Necrophilia is creepy and intriguing at the same time. Necrophiliacs are attracted to corpses and the degree of their obsession varies from simple fantasizing to homicidal maniacs. Apparently, necrophilia has been observed among animals as well, but this still doesn’t justify this strange fetish among humans. Some psychiatrists believe it to be a self esteem issue among people who can’t find a romantic partner in real life while others think of it as an extreme manifestation of sadism. There have been many cases of necrophilia that came into prominence and became truly notorious. Here are the top 10 cases of notorious necrophiliacs in history.
Guido Henckel von Donnersmark was a German nobleman and industrial magnate. Apart from his many financial, military and business exploits, Donnersmark is famous for marrying La Paiva, the most famous 19th century French courtesan. He loved her so much that after her death he kept her body preserved in embalming fluid and spent much time with it. This act helps him get into the top 10 necrophiliacs in history.
Karen Greenlee used to be a mortician who drove off in a hearse with a male body instead of delivering it to the cemetery. She was found two days later with the body and she had written a confession letter in which she claimed to have abused 20 to 40 male corpses as she felt attracted to them.
Carl Tanzler was probably the only necrophiliac that was able to win the sympathy of the public as an hopeless romantic. He was working as a radiologist in a hospital in Key West, Florida when he fell in love with Elena Milagro, a patient of his. He wasn’t able to save her but kept loving her after her death. He would visit her grave and said that her spirit would visit him and ask him to take her out of the grave and to his home, which he later did. He kept her body in his bed and tried to preserve her as well as he could, replacing her eyes with glass eyes and stuffing her decaying body with rags to maintain the body shape. He got famous in popular culture as Count Carl von Cosel.
Leilah Wendell is the most successful necrophiliacs. She is a writer, painter, historian and the curator of the website, Westgatenecromantic.com which is dedicated to Azrael, the angel of death. The whole site is dedicated to death and Leilah accepts being in love with death. Those looking to understand the deeper spiritual connection with death and necrophilia can visit her website.
Nico Claux is a French national who was arrested in 1994 for the murder of Thierry Bissonnier. He became notorious as the vampire of Paris. He was only 22 years old when he was caught and admitted to being fascinated with death and everything related to it. He started as a teenager by spending time in cemeteries and breaking into mausoleums. Slowly he moved on to grave robbing, cannibalism, drinking human blood and finally murder. This cold hearted murder is our number 6.
Dennis Nilsen is a serial killer and necrophiliac who killed 15 men in London between 1978 and 1983. He would retain the bodies of his victims for several days before dissecting them and disposing of the remains by burning or flushing them. He would invite homeless or homosexual men to his home by using sex, food and shelter as a lure and then kill them by strangling or drowning. He would keep the bodies for several months and perform sexual acts with them before dissecting and disposing them.
Jerry Brudos was known as “The Lust Killer” or “The Shoe Fetish Killer”. Having grown with a dominating mother who had wanted a girl and would dress him in girl’s clothes, he grew up to have a very strong shoe fetish and a cross dressing fetish. He killed four women by bludgeoning and strangling them and brought the bodies to his garage. He would then cross-dress in high heels and masturbate. He cut one girl’s foot to use it for modeling shoes and cut the breasts of two women to use as paperweights.
Jeffrey Dahmer also known as the Milwaukee Cannibal, raped, killed and dismembered 17 boys and men from 1978 to 1991. Many of his later murders involved cannibalism and necrophilia at his Apartment 213. It is interesting to note that during the same time Dennis Nilsen was performing similar acts in London and now is known as the “British Jeffrey Dahmer”.
Edward Theodore Gein was an American murderer and body snatcher who killed two women in the 1950’s and also exhumed corpses from graveyards to fashion trophies for himself from the bones and skin. He was initially found unfit for trial and when the trial did happen he was sentenced to life imprisonment that he spent in a mental hospital. His case got very popular and many characters of horror movies have been influenced and inspired by him including Norman Bates of Psycho, Leatherface of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Jame Gumb of The Silence of The Lambs and Bloody Face of the TV show American Horror Story: Asylum. For giving us so many scary characters Ed Gein comes in at number 2.
The most notorious serial killer ever has to be Ted Bundy. He was also a rapist, kidnapper and necrophiliac. Even to this date no one can estimate how many victims he really had, but the number has to be much more than the 30 he confessed to before his execution in 1989. He was a handsome man who met young female victims in public places and lured them to more secluded areas before overpowering and assaulting them. He would groom the dead bodies and perform sexual acts with them. His case, trial and eventual execution has all been followed prominently by the media and made him the most notorious serial killer ever.