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Destination Death
Destination Death

Season 1, Episode 17 · 1 year ago

EP18 Tristate Crematory Scandal

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Another true crime crossover for you guys! Intro by @benny_jets on instagram and follow the show @destinationdeathpodcast!

It has been so long since I have lastrecorded. I sincerely apologize, there's kind of a long story, but I canjust cut to the chase. My like I said in my last podcast Intro, Iwas having some difficulties with my mental health that is still ongoing.However, the big issue was that the computer that I was working on torecord all of my podcasts could not handle the level of audio and the length of audiothat I wanted to record. So I have bought a brand new computer. Itis a beast. It is super powered. It has all the bells and whistles, so Ishould be able to record more regularly. I am working on getting myself backonto a schedule. I kind of have fallen off of my originally intended scheduleand then my second intended schedule again so we're working progress, but we aremaking some big changes so new computer, I'm currently recording on it right now. It looks great it's huge. It's not it's not something that I wouldnormally have bought for myself, but you know I decided that I wanted tohave the biggest and baddest in order to accomplish what I wanted toaccomplish with it. So here we are. Hopefully it will do the job like. I want it to. I've hadsome difficulty this morning trying to get my podcast intro that I've alreadylike preformatted and like fixed, so that it's perfect back into garage band on this new computer. Ithas been quite the adventure but we're getting it taken care of so for today I have not written ascript. I just decided to sit down and record. This story is one that I wanted tocover, since I did my last true. Crime is crossover, podcast story. I think that was David Wayn sconse. So today we're going to do another similartype of true crimish funeral industry, Crossover type deal. Many of you seem to really like thelast one, so we are going to go over what happened at the Tristate cremitoryand the trystate cremitory is in noble Georgia, so I am going to just go over. Basically, generally, what happened? I'm lookingat a couple, different sources for this, I'm not like, I said I didn't prepareany type of long script or anything I'm just going to be kind of talking to youabout it. So this website, I'm looking at, is calledwicked horrorcom. I have preread this article. It does seem prettycomprehensive. So, regardless of if it's not you know thebest source to use, I'm going to use it anyway. So try state. Is I noble Georgia? Theyare a crematory. I believe they only...

...had one retort, which means they canonly do one body every three to four hours. That is what you're supposed to do.What we know that happens, however, is things like David Wayne scons when youput multiple bodies in one thing or you buy a bunch of kilns for pottery, andthen you put human bodies in them. That is not what happened here. I thinkit's more surprising what happened at trystate than it is at with the David Waytan skonse thing,because he did technically cremate all his bodiesat try state. We have kind of a weird. Nobody really knows why typesituation going on here, so, let's get into it on February, Fifteen, two thousand andtwo, so this is relatively recently also so the last true crime, one that Icovered, was I think in like nineteen, and I know that I don't think they wentto trial until early tosands, but this is significantly more close to home, so the police were called to Te Trysstaccremitory. They were called numerous times overthe past two years. So since two thousand and two thousand with the complaint that corpses werejust laying around their property, if you are a funeral home, that is probably thebest way to reduce the amount of people that want to use your funeral servicesjust saying so. Initially they had received callsin two thousand and two thousand and one. However, they either didn't followup on them or they were dismissed while they were being investigated. I forgot what Wordi was trying to usefor a second, so local police visited the property.They were called Multiple Times because there were bodies just laying all overthe property. The EPA from Atlanta, we're called in the Walker County Sheriff Department,were called in and on February fifteenth, which is theoriginal date that I mentioned earlier. All of these different departments cometogether and discover over three hundred bodies that were not crematedbut were laid around the property in a bizarre display. So the property was originally foundedby a man named Tommy Marsh. It was open in t s provided funeral services for Georgiaand surrounding states marsh was a highly respected member ofthe community. He was praised for opening a funeral home. It gave a lotof access to cremation services that many of the people in the surroundingareas either would not have had access to because there was not one open inthe area or or they were now given more options asfar as funeral services go. So during his time at try state he hadbeen sent about twoousand bodies so from police and EPA and sheriff'sperspectives. This guy has been doing pretty well for himself. He's got abunch of bodies lined up. However, it looks like he's. You know, crematingthem properly or buarying them properly. Giving them back to the family whatever so the first sign of trouble was inOctober of two thousand, when a natural gas worker arrived to...

...fix a service on the property, and he saw that there were bodies quoteunquote irresponsibly scattered around the building. The sheriff's department, however, didnot think that this was something that they needed to check up on for whatever reason, so this kind of gets into the the difference between normal work andfuneral work. So you could say that this natural gasworker just has never seen the inside of a funeral home, and I think I want to use positive intent with these sheriffsdepartment officers. So what I think probably happened isthis gas worker calls the sheriff's apartment and says: There's bodieseverywhere and the sheriff's apartment says you're at a funeral home. Thereare bodies everywhere, and I think that that distinction between the propercare of a body and what people think happens at funeral homes is kind of muddled because things like trystate are whypeople have not great views of the funeral industryor they have a lot of misconceptions about the funeral industry. So I am not initially like. Oh my God,there's a problem because this guy saw bodies everywhere. That's probably what happened? I'm notsaying that it is, but I would put some money down on it, so they ignored. Then gas workers claimthat there were bodies everywhere, a year later, in November of two thousandand one, the EPA received a tip from an unknown source that there were body parts in the woodsaround try state. So this is a little bit more concerning there should not just be rogue bodyparts surrounding your funeral home this. This, I would go. Look at,however, the Walker County sheriff's Offic, was again uninterested inchecking up on what was going on on the property. They supposedly conducted a routinecheck where they did not find anything. However, when you get to like later inthe Article- and it tells you that they found over three hundred bodies anddistif varying states of decomposition and disarray, that kind of puts the Kabashe on there, wedid a routine check statement. So, three months later, the EPA wasinformed from a community member that, while they were walking their dog, theyfound a human bone on the property of tritkate, try state. So this time the EPA says we're just going to go and look becauseobviously the sheriff's apartment isn't doing anything. So they go. They go into the woodssurrounding the property. They find a human skull. They find human bones.They then call the police. The police show up on February, fifteen twothousand and two. So this was where our story started was February. Fifteenth the there was also a truck driver thathad regularly delivered propane to try state who had called the police twiceto report bodies being scattered, but again they reportedly did a routinecheck and found nothing.

So on February fifteenth they broughtin a bunch of people from different departments andthey found three hundred and thirty nine uncremated bodies. Many of thecorpses were in advance stage of decomposition, so we went over this in my stages of death, podcast to be inadvanced stages of decomposition you're. Looking at you know, dry skeleton- maybe even you know past the point of any fluid liquid death happening. So these are probably bodies that havebeen there for weeks to months to years they also discovered coffin stacked ontop of each other in rooms with corpses in them corpseis just thrown about in different boxes. Therewere corpses that were freshly decomposing.Their fluids were leaked all over the floor. Some were still in hospital gowns fromwhen they passed away at the hospital. There was one body that was lyinghalfway inside the creamitory oven, another that was inside a coffin andanother draped across a wooden crate, with the skeleton of a baby at its feet. So if you can imagine being someonewalking into this scene, it is probably the worst thing that you could comeacross as a police officer or an EPA agent investigating a funeral home like thisis the the top the tipoty top of the iceberg here. So then they discover that not only werenone of these bodies, cremated like they were supposed to have been, but their families were sent cementdust instead of cremated ashes. So they didn't even go the length tolike do the David sconts and like measure out six pounds of ashes perfamily, of just a random collection of dead people. They literally boughtpackages of cement and just gave the familys cement. So these families, these three hundredand forty people, their families, were given nothing. Basically, that is just in itself, so awful so marsh was immediately arrested. Hewas charged with seven hundred and eighty seven criminal accounts. Hischarg is including theft by deception, abusing a corpse fraud and more fraud for false statements and burial servicees that he had notpromised he played guilty. He was sensed twelveyears. He is actually back out on the streetshe got out in two thousand and sixteen they have faced numerous civillitigation suits, so this family is basically justdestroyed by this whole thing. The interesting thing, so the thingthat is so fascinating about this story to me is that when marsh was arrested, he saidwell, my retort, my cramatory wasn't...

...working. So what else am I supposed to?Do? I'm sorry what so they said? Okay! Well, I guess thiscould partially explain why you did this. The way that you did so they senda person to the cremitory that works on retorts, and he was someonethat was from the company that made that specific cremation unit and that guy said there is absolutelynothing wrong with this crimation unit. So, in my mind, then I go to. Why was the sky stackingbodies up? I can tell you from firsthand experience thatdecomposition of one human body does not smell good, much less decomposition of like fiftyhuman bodies in the same room for years. I I don't know there was another theory that he wasjust really lazy and like did not want to actually cremate the bodies, he would rather just wheel them off toanother room and dump them there or lay them about the property, so thatthey'll decompose and he can bury the bones later. However, I feel like when you open acremitory. You are opening that cremitory with the intent of helping other people in theirgrieving process and taking some of the strain of funeralservice off of the family, providing a sap up. SEF A safe and fastservice to a family that needs that in their time of need right. So I don'tknow this just doesn't sit right with me. I actually did just recently finish a book. It iscalled death's Acre. Let me see WHO's. I can never remember yeah death's Acre and it was by DrBillbats and for those of you that don't know Dr Bats is the professor that basically started thebody farm in Tennessee. For those of you who are unaware of what a body farmis, I can do a video on them. Potentially, I can potentially do apodcast on that topic. If you are interested anyway in the book, Dr BassTalks About how he was recruited to try state to look at the bodies determine if theycould discover the person who the body came from. So he talks about a lot in his book aboutthe different methods of identifying features on dead bodies so like in inorder to determine you know like female over the age of thirty white or Asian descent, like whateverall that stuff right. So he goes, he gets recruited to try state to look atall these bodies. They were able to identify all but one hundred of them,but the story that he tells is how is pretty much how they discover that thefamily was given cement rather than...

...cremated remains, and there was a older, not super old, probably about thirty,five or forty year old man when he was younger. He had been shot in the chestby his brother and the bullet was never able to be recovered, so he was when hepassed away. He died of an overdose of medication, so his family had him sent to try stateto be cremated. They received some cement like we all knew already.However, his body was discovered on the property and the only way that Dr Basswas able to identify his body, because his skull is significantlydecomposed, pretty much cracked. They weren't evenreally able to find much of him to begin with, but they did find his bullet after thebody had been cremated. So that was significant enough evidence to suggestthat it was the man they were looking for and DNA. I guess leader proved that itwas him, so that is one of the happy stories thatcomes out of it is all, but one hundred of these bodiesdid actually end up going back to their family. It must have been incredibly traumaticfor all of these families to learn that their loved ones potentially had neverbeen properly cremated or given back to them. It, Dr Bass, talks about in his book how,for the days surrounding the tristate discovery, basically that familieswould just call non stop asking if their loved onehad been sent to that cremitory, and I can't even imagine like wondering ifthe ashes that you've been holding on to- and you know, praying over or you know, given a little a little touchof the earn whenever you're feeling like you're missing that person, Ican't imagine just like having the feeling of knowing that they're notactually in there. So I don't know. I just don't understandwhat why I guess. I don't like the idea that this is how the funeral industry issometimes portrayed because of things like this. That have happened. It's one bad adble, one bad appleagainst a lot of really good, really clean, good funeral service providers.So because of this I will say because ofthis: The regulations are a lot stronger. Nowthe lots of funeral homes have to go through monthly checks. Yearly checkssix month, checks to make sure that everything is working properly. They have people come and inspect theirproperty every so often so this kind of stuff does not happen. I hope it does not happen anymore, so that I guess, is the Saving Grace andall this is that it brought on some changes that needed to be made in theindustry, however awful they may be, so that is all I have for today. I hopethat you enjoyed this little story. I am once again I'm sorry for beinggone for a while. I am going to try to...

...record more regularly so far. This newcomputer is keeping up with me pretty good, so I'm impressed, I feel goodabout it. I will try to be back again soon. I am currently not working for a whiledue to the cronavirus, so we'll see I'll try to get me somecontent record it at least so that I can release it on a more regularschedule so that I don't leave you know, weeks and weeks of laiding in betweenevery episode, so that is all I have for today. I hope that you enjoyed thislittle true crimish story, and I hope that you guys have a great week. It isMonday, if you're not listening to this on a Monday, then happy week whereveryou're at in it, and I will catch you guys next time.

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