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December 23, 1968

The Body Snatchers

Author Affiliations

Castleton, Vt

JAMA. 1968;206(13):2899. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03150130057021

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To the Editor:—  Your story of Castleton Medical College, and the front cover illustration (204:698, 1968) brought to mind the body snatching episode at Castleton, told to me 75 years ago by an old man then probably in his nineties. Called by everyone Grandpa Peters, his farm surrounded the little East Hubbardton cemetery, and his home was only a few rods distant. He had known that bodies were being stolen from the cemetery.On the occasion of one raid, the body of a recently buried woman was robbed from the East Hubbardton cemetery by Castleton medical students. A large group of East Hubbardton citizens went to Castleton (led by Edgar Ganson, Myron Dikeman, and Allen St. John) and recovered the body, found hidden in the Medical College. The woman's head had been removed and slipped out by one of the students.It was a practice at that time for