Talk About A Head Turner

Custom officials at the O’Hare International Airport in Chicago were in for a huge surprise last week when they found 18 frozen heads in an X-ray screening. Contrary to people’s initial beliefs, no foul play was involved. Thankfully, the heads were being used for medical research in Italy, and were in the process of being shipped back to Illinois for cremation.

Apparently, transporting body parts is just another day at work for the director of the Anatomical Gift Association of Illinois Paul Dudek. “Just last week, we transported eight heads, un-embalmed, to Rush University Medical Center for an ophthalmology program.” he explained

According to, these heads are used in multiple fields of work including: dentistry, ophthalmology, and neurology. It was a good thing that these heads were properly preserved, wrapped and labeled. The only reason that the heads created controversy was because of faulty paperwork authorities were investigating.

Initially, this news raised a lot of eyebrows and made people ask a lot of questions; although shipments like these occur often, many people are oblivious to them. Luckily, everything checked out with the paper work and the heads were later cremated at a service at the Medical Examiner’s Office.

Because cases like these are rather private, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection could not give many details about the shipments.  However, they did say that “It does go on,” and that it is perfectly normal. So, for all of the skeptics out there, it was just a bunch of body parts being shipped for examination, no need to lose your heads.