ISC West Live 2017
About 100 Brains Missing from University of Texas

About 100 Brains Missing from University of Texas

The University of Texas at Austin is missing about 100 brains, and one of them is believed to have belonged to clock tower sniper Charles Whitman.

“We think somebody may have taken the brains, but we don’t know at all for sure,” psychology Professor Tim Schallert, co-curator of the collection, said.

This would make up roughly half of the collection which the university had been preserving in jars of formaldehyde.

It’s entirely possible word got around among undergraduates and people started swiping them for living rooms or Halloween pranks,” said psychology Professor Lawrence Cormack, Schallert’s co-curator.

The university said in a statement that it will investigate "the circumstances surrounding this collection since it came here nearly 30 years ago" and that it's "committed to treating the brain specimens with respect." It says the remaining brain specimens on campus are used "as a teaching tool and carefully curated by faculty."

The 100 remaining brains at the school have been moved to the Norman Hackerman Building, where they are being scanned with high-resolution resonance imaging equipment, Cormack said.

About the Author

Matt Holden is an Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media, Inc. He received his MFA and BA in journalism from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. He currently writes and edits for Occupational Health & Safety magazine, Security Today and Security Products magazine.

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