On March 8, a Russian fisherman found an interesting discovery on an island on the Amur river in Siberia. It was a bag… containing human hands.
A rather large bag, because the final count was 54 severed hands, most of which were still in the bag and a few of which had washed free.
Unsurprisingly, the discovery made international news.
Horror as 54 severed human hands are found dumped in a bag in Russia https://t.co/RQrQSrMnet
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) March 8, 2018
Because the discovery happened near the border with China, questions and theories immediately began swirling. Was it a dumping from a Chinese Mafia? From a Russian government squad? An illegal organ trafficking operation? Was there a mass murderer on the loose?
According to a Russian law enforcement investigation, the answer was nothing so dramatic. It was merely bureaucratic incompetence and poor disposal techniques.
It appears that the hands were from a forensic laboratory or a hospital and were improperly discarded.
Local media reported the sack was found alongside medical bandages and surgical shoe covers.
Hands are regularly severed and stored in Russia when decomposed bodies cannot be readily identified. Processes are used on the skin which sometimes allow the medical technicians to recover fingerprints and make positive identifications of the corpses. When the attempts are finished, though, it is not proper procedure to bundle the hands together and toss them in a river.
The hands were traced back to the laboratory because one of them contained usable fingerprints… obtained via the very processes that had inspired the hands to be severed in the first place. (Siberian Times)
Hopefully the second time they were tasked with disposing of the hands, they didn’t just toss them into the river.
Question of the night: Have you ever thrown out something important by mistake?