Montreal Gazette, 26 February 1862, page 2

 

THE RECENT CASE OF BODY SNATCHING-

We translate the following from Le Pays.  We stated last week that some bodies had been stolen from the vault of the Parish of St Constant, in which several medical students had introduced themselves by making an opening four feet square in a wall four feet thick, with a crowbar. A search-warrant was issued on Tuesday, on the deposition of the carter who conveyed the students on the occasion; but not withstanding the conscientious efforts of the police to recover the bodies, they could not be found.  The body of a man was found on the dissecting table of the McGill College Medical School, and one of the persons who had laid the information, and whose father died at the age of 85 years, thought he recognized it, but the absence of teeth in the mouth of the deceased, threw a doubt on the statement, and it was decided not to remove it.  As to the other body, that of a woman of about 40 years of age, who some time before her death, had had one of her legs amputated, the other person thought to be recognized on the table, the only limb his mother had at her death, and he claimed, “I thought it was my dear mother’s leg.” The relatives left the college and were very disconsolate, despairing mood, and [illegible] to their lawyer, Mr Mederic Lanctot, and said, “There is no hope, do what you can, in the matter.”  Two days afterwards, [illegible] Friday, at ten in the evening, the night of a snow storm, a hearse left Commissioners Street, and proceeded at a quiet pace to St Constant, where it deposited tow bodies at the church door, containing the untouched bodies of the old man and the poor woman.  A letter from Mr Lanctot to the cure, informed him of the successful result of his efforts. The relatives and friends of the deceased, and a number of the faithful were informed in the morning of the arrival of the bodies, and [illegible] which was immediately sung., and the coffins were replaced in the vault, which had been repaired.  The family of the deceased, and the people of St Constant, and society in general, should feel under obligation to Mr Lanctot (who has informed us of part of the facts) for having conducted the affairs with as much energy and ability, that the Board of Directors of McGill College has resolved to allow no more stolen bodies to enter their college.  We highly approve of the conduct of the University in having taken this resolution.  It is worthy, besides of Dr Horatio Nelson, who proved, we are informed [illegible] straight forward and generous on the painful occasion.  “We understand that the University has refused to receive subjects taken from the vicinity for some time past, and that those required in the dissecting room by the students are brought from hospitals in the United   States.

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