In 1998, an ABC News team led by investigative producer Jonathan Silvers broke into a basement vault at the Spiegelgrund Psychiatric Hospital in Vienna. Inside, they discovered hundreds of human brains, culled from physically and mentally handicapped children during World War Two. The children had been murdered by physicians enforcing the Nazi eugenics decrees. One of those physicians, Dr. Heinrich Gross, escaped Allied prosecution after the war -- and became a senior director of the very hospital where his victims perished. For 50 years, Dr. Gross used their remains for his research into mental defects, winning national acclaim as an expert.
After uncovering the remains, the journalists then tracked down and confronted Dr. Gross, who had gone into hiding. The resulting Nightline expose led Austrian authorities to charge Dr. Gross with crimes against humanity. But Austria's first WW2-era trial in four decades ended just days after it began, when the presiding judge declared Gross incapable to standing trial. Gross returned to his home and died a free man.Close