Brain Bandit: Indiana Man Arrested At Dairy Queen Allegedly Trying To Sell Stolen Brains

140102193759-david-charles-story-topA-very-old-section-of-a-human-brain-preserved-in-formaldehyde-in-a-sealed-glass-container.-The-vintage-piece-was-recently-discovered-in-an-abandoned-mental-hospital.-ShutterstockDavid Charles had 61 brains and yet seems to function on a room temperature IQ. He was spotted trying to sell the brains on Ebay. Charles, 21, was arrested at a Dairy Queen in Indiana in an alleged scheme to sell roughly 60 brains stolen from the Indiana Medical History Museum. He fit in well with DQ slogan of “So Good It’s RiDQulous.”


The brains once belonged to dead mental patients and were housed in a warehouse space. They were removed during autopsies performed on patients in the 1890s. There were customers for the brains but an undercover operation nailed Charles at the DQ.

His arrest occurred after executive director of the museum, Mary Ellen Hennessey Nottage, was informed by a buyer that he had purchased “six jars of brain matter” for $600 on eBay and suspected that they were hot brains.

He is charged with felony theft as well as marijuana possession and possession of paraphernalia. It turns out that 60 jars of brains are worth about $4,800. That is enough for a felony charge . . . and 12 extremely grossed out jurors.

16 thoughts on “Brain Bandit: Indiana Man Arrested At Dairy Queen Allegedly Trying To Sell Stolen Brains

  1. Hell, It’s the land of Hoosiers, plenty of mental patient brains left and a steady supply every day. Does Bobby Knight still live in Indiana?

  2. One or more of the machines that make up his brain cells was malfunction, not to mention the possibility of systemic failure:

    “A new paradigm exists for understanding how cells function … a highly integrated biological factory … a molecular machine. These machines have highly specialized functions … Molecular machines also function as … energy transducers, converting chemical free energy into mechanical energy for cellular processes. They operate cyclically, and can reset themselves … Using conventional and newly developed microscopy techniques … researchers … are creating a toolkit for probing the inner workings of these molecular machines.”

    (The New Paradigm: The Physical Universe Is Mostly Machine).

  3. This is a bit off topic except that the perp went South. The news media (Time Magazine) let the cat out of the bag on the dog’s ability to point North and South. Here is the article:

    If you are lost in the woods with your dog and your compass breaks, do not despair. Wait for your dog to arch its back and poop and watch closely — Fido might be telling you which way is north. Or south.

    In a study published by the journal Frontiers in Zoology, researchers found that, when the earth’s magnetic field is stable, dogs off leash prefer to poop with their bodies oriented along the north-south axis.

    Scientists monitored 70 dogs of 37 breeds over a two-year period for a total of 1,893, um, “observations.” They found that “Dogs preferred to excrete with the body being aligned along the North-south axis under calm [magnetic field] conditions.” The effect only holds when the earth’s magnetic field is stable, which, researchers note, is only about 20 percent of the time in daylight.

    Researchers said this is the first time magnetic sensitivity was proved in dogs and the first time “a measurable, predictable behavioral reaction” to magnetic field fluctuations has been “unambiguously proven in a mammal.”

    The study did not find that dogs have a preference for which direction, north or south, they prefer to point their business end when doing their business.

    So yeah. Try not to break your compass still.

    Read more: What Your Dog Is Really Thinking When He Poops | TIME.com http://newsfeed.time.com/2014/01/03/what-your-dog-is-really-thinking-when-he-poops/#ixzz2pLjyXW5I

  4. Wow…. I wonder…. I just wonder if the DOJ. Is gonna get involved in this one…here they’d have more standing…..eBay, university, web…. Etc…. But they’d probably be beat by the collective brain trust left in the state…..

    Once again…. What do you call an attorney with an IQ of 50….. Your Honor….

  5. A new paradigm exists for understanding how cells function … a highly integrated biological factory … a molecular machine. These machines have highly specialized functions … Molecular machines also function as … energy transducers, converting chemical free energy into mechanical energy for cellular processes. They operate cyclically, and can reset themselves … Using conventional and newly developed microscopy techniques … researchers … are creating a toolkit for probing the inner workings of these molecular machines.” (U.S. Department of Energy, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, link up-thread).

  6. There’s interesting history regarding Albert Einstein’s brain–which was removed, without permission, by a pathologist during an autopsy. Thomas Harvey, the pathologist kept Einstein’s brain for years.

    *****

    The Long, Strange Journey of Einstein’s Brain
    April 18, 2005\NPR
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4602913

    Excerpt:
    Read an excerpt from Postcards from the Brain Museum

    Chapter 14

    EINSTEIN

    THE BRAIN OF Albert Einstein has acquired a notoriety out of all proportion to its value as an anatomical specimen. It is not part of any collection, it did not motivate a new theory of brain function, nor has anything of scientific value resulted from its study. Instead it has become exactly what Einstein most feared: a pop-culture icon.

    The strange journey of Einstein’s brain began on the evening of April 17, 1955, when the seventy-six-year-old physicist was admitted to Princeton Hospital complaining of chest pains. He died early the next morning of a burst aortic aneurysm. As in the cases of Carl Gauss and Walt Whitman, the issue of permission to perform an autopsy is clouded by subsequent testimony. Thomas Harvey, the pathologist on call that evening, would later say, “I just knew we had permission to do an autopsy, and I assumed that we were going to study the brain.” As reporters soon discovered, Harvey did not have permission. Nor did he have a legal right to remove and keep the brain for himself. When the fact came to light a few days later, Harvey managed to solicit a reluctant and retroactive blessing from Einstein’s son, Hans Albert, with the now-familiar stipulation that any investigation would be conducted solely in the interest of science, and that any results would be published in reputable scientific journals. But Einstein’s dignity had already been compromised. He had left behind specific instructions regarding his remains: cremate them, and scatter the ashes secretly in order to discourage idolaters. Yet not only did Harvey take the brain, he also removed the physicist’s eyeballs and gave them to Henry Abrams, Einstein’s eye doctor. They remain to this day in a safe deposit box in New York City, and are frequently rumored to be poised for the auction block.

    Within months of the autopsy, Harvey was dismissed from Princeton Hospital for refusing to surrender his precious specimen. His assurances may have satisfied Hans Albert Einstein, but Harvey’s boss, the hospital’s director, perhaps gauging his man somewhat better, was not impressed by the plan, and Harvey’s tenure as a pathologist came to an end.

    It should be emphasized that Thomas Harvey was not a brain specialist. His understanding of the brain did not extend beyond the postmortem diagnosis of disease, atrophy, or injury. Which is to say that he had neither the means nor the expertise to undertake the study he had proposed to Einstein’s son. Although his accounts of the incident have varied considerably over the years, it seems that he removed the brain at the request of his mentor, Harry Zimmerman, who was Einstein’s personal physician. Why he kept it will never be known for certain, but it can be inferred from comments made to various reporters that Harvey was inspired by Oskar Vogt’s study of Lenin’s brain, and he had the vague idea that cytoarchitectonics might shed some light on Einstein’s case. A simpler and more appealing explanation is that he got caught up in the moment and was transfixed in the presence of greatness. What he quickly discovered was that he had bitten off more than he could chew.

    *****

    Another interesting book on the subject of Einstein’s brain is Michael Paterniti’s “Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America With Einstein’s Brain.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/books/00/07/30/reviews/000730.30goodhet.html

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