Cannibal Chefs & Beach Dogs | 4M #125
Welcome to the hundred-and-twenty-fifth edition of Morticians’ Monday Morning Mashup, 4M #125, where we’ll serve up bite-sized, easily-digestible nuggets of the deathcare news you need to crush conversations in the week ahead. Bon appetit!
It was a prank
An Idaho lawmaker is worried about the growing popularity (and “normalization”) of NOR — and the “possibility that people are eating other people” — that she’s calling for an expansion of a state law banning cannibalism. SIGH … there’s so much to unpack here … As it turns out, Idaho is the only state that has a law making cannibalism; Rep. Scott’s revisions would add a provision banning giving someone else “the flesh or blood of a human being” without that person’s “knowledge or consent.” Her concerns stemmed, it seems, from a TV clip “displaying a chef feeding human flesh in sausage to contestants.” A local reporter has discovered that the clip was from a prank show on TruTV, and the chef was only pretending to feed people flesh.
Careful who you get your data from
A Connecticut woman who recently completed a round of chemotherapy was deeply disturbed when she started getting mailers from a cremation company. Her complaint to the state’s attorney general’s office led to an investigation and the discovery of a data broker who had sold a marketing lead list to the crematory. The AG has issued a “cure notice” (notice of violation) to the cremation services company. The case highlights the problematic issue of data brokers gleaning names for these lists using private biometric data, like current health treatments or issues.
Here are the real bad actors
It’s difficult to think of folks who happen to flub a phone call as “bad actors” when there are really horrible things happening in the profession, like these:
- A Michigan cemetery owner may not be allowed to open his newest property due to his “history of noncompliance with regulatory requirements” including operating without a state registration, “misplacing” nearly $300k in cemetery funds, and not submitting state-required reports.
- A Florida funeral director has been arrested and charged with false and fraudulent insurance claims (a felony), grand theft (also a felony), and five counts of improper preservation of a human body (misdemeanors). Authorities believe he stole money from preneed accounts, gave families fake remains, and abandoned and neglected bodies in his funeral home.
- An associate of the above has also been charged with 12 counts of theft by deception and 1st-degree forgery for operating without a valid license, forging documents, and selling nonexistent cemetery plots and markers.
- A Texas “funeral director” has been arrested for operating without a funeral business license and forging signatures on life insurance forms to steal funds.
- Many Ohio families are just discovering that now-infamous Legacy Cremation Services has scammed them by double-charging them or refusing to return loved ones’ cremains; complaints are piling up.
- The equally infamous Hallfords, co-owners of Return to Nature in Penrose Colorado, were in court again last week as prosecutors shared the couple spent funds paid to them by families for services on two personal vehicles, a $1,500 dinner, and cryptocurrency.
And now, some much-needed good news!
After that list, you deserve to hear just a few of the many, many incredible and beautiful things that are happening in the deathcare world:
- Craig Flagler Palms Funeral Home and Memorial Gardens in Florida recently celebrated the completion of two new event spaces, including an outdoor space complete with a fireplace. These areas, as well as new state-of-the-art AV systems and available in-house catering, are now available to families for celebration of life services.
- Nancy Lohman, founder of Lohman Funeral Homes in Florida, has donated $100,000 to a new county program that will hire part-time animal control officers to enforce regulations allowing people to bring their dogs to certain beaches.
- A UK crematorium has pledged to donate the proceeds from their metal recycling program to a charity that makes a difference to the lives of sick and disabled children.