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The Life and Two Deaths of Dr. Henry Cooper
By Tucker Burns and Grace Hall
NEW YORK — There is life after death. Unfortunately for Dr. Henry Cooper, it lasted only thirty seconds.
Dr. Cooper spent his natural life researching the occult sciences, writing countless articles for alternative medical publications, and amassing an impressive collection of cryto-scientific artifacts. By far, most of his work centered on a search for a method to reanimate dead flesh. Consequently, when Dr. Cooper succumbed to colon cancer last week, he intended to make his journey to the Great Beyond a round trip.
“Dr. Cooper’s body wasn’t embalmed, probably because he didn’t want to wake up full of formaldehyde,” said Roger Bukowski, caretaker of the cemetery where Dr. Cooper’s body was buried and later disinterred. “Imagine coming back from the dead and having that horrible taste in your mouth.”
Also exhumed from the cemetery were the bodies of Anna Brown, a homeless Brooklyn woman, and Luis Carangi, a foreign exchange student. After their bodies were brought back to the surface, they were seen walking and breathing, although for only several minutes at a time.
Evelyn Elkins, the coroner who examined Carangi’s body, noticed dozens of post-mortem punctures in Carangi’s body that were created by a large-bore needle. “His body was bruised by the punctures, which obviously is odd for someone who is dead,” Elkins said.
In addition, according to Elkin’s toxicology report, Carangi’s body contained tetradotoxin, a chemical traditionally used by voodoo priests to induce states of deep paralysis that often are mistaken for death. The priests would later rouse victims from the paralysis to create the impression that they had raised the dead as zombies.
The three bodies eventually were traced to Dr. Cooper’s frequent collaborator and good friend, Clark Jensen. Jensen had raised the bodies of Brown and Carangi to test his serum, in order to perfect it prior to his attempted reanimation of Dr. Cooper.
Assisting Jensen in his quest was Helen Cooper, Dr. Cooper’s daughter. However, while Jensen sought to give Dr. Cooper’s body life, Helen wanted to make sure that her father remained in the afterlife.
“He was back, uttered a few words, and she shot him,” said Jensen, who performed the reanimation and witnessed the subsequent de-animation of Dr. Cooper. “She thought his pursuit of eternal life was unnatural. I admit that it’s not typical, but Dr. Cooper was a unique individual.”
Helen Cooper declined to be interviewed for this article. However, according to close friends, she described her father as a “mad scientist who tried to play God and had to be stopped.”
Nevertheless, caretaker Bukowski doesn’t see the dead rising again as a bad thing. “I spend eight hours a day keeping these people’s final resting places neat and presentable,” Bukowski said. “The least they could is pitch in from time to time.”
“He’s Dead, She’s Dead”
Written by Erin Maher & Kay Reindl
Directed by John Kretchmer
ELAINE HENDRIX . . . . . . . . as Kristen Martin
JUSTINE MICELI . . . . . . . . as Helen Cooper