[Forbidden anatomy].Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2004 Dec 16; 124(24):3242-4.TN
Since centuries anatomists have used any course of action in order to get hold of material for dissections, and at the same time avoid prosecution for grave robbery, at times the only way to get hold of cadavers. Stealing newly dead people from the churchyards and offering them for sale to anatomical institutions was not uncommon in the 19th century. "Resurrectionists"--as these thieves were called, as they made the dead "alive"--were seen as necessary for the teaching of anatomy in Victorian Britain. In the 1820s a scandal was revealed in Scotland, when it was discovered that some people even committed murder to make money from supplying anatomists with human cadavers. Two men, William Burke and William Hare, became particularly notorious because of their "business" with the celebrated anatomist Robert Knox in Edinburgh.