UPI explains, the purchaser of the bizarre collector’s items, “contacted authorities when he noticed labels on the containers from the Indiana Medical History Museum and began to suspect the jars were stolen.” That must have been one bummer for the collector of odd things—to buy human brains only to suspect they had been stolen.

And it turns out, the San Diego man’s suspicions were accurate. Turns out that someone had stolen the jars during multiple break-ins to the Indiana Medical History Museum’s storage facility. Police traced them back to the eBay seller who told officers he sold them on behalf of David Charles.

Then police had the seller set up a meet with Charles, which of course was a sting operation where police arrested Charles. But “A person accompanying Charles reached for a handgun during the arrest, but was tackled by officers.” Yeah, the weird just keeps pouring on.

Okay, so first there are eBay auctions for brain tissue? Who knew? And who goes looking for those? Secondly, someone actively stole brain and other random human tissue in order to sell it on eBay. Third, some seller agreed to sell the human tissue, no questions asked? Fourth, a sting operation…for real? I mean, this is almost too surreal for even me, and I love the surreal.

In fact, this seems like something straight from a crime novel or comic or something. I keep waiting for the “GOTCHA!” showing that this is not a real story. Alas, though, it is. This really happened. All of it. Wow.

Part of me is really intrigued by this and wants to go see what other weirdness people can purchase on eBay. I have certainly enjoyed eBay’s auctions myself, purchased gifts and goods and the like, but I have not really ventured outside of my personal interests or desires.

The other part of me is just too weirded out. I guess this just goes to show that it takes all kinds of people to keep the world, well, interesting. This story certainly interested me.

Image Credit: Thinkstock

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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