Carl Tanzler was a radiologist in Key West, Florida who developed a morbid obsession for Elena Milagro Hoyos (1910-1931). She was one of his patients, and she died from tuberculosis in 1931. With her parents’ permission, Tanzler had an above ground mausoleum built for her, so she wouldn’t decompose underground. He visited the tomb almost every night, but in 1933, his obsession apparently overcame him, as he took Hoyos’ corpse home with him and kept it in his bed. He restored her body as best he could and kept a full wardrobe to dress her. As her body decomposed, he replaced the skin with wax and plaster of Paris, and bought copious amounts of perfume, often several times a month. In 1940, one of Hoyos’s surviving sisters became suspicious due to omnipresent rumors of Tanzler’s necrophilia, and eventually confronted Tanzler at his home. She entered Tanzler’s house and found Elena’s corpse lying in his bed in an elegant dress, almost fully decomposed. Tanzler was later arrested and charged with “wantonly and maliciously destroying a grave and removing a body without authorization,” but he was ultimately released, as the statute of limitations on the crime had expired.
Major characteristics of each of the ten classes of necrophiles:
Class 1 - Roleplayers: Do not want to have sex with a dead person. Enjoy sex with a living person pretending to be dead.
Class 2 - Romantic necrophiles: Bereaved people, who would mummify a part of the body of their recently departed loved ones, and keep it with them in order to get psychosexual stimulation. Would not show a similar interest in any other dead body, i.e. body of a person with whom they were not romantically involved in life.
Class 3 - Necrophilia fantasizers: Fantasize intercourse with the dead. May visit cemeteries and funeral parlors and may masturbate in the presence of the dead.
Class 4 - Tactile necrophiles: Interest in dead bodies increases to the level of touching them. Like to stroke erotic parts of a dead body, such as breasts. May manipulate sexual organs of the dead in order to get an orgasm.
Class 5 - Fetishistic necrophiles: Cut up parts of a dead body – say a breast – mummify it, and keep it in their possession to use it as a fetish for their necrophiliac activities. Differ from class II necrophiles in the sense that they do it with the bodies of strangers with whom they held no romantic relationship in life. Thus they do not do it merely to ﬁll a psychosexual vacuum left by the death of their loved ones.
Class 6 - Necromutilomaniacs: Interest in dead bodies is more than merely touching them. Necrophilic pleasure comes from mutilating a dead body.
Class 7 - Opportunist necrophiles: Actual sexual activity with the dead starts from this class. Normally these necrophiles would be content to have sexual intercourse with the living, but if an opportunity arose, would not refrain from having sexual intercourse with the dead. Necrophilic mortuary attendants belong to this class.
Class 8 - Regular necrophiles: The so-called ‘‘classic” necrophiles. They do not enjoy sexual intercourse with the living and prefer dead bodies for intercourse. They can however have sex with both living and dead persons. In this sense they differ from class X necrophiles, who can have sex only with dead persons.
Class 9 - Homicidal necrophiles: This penultimate category is the most dangerous of all, in the sense that they would kill a person in order to have intercourse with him or her. They are however capable of having sexual intercourse with the living, but the need for sexual intercourse with the dead is so great that they must kill human beings in order to have sexual intercourse with their dead bodies.
Class 10 - Exclusive necrophiles: Sexual intercourse is possible only with the dead, with the complete exclusion of living partners.