February 20, 2003

POPSICLE STICK:

Friend details gruesome visit to cryogenics lab (ESPN.com, February 19, 2003)
What would Ted Williams have thought if he knew his body would be hanging upside down in a nitrogen-filled tank with perhaps four other full bodies and five heads at a cryogenics lab inside a strip mall in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Williams' close friend, Buzz Hamon, said the last time he spoke with The Splendid Splinter, Williams said, "I need a lawyer ... Because I made a mistake."

Then the phone went dead. [...]

When Ted Williams died last July 5, John Henry arranged to have his father's body frozen and moved to Alcor.

Sources familiar with what took place that day told the Daily News that the minute Williams drew his last breath, hospital officials filled his body with blood thinner and stuffed it into a bag filled with dry ice for transportation to the airport in Ocala, Fla., where a plane chartered by Alcor was waiting on the tarmac to fly it to Arizona. [...]

With the help of Bobbie Sgrillo, a friend and former mortician who lives in Phoenix, Hamon gained access to Alcor. According to the Daily News, Sgrillo's knowledge of the mortuary business enabled her to gain the confidence of overly protective Alcor officials, who -- after interviewing her for a half-hour -- agreed to give her a tour of the facility. She then asked if she could bring along Hamon, whom she introduced to them as "my friend Art, a public-relations man."

"After what I saw and experienced, I just can't contain myself any longer," Hamon told the Daily News by phone Tuesday. "I want the whole world to know what they've done to Ted. This was absolutely horrifying."

Hamon told the newspaper he was "appalled" by the cluttered conditions inside the facility, then gave the Daily News the following account of entering the containment room where Williams' body is stored:

"There were six huge cylinders along the wall, one of which was filled with liquid nitrogen to supply the other five. I was stunned when [Alcor CEO Jerry Lemler] told me they had 55 'patients,' as he called them. How could they have so many?

"Then he told me there were four full bodies and five heads in each of the cylinders. In addition, there were two short cylinders with just heads in them."

Hamon said he "was horrified" to hear that Williams' body was not stored in a separate cylinder.

"All I could think of was Ted and what he would have thought if he'd known what John Henry had done to him," Hamon told the Daily News. "It was bad enough knowing that somewhere in one of these cylinders, Ted was hanging suspended, upside down, with his head in a bucket. But he was in there with four or five other bodies and assorted heads.

"For all the money this supposedly cost John Henry, he wouldn't even see to it that Ted was alone."


What a crappy way to treat your father. Posted by Orrin Judd at February 20, 2003 8:38 PM
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