Human Skin Book Gives New Meaning to 'Gross Anatomy'

And you thought your buddy's gross anatomy textbook was, well, gross.

Some unlucky Englishman stumbled upon a 300-year-old anatomy book of sorts in a street in Leeds that officers say was probably dumped after a burglary.

Except this book wasn't filled with pictures of all manner of human guts and gore, it was actually covered in human skin.

Most of the ... um ... meat of the book is in French, which was no surprise, as it seems that books bound in birthday suits were not a rarity around the time of the French Revolution.

Anthropodermic bibliopegy (a rather formal, disinfected way of saying human skin book) was sometimes used in the 18th and 19th centuries for written accounts of murder trials (which were bound in the skin of the killer) or for anatomy texts (which were encased with the epidermis of a cadaver).

West Yorkshire Police said the ledger, which was handwritten in black ink, appears to date back to the 1700s. They hope to trace the grisly read to its rightful owner, whom they believe lives in the area.

Police were unable to comment on the book's subject matter.

Even 'God' Has Trouble at the DMV

READING, Pa. (AP) — Regardless of how he had signed a stack of other documents, from bank records to income tax returns, a judge rejected a man's request to be allowed to legally sign his driver's license as God.

Berks County Senior Judge Forrest G. Schaeffer ruled Thursday that the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation could require the man to sign his given name, Paul S. Sewell, and said documents he had signed in the past didn't prove differently.

"The so-called name you want to apply is rather a series of scribbled marks and don't establish any name at all," Schaeffer said. Sewell, 40, said he would appeal.

Sewell said he is a self-employed bond enforcement agent and began using the signature because fugitives always prefaced their comments with, "Oh, God," when he captured them.

Never Fear, Your Time-Traveling Chiropractor (Was) Here

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A chiropractor who claims he can treat anyone by reaching back in time to when an injury occurred has attracted the attention of state regulators.

"My foot hurt and, knowing anatomy, I went ahead and I told it to realign and my pain went away," Burda said Thursday.

Burda calls his treatment "Bahlaqeem."

"It is a made-up word and, to my knowledge, has no known meaning except for this intended purpose. It does, however, have a soothing vibrational influence and contains the very special number of nine letters," Burda's Web site says.

The Ohio State Chiropractic Board alleges in three counts against Burda that the treatment is unacceptable and constitutes "willful and gross malpractice." Burda has until May 1 to request a hearing. The board can levy penalties ranging from a reprimand to revoking his license to practice, said Kelly Caudill, the board's executive director.

Burda said he charges nothing for his first "visit," usually by phone or Internet, and subsequent treatments are $60.

"All treatments are satisfaction-guaranteed. Treatment is always done before payment is made," Burda said, adding that one patient "just wasn't satisfied and I tore up her check.

The Web site describes the treatment as "a long-distance healing service (not a product) to help increase the quality of your life that can be performed in the privacy of your home or other personal space. There is no need to come to my office."

The treatment is not telepathic because the patient does not have to believe in what he's doing, Burda said. He has treated hundreds of patients and reports nine out of 10 patients are satisfied, he said.

While he knows of no other people who have his particular skill, he said lawmakers and regulators should allow alternative forms of treatment for the patients who seek them.

No Surface Is Safe From the Syrup Signer

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A man who faces sentencing on graffiti violations now faces another accusation — that he tagged his jail cells, too.

Troy Lee Mosby placed his signature "Syrup" tag on the walls, beds, tables, locker and mirrors of six cell blocks at the Milwaukee County House of Correction, according to a criminal complaint filed Thursday.

Mosby, 20, of Wauwatosa, was scheduled for sentencing Friday on 14 misdemeanor graffiti counts. Instead, Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Paul Van Grunsven adjourned the matter to April 21 so Mosby has time to answer the new accusation.

"Given the nature (of the new case) I don't think there will be a lot of investigation needed," he said.

Assistant District Attorney Nancy Ettenheim charged Mosby with habitual criminality, a felony. Mosby pleaded not guilty to that charge Friday. He faces up to two years in prison if convicted.

On the other charges, Ettenheim had recommended jail time, restitution and probation.

Compiled by's Taylor Timmins.

Got a good "Out There" story in your hometown? We'd like to know about it. Send an e-mail with a Web link (we need to authenticate these things) to