Thai Officials Enlist Interpol In Search For Two Americans Accused Of Stealing and Shipping Body Parts

Jonathan Turley

Authorities in Thailand have asked for the help of the U.S. and Interpol to arrest two Americans who are accused of trying to mail body parts of infants and three adults to the United States.

The two men accused of this disgusting crime may not come as much of a surprise to some people already familiar with their names: Ryan Edward McPherson, 31 (aka “Ryen McPherson”) and Daniel Tanner, 33. The two are producers of the infamous “Bumfights” video series where they paid homeless men small amounts of money to fight each other and have “Bumfights” tattooed on their foreheads. They reportedly made millions of the films. In this case, they are accused of buying such items as an infant’s head with its scalp sliced off as a fun gift to take home. The humor may be lost on McPherson and Tanner if they find themselves entertaining in a Thai prison. It expect they are two exports that most officials would gladly like to send to Thailand for good.

Thai officials say that McPherson insisted that he had purchased the body parts–which included an infant’s head with its scalp sliced off, an infant’s foot sliced into three pieces, two pieces of tattooed human skin and one human heart stabbed through the middle–at a night bazaar in Thonburi. He wanted the body parts as gifts for friends.

The body parts are believed to have been stolen from the medical museums of Siriraj Hospital. Notably, police say that two days before the thefts, two American men were seen touring said museums (One of the museum seems to cater to the macabre and is called “The Museum of Death”). It is not clear if the police believe that McPherson and Tanner actually stole the items or arranged for their theft. Notably, they were released by Thai police, which would indicate that they did not have evidence of a crime (a relatively low standard in Thailand).

However, officials are now saying that at a minimum they may have broken laws by mislabeling body parts as “toys” in their attempt to mail them. According to DHL, the parcels were labeled as ”Puzzle-unlimited collectors ED”, “Steamer Cap” and “Antique Train Collector E.” A person processing the items discovered the gruesome contents when he detected formaldehyde and looked inside the acrylic boxes.

The Bangkok South Criminal Court on Tuesday issued arrest warrants for the two on charges of theft and false declarations in violation of the Customs Act. The first charge would indicate that the police have found more evidence or changed their minds. That charge is a serious threat for these two who have been able to dance along the line of legality (while crossing the line of decency) for much of their notorious lives.

National police deputy chief Pol Gen Ruangsak Jritake said that the two fled to Cambodia Sunday morning. If the two are still in transit, they may find it hard to board a connector flight. Mailing baby parts is the type of crime that tends to unite people against you, including airline security officials.

McPherson and Tanner were sentenced to community service and a small fine for their “Bumfights” videos. McPherson however failed to show up for his community service and he was sentenced to 180 days in jail.

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