Funeral Industry News

Funeral Director Loses License for Cutting Corpse

August 27, 2009

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Funeral Director Loses License for Cutting Corpse

image The South Carolina funeral board has revoked the licenses of a funeral home and its director for cutting the legs of a 6-foot-7 man so his corpse would fit in a casket, the Associated Press reports. State licensing spokesman Jim Knight says the Board of Funeral Service also fined Michael Cave, of Cave Funeral Services in Allendale, $500 and ordered him to pay $1,500 for the investigation. Cave did not immediately return messages left at his home and business Tuesday by the AP.

Ever since preacher and funk musician James Hines died in 2004, his family had wondered how his 6-foot-7, 300-pound body fit into the standard-sized casket they picked out. At the funeral, only the top half of the lid was open, showing Hines from the chest up.

After years for rumors, authorities exhumed Hines’ body in April and found, according to his widow, that his legs had been cut off between the ankle and calf.

“It’s just like pulling the scab off an old sore. I was kind of like smoothing things out. But now it’s like starting all over again,” Ann Hines told the AP in April, two days after investigators pulled the casket from the ground, lifted the lid, photographed the contents and returned it to the earth.

Source: USA Today

(Family photo of James and Ann Hines via AP)