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As a child, Dr. Marcus Martin heard stories about grave robbers, or “ogres,” in African-American graveyards.
He didn’t think much of it then, he said, but later, as he became a physician and a professor of medicine at the University of Virginia, he noticed that many cadavers used for dissection were black, and began learning about a long tradition of grave robbing in the state.
“It became real,” he said. “And when black bodies were stolen, there were no riots.”