American Politics Journal

"Funeralgate" Now Involves Georgia, Too
Bush Family Patrons SCI Linked to Crematorium Scandal
by Tamara Baker

Mar. 4, 2002 -- SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA (APJP) -- Were you wondering why, after nearly two weeks of constant media play on the nightly newscasts, the story of the malfeasance at the Georgia crematorium suddenly dropped from the national news radar?

So was I. Then I found this story from the Houston Chronicle, and I began to wonder if this might be one of the reasons:

SCI details relationship to crematory
The Houston operator of the nation's largest funeral home chain said it sent two bodies to be cremated at the Tri-State Crematory in Georgia, one in 1998 and another in 2001. Both of those were at the specific request of the families. In addition, two dozen bodies were sent to the Noble, Ga., facility by funeral homes that were later acquired by Service Corporation International, the company said. After the acquisition, however, no remains were sent to Tri-State....

So of the over 90-odd bodies found rotting in the Georgia countryside, over two dozen of them came from SCI-owned facilities. Hmmmm.

This comes on the heels of the news of similar outrages occurring at SCI facilities in Florida. And, of course, those of us who've been following the Bush family's Texas doings know about Funeralgate there.

But wait, there's more:

...Although SCI's relationship with Tri-State was limited, Pullins said his awareness of the crematory goes back more than 15 years. He said he knew something wasn't right when he toured the facility for the first time in 1985. It was very remote, very wooded and very rural, and the crematory was in a kind of shed, Pullins said. There also was no supervision, and the person in charge didn't appear to be properly trained, recalled Pullins, who toured the crematory while he was president of the Sentinel Group, a Stanford, Conn., death care company that was later acquired by SCI. "I'm not an expert on crematoria, but I know a good one when I see it and a bad one when I see it," Pullins said...

So, SCI's Pullins suspected that things weren't right way back in 1985, on his first visit to the Georgia facility -- and he STILL did business with them?

Ooohhh Kaayyyyyy. 

There's something rotten here -- and it's not just the dearly departed.


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ISSN No. 1523-1690