Again, Goodwill Does Not Accept Skull Donations

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Quick reminder: unwanted human skulls should probably be dropped off at the medical examiner's office, not Goodwill. I thought we had settled this last month when somebody donated three skulls to a Goodwill in Bellevue, Washington, but another one just showed up at a Goodwill in Austin (thanks, Matt). At this point, Goodwill organizations might want to update their websites, which as a general rule don't seem to mention human skeletal remains. Until then I will try to help get the word out.

As in the Washington case, police in Austin said they had no reason to suspect foul play in this case but would still like to chat with the skull's previous owner (sorry—second owner). I guess if I were that person's lawyer, I would have to advise him or her not to accept this invitation. Don't really see much of an upside, and encounters with law enforcement have been known to go badly for the innocent.

On the other hand, if you unlawfully removed this skull from its first owner, the number to call is 512-974-5210.

I did a little research on the question of what one should do with an unwanted human skull in Texas. Probably the answer is "give it to the coroner," but researching this in Texas was more difficult than it might be elsewhere given the number of spurious Google results involving "longhorn skulls" and "giant human skulls" said to verify parts of the Book of Genesis. (Try it yourself.) Nor could I find a quick answer when searching Texas laws. I did find this: "If a county discovers cash in the possession of a deceased pauper, a county may use the cash to pay the actual costs incurred by the county in disposing of the pauper's body," which is nice. Leftover cash of the pauper goes into a trust fund, which presumably is not sizeable.

It was much easier to answer the question, "So where do I get a human skull [sorry—second human skull] if not at Goodwill?" Well, your best option may be to buy one from Skulls Unlimited:

So, you’re probably thinking, “Why should I buy from Skulls Unlimited?” Sure, you may be able to find natural bone skulls for less elsewhere. But, you know the old saying, “You get what you pay for"….

With our products, you never have to worry about missing or cracked dentition, flaking or poor bone quality, or rank-smelling oils leaching from the bone. This is why quality matters!

Sure, who doesn't get tired of rank-smelling oils leaching from the bone? With Skulls Unlimited, that's a thing of the past. They offer a wide range of real human skulls and other skeleton parts, which they are careful to note "are only obtained from legal and ethical sources." I have no reason to doubt this. If a skull is too pricey (a good specimen goes for close to $2,000), they sell lots of other skeleton-related stuff too. I will say that the skull carrying cases seem like a bargain at just $99.

Click_to_sell_skullsTurns out Skulls Unlimited will also buy good-quality skulls, so maybe that's the answer here. I doubt you could write off a skull donation to Goodwill anyway, so this might be your best option.