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TGrace
02-08-2015, 05:29 AM
(Sorry for the weird title!) I need help identifying what profession my main character should have. He is fascinated by the human body and bloody horror/action. I wouldn't go so far as to say he's a psychopath, but he is extremely interested in and excited by blood and gore.

In the story, he is involved with werewolves, and he needs to be in a position that allows him to steal body organs (hearts, typically) for them. He also needs to be aware of basic medical care, enough that a werewolf who obviously can't go to an emergency room but needs medical attention would be taken care of well enough for the wounds to begin to heal supernaturally.

I figure that he could either be a Pathologist, Medical Examiner, or a Mortician. In earlier versions, he was an emergency room doctor (for the thrill of seeing distressed bodies in an environment where he also did good by preventing death), but the plot has evolved in a way that needs him to be in contact with dead people, even if he prefers the sight of blood to dead bodies. I suppose that he could still work in an ER and just use his medical skills to efficiently kill people and harvest the organs that way, but I have a feeling that might be too complicated.

Does anyone have insights into what profession might be the best fit for him? I have been researching what each of those professions require in terms of the day-to-day, but I'm really at a loss here. Any specifics regarding those professions or ones that would be a good fit that I'm not thinking of would be appreciated. Thanks!

Haggis
02-08-2015, 05:37 AM
I'm thinking it would be very difficult for an ER doc to remove organs without others knowing about it. Too many people around. I can't see that working. A mortician? Probably the best bet. Because even autopsies have more than one person present, though organs are removed at that time.

TGrace
02-08-2015, 06:05 AM
Thanks, Haggis. If he worked in an ER, I imagine that he would kill people in his free time, not at work, but still -- messy, even though he doesn't get caught. Mortician seems like the neatest way to go, yeah.

Brutal Mustang
02-08-2015, 06:09 AM
He could be one of those people who take the bodies (http://www.cracked.com/article_21938_5-awful-realities-transporting-human-corpses-job.html) from the scene of their death, to the mortuary. But maybe, before taking them to the mortuary, he makes a little detour, and performs a wee operation?

Weirdmage
02-08-2015, 06:19 AM
I'm thinking it would be very difficult for an ER doc to remove organs without others knowing about it. Too many people around. I can't see that working. A mortician? Probably the best bet. Because even autopsies have more than one person present, though organs are removed at that time.

Going back in time a bit, and moving to conspiracy theory teritory. It was said, and said to be proved even, that the CIA smuggled heroin into the USA in the bodies of dead soldiers from Vietnam. (This was pre-internet days, but it was actually said de-classified documents proved this. Haven't thought about it for years, so not saying anything of it is remotely true since I haven't checked on this in decades.)

But, relevant to what you ask. Someone who works with repatriating dead soldiers from foreign battlefields (, Afghanistan and Irak is the obvious ones,) would actually be the most plausible for me. But do check on how those casualities are received when repatriated if you want to go with that.

melindamusil
02-08-2015, 07:46 AM
In addition to a mortician, you could also have any kind of mortician's assistant or apprentice. Even the janitor at a funeral home could, theoretically, have access to bodies.

Neegh
02-08-2015, 08:21 AM
Why do it the long way round. Why wouldn't he just take what he wants? Serial killers do it all the time.

Haggis
02-08-2015, 08:23 AM
Going back in time a bit, and moving to conspiracy theory teritory. It was said, and said to be proved even, that the CIA smuggled heroin into the USA in the bodies of dead soldiers from Vietnam. (This was pre-internet days, but it was actually said de-classified documents proved this. Haven't thought about it for years, so not saying anything of it is remotely true since I haven't checked on this in decades.)

But, relevant to what you ask. Someone who works with repatriating dead soldiers from foreign battlefields (, Afghanistan and Irak is the obvious ones,) would actually be the most plausible for me. But do check on how those casualities are received when repatriated if you want to go with that.
There are mortuary units that take care of KIA troops. That opens up that possibility, whether it actually happened before or not.

cmhbob
02-08-2015, 08:29 AM
The term you're looking for here is embalmer. A funeral director (in some states) doesn't do body care. The embalmer is the one who does the embalming and makeup and hair and so forth.

An autopsied body is turned over to the funeral home with the internal organs placed in a bag in the body cavity. Typically that bag will be filled with embalming fluid.

Embalmers typically work alone, so it wouldn't be difficult for them to remove organs. In many places, funeral homes will contract out the embalming work to what's called a trade embalmer, who might work for several funeral homes at a time. This is much more common for smaller and/or older funeral homes that are family-owned and don't do a large enough volume to justify a fulltime staff embalmer.

(I worked as a service provider for the funeral industry for seven years. Saw a lot of back-of-the-house stuff.)

snafu1056
02-08-2015, 05:31 PM
Every hospital has a morgue or cold room. I'm sure certain workers have access to it, maybe even janitors. Someone who was into blood and gore would probably want them as fresh as possible, and the bodies in a hospital would be pretty fresh.

Usher
02-08-2015, 06:13 PM
The term you're looking for here is embalmer. A funeral director (in some states) doesn't do body care. The embalmer is the one who does the embalming and makeup and hair and so forth.

)

This - you want the person who works with the body right before it goes in a closed coffin.

Los Pollos Hermanos
02-08-2015, 08:35 PM
Would a werewolf want to eat a heart which had been pickled in embalming fluid? I have no idea about werewolves or their food preferences, btw. However, if I was a fussy eater werewolf, I'd probably prefer fresh hearts/other organs.

Yeah, I'm going now... ;)

Neegh
02-08-2015, 10:02 PM
Maybe formalin gets werewolves drunk.

Los Pollos Hermanos
02-08-2015, 10:18 PM
Maybe, or it could just give them a lovely glossy coat?!

As for the original question, could it be some kind of hospital worker who replaces the human heart with an animal heart? The embalmer further along the chain would have to be in on it, but perhaps they co-own the werewolves? That way they have a pack of happy werewolves and nobody knows what's really going on.

You can tell this ain't my genre.

TGrace
02-09-2015, 02:04 AM
Embalmers typically work alone, so it wouldn't be difficult for them to remove organs. In many places, funeral homes will contract out the embalming work to what's called a trade embalmer, who might work for several funeral homes at a time. This is much more common for smaller and/or older funeral homes that are family-owned and don't do a large enough volume to justify a fulltime staff embalmer.



I didn't realize that it is possible to be a trade embalmer. That's definitely something to consider, thank you!

TGrace
02-09-2015, 02:08 AM
Would a werewolf want to eat a heart which had been pickled in embalming fluid? I have no idea about werewolves or their food preferences, btw. However, if I was a fussy eater werewolf, I'd probably prefer fresh hearts/other organs.

Yeah, I'm going now... ;)

Ha! That's true. I suppose he'll need to take them out before he does too much work on the body.

Freshness is definitely a factor. My werewolves need to eat human hearts at least a few times a year for them to be healthy. The rest of the time they eat animals, mostly as a precaution against humans getting suspicious.

King Neptune
02-09-2015, 03:33 AM
Freshness is definitely a factor. My werewolves need to eat human hearts at least a few times a year for them to be healthy. The rest of the time they eat animals, mostly as a precaution against humans getting suspicious.

Then why don't you have them get them the old fashioned way?

TGrace
02-09-2015, 03:42 AM
Then why don't you have them get them the old fashioned way?
Most of them do! This situation is a somewhat unique one within the larger context of werewolf packs and their society.

King Neptune
02-09-2015, 04:20 AM
Most of them do! This situation is a somewhat unique one within the larger context of werewolf packs and their society.

Rations for the infirm? Wolves are social animals.

TGrace
02-09-2015, 08:53 AM
Rations for the infirm? Wolves are social animals.
In a manner of speaking! The werewolf that my MC interacts with the most is often too ashamed of his urges to go out and hunt for himself. He wasn't born a werewolf, he was bitten.

Ravioli
02-09-2015, 11:53 AM
My ex was a 22-year-old 2nd year med student who regularly did dissections on human bodies. He could probably find ways to access them without a professor around. So it's probably not that hard.

Nivarion
02-11-2015, 04:23 PM
I'd vote for the embalmer too. S/he is the last person to see the body before it's all cleaned up and made to look pretty for the funeral. No one after them would be looking at parts to notice an organ missing. It'd be relatively fresh too, normally gets to him within a couple of days.