Updates to our Terms of Use

We are updating our Terms of Use. Please carefully review the updated Terms before proceeding to our website.

Friday, July 12, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Texas College Accounts for Missing Brains

AUSTIN, Texas (CN) - The University of Texas at Austin said most of the dozens of brains it thought it had lost were properly disposed of in 2002.

The university said in a statement Wednesday that the missing brains were disposed of after faculty members "determined that the specimens had been in poor condition when the university received them in the 1980s and were not suitable for research or teaching. Faculty members then maintained possession of other brain specimens in the collection that the university continues to own."

The statement added: "This occurred prior to the renovation of the Animal Resources Center, where the specimens had been stored in a secure location. We believe the workers disposed of between 40 and 60 jars, some of which contained multiple human brains, and worked with a biological waste contractor to do so safely."

It was rumored that one of the brains was that of Charles Whitman, who shot and killed 14 people from atop the University of Texas Tower in 1966. UT officials said there is no evidence that any of the brains was his.

In a previous statement, the school said that the brains are "used as a teaching tool and are carefully curated by faculty. As our investigation proceeds, we will seek to confirm whether the specific details that have been reported about the other specimens are accurate."

Categories / Uncategorized

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.