Convicted Detroit cadaver dealer to be sentenced on Tuesday, got an earful Monday

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Convicted Detroit cadaver dealer Arthur Rathburn will get his sentence from Federal Judge Paul Borman on Tuesday. 

Monday he got a earful from two families who drove from Illinois to give victim impact statements. 

Tracy Smolka spoke on behalf of her father Randolph Wright who died of ALS.  She told the judge and Rathburn in court:

You obtained his head for profit. I hope the money was worth it. I hope your greed was satisfying. Hands, feet, leg bones are all we have. There is no guarantee they are his. You destroyed good faith we had to donate bodies for research. You obviously have no shame. I hope you rot in Hell. Make sure you tell the Devil I sent you.

Outside of court she also said, “Arthur Rathburn is a low life piece of crap who deserves to fry.”

David Bradford came to court to speak out about his wife Stephanie. Her body was also cut up by Rathburn for profit. 

Bradford said:

Every day I sang her songs.  I couldn’t protect her from what’s happened here. I was approached by civil attorneys. That doesn’t help anything. It is wrong what happened to her body. I don’t have an end point for that. I will live with this the rest of my life.

Rathburn’s shabby warehouse on Detroit’s east side was raided in December of 2013 and the bodies of more than a thousand different people were found cut up and stored on ice, not embalmed so that they would be fresh for practicing medical and dental procedures. 

But some were also diseased with Hepatitis and HIV and sold to Rathburn at a discount. He still sold them to doctors representing them as disease free.   

Rathburn obtained most of his bodies from donation programs in Illinois and Arizona. Those businesses were also raided in the case. 

The sentencing hearing will resume at 8:30 Tuesday. Rathburn could get up to 20 years in prison. 

The sentencing guidelines are 11 to 14 years.

Rathburn turned down a plea deal that would have been 4 to 5 years. 

He could also be ordered to pay more than $2 million in restitution from the profits of his cadaver business. 

Print this article Back to Top