Former Alcor Employee Makes Harsh Allegations Against Cryonics Foundation

"They actually carry the heads around on hooks to move them from one point to another," he said. "Well, the tuna can is frozen to the top of his head. The only way to get that off is with a hammer or a wrench ... gets a wrench, cocks his arm back to strike that can to knock it off, misses, and hits the side of Ted Williams' head. Then he cocks back, takes another strike, hits the can square on. It goes flying across the room."

Johnson gave ABC News an e-mail he said was sent to the Alcor staff later that afternoon, announcing matter-of-factly that "A-1949 is now in permanent storage."

In yet another statement posted to its Web site, Alcor denied "mistreating the remains of Ted Williams." Johnson said, "that incident was the turning point for me. I had to get out of there."

'Scared Beyond Belief'

Johnson left Alcor in August of 2003, and took his story to Sports Illustrated, which spread the lurid tale across seven pages. But he also took to the Web with a site called Freeted.com, seriously damaging his own reputation by briefly offering viewers a "pay-per-view" pass to see gruesome photos of Alcor's procedures.

Johnson said he charged $20 to see the photos, and "it was a very bad decision. I was freaked out. I was scared beyond belief."

Johnson took his allegations about the suspicious 1992 death to the Los Angeles Police. He said they "played the tapes, they shook their heads, they couldn't believe it."

An investigation was launched but no charges were filed.

Johnson took the evidence he collected about Williams to his daughter, Barbara Joyce Ferrell, who had opposed the freezing of her father -- but it was too late. Ferrell had long since settled the dispute.

"I have done what I believe is the right thing," Johnson said. "I have exposed them to the authorities. Nothing has been done. The general public needs to know what is going on in that facility. People who are considering their services, probably ought to read this book first."

And, while the Alcor members frozen here hope to meet again, perhaps in hundreds of years, one thing seems sure: Larry Johnson and Alcor seem destined to meet again much sooner than that -- in court.

Official statement by the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in regard to the publication of "Frozen: My Journey into Cryonics, Deception and Death":

This book is the worst kind of scandalous tabloid muckraking. In the interests of the members of Alcor and the community of scientists with whom we work, we cannot respond regarding the many lurid and fictitious assertions in this book while we are at the inception of serious legal action to protect the future of our work and the privacy of our members. Information about our actual procedures and why we do them is available on our comprehensive website at www.alcor.org.

More detail on Alcor's response can be found here: http://www.alcornews.org/weblog/

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