Few cases of necrophilia are as famous as that of Carl Tanzler . The true story of a man who surprisingly took his obsession with a woman beyond death.

Carl Tanzler (later known as Carl von Cosel) was able to exhume the body of what he considered the woman of his life, in order to continue having sex with her.

What is necrophilia?

necrophilia or necrosexuality is a type of paraphilia that is characterized by a high level of arousal through contemplation, contact, mutilation or mental evoking of a corpse .

Having sex with dead bodies is not only considered socially unacceptable, but is punishable by imprisonment, since it is understood that the dead person would not have consented to such an act while alive.

Carl Tanzler: a famous case of necrophilia

The United States was considered the land of opportunity. For decades, many immigrants settled in the United States of America in search of a better future. This is what Carl Tanzler, a German radiologist, did.

Tanzler migrated to Zephyrillis, a town in Pasco County, Florida. He arrived with his wife and two daughters, but soon after left his family to move to the Island of Key West, near Miami. There he rented an X-ray machine from the U.S. Navy Hospital, and changed his name to Carl von Cosel.

One day in 1930, Tanzler’s life changed forever. He was in his early fifties at the time and had an affair with his patient Maria Elena Milagro de Hoyos. She was suffering from tuberculosis and her mother took her to the hospital to seek treatment for her condition .

Tanzler had visions during his childhood of the woman of his life

As a child in Germany, Tanzler reported that he had visions of an exotic girl, the supposed woman of his life . When he met Maria Elena, he thought she was the woman in his visions. That is to say, that this 21-year-old Cuban woman was his true love.

Thanks to his crush and despite the fact that Tanzler did not have sufficient training to treat this pathology, and in addition to the patient’s limited possibilities of cure, he himself carried out Elena’s treatment from her parents’ home.

But Maria Elena Milagro de Hoyos got worse due to her illness, and on October 25, 1931 she died. So, the good Tanzler paid for the funeral and built a mausoleum for María Elena in the Key West Island Cemetery, all with the consent of her family. He visited her grave every night for a year and a half after her death.

His obsession with Maria Elena and the exhumation of the body

But soon the obsession with Maria Elena became macabre. Tazler later told how Maria Elena’s spirit sang to him in Spanish as he sat near the grave, begging him to take her with him. In April 1933, Tanzler exhumed the Cuban girl’s body and took it home with a toy cart.

When the body was in his house, he dedicated himself to preserving it in unimaginable ways . Since it was in a considerable state of decay, he glued its bones with hangers and wires, put glass eyes in its eye sockets, and replaced the rotten flesh with silk cloth treated with wax and white plaster. Tanzler stuffed rags into her abdominal cavities and chest to maintain the illusion of human form and put a wig on her that Maria Elena used to wear. To hide the smell of decay, the radiologist used liters and liters of perfume.

Tanzler had sex with the body of Maria Elena Milagro de Hoyos

He spent whole days and nights with the body, even danced with it. In addition, Tanzler had sexual relations with the corpse.

After a while, the rumors reached Maria Elena’s family. Her sister Florinda went to Tanzler’s house, and to her great surprise, discovered her sister’s body. Without thinking, she called the police and Tanzler was arrested.

The case became very famous and had quite a lot of media coverage . After her arrest, Maria Elena’s body was buried in the cemetery so that she could rest in peace. When Tanzler was released from prison, he wrote an autobiography that was published in Fantastic Adventures .