Storage Stories – Ashes to Ashes

fire embers and ashes

When digging through storage units, you never know what you might find. Ideally, you find riches or, at the very least, just something that’s really cool. Comic books, or vintage toys, or out of print records; those are the things we all hope to find when we look through storage units.


What we absolutely do not want to find are body parts. Or ashes. As in, human ashes.


Unfortunately for some unlucky souls, that’s exactly what they did find. List Verse shares a few stories of bizarre finds that the majority of us hope to avoid at all costs.


Take Bill Smith, for instance. As a veteran of storage unit auctions, Smith was used to seeing weird things. Human beings are weird, after all. So not much surprised Smith. That is, until he bought a unit in Nevada that contained 27 different urns, filled with human ashes.


Now, to be fair, the previous owner wasn’t a murderer or a creep. She was just…lazy. As a court-appointed guardian for senior citizens, one of her duties was to figure out what to do with her clients’ ashes when they passed away. Most people in that situation would return the urns to the individuals’ loved ones. But that seemed to be too much work. The woman, April Parks, didn’t have time to return the ashes because she was too busy stealing more than $500,000 from her clients. So not only was she lazy; she was also a criminal.


Eventually, she would be caught and would face more than 200 charges, including theft, perjury, exploitation, and more. When she went to jail, she obviously stopped paying for her storage unit, which then went into default, eventually allowing it to be auctioned to the unfortunate Smith. So, when he opened the unit and found…what remained…he had to have immediately regretted his purchase.


Speaking of regret, Phillip Knight certainly regretted the storage unit that he purchased at an auction in Pensacola, Florida (It’s always Florida). After he bought the unit and began sorting through it, he noticed a powerful odor coming from the depths. After some searching, he found where the odor was coming from – multiple containers of human body parts and organs.


As most anybody would, Knight called the police who investigated the unit and found 10 separate cardboard boxes, which contained more than 100 containers of organs.


Upon further investigation, police found that the former owner of the unit, Michael Berkland, had worked at a medical examiner’s office and had been fired for not completing the autopsy reports. His medical examiner license was revoked.


The reason he couldn’t complete the autopsy report was because he took the organs from the individuals of whom he was reporting. Now, granted the individuals whom he stole from probably didn’t care that much, but police sure did. They arrested Berkland and charged him with improper storage of hazardous waste.


And driving with a suspended license.


Rest assured, there are no body parts, nor human ashes in the storage units of K&L Storage. As Casper’s largest storage service, with over 900 units in 5 locations, we can promise that not a single one of them contain organs, human or otherwise. Though there might be a few pianos.

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