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Ok - I'm gonna call him Dr Frankenstein. Somebody has to, after all he was collecting body parts. It was all over the news when the Pensacola News Journal and AP broke the story on Aug 29, 2012. It's made to order for those News of the Weird fillers in your local.

Body parts in Pensacola storage unit were kept in trash bags, drink cups

 Human remains found in a storage unit in Pensacola last week were being kept in covered plastic containers, trash bags and specimen cups ... The latest revelation came as authorities continued trying to unravel why Dr. Michael Berkland, a former associate medical examiner who is no longer licensed, stored the organs in the unit at Uncle Bob’s Storage ... Parts from more than 100 people — including lungs, hearts, tissue samples and 10 brains — were found on Friday in the air-conditioned unit that Berkland had rented, Medical Examiner’s Office Director Jeff Martin said. “It’s very bizarre.”
Yes it is; and it gets weirder...

But first the company spokesperson for Uncle Bob's Storage must speak:

“We never had any indication that anything was out of the ordinary, nor did anyone on our management team ever notice anything amiss during daily property checks.”
Uh-huh... then they go on about auditors. I totally respect the work of auditors in sussing out financial malfeasance. I worked with them for years but I don't think inspecting storage units fits their job description.
A heart was in a Dodge’s convenience store Styrofoam cup, Martin said. Formaldehyde, a chemical used to preserve and embalm bodies, was leaking from the 32-ounce cup with a cracked lid, he said.  “A lot of those containers were emptied because they had cracked through, so all of those caustic chemicals were leaking out somewhere,” he said.
But we see Herr Doktor had a history ...
In 1996, Berkland was fired as a contract medical examiner in Jackson County, Mo., in a dispute over his caseload and autopsy reports.
He had incorrectly stated on reports that he had taken sections of several brains to be preserved as specimens for medical conferences and teaching purposes. He called them “proofreading errors,” and the Missouri attorney general’s office found they did not jeopardize any criminal cases.

And all this comes out because he fell behind on this rent.

So how did this medical examiner get to this dastardly point you might ask?  
Here's Pathology Blawg

Like Silence of the Lambs, only much, much more. This story reminded me of the scene in Silence of the Lambs where Agent Starling is going through the storage unit and finds a head in a jar.

OK - they're going there - the blawg shows image of brain in a jar...  
But they have another bit I will come back too.  First let's go see what the good doctor was doing the last few years.

How to become famous, excerpts found here:

In 2007 there were the remains of a young girl missing for a few years identified and sent home to North FL for burial. Except Associate Medical Examiner Dr. Michael Berkland steps up the day before burial to announce dental records did not match. And he said reports indicate that the skull showed evidence of a blow to the head that had healed over, so the cause of death was not that blunt-force trauma to the head. ''I think it would have been a travesty if the wrong person had been buried and someone could have potentially got away with murder down there,'' Berkland said.

The doctor sure likes his dramatic controversy - and it pays off!

A few years later ...

Hey - it's The Roth Show !!

Join Dr. Laurie Roth (“The Annie Oakley of the Airways”) and Susan Murphy Milano (“The Jane Wayne of Justice”) every Wednesday from 7-8pm ET for an event filled hour with exciting guests to discuss crime stories, missing persons and true crime authors.

Yahoo - sounds like a couple of big guns out to get the biggest and best news. Here's the bio for this week's guest:

Dr. Michael Berkland, D.O. will lead us in a discussion about staged crime scene and how forensic pathologists are used during an investigation. We will discuss the Sheena Morris case where Brandeton Police Department has refused to open up the investigation after the change in the death certificate was made in the case.

Dr. Michael E. Berkland is the only board-certified forensic pathologist that has been previously certified as a Senior Crime Scene Analyst. He has been employed by multiple jurisdictional groups  ...  Dr. Berkland maintains a consulting business in Florida, Forensic Puzzle Investigations, which provides his expertise in forensic pathology as it relates to crime scene analysis and reconstruction as well as injury analysis.

Previously certified; employed by multiple jurisdictional groups; now a consultant...  good way to cover a few holes in the old resume Doc.

That was July 6, 2011. A year later the Sheena Morris case is posted again with more references to Dr. Spare Parts. Sure sounds like a conspiracy a-building...

Crime Wire: Digging Deeper Into the Unsolved Murder of Sheena Morris
Dr. Michael Berkland, a Forensic Pathologist who, along with Dr. Michael Baden, re-examined the medical examiner’s reports and both agreed that Sheena’s death was not a suicide. ...  The authorities in Bradenton Beach, FL are not willing to re-open the investigation, even in light of these findings.

Morris had obtained damaging evidence on alleged illegal activities ... banker boxes full of files, copies of ledgers, key names and dates and other information seen carried from out of the apartment ... death was incorrectly ruled a suicide  ... organized crime ...  for some reason this case has remained untouchable by investigating authorities.

I'm thinking Annie Oakley may want to recall this interview - or more likely, double down.

Back to the Pathology Blawg:

Dr. Berkland’s other claim to fame is that he did the autopsy on Lori Klausutis, the aide to former congressman Joe Scarborough (R-FL).  She was found dead in Congressman Scarborough’s office in July 2001.
Ahh Joe and a mysterious death - maybe we should have listened to the freepers  

Here's the story - quoting their quoting:
“FORT WALTON BEACH, FL. - Lori Klausutis, a 28-year-old office worker for Rep. Joe Scarborough (R-Fl), was found dead in the congressman’s district office. Police said preliminary findings from the medical examiner’s office showed no foul play or any outward indication of suicide.”

That happened on July 20, 2001; a decade later a coverup is still being discussed. And our doctor is in the thick of it.

Here's the history:  

The results of the mandated autopsy, however, were deemed “inconclusive” by Dr. Berkland, who ordered more specific toxicology tests. These results were expected by the middle of the following week, around the first or second day of August. Dr. Berkland commented at the time “This turns over several puzzle pieces in the case of her death and reveals more of the picture”.
Michael Berkland, it turns out, has a very interesting background himself. Recently relocated to Florida, it is a matter of public record that Dr. Berkland’s medical license in the state of Missouri was revoked in 1998 as a result of Berkland reporting false information regarding brain tissue samples in a 1996 autopsy report. Berkland does not deny the charges.
It’s also a matter of public record that he was suspended from his position as Medical Examiner in the State of Florida in July, 1999.
Quincy, he’s not.

And this is how speculation and conspiracies start:

Meanwhile, the final report has been issued that Lori died as a result of a blow to the head because an undiagnosed heart condition caused her to collapse and fall, hitting her head on the desk. The initial reports from the Medical Examiner’s office denied any trauma to the body that would indicate cause of death. But Berkland acknowledged on Monday, August 6th, that Lori had sustained a “scratch and a bruise” on her head and that his original denials were to prevent undue speculation about the cause of death. “The last thing we wanted was 40 questions about a head injury”, he said.

Like this reasonable question about the good doctor:

2) Would you trust without question the word of a Medical Examiner who lost his ME license in two separate states (Missouri and Florida) because he LIED about his autopsy work (for instance, saying he had autopsied some brains when he hadn’t)?
But we know where the brains are - a storage locker in Pensacola.


So you can have a lot of fun with web searches, at least until I hit some site with a popup that only allowed me to OK a warning to Scan and Save My Mac or else !!!  Yikes, abort abort! I'm getting too close to the truth!

Make what you want of all this about the doctor. Me, my guess, I see a medical examner that had questions, had some success by questioning, got hyped thru media promotion but had a history of not following legal procedures in hopes of another big score. Maybe he would have broken another case.

If only he had paid the rent on his storage.....

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