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Resurrectionists were grave robbers who dug up fresh corpses and sold them to be used in anatomy lectures in medical schools. They are better known as body snatchers.

In the 19th century, medical colleges used human bodies for anatomy demonstrations. Most of them used bodies of executed criminals or rarely donated ones. However, shortage of bodies sometimes made the teachers buy corpses from shady underworld characters. They ignored their possible misgivings because they wanted to satisfy the curiosity of their students.

The most famous body snatchers are William Burke and William Hare who killed people in order to sell their bodies to Edinburgh medical college.