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Picture Gallery (click image to enlarge):
: Andrei Chikatilo
: Edmund Kemper
: Amazonian Necrophilic Frogs – 01
: Amazonian Necrophilic Frogs – 02
: Jeffery Dahmer
: Moninder Singh Pandher
: Ted Bundy
Written & Compiled By: Tawne Bachus
Copyright 2014 © All Rights Reserved.
The good old Webster Marian Dictionary provides two basic definitions of Necrophilia. The first definition it offers is “sexual feelings or activities that involve dead bodies”. The second definition more specifically defines it as, “the obsession with and usually erotic interests in or stimulation by corpses”.
In both cases, quite clearly, a person experiencing necrophilia is sexually stimulated (in some capacity) by and subsequently attracted to dead people.
If this sounds bizarre, it probably shouldn’t. Or perhaps it does, because the media tends to ignore this aspect of the reporting it generally does. For example, as the press reported on the famous serial killer Ted Bundy, they seemed to dodge the details of his erotic escapades with deceased victims.
In printed material, cases of necrophilia were first described as early as 1886. On the big screen, necrophilia had made its way into at least one movie by 1962. As per my sometimes faulty research, the most recent appearance of necrophilia in a movie was in 2001. If correct, Hollywood has evidentially refocused its attention on other dead or undead film stars like vampires. But, from 1962 to 2001, the world produced a necrophilia centered film, approximately once every 3.9 years (2001 – 1962 = 39 / 10 movies = 3.9).
Necrophilia is also known as: thanatophilia and necrolagnia in reference to humans. Davian behavior in reference to animals.
It appears to affect men a lot more frequently than woman. In fact, approximately 90% are believed to be male.
Only about 60% of necrophiliacs are diagnosed with a personality disorder. 10% of those people, who have been diagnosed with a personality disorder, have also been diagnosed as psychotic, historically including such abnormalities as: delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech and catatonic/schizophrenic behavior.
The most common occupations of those known to suffer from necrophilia, include: hospital orderly, morgue attendant, funeral parlor assistant, cleric, cemetery employee, and soldier.
As you may have noticed, these are jobs that permit the employee two things:
- Access to recently dead people
- Independence, leading to an autonomous work environment (employees are often left alone to work)
According to Dr. Jonathan Rosman and Dr. Phillip Resnick, there are three basic types of “true” necrophilia:
- Necrophilic homicide – which is murder to obtain a corpse
- Regular necrophilia – the use of corpses already dead for sexual pleasure
- Necrophilic fantasy – envisioning the acts but not acting on them
In their study of 122 cases, more people fit into the second category than the other two. As well, more than half of them worked in a morgue or some other aspect of the funeral industry. (1)
A Haunting Past:
As you may suspect, most corpse violations occur just prior to burial, but there have been cases where the corpse is removed from a cemetery plot.
Two of the earliest formal records of necrophilia, were written by Richard von Krafft-Ebing in 1886. Richard was a German neurologist, who published the work: “Psychopathia Sexualis”, in which he described two accounts of cases in which corpses were removed from the ground, after burial.
Victor Ardisson was one of the cases Richard described. Professionally, Victor was a mortician and a grave digger with easy access to the recently deceased. And, take advantage of that access, he did, having sex with over 100 corpses. Richard also reported that Victor occasionally dug up a mate, so that he could take it home. This behavior, however, became risky because these types of new roommates would quickly produce a pungent, foul smell. At the time Victor was turned into the police, he had two deceased bodies in his home. One body, was a three year old girl. He reportedly dug her up from her grave. He brought her home to perform oral sex on her and to hopefully revive and restore her. He also kept her next to him, while he slept. The other body in his possession, was that of a 13 year old girl, which he referred to as his bride. He reportedly kissed her from time to time and kept her at a bedside table.
The second case was that of Sergeant Francois Bertrand. As a child, he fondly dissected animals. As he aged, these activities grew into violent torture fantasies. And, eventually the fantasies began turning into realities. In 1849, he began digging up bodies from the Pere Lachaise and Montparnasse Cemeteries in Paris. He would then disembowel them, hack them with a spade, chew on them, leave them scattered about the grounds and naturally… also have sex with them. He claimed that he began masturbating at the early age of 3 and was simply not able to control his sexual urges. He was later caught and convicted on 15 counts, but served only one year on prison.
Please understand that some parts of modern, western society still have extremely lenient laws, making it difficult to prevent or control necrophilia.
Recent California, is one example of a state that has not yet made necrophilia illegal.
In the mid-1980’s, Karen Greenlee made national news headlines when she disappeared for two days with a hearse. Instead of driving the body to the cemetery, to assist with a funeral process, she took the body to a nearby county. It was there, that the police located her spending a little time with the missing body. Near overdosed on codeine Tylenol, the police were still only able to charge her with the illegal operation of a hearse and interfering with a burial process.
On the edgy side of education, Karen did say that she sometimes found the odor of death to be very erotic. She specifically pointed out that she did not care for the scent of a bloated drowning victim or the charred smell of a burned corpse. However, she then went on to point out that a freshly embalmed corpse is something entirely different. (2)
Prior to 1886, necrophilia was referenced in multiple singular accounts. An informal history of necrophilia dates all-the-way back to ancient Egypt. A history of this period indicates that embalmers would violate their deceased wives, sometimes keeping them at home until decomposition had obviously and irreversibly taken affect. One legend even reports that King Herod killed his wife and then kept her for sex. King Herod, also known as Herod the Great, lived from approximately 74 BC to 4 BC.
Stages of Death:
Without the aid of embalming techniques, a dead body decomposes rather quickly.
As soon as the heart stops beating, body temperature immediately begins to drop. This phase is referred to as “algor mortis”. Less technically, it is also referred to as the “death chill”. With each passing hour, body temperature falls about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit or 0.83 degrees Celsius.
Body temperature continues to drop until it reaches ambient (room) temperature. Simultaneously , without the heart to continue pumping the body’s life fluid through the veins and arteries, blood begins to pool and settle in the body as it begins to stiffen. Typically, within two to six hours after death, the body enters this new stage called “rigor mortis”.
At this point and even though the body can be officially declared dead, not every part of the body has actually stopped living. As well, a dead body lies host to a large number of microscopic organisms that continue to live off of it. For example, skin cells may live for up to 24 hours after the heart stops beating. And, bacteria living in the intestines begins working to break down the body. As microorganisms continue feeding off of the body, they produce waste and gas. This occurs in the same manner that a human produces poo (waste), urine and gas after eating. That being said, bacteria does not produce poo. Instead of poo, Bacteria produces enzymes and gas. Within a few days after death, enzymes begin taking effect while assisting with the decomposition party.
Enzymes are biologically active protein molecules. They are catalysts that cause thousands of chemical reactions in the body. Typically, if more enzymes are present, a faster reaction occurs. They function by breaking things down. Thus, a dead body becomes bacteria food and then when the bacteria poos out enzymes, they also begin working to break down the body. In addition to enzymes, the gas that is produced during this process causes the body to bloat. The eyes may bulge from their sockets and the tongue begins to swell and protrude from the mouth. Microorganisms work their way through the body and the organs. The body begins to discolor. First, it begins turning green, then purple, then black. At this point, gas has begun to escape from the body creating the pungent, putrid and nauseous odor of death. On a super rare occasion, this gas may even force a fetus out of the womb and body. This process is referred to as a “coffin birth” and often takes several weeks to occur.
Approximately one week after death, the skin begins to blister and may easily become detached with the slightest touch. Approximately one month after death, the hair, nails and teeth fall out. In the final stages of decomposition, the enzymes and microorganisms liquefy all of the organs and tissue. So much gas has built up that the body begins to swell and bursts open. In the end, only the skeleton remains. (3)
Cases of Necrophilia (borrowed from “Necrophiles” by Katherine Ramsland):
- In 1973, Edmund Kemper III, 25, called the police in California and turned himself in. When he confessed in detail to what he had done to his 8 victims and it was evident that he was not only fond of post-mortem mutilation, but also that parts of bodies, particularly the heads, excited him into clandestine sexual acts.Once he had his chosen victims from his car, he’d take them to a secluded spot and shoot or stab them to kill them quickly. Then he shoved them into the trunk of his car to take them home. While his mother slept, Kemper brought the bodies inside to behead and dismember them. He also had sex with them, sometimes with just the heads.In Why: The Serial Killer in America, Margaret Cheney documents Kemper’s revelations, along with a history of how he became the kind of person he was. For CourtTV’s The System, Kemper himself spoke about his problems. He was clearly an intelligent man with provocative insights about his behavior. (pictured online)
- “the Rostov Ripper” preyed on children in Russia for twelve years. While this older man confessed to as many as 52 murder-mutilations, it’s believed that he committed many more. By the time Andrei Chikatilo was arrested in 1990, he was a grandfather. At his trial, he was placed in a steel cage for his own protection. He feigned insanity but the judge didn’t buy it and sentenced him to death. He was executed in 1994. (pictured online)
- Theodore Robert Bundy (Ted Bundy) was a law student from Washington. It began in 1974 in the Pacific Northwest when a number of attractive young women came up missing. When two bodies were found on a mountainside in Washington State, the police started looking for a suspect named Ted. Yet by that time, Ted was already in Utah and girls were disappearing there. Then there were four in Colorado, but a fifth woman, Carol DaRonch, managed to escape. He also left a bite mark on a woman (Lisa Levy), who he attacked at their sorority house at Florida State University in 1978. He was later caught and executed in 1989.Stephen Michaud, author of The Only Living Witness, talks about Bundy being hollow and empty, with some indication from Bundy’s own words that his compulsion to kill was a way to fill up the emptiness, at least temporarily. He admitted to having raped his victims after they were dead and to revisiting the corpses to relive the erotic experience of killing them. He himself said that he didn’t think of his victims as women in the normal way but as objects against which he took out his inner turmoil. (pictured online)
Other notable necrophiles:
- Dennis Nilsen (pictured online)
- First murder in 1978
- Lived in London
- Picked up victims in a pub
- Confess to killing 15 men over 5 years, because the idea of them leaving his apartment made him feel alone and partly because he simply enjoyed it
- In prison, continued to make drawings of the corpses and their body parts
- Ed Gein (pictured online)
- Inspired the characters Norman Bates (Psycho) and Buffalo Bill (Silence of the Lambs)
- Lived on a secluded farm in Plainsfield, WI
- His mother died when he was 39 and it was nearly unbearable for him
- He contemplated a sex change, so that he could become his mother by literally crawling into her skin
- Enlisted the help of a friend named Gus, who was gravedigger by profession
- For 10 years he continued to visit the cemetery for bodies
- Sometimes he took the entire corpse and sometimes he just took certain parts
- Jeffrey Dahmer (pictured online)
- Guilty of murdering 17 men
- Victim escaped in handcuffs and police returned to notice the looming smell of death
- Arrested in July of 1991
- His refrigerator contained: human heads, intestines, hearts and kidneys.
- His apartment contained: skulls, bones, rotting body parts, bloodstained soup kettles, complete skeletons, three torsos in a tub of acid, numerous polaroid pictures of mutilation, chloroform, electric saws, a barrel of acid, formaldehyde and in all, the remains of 11 men
More Case Studies…
- In 1985, a 15-year-old girl was buried in Italy after she died from a head injury. Two days later, her grave was discovered open and she was lying on top of her coffin, her white dress lifted up over her hips. A necropsy procedure indicated that she had been anally penetrated, and two shovels left at the gravesite indicated that more than one person was involved.
- In a paper, J. Paul de River documents the case of an Italian gravedigger who began to masturbate as he worked whenever he had to bury a beautiful young woman. To help him achieve climax, he’d touch the corpse. In time, he began having sex with the dead when no one was around. When caught with his mouth on the genital area of a deceased woman, he admitted to having violated hundreds of corpses.
- He cites another case of a mortuary worker who would expose and then touch his penis against the thighs of cadavers as he worked on them. He was soon having sex with four or five corpses every week. With one adolescent girl, he sucked both blood and urine from her, and badly wanted to chew on parts of her body. Instead, he bit her buttocks and then sodomized her.
- One female apprentice embalmer claimed that during the first four months of her employment, she had sex with a number of corpses. She admitted that she could not achieve satisfaction with the living, in part because she had been molested once and later raped. She could express herself to corpses without fear.
- On December 30, 2006, the complete and partial skulls of nineteen people — four women, eleven girls and four boys — were discovered on the property of an upscale home in Nithari, a suburb of New Delhi, precipitating a search for more remains. It was obvious at once that the police were dealing with a serial killer, but investigators would soon learn that they in fact had two suspects, possibly three.
At first, according to the Telegraph and other news sources in India, the police announced that the businessman who owned the home, Moninder Singh Pandher, was their prime suspect, but then they included his domestic servant and cook over the past two years, Surendra Koli. Both were arrested and charged with many counts of murder, rape, kidnapping and criminal conspiracy. But it would get worse.
After investigators administered a truth serum to Koli, he admitted to killing eight children, and said that he ate parts of them. The same report claimed that Koli also had sex with some of the corpses. He stated that he was tasting the flesh as an antidote to infertility.
The plot thickens…
Koli’s employer, Moninder Singh Pandher, was also taken in for custodial interrogation and he, too, was administered a truth serum to get a confession. On January 15, 2007 the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) announced that it had recovered forty polythene bags of human flesh, tissues and bone fragments from the drain in front of Pandher’s house. One hundred meters away, they picked up two more bones, but no remains were found inside the home.
The Indo Asian News Service posted an article in January that Koli had admitted to the murders of twenty women and children, and had said he suffered from a compulsion that made him want to kill yet again.
Reportedly, the CBI did learn that Koli had consistently paid money to local police officials to avoid being arrested in the last two years, a truth that could result in the arrests of several officers. Koli’s method was to bring the victims to the house and strangle them on the first floor. He would then sexually violate the corpses and chop them up for disposal, using the bathroom to drain out the blood. It’s clear that Koli was a necrophilic predator of children.
- My ex-girlfriend just keeps getting more and more gross, each time I see her.
- I’m a man stuck in a woman’s body… help! Rigor mortis set in earlier than I expected.
- Necrophilia… Crack open a cold one
- Necrophilia… Better late than never
- Necrophilia… It’s Dead Boring … but if you’re not quite into that, then try incest, it’s only relatively boring.
- Necrophilia… it puts the FUN into funeral
- Borrowed from the beef industry: Necrophilia …it’s what’s for dinner
- Borrowed from the milk industry: Necrophilia …it does a body good
Necrophilia in the Movies – a Summary:
- Total Movies Listed: 12
- Newest Movie Listed: 2013 – Necrophilia: A Love Story
- Oldest Movie Listed: 1962 – the Horrible Dr. Hichcock
- Highest Ranked Movie Listed: Visitor Q – 6.9 stars imdb – 74% by the rottentomatoes audience – 56% by the critics.
Actually, in the Movies…
- Beyond the Darkness (1979) 94 mins – Horror – 6.4 stars on imdb.com
- A young rich orphan loses his fiancée to voodoo doll mischief on the part of his housekeeper who is jealous of his attentions. He digs his girlfriend up, cleans her out, stuffs her, and puts her in bed at the mansion.
- Tagline: not listed
- Bloodlust aka Mosquito: the Rapist (1977) 90 mins – Horror – 5.5 stars on imdb.com
- A deaf and dumb accountant suffers from a psychic trauma in his childhood. He is collecting puppets and mutilates female bodies in the mortuary.
- Tagline: the crime of the century
- Corpse Mania (1981) 81 mins – Crime/Horror/Mystery – 6.5 stars on imdb.com
- A necrophiliac killer is murdering the prostitutes at Madame Lan’s brothel.
- Tagline: When life ends, the terror begins
- Dead Mate (1988) 90 mins – Horror – 3.4 stars on imdb.com
- Cute waitress/hooker is romanced and wed to handsome stranger/funeral director. He, as well as most of the town prefer their women dead.
- Tagline: What they do to the body after you’re dead, is the ultimate nightmare
- the Horrible Dr. Hichcock, aka The Terror of Dr. Hichcock (1962) 76 mins – Horror – 6.8 on imdb.com
- The year is 1885, and necrophiliac Dr. Hitchcock likes to drug his wife for sexual funeral games. One day he accidentally administers an overdose and kills her.
- Tagline: A monstrous terrifying story of black madness!
- Kissed (1996) 78 mins – Drama – 6.5 on imdb.com
- Over the years, a child’s romantic ideals about death blossom into necrophilia, the study of embalming and the most profound relationship of her life.
- Tagline: Love knows no bounds.
- Love Me Deadly (1973) 95 mins – Horror – 5.8 stars on imdb.com
- A coven of devil-worshipping necrophiliacs move to Los Angeles and sets up their base of operations out of a funeral home.
- Tagline: a Hunger from beyond the Grave
- Lucker: the Necrophagous (1986) 74 mins – Horror/Thriller – 3.9 stars on imdb.com
- A serial killer awakens from a coma and escapes from a mental hospital to kill a survivor of his slayings years ago, all the while stalking, terrifying, and killing women on the way.
- Tagline: Your death is only the beginning
- Necrophilia: A Love Story (2013) 21 mins – Short Comedy/Drama – unrated on imdb.com.
- Mitchel, a lonely and depressed recluse, decides to dig up the grave of his deceased ex-girlfriend, Emily, to spend one last moment with her. When he digs her up, he somehow brings her back to life and, with their love stronger than ever, they decide to make it work for good! The only problem is, she is rapidly decomposing.
- Tagline: not listed
- NEKRomantic 1 (1988) 75 mins – Horror – 5.3 stars on imdb.com
- A street sweeper who cleans up after grisly accidents brings home a full corpse for him and his wife to enjoy sexually, but is dismayed to see that his wife prefers the corpse over him.
- Tagline: not listed
- NEKRomantic 2 (1991) 104 mins – Horror – 5.4 stars on imdb.com
- A female nurse desperately tries to hide her feelings of necrophilia from her new boyfriend, but still has pieces of the corpse of the first movie’s hero in her possession.
- Tagline: not listed
- Visitor Q (2001) 84 mins – Comedy/Drama/Horror – 6.9 stars on imdb.com
- A troubled and perverted family find their lives intruded by a mysterious stranger who seems to help find a balance in their disturbing natures.
- Tagline: not listed
Necrophilia in video games:
Oulast contains a short scene in which a half-naked guy, wearing no pants, is clearly having sex with what appears to be a recently murdered female body (from behind). When the game player enters the scene, the man jumps off of the woman’s body and engages the game player.
- Description: a stealth survival horror video game developed and published by Red Barrels, a company founded by people previously involved with video games such as Prince of Persia, Assassin’s Creed, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell and Uncharted.
- Release dates: Windows (09.04.2013) and PS4 (02.04.2014)
Necrophilia in Nature:
- In an article titled “Croakus Interruptus”, details are provided about the risky mating habits of many frog species, in which the males “become so desperate to find a mate that a group of writhing males will crush or drown the object of their desire”.
- This article then details the specific breeding habits of one particular Amazonian frog, the Rhinella proboscidea, which has found a way to still produce offspring, even if the female dies in the process.
- Researchers observed a male frog, from this species, extracting and fertilizing his dead partner’s eggs in a motion similar to a human preforming the Heimlich maneuver. (pictures online)
Males of various species, from squirrels to penguins, attempt to mate with dead partners, according to this same article.
In 1960, Robert Dickerman coined the term “Davian behavior”, when observing the activities of a common, male, ground squirrel (flagrante delicto) with the corpse of a female ground squirrel “locked” in mating position, which Dickerman assumed had caused a mating trigger in the male.
- The term “Davian behavior” is a reference to a limerick about an old necrophiliac miner named Dave …the limerick …
- There was an old miner named Dave
who kept a dead whore in his cave
You have to admit
He hadn’t much wit
But look at the money he saved!
In 1988, Philip Lehner revived the term “Davian behavior” after he reported that he observed a disturbing incident in which 5 male mallard ducks (drakes) had sex with the corpse of a mallard hen that was recently killed by two geese. Ducks in general, have been reported to partake in violent, group, sexual assaults of living female ducks. (5)
In a 1995 case at the Natuurmuseum Rotterdam, Kees Moeliker observed the first recorded case of avian homosexual necrophilia. Moeliker heard a loud thump against a glass window. When he went outside to investigate, he found one Mallard dead on the ground and the other vigorously enjoying the whole situation. Altogether, the enjoyment lasted 75 minutes and only ended through Moeliker’s interruption. The incident won Moeliker an Ig Nobel Prize for improbable research and spawned a yearly celebration known as “Dead Duck Day”. (5)
- What is the lg Nobel Prize? Every September, in a gala ceremony in Harvard’s Sanders Theatre, 1100 splendidly eccentric spectators watch the winners step forward to accept their Prizes. The prizes are physically handed out by genuinely bemused genuine Nobel Laureates (actual Nobel Prize winners).
- The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think.
- The 24th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony will happen on Thursday, September 18, 2014. Tickets go on sale in July.
- Details available at: http://www.improbable.com/ig/
- Where is Duck Day? On the lawn of the Natural History Museum Rotterdam, Westzeedijk 345 (Museumpark), Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
- The ceremony starts at 17.55h sharp, the actual moment the duck lost his life in 1995.
An 83 page study by Henrique Caldeira Costa, a herpetologist at the Federal University of Viçosa in Brazil, in association with other researchers, produced a much different and much larger list that reported necrophilia in multiple species in all major tetrapod groups: amphibians, birds and reptiles. Mammals are the fourth classification of tetrapod, but they were not a subject of this study (6).
- Tetrapod defined: The superclass Tetrapoda, or the tetrapods, comprises the first four-limbed vertebrates and their descendants, including the living and extinct amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.
- Herpetology is the branch of zoology concerned with the study of amphibians and reptiles.
A short alphabetical list of words or phrases used to describe death (and for the record, I didn’t make up any of these):
- ass up
- assuming room temp
- (the) big sleep
- bit the big one
- bit the dust
- bought the farm
- breathed his last breath
- bumped off
- cardiovascularly challenged
- cashed his final check
- checked out
- closed shop
- crossed the river Jordan
- crossed the river of Styx
- dirt nap
- driving the big ole cloud car
- forwarded to the great post office in the sky
- found peace at last
- gave up the ghost
- gone home
- gone for good
- gone to a better place
- gone to be with Jesus
- gone to meet his maker
- gone to the great cemetery (or other word like bread basket) in the sky
- keeled over
- kicked the bucket
- living impaired
- made from 100% post-consumer material
- passed away
- passed on
- passed over
- perished (in the apocalypse)
- placing calls from the horizontal phone booth in the sky
- pushing up daisies
- riding the pine box to the sky
- riding the sod sidecar
- shoved off
- six feet under
- taking a road trip with Thelma & Louise
- tits up
- went to the happy hunting ground in the sky
- visiting the locker of Davy Jones
- worm food
1) “Necrophiles”, by Katherine Ramsland: http://www.crimelibrary.com/serial_killers/notorious/necrophiles/necro_4.html
2) “Apocalypse Culture”, ed. Adam Parafrey (Portland: Feral House, 1990), pp. 28-35: http://www.nokilli.com/sacto/karen-greenlee.htm
3) “How Dying Works”, by Molly Edmunds: http://health.howstuffworks.com/diseases-conditions/death-dying/dying4.htm
4) “Croakus Interruptus”, by Sabrina Richards. June 1, 2013 in The Scientist: http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/35675/title/Croakus-Interruptus
5) “A short introduction to Davian behavior”, by blogger “schnarrd” on August 10, 2009 at http://persistentastonishment.blogspot.com/2009/08/short-introduction-to-davian-behavior.html
6) “The Corpse Bride: a case of Davian Behaviour in the Green Ameiva (Ameiva ameiva) in southeastern Brazil” by Henrique Caldeira Costa, Emanuel Teixeira da Silva, Pollyanna Silva Campos, Marina Paula da Cunha Oliveira, André Valle Nunes and Patrícia da Silva Santos. Herpetology Notes, volume 3: 079-083 (2010) (published online on 23 March 2010). Also at http://www.herpetologynotes.seh-herpetology.org/Volume3_PDFs/Costa_et_al_Herpetology_Notes_Volume3_pages079-083.pdf.
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