Ex-employee: Alcor threatened to dispose of Ted's body

Updated: August 14, 2003, 12:47 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The saga of Ted Williams' frozen body won't be ending anytime soon.

Former Alcor Life Extension Foundation employee Larry Johnson said company officials suggested, perhaps jokingly, they would ship Williams' body to John Henry Williams if the son didn't pay the money he still owes the company, The New York Times reported in Thursday's editions.

"One director said that if John Henry didn't pay, they should ship the body in a cardboard box to him, then to Bobbi-Jo [Williams Ferrell]," Johnson said in a telephone interview to the newspaper.

Johnson, formerly the Chief Operating Officer at Alcor, said in the report that John Henry Williams still owes the foundation $111,000. The entire preservation process costs $136,000.

Johnson also told The Times that he has seen Williams' frozen head.

"It's been in there for a year, and it's ghastly," he said.

According to a Sports Illustrated article, Williams' body was separated from his head in a procedure called neuroseparation.

Williams' body stands upright in a 9-foot tall cylindrical steel tank, which is filled with liquid nitrogen.

The head is stored in a separate steel can filled with liquid nitrogen. It has been shaved, drilled with holes and accidentally cracked 10 times, the magazine reported.

The company will not confirm that Williams is among those preserved at Alcor, but his presence was revealed in court documents when his oldest daughter challenged the decision to bring the body to the facility.

Carlos Mondragon, director of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, said the company is looking into civil and criminal charges against Johnson for violating several confidentiality agreements.

"I know he was unhappy with his supervisor and upset that he wasn't paid enough. But when you have those problems, you go elsewhere," Mondragon told the newspaper.

Responding in the report, Johnson said, "Alcor has one fact right. I am disgruntled -- because of what happened to Ted and their cavalier mentality about breaking the law."

Johnson also accused Alcor of dumping illegal chemicals and bodily fluids behind its Scottsdale, Ariz., office in the report. Mondragon refuted the allegations and told the newspaper "we have nothing to hide."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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