Tag Archives: Dignity Memorial

Service Corporation International Funeral Home Worker Lawrence J. Clement Accused of Sexually Molesting a Corpse

Image

Toledo, Ohio

Cindy Putman protests outside the H.H. Birkenkamp Funeral Home on Tremainsville Road and with good reason.

A deeply disturbing story has unfolded in this Toledo funeral home, one owned by Houston-based Service Corporation International. In yet another scandal for the largest funeral corporation, an employee with H.H. Birkenkamp funeral home has been arrested after police say he sexually molested a corpse. Lawrence J. Clement, 57, was taken into custody after the victim’s family notified police.

Lawrence J. Clement Sexually Molested Corpse

According to the Toledo Police Department, employees with the H.H. Birkenkamp Funeral Home called the 51-year-old victim’s family members to report that one of their staff members had sexually abused her corpse. Another employee allegedly witnessed the sexual assault and threatened to go to police unless the family was contacted. The funeral home offered to waive the $11,000 funeral bill if they agreed not to call police. The family rejected the offer, contacted police and transferred the victim’s body to another funeral home.

Specific details about the abuse were not released, other than “sexual molestation.” Lisa Marshall, a spokeswoman for Houston-based Service Corporation International (NYSE:SCI), says the employee has been fired.

Clement was booked into the Lucas County Jail and charged with sexual abuse of a corpse.

Service Corporation International funeral homes can be identified by the Dignity Memorial Brand.

Advertisements

Many Are Calling Newspaper Ad From Funeral Corporation SCI Misleading

A former well-known name in Austin funeral service has stirred up more than just a few Texans with an open-letter many are saying is misleading. Charles Walden, a former funeral home owner, allowed his name to appear in an advertisement (disguised to look like an open-letter) placed by Houston-based funeral corporation, Service Corporation International.

The advertisement appeared in the May 26th edition of the Austin American Statesman. In the ad, Walden attempts to convince Austin readers that the local chain of Cook-Walden Funeral Home locations are the same now as they have been for the last 100 years. The advertisement has drawn sharp criticism, as many are claiming to be simply misleading. Cook-Walden originally had just one funeral home 40 years ago. It is now owned by Service Corporation International (SCI)-the largest funeral home and cemetery chain in the world.

According to the history of Cook-Walden funeral services published at its own website, in the late 1800s a funeral home was opened in downtown Austin by Samuel E. Rosengren. In 1920, Charles B. Cook purchased that business. In 1971, Charles Walden purchased Cook Funeral Home. The name was changed to Cook-Walden. Shortly thereafter, Charles Walden bought two adjacent cemeteries in the Pflugerville area. In 1985, he bought Davis Funeral Home in Georgetown, then Forest Oaks funeral and cemetery in 1992. The two funeral homes at the Pflugerville cemeteries location and on Hwy. 183 at Anderson Mill were built more recently.

In 1997, Cook-Walden sold all of its operations to SCI. The recent open letter in the Statesman claims that in 1993 the Cook-Walden chain joined the Dignity Memorial(R) network (a registered service mark of SCI). But Cook-Walden could not have joined the Dignity Memorial(R) network until 2004 because that network did not exist until then, and that network is used only by SCI-owned facilities.

Charles Walden has claimed to provide some consulting services, since the 1997 purchase by the corporation. However, most people are unclear on his exact involvement.

Another local news column and a social media website, Connecting Directors, has taken issue with the advertisement and pointed out the historical inaccuracies as well as a growing number of online forums where current and former employees of the company are expressing their opinions.

Read More

Massachusetts Dignity Memorial Provider (NYSE:SCI) Accused Of Trying To Conceal Burying Two Bodies In Wrong Cemetery

 

Another Scandal For SCI

 Brookline, Massachusetts

A state disciplinary board has ordered a Brookline funeral home to explain how they mixed up the burials of two bodies in August, burying one woman in the wrong grave, digging her up in time for her actual funeral  and then allegedly failing to tell one family about the mistakes. The Stanetsky Chapel is owned by Houston-based Service Corporation International (NYSE:SCI) and is a Dignity Memorial Provider.

The employees under investigation are company manager Kim Perry, embalmers and funeral directors Paul Glennon and Bruce Schlossberg, and apprentice embalmer Jane Salk.

Service Corporation International owns 1800 funeral homes nationwide. Company spokeswoman Lisa Marshall, speaking on behalf of the company and the four employees, said SCI is cooperating with the board. She also said that corporate policy bans her from discussing individual cases, but that she could speak in generic terms about the company’s procedures.

“We work very, very hard to ensure that mistakes don’t happen. We have very good policies, we have good training in place,” Marshall said. “We work with our employees to prevent mistakes. But, occasionally, a mistake happens. When that happens, our policy is to work with the families.”

However, family members are pointing out that they were not notified and that the funeral home attempted to conceal the “mistake.”

Source

Video Link

Boulder Funeral Home Offers Apology For Dropping Corpse At Funeral

Boulder, Colorado

Recently, Dignity Memorial (NYSE:SCI) Crist Mortuary was named in a lawsuit, after allegations surfaced from a father who reported the mortuary dropped his son’s body.

Full Story Here

Responding to a lawsuit’s allegations that Crist Mortuary employees dropped the casket of a 20-year-old Boulder High School graduate on the day of his funeral, letting his body roll onto the pavement, the mortuary’s general manager apologized Wednesday.

“We made a mistake,” said Michael Greenwood, who is named as a defendant in the lawsuit along with the Boulder mortuary. “I do apologize for that and have apologized to the parents.”