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Magazine Reports Ted Williams Is Stored Frozen in Two Pieces
By RICHARD SANDOMIR
After Ted Williams's death last year, his head was surgically removed from his body at a cryonics facility in Scottsdale, Ariz., Sports Illustrated reported on its Web site yesterday. The head and body are preserved in liquid nitrogen.
The magazine also reported that Williams's son, John-Henry, owes the facility, Alcor Life Extension Foundation, $111,000 of the $136,000 bill.
Ted Williams's will stated that he wanted to be cremated. But his son produced a note, which was said to be written and signed in a Florida hospital room in November 2000, pledging that he, his father and his sister Claudia wanted to be cryonically preserved.
The magazine reports that 8 of 182 DNA samples taken from Williams were missing, and that his shaven head, which was drilled with holes, was accidentally cracked 10 times.
She said there was normally no reason to take DNA samples because DNA can be gleaned from hair. And, she added, "How do you accidentally crack something 10 times?"
The only known documentation that links Ted and cryonic suspension is a piece of motor oil-stained scrap paper signed by Ted, John Henry and John Henry's sister Claudia Williams a paper stating their desire to be put in "Bio-Stasis after we die" on the chance that the three of them could "be together in the future", and a paper whose authenticity is contested by Ted's 24-hour attendants and his first-born child, Bobby-Jo Ferrell. The note is dated Nov. 2, 2000. Williams lived another 20 months. Twenty months went by and he never signed a more official document than that scrap paper, nothing witnessed, nothing filed, nothing notarized. He never signed an agreement with Alcor to be suspended. Alcor people came into his house -- the convenience of a house call! -- and he never even met them, never mind signed any documents. He simply hollered from a back room, according to a taped conversation between Johnson and an Alcor field representative.
And then, only after Ted died, was a consent form submitted to Alcor. The line for his signature -- the member's -- was blank, what with Ted being dead and all. John Henry filled out the rest of it.
The magazine's report may bring new life to the Ferrells' fight to have Williams's body cremated. Heer said the family was exploring legal options, including returning to Citrus County Circuit Court in Florida with proof that Claudia Williams was not present when she was said to have signed the note with her father and brother.
Ex-employee: Alcor threatened to dispose of Ted's body
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.
just the thought of my body being desecrated and destroyed angers me.