A reporter is sent on an unusual assignment. A distraught women claims to have a deceased man's scalp and the reporter has been chosen to cover the story. Upon his arrival, the teary-eyed women implores the reporter to take the man's remains to the coroner. It sounds like the plot for an episode of Picket Fences
, but for police reporter Steve Lannen at the Herald-Leader in Kentucky this perplexing scenario was far more than just a plot device.
As reported by metro editor Peter Baniak for the Behind the Headlines
blog:It was one of the strangest phone calls I've taken as metro editor at the Herald-Leader -- and I've taken plenty of odd phone calls over the years. The woman on the line was despondent because she said the county coroner had left her friend's scalp in wooded area along Newtown Pike. The man had died there, apparently under accidental circumstances, and the coroner had removed the rest of the body several days earlier. But the woman said a piece of her friend's scalp, including hair, had been left behind. Further, she said she couldn't get the coroner's office to come out and get it.… Read more