Criminal Justice

More Autopsy Adventures in Mississippi

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Wow:

When Willie Mae Galmore buried her daughter in 2004, she was left with a sinking feeling that the person in the casket was not her child. DNA testing has confirmed her suspicions and now she's on a mission to find out what happened.

Authorities reported in June 2004 that Galmore's daughter, Rochelle Thomas, died in a car accident. She was buried in Heavenly Rest Cemetery in Lyon after a closed casket funeral.

In August 2007, the body was exhumed at Galmore's request and DNA proved the woman was not Galmore's child. Even more disturbing, the body is likely that of an unidentified male.

See if anything in this passage jumps out at you:

Thomas, who was a 34-year-old mother of three at the time of the accident, was reportedly found dead on June 12, 2004, beside her wrecked car in a ravine in Vicksburg.

When her mother asked then-Warren County Coroner John Thomason if she could come identify the body, she was allegedly told no due to the state of decomposition.

Thomason then told Galmore that he identified the body as belonging to Thomas and sent the body to Mississippi Mortuary Services to undergo an autopsy by Dr. Steven Hayne.

"Don't come down here is what they told me," Galmore said.

How could this have happened?

Meredith says there are a number of possible scenarios for the mixup. One possibility, he said, is that there were two people in Thomas' car and her body was thrown so far from the wreck it was never found.

Or, he said, the bodies could have been switched at some point in the process between the wreck and autopsy and funeral, and Thomas is buried in someone else's grave.

My article on Dr. Hayne and Mississippi's broken autopsy system here.

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  1. Take em down Radley. Let their flesh feed the crayfish and their bones sink into the Mississippi mud.

  2. Or someone called in a favor from the coroner to get rid of a body…

  3. I like the way you think, drawnasunder. Let’s get that body identified, and see where it leads us.

  4. Yeah, drawn’s conspiracy theory is the good stuff. However, repeat after me: never attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence.

    As much as I consider a dead body to be just so much meat, I do understand that not everybody feels that way, and that these callous bastards finally get fucked.

  5. “”””Yeah, drawn’s conspiracy theory is the good stuff. However, repeat after me: never attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence.”””

    So if malice is ever disguised as incometence, how would you know the difference?

  6. Incometence? Is that a problem with income? lol

    I meant incompetence.

  7. I didn’t say don’t investigate. The point is that it’s almost assuredly incompetence, but you check anyway just in case it is malice.

  8. Grave indifference to the grave.

  9. Incompetence, or just not caring? Maybe a lot of both.

  10. I think Steven Hayne is involved in human trafficking, and this lady was kidnapped and her body was replaced by some juvenile hall or prison cadaver.

    Hayne has been doing this for years and it will turn out that he has sold scores of women into sexual slavery in the Middle East. Just a little sideline for his fake autopsy business.

    OK I don’t really think this but I would be entertained as hell if that was revealed here.

  11. Paula Schultz unavailable for comment.

  12. If there’s some public official with the power to remove Hayne from his position, folks need to start suing that official every time Hayne screws up, for gross negligence.

    Hayne massively fucking things up should not be surprising anybody by this point, much less anyone with oversight over his position.

    So is there such an official?

  13. Cut the guy some slack!! When you do 1,500 autopsies a year, you’re bound to make tiny mistakes once in a while. I mean, it’s not like Hayne has a pattern of fuck-ups or anything…

  14. The fishiest part, to me, is the whole “Don’t come down here” angle.

    As much as I consider a dead body to be just so much meat,

    Regardless of whether a dead body is just a bunch of flesh (and I kind of feel the same way) — the fact that it wasn’t my daughter would still have me upset.

    Not because of some consideration for the deceased or whatever, but because I would want to know how/why this kind of shady business or incompetence is going on.


  15. Meredith says there are a number of possible scenarios for the mixup. One possibility, he said, is that there were two people in Thomas’ car and her body was thrown so far from the wreck it was never found.

    How is this possible? Wouldn’t even the most cursory examination have show the error? For example, if Rochelle was 5’6″ and the examined body 5’10” somebody should have noticed.

  16. Unrelated: Father released to visit dying daughter. I hope Radley’s earlier post on the matter had something to do with it.

    Related: When Hayne finally falls, his impact crater is going to be huge. I wonder if he’ll take anyone else down with him?

  17. The Pope sleeps in Lee Harvey’s grave.

    Doesn’t identification of the body by relatives usually happen before the decomposition stage? (I only know what I see on cop shows)

    I think we can at least be thankful that Dr. Hayne isn’t operating on live people.

  18. I wonder how many other little screwups like this have happened there over the years. Wow.

  19. As much as I consider a dead body to be just so much meat,

    Meaning what? You’d eat it with onions and Worcestershire sauce?

  20. However, repeat after me: never attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence.

    Yeah, but the level of incompetence to confuse an adult male cadaver with a young female cadaver is almost inconceivable.

    Doesn’t identification of the body by relatives usually happen before the decomposition stage? (I only know what I see on cop shows)

    Sure. The family identified it, then it went in for the autopsy. You probably don’t even want to know what happened next.

  21. You’d eat it with onions and Worcestershire sauce?

    That’s just disgusting, Seamus.

    Horseradish is the way to go with human meat, not Worcestershire sauce. You must think we’re all savages!

  22. As much as I consider a dead body to be just so much meat,

    Meaning what? You’d eat it with onions and Worcestershire sauce?

    fava beans and a nice chianti…someone had to say it.

  23. http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=19430984&BRD=1377&PAG=461&dept_id=172922&rfi=6

    A little blurb in the Brookhaven, Ms. Daily Leader today concerning Dr. Hayne and current legislation in the Mississippi legislature.

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