Wasp Spray & Tiger Sharks | 4M #92
Welcome to the ninety-second edition of Morticians’ Monday Morning Mashup, 4M #92, where we’ll serve up bite-sized, easily-digestible nuggets of the deathcare news you need to crush conversations in the week ahead. Bon appetit!
This newsletter is powered by MemoryShare, a funeral livestreaming platform that you can set up in 30 seconds or less.
SunLife, a UK-based insurance company known for its annual “Cost of Dying” report, has once again produced an eye-opening research study, this time ranking the most expensive places to die (and, thankfully, the US is not even in the top five):
1. Japan (Average cost: 3 million yen, or about $30k — two-thirds the average annual salary)
4. South Africa
5. The Netherlands
6. The United Kingdom
7. New Zealand
8. The United States of America
Internet sleuths have been working overtime for more than a year to identify each and every person involved in the January 6, 2021 incident at the Capitol in the hopes that the individuals will be formally charged. Their efforts paid off in early June, when a prominent Long Island, NY funeral home co-owner was “charged with assaulting police officers and other felony charges.” Peter Moloney, who co-owns Moloney Funeral Homes with his brother, has been placed on administrative leave, and, according to a statement issued by his attorney, “maintains his innocence.” Moloney is accused of “joining a violent mob who attacked an Associated Press photographer” and assaulting “several” police officers while wearing a beanie with the “thin blue line” symbol that indicates support for law enforcement. A court filing indicated that Moloney sprayed “Black Flag Wasp, Hornet & Yellow Jacket Killer 2 aerosol” on some police officers. Another funeral home employee accompanied Moloney on January 6, but has not been charged.
Still going strong at 105
In last week’s 4M, we shared that a UK study has placed morticians among professions with the oldest workforce, with more than 28% being older than 60. Well, they’ve got nothing on Ruth Penland. Ruth, who recently celebrated her 105th birthday, is one of North Carolina’s oldest practicing funeral directors. In 1970, Ruth and her late husband, George, bought the funeral home George was managing, and soon opened a second location. The couple’s sons joined the family business, as did a grandson, who opened another funeral home with his own children. Ruth still works at Penland Family Funeral Home, and says her “favorite part of being in the funeral business is helping others” in their time of need. “We always try to treat them like family and they still do,” Penland said. “You can’t walk that road with others ‘til you walk it yourself.”
Happening at Hahvahd
The latest body brokering scandal is unfolding in perhaps one of the least likely institutions: Harvard Medical School. The school’s former morgue manager and his wife have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pennsylvania on “conspiracy and interstate transport of stolen goods charges” for allegedly stealing and selling parts of bodies donated to the school’s Anatomical Gifts Program. According to a Boston news outlet, Cedric Lodge would bring to his New Hampshire home body parts from the school in Boston; his wife, Denise, would then sell them to a local woman who, in turn, sold the body parts through her business via Facebook and PayPal, shipping them through the US Postal Service. Other direct transactions are alleged to have taken place at the school’s morgue. The business owner and several buyers, including some from Minnesota, Arkansas, and Pennsylvania, are included in the indictment. Harvard has issued an official apology and shared a list of resources for families whose late loved ones may have been victims of the scheme.
What should one do if one witnessed an angry tiger shark violently attacking a young man at a public beach? If you say “video it, of course,” you’d (sadly) be accurately describing what actually happened last week in the Red Sea near Egypt. And (again, sadly) the video went viral. While some people captured the incident to boost their social cred, others reacted in a more helpful manner. A fisherman who tried to fend off the shark from the Russian swimmer, to no avail, later caught the shark and dragged it to shore where a “mob of beachgoers beat the shark to death.” They know it’s the same animal that killed the young man as they found his head, chest, and arms inside the shark after the man’s lower body washed up on the beach. Now, though, Egyptians authorities are reportedly embalming the shark in preparation for public display in a museum.
Say goodbye to Facebook
If you’re using Facebook for live streaming, does this sound familiar?
- Copyrighted music is silenced (even with proper certifications!)
- Advertisements out of your control pop up during the livestream
- It’s difficult for families to access because it requires a Facebook account
This is why Carlton Stevens Jr., Operations Manager and Mortician at Stevens Funeral Home in North Carolina, said goodbye to Facebook and switched to MemoryShare—a live streaming platform built specifically for funeral professionals.
“Now, families don’t have to worry about Facebook accounts. It works, and it’s easy to use,” Carlton said. “It’s the best, I’m telling you. It’s liquid gold.”
After he started offering live streaming during the pandemic, Carlton saw Stevens Funeral Home call volume bump from 20 calls to 41 calls.
Today, Stevens Funeral Home live streams a service every other day.
And with MemoryShare, all they have to do is push a button.
“It’s a no brainer,” Carlton said.
Read how Carlton is using livestreaming to grow his business in our latest case study—click here to read it!