May be precedent to get remains out of cryogenics lab

PHOENIX -- The daughter of baseball great Ted Williams could
be a step closer to getting her father's remains removed from a
Scottsdale cryonics lab.

Attorneys working on Barbara Joyce Ferrell's behalf have found a
1994 California appellate court ruling with similarities to the
Williams case.

The court ordered the Alcor Life Extension Foundation to give up
a California woman's cryogenically frozen body four years after her

Ferrell, who has a civil suit pending in Maricopa County
Superior Court, is trying to force Alcor to give up her father's
severed head and torso.

Williams' will stated that he wanted to be cremated. Ferrell is
contesting a paper that was used to commit his remains to Alcor.

According to records in the California case, Cynthia Pilgeram's
husband, Laurence, had his wife cryogenically frozen at Alcor after
her death in 1990. However, her sister, Sharon Fields, discovered a
copy of Cynthia Pilgeram's will that stated she wanted to be

Alcor moved to Scottsdale from Riverside, Calif., in 1994.

In the Williams case, a former Alcor executive disclosed
documents last summer that indicated Williams' son, John Henry,
used his father's power of attorney to sign the Alcor documents
after his father was dead.

John Henry, who feuded with Ferrell, his half-sister, over the
disposition of their father's remains, died March 6 and is believed
to be frozen alongside his father.

Williams' younger daughter, Claudia, supports having her father
frozen. The paper John Henry Williams produced after his father's
death that said the baseball great wanted to be frozen was signed
by Ted, John Henry and Claudia Williams. But Ferrell and others
have questioned its authenticity.

In the California case, Alcor argued that it accepted Cynthia
Pilgeram's remains based on the Anatomical Gift Act, which covers
the donation of bodies for medical research or for organ

The appellate court, however, said her husband lacked the
authority to donate his wife's remains to Alcor because she had not
willingly donated her body while she was alive.

The act is in play in the Williams case, as well. The law gives
"interested persons" the right to see the "document of gift."

Presumably, Williams would have signed that document if he had
agreed to give his remains to Alcor.

Ferrell and Williams' nephews, John and Samuel, filed suit in
March to force Alcor to prove that it has a document of gift on
record for Williams.

Alcor argued that Ferrell is not an interested party and that
she waived her right to pursue the litigation because of a 2002
agreement in the Florida courts in which she agreed to make no
further objections to the disposition of her father's remains.

Alcor's answer to the suit also said that Williams' nephews were
injected into the case as Ferrell's agents to evade the constraints
of the agreement.

Ferrell's attorney, John Heer, said that agreement has no
bearing on the Arizona suit.

Alcor's attorney filed a motion last week seeking to have the
case dismissed.