When a man in their Edinburgh boarding house dies, poor Irish immigrants Burke (Derren Nesbitt) and Hare (Glynn Edwards) discover they can make good money by supplying corpses for scientific study to a doctor at the university medical school. Inconvenienced by the lack of available cadavers, the cunning pair soon turns to murder to maintain their revenue stream.
Nineteenth-century yuppies decide to get-rich-quick by engaging in a morally questionable business venture: they provide a medical academy with still warm corpses.
Medical students always need bodies to learn their craft on, don't they... and Burke and Hare happily do what they must to supply the demand. Then one student begins to suspect that's something's not quite right -- and he begins to look into the origins of some of those corpses. Based on a true story.