18 Human Heads Found at Chicago Airport

CHICAGO — A shipment of 18 human heads stopped by customs officials at O’Hare International Airport was sent here from Rome to be cremated after being used in medical research, officials said today.

Customs held up the shipment in late December because accompanying paperwork was incomplete, according to Mary Paleologos, a spokeswoman for the Cook County medical examiner’s office. Other officials said it was not clear where the shipment was to be delivered.

After news of the shipment broke today, a company in Schiller Park came forward with what appears to be proper paperwork to accept the shipment, she said.

The heads had been embalmed and were packaged in three blue coolers shipped from Rome on a Lufthansa Airlines flight about a week before Christmas, said Tony Brucci, chief of investigations for the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

The items were tagged as human specimens, officials said. The containers holding the specimens arrived as a regular cargo shipment, according to Paleologos.

“The embalmed heads are anatomical specimens used for research and were properly preserved, wrapped and labeled when they arrived at the airport from a medical research facility in Rome,” she said in a statement.

“The three sealed containers holding the specimens arrived as a regular cargo shipment,” Paleologos said.

“The heads were detected when the containers were routinely X-rayed as they passed through U.S. Customs.”

Customs officials at O’Hare held up the shipment because the final destination was not clearly indicated on the accompanying paperwork, Brucci said.

The coolers were X-rayed and customs officials saw 18 human heads inside, Brucci said. They were delivered to the medical examiner’s office on Monday so they could be properly stored while officials investigated the shipment. One of the coolers was opened for a preliminary inspection, Brucci said.

Photographs and X-rays will be taken of the specimens before they are released, according to Paleologos and Brucci.

Brucci said that when the office was first notified of the shipment, his first thought was, “Oh, boy. Here we go.” But officials said the heads appear to be human specimens for research and that is how they have been logged by the office.

Due to privacy laws, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is prohibited from discussing specific cases, said Spokeswoman Cherise Miles.

chicagobreaking@tribune.com

26 comments

  • GhostofReportingPast

    This is typical cheap sensationalism that KTLA spits out now. Human body parts are often shipped to medical schools. This is a headline with no story.

  • mark

    mexicans had something to do with it…….have you seen the beheadings and out of control violent crime going on in mexico?…….theres 8000 murders a year in areas as big as malibu……..how bout africa ?….that place is ungodly!…….the most violent places on earth right now are mexico and africa……look what their kin folks are doing in the USA………..wonder how many people are killed around the world by mexicans and negroes?……..300,000 ,,,700,000?….be a good project for a student in school to do for extra credit and start making school teachers around america start teaching children about what these 2 races actually are and do!

    • jenleigh6

      Oh my God, you're so right. I was just telling my husband Billy John (also my cousin) that I haven't heard of a whitey killing anyone in about 20 years.
      You are an idiot.

      • freeda

        My my if I aint rolled in the soil of this here continent that has had quite some bloodshed of many races all in the name of freedom. I'd have to say most races have it in for the white man for some reason and it aint cuz they brought tea.

    • maria

      OMG. chill out. That is not the story. You are part of the minority that is ruining this country. I'll bet you have an arsenal in your home, too.

  • mark

    negroes and mexicans murder more people around the world in 1 year than whites have in the last 75 years……and in the USA negroes and mexicans murder more people in 1 month than whites do in 10 years!…..you look that up yourself…..you do some reasearch before posting..then you will realize you are the idiot!…you sit down and STFU!

  • Anthony

    What about Evander Holyfield? Can you believe he built a bowling ally in his house. I didn't even know he bowled. Anyone know if he's any good? Just sayin'

  • native AMERICAN

    At least it was marked for medical research. You can donate your body to science if you post on ktla.com, make sure any of you amazingly racist, “funny”, and others having a problem with some people with guns. They use them legally to shoot mexican blacks, study their heads after they chisel through all the cocaine in their sinus cavity’s. Then you can use the heads to play a few games of bowling at Holyfield’s house. Someone told me mexicans small mis-shaped heads from their moms drinking while pregnant are best for picking up a spare, and a negro’s over sized heads with frizzy, greasy hair are great for throwing strikes! It’s fun while sipping expensive white made wine and smoking those poor wannabe gangster Dominican Republic cigars. Or Pureto Ricans who inject horse anesthetic that rots them from the inside out to show their amazing smarts…. they get gutter balls all the time since their bones shatter going down the lane. DAMN IT

    • Hopi Indian

      The human race is headed in the right direction, as you can see in this post. You people AKA selfish animals who live in LA, need to open your eyes. Your nasty city, which is full of gang banger idiots and idiots that have kid idiot gangsters need to be shipped back to mexico since they have so much pride for it. You run over the border to the US, then sit here saying mexico pride essay. You gang bangers have trhe lowest IQs in thisw country. Oh yeah, you are mainly mexicans…. i'm racist now too. Go have like 8 kids you dumb ass fucks. And to the rest of LA, keep on driving!!! And polluting so damn much, you get mass pollution an hour away from Yorba Linda. I hope you have an earthquake that sinks or breaks your nasty southern CA. Oh no, gangsters cant swim!!! They only know how to drive stolen cars. Least you bring drugs, then all you idiots cut them and kill people. oops you say! oops I say as your little sister coke habit kills her due to bad cut. Humans are so superior to ummm garbage!

  • burnardreardon

    up to I saw the paycheck four $8678, I did not believe …that…my brothers friend was like they say truley receiving money in there spare time at there computar.. there neighbor started doing this for only fourteen months and resantly paid for the dept on their villa and bought a top of the range opel. read more at…….. BIT40.ℂOℳ

    • spiritwarrior

      Since when does Opel make top of the range cars? You always mention these car brands on your spam. Stop playing gran turismo on ps3 too much. Also, maybe if you read the article your english would improve, assuming you know how to read. But I think you try to sound as if you are from another country, even though a quick search on google reveals that your website is based in the USA, and that your location is being hidden.

  • Michelle

    Relax guys why are people complaining about blacks and Mexicans when the shipment came from Rome!! Relax its just a story mention to turn heads (couldn't help it) lol

  • Floyd Void

    Now now Mr. Sioux. Your vulgar word in defense of yourself are actually exposing your fear. Why would anyone say something like that to anyone, much less a female? I would venture to say that you are carrying a lot of anger around with you. I would like to see you say something nice to Michelle, or to anyone for that matter. Or does the idea of that bring up too much fear?

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