When the police arrived at the apartment, the FBI agent asked James Knott if anyone else was in the house with him. “Only my dead friends,” he replied.
MOUNT WASHINGTON, Kentucky. Authorities uncovered the gruesome scene after executing a federal search warrant at a man’s home in Mount Washington earlier this week.
On July 11, the FBI raided the home of James William Knott in connection with the sale and delivery of stolen human remains through online marketplaces.
When the police arrived at the apartment, the FBI agent asked Knott if anyone else was in the house with him. “Only my dead friends,” he replied.
Inside, police found dozens of human remains, including 40 human skulls, spinal cords, and femurs and femurs.
The agent later wrote that the skulls were “decorated around the furniture”.
“One skull was wrapped in a scarf. One skull was on the mattress where Knott slept, ”the court document says.
This instilled fear in the neighbors.
“He just lived here, so I’m shocked and nervous now that something like this could be happening,” neighbor Caroline Branum said.
The FBI launched an investigation into Knott after it emerged that he had been chatting with Jeremy Pauley, a Pennsylvania man who was also under investigation for his role in a nationwide scheme to buy and sell stolen human remains.
Authorities said Pauley provided federal investigators with information about a network of individuals involved in the scheme, including Cedric Lodge, a Harvard Medical School mortuary superintendent who was indicted last month.
Police said a Harvard medical bag was also found at Knott’s home.
Authorities said that last year, Pauley was talking to someone called “William Burke” on Facebook about buying skulls and spines.
They exchanged PayPal information and the information sent by “Burke” was linked back to the PayPal account registered to Knott.
According to the document, law enforcement officials viewed Knott’s public Facebook profile and saw him posting about human remains for sale on Facebook as recently as June 2023.
Following Tuesday’s raid on Mount Washington, Knott was arrested and charged with illegal possession of a firearm as a prohibited person.
The documents say the agents also found an AK-47 near Knott’s bed, along with a .38 revolver, several fully loaded and unloaded rifle magazines, additional ammunition, inert grenades, and two plates of body armor.
“[It’s] scary because we have little kids here and he might just go to extremes, who knows,” Branum said.
This story will be updated.
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