A woman in western Sweden who was arrested after police found skeletons in her apartment has now been charged for using the bones as sex toys, a hobby she claimed was motivated by an interest in history. “I have never heard of a case like this and neither have my colleagues, so I dare to say that this kind of case is quite uncommon,” prosecutor Kristina Ehrenborg-Staffas said. A 37-year-old woman, who was arrested in September, was formally charged on Tuesday at the Gothenburg District Court for the crime of “violating the peace of the dead” (brott mot griftesfriden). The prosecutor could not explain how the woman had managed to collect almost an entire skeleton, but explained that the human remains had been used in an “unethical” way.
"In the confidential section of the investigation we have material which indicates she used them in sexual situations," the prosecutor said.
The woman is believed to have used the human bones for sexual gratification. The evidence that the prosecution presented to the press on Tuesday included two CDs labelled “My necrophilia” and “My first experience” which contained a number of document files and pictures.
However, a psychological evaluation of the woman shows that she is not mentally ill, at least not in any legal sense of the term.
“Some of the photos show a woman licking a skull," Ehrenborg-Staffas said.
"We claim it’s her, but she claims it's someone else and that she found the pictures on the internet.”
The prosecutor believes the woman is "fascinated" with death.
“She has a lot of photos of morgues and chapels, and documents about how to have sex with recently deceased and otherwise dead people,” Ehrenborg-Staffas said.
“You have to ask yourself why she would have those pictures.”
Meanwhile, Katarina Öberg, head of the centre of Andrology and Sexual Medicine at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, admitted that this was the first time she had heard of such a case in Sweden.
“During my ten years I have never had a patient with necrophilia. Although, I guess it is not really something that one confesses to having,” she said.
Evidence also included pictures from a morgue, which were found in a secret compartment in the woman's home, alongside body bags and a drill.
Police emphasized, however, that they had no proof the woman had been digging up graves.
The woman pleaded not guilty and claimed she had not done anything illegal.
“She admits to having the bones, but says she collected them out of a historical and archaeological interest,” Ehrenborg-Staffas said.
According to the prosecution, the woman has also sold skulls over the internet.
The latest transaction was between the woman and a person in Uppsala, eastern Sweden. The buyer had allegedly stocked up on three skulls and a spine.
The strange case came to the attention of police by chance after they were informed that a gunshot had been fired from the woman’s apartment in September.
She had also reportedly bragged to some nearby children about keeping knives and dead people in her apartment.
When officers entered her apartment, they immediately called for back-up after finding skeleton parts and knives in the woman’s living room.
At first the woman was arrested on suspicion of murder, but these charges have now been changed to violating the peace of the dead.
If found guilty, the woman faces penalties ranging from fines up to a maximum of two years in prison.