The 13th Floor

This “Igor Wanna-Be” Was Caught Selling Stolen Human Brains!

A doltish thief of laboratory brains was nabbed by cops after purloining the pickled cerebrums from a former insane asylum and selling them on eBay. Did he give up Victor Frankenstein to the authorities, or was he merely a wholesaler for the burgeoning zombie black market?


In this bizarre crime spree we’ve dubbed “The Case of the Wanna-Be Igor,” on Dec. 16, 2013, an Indianapolis man, David Charles, 23, was busted by police after he stole more than 60 jars of human brain tissue from the Indiana Medical History Museum and then sold them online.

The museum had once been home to an insane asylum, and the jarred brains were specimens that had been preserved from various surgical procedures — mostly autopsies (and the occasional lobotomy) from the 1890s to the 1940s.

Charles then alerted budding mad doctors to his stolen wares on his Facebook page where he posted:

Yo I got a bunch of human brains in jars for sale hmu for details u know u want one for Halloween.

One of his online clients, a California collector of arcane items, tipped police after he received six jars of human brains (for $100 a pop –plus shipping!) which still bore the original labeling; Charles had neglected to re-brand them.

“This consumer did his due diligence and saw they were possibly stolen and contacted us,” Police Officer Chris Wilburn told

Indiana cops quickly set up a sting operation at a local Dairy Queen. Charles showed up, brains in hand, and was promptly collared.

“He was trying to sell 6 jars of human brain matter,” Officer Wilburn added. “It’s very bizarre. It’s the kind of thing you really can’t make up.”

(None of the brains were marked “Abby Normal,” a la YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN.)

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Charles was booked on charges of criminal theft, as well as possession of marijuana and drug-related paraphernalia.

According to court records, Charles broke into the museum more than once. Slamming the lid on a vigorous legal defense was a key piece of incriminating evidence: after cutting himself, Charles had left a bloody fingerprint on a sheet of paper.


In addition to the bottled brains, Charles also boosted a stolen EKG machine, 10 scopes of varying intensities, a baby scale and other miscellany from the medical museum. 80 jars of stolen human tissue were ultimately recovered by law enforcement.

Charles quickly pleaded guilty to six charges, including burglary in county court. He was sentenced to one year of home detention and two years of probation. Charles was also ordered to get his high school diploma and never, ever return to the museum.