The bone collector


As you may have guessed from yesterday’s post about gerbiling, my job also involves researching pretty extreme and quite unwholesome sexual practices, some of which not even I manage to joke about. A clear example happened just last night, when somenews from Sweden made me the most sought-after expert by morbid Italian journalists.

What happened was that, after a quiet arrest in September, Gothenburg crown court formally indicted a 37 years old woman for ‘brott mot griftesfriden’, an euphemism whose literal translation means ‘violate the peace of the dead’.
Necrophilia is a rare deviance about which no reliable statistics exist for a simple and disturbing reason: most of the people who are carnally attracted to cadavers choose a job in the funeral industry, which give them unrestricted and unsupervised access to the bodies. And this also is the reason for which the Swedish case appears so shocking.

According to the local press the unnamed perpetrator «had a normal office job and held a common life» – with the slight exception of her habit of having sex with human bones. Police discovered this by chance, during a search for a gunshot from the building where the woman lived.
In the apartment they found several bones including an almost complete skeleton, a large collection of graveyards and morgues photographs, and self-shots in which the woman «unambiguously» interacted with the recovered remains.

Various psychiatric exams declared her mentally sane: she maintains she did nothing illegal, and to collect bones «out of historical and archeological interest». According to her story every picture was downloaded from the Internet and she holds only a resemblance with the portrayed girl.
Investigators didn’t find any homicide evidence, but searching the woman’s computer they found traces of an intense bone commerce with other “fans” both in Sweden and abroad. Their problem is now to track the remains to their origin, considering that some specialized companies do sell them online – but only to certified laboratories and medicine schools.

Should the perpetrator receive a guilty sentence she will face up to two years in prison. But a question remains: how many other persons with «a normal job and a common life» are hiding similar secrets?