Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Is this sick, or what?

I'm horrified to read of a case of attempted necrophilia in Wisconsin - and even more horrified to read of the court shenanigans around it!

Wisconsin law bans sex with dead bodies, the state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday in reinstating charges against three men accused of digging up a corpse so one of them could have sex with it.

The court waded into the grisly case after lower court judges ruled nothing in state law banned necrophilia. Those decisions prompted public outrage and a push by a state lawmaker to make sex with a corpse a crime.

In Wednesday's 5-2 decision, the high court said Wisconsin law makes sex acts with dead people illegal because they are unable to give consent.

The ruling reinstates the attempted sexual assault charges against twin brothers Nicholas and Alexander Grunke and Dustin Radke, all 22. The charges carry a punishment of up to 10 years in prison.

. . .

Police say the three men, carrying shovels, a crowbar and a box of condoms, went to a cemetery in southwestern Wisconsin in 2006 to dig up the body of Laura Tennessen, 20, who had been killed the week before in a motorcycle crash.

Nicholas Grunke had seen an obituary photo of her and asked the others for help digging up her corpse so he could have sexual intercourse with it, prosecutors say.

Authorities say the men used shovels to reach her grave but were unable to pry open the vault. They fled when a car drove into the cemetery and were eventually arrested.

The men were charged with attempted third-degree sexual assault and misdemeanor attempted theft charges. The case has been on hold as prosecutors appealed the dismissal of the assault charges.

I just don't understand this. How can any state or nation fail to legislate that necrophilia is a crime? How can any judge in his or her right mind try to find a way to dismiss the charges - and how can scumbag lawyers argue that it's not a crime?

I feel deeply for the parents of the poor girl that these degenerates tried to dig up for their horrible purposes. At least they didn't succeed - and one hopes that they'll spend a long, long time behind bars, so that they're unable to try it on anybody else's daughter!

I also hope that the other inmates in their prison will make clear their feelings on the matter. Certainly, if those three dirtbags lived in this part of the world, I have a sneaking suspicion that their punishment might have been, shall we say, extra-judicial. People round here have their heads on straight.



Justin Buist said...

How can any state or nation fail to legislate that necrophilia is a crime?

It doesn't come up all that often and it's not exactly something that's going to be uber-helpful come campaign time.

A couple years back in Michigan a dude got busted trying to something rather unnatural with a deer in Michigan. A dead deer. In broad daylight. On the side of the road. In front of a daycare center.

I forgot what they nailed him for, but MIchigan didn't, and might not still, have a law against said unnatural act with a dead animal.

Semi-related trivia: The first person hung in the colonies was in MA for buggery of various animals. I think he was 14 too.

Anonymous said...

You should check out the strange case of "Count" Carl Tanzler in Florida. As it says on the Wikipedia page,

"[Carl] ...developed a morbid obsession for a young Cuban-American tuberculosis patient, Maria Elena Milagro "Helen" de Hoyos (1910–1931), that carried on well after Hoyos succumbed to the disease in 1931. In 1933, almost two years after her death, Tanzler removed Hoyos' body from its tomb, and lived with the corpse at his home for seven years until its discovery by Hoyos' relatives and authorities in 1940."


"In April, 1933, Tanzler removed Hoyos' body from the mausoleum, carted it through the cemetery after dark on a toy wagon, and transported it to his home. Tanzler attached the corpse's bones together with wire and coat hangers, and fitted the face with glass eyes. As the skin of the corpse decomposed, Tanzler replaced it with silk cloth soaked in wax and plaster of paris. As the hair fell out of the decomposing scalp, Tanzler fashioned a wig from Hoyos' hair that had been collected by her mother and given to Tanzler not long after her burial in 1931. Tanzler filled the corpse's abdominal and chest cavity with rags to keep the original form, dressed Hoyos' remains in stockings, jewelry, and gloves, and kept the body in his bed. Tanzler also used copious amounts of perfume, disinfectants, and preserving agents, to mask the odor and forestall the effects of the corpse's decomposition."

I first learned about this "obsession" from the song "Maria Elena Hoyos" by Ben Harrison that I first heard on the Dr. Demento radio show about 20 years ago. A good tune, really gives you the creeps.

-- chicopanther

JPG said...

To enhance the understand of anyone else who may be interested - -
My Beloved Bride and I --and my Elder Son as well -- greatly respect and admire Peter. We are proud to call him a personal friend. He had stayed in our home several times and we have shared food and drink on numerous occasions. This does not mean that we slavishly agree with one another on all matters. I fear this is one of those occasions on which friends honestly differ.

Pedro - - I really don’t think it is needful that additional statutes be enacted to cover the exact specifics of the repugnant behavior attempted by those disgusting individuals. In Texas, at least, there are sufficient laws covering unauthorized exhumation of a burial, abuse of a corpse, criminal trespass, felony criminal mischief, destruction of venerated object/site, and several others at which I’d guess but would need to research.

I do believe the country would be better served if we reduced the number of “crimes,” and especially “felony offenses” by about 90 per cent.

Commenter Justin Buist has covered some of this ground above. Referring to another offense, he comments, “ . . . Michigan didn't . . . have a law against said unnatural act with a dead animal.” Two points: One, the late Bambi was, at least, road kill and hadn’t been disinterred for the purpose. Two, if you would so legislate, would make it an offense only to abuse a deer? Of only cloven hooved mammals? Would you then need a similar ban on unnatural gratification with canines? With the avian species? How about armadillos? (Somehow, I doubt the possum-on-the-half shell is often seen in Michigan, but, hey - - - .)

These may appear strange sentiments from one who devoted an entire career to
encouraging others to abide by the codified law. Even more so, when I publicly agree that this might be a matter best dealt with outside the judicial system.

Anyhow, this is an interesting blog topic, and let's hope that none here ever have need to deal with such offenders.