206 Do you feel this punishment is fair?


Tom Garrett 3 years, 8 months ago

Roger Dunn, 32, died April 13, 2012, in an auto wreck in Cambria, New York.

After Dunn's death, Niagara County Coroner Russell Jackman gave some tissue from the crash scene to a volunteer fire chief who was training a dog to sniff out human remains.

Training dogs with cadavers is standard procedure because there is no other way to train them, but county officials who investigated what was done with the tissue after a complaint was filed say a well-intentioned error was made by the coroner who gave away the tissue, and by the volunteer fire chief who used it.

Niagara County Sheriff James Voutour adds that using human tissue to train cadaver dogs is, of course, standard procedure, but he says, "There are legal means to obtain cadaver parts. They didn't follow those legal guidelines."

Each men apologized for his error and resigned, but was charged with a misdemeanor, pleaded guilty, was fined $1,000, ordered to perform 100 hours of community service with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and to write a letter of apology to the Dunns.

Now the parents of the man killed in a car crash are suing coroner, the volunteer fire chief, and the county.

How do you feel about all that?


Dan Haapala 3 years, 8 months ago

"...county officials who investigated what was done with the tissue after a complaint was filed..." I certainly don't mean to be picky Tom, but how did the complaint come to be filed, by who and why? Is this the result of an ambulance chasing attorney hoping to collect from a lawsuit paid by tax dollars? Further what reasonable family would object to the reason for using the tissue especially when it might help them in the future and the perps apologized. Last, was this a large chunk of flesh that left the cadaver unrecognizable or in some way made it impossible to have an open casket at the funeral? I know sounds picky huh, but I'm tired of this stuff. Sorry should have done it, won't happen again, pay for the funeral.


Tom Garrett 3 years, 8 months ago


One thing I did not like about this report was the lack on concrete information. Try as i would I could not get anything more. Any of the things you suggest could have happened. It could have been some lawyer with dollar signs in his eyes. It could have been some reporter trying to stir the s--t. It could have been some sherrif or prosecutor trying to make a name for himself. It could have been almost anything.

Except the two things that you and I always look for: Honesty and fairness.

You SHOULD be "tired of this stuff." We should all be tired of "this stuff."

There was, for example, a time when it made sense to say that "ignorance of the law is no excuse." But those days are long gone. Who can possibly know even the smallest fraction of our laws? And if it is not possible to know the laws, how can we reasonably be expected to follow every last lousy one of them?

That's one thing which is very wrong here. It appears that two men, both of them trying to do the right thing--get dogs trained to do vital forensic work--failed to follow some ordinance. Was it a local, county, state, or federal ordinance? We do not know; we haven't been told. What, exactly, did they do wrong? We do not know; we haven't been told. What kind of people are they? We do not know; we haven't been told.

There are too many things we haven't been told.

However, here's just one logical, obvious train of thought.

What do "cadaver dogs" sniff out? Dead bodies.

How is a dead body any different from a live one? Odor.

What kind of odor? The odor of decay.

Could the body parts have been fresh? No.

Why not? Because they were not refrigerated.

Why not?

Aha! The report says they came "from the crash scene." What does that suggest?

Either that the crash was not immediately discovered or that some body parts weren't noticed for some reason.

And that, in turn, suggests that the fire chief simply asked if he could use something found at the scene of the accident which had been left there for some time and was found later, perhaps when someone was assigned the job of cleaning the area and found a body part that had lain there for some time.

Sad. Sure. Criminal. NO!

And any family that would sue over something like that?

You tell me what they are probably like.


Pat Randall 3 years, 8 months ago

All the money in the world will not bring the man back to life. I would feel terrible even thinking of using any money received in that way. No amount of money would replace one of my loved ones.


Tom Garrett 3 years, 8 months ago


You are exactly right.

I will never understand why people cannot resist the temptation to make a buck out of every single thing that happens.

And yet they do. Over and over again.


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