"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"

It's a philosophical question for the ages that has bled over into quantum mechanics. As a Cynic, this type of twaddle occupies a determinable and invariable state - typhos. Needless distraction from the more basic things in life, like vandalising currency or thwapping your penis on a bar when the waitron would rather file her nails than notice you're waiting for another beer.

But with a bit of lateral thinking, the question also poses some interesting possibilities. Like: If a necrophile drains his nutsack while on the job at the morgue and nobody knows, does it really make any difference ?

Morgue worker sentenced to three more years in prison for corpse sex

Sandra Williams was devastated in 1991 when her sister, Charlene Apling Edwards, was killed.

Williams dealt with the grief for years before being told of an even more nightmarish crime – her sister’s body was sexually assaulted by a Hamilton County morgue worker as it was awaiting autopsy.

“I thought burying my sister was the hardest thing I’d ever had to do,” she told Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Nadine Allen. “I thought we could just put it behind us and lay it to rest, but when this happened, I re-lived her death all over again.”


Of course there's photo goodness.

“This” was one of two counts of gross abuse of a corpse for which morgue worker Kenneth Douglas was sentenced Tuesday. In all, Douglas pleaded guilty to having sex with three corpses when he worked at the morgue from 1976-92.

Douglas was sentenced to three years in prison Tuesday for having sex with the corpses of Apling and Angel Hicks. That’s in addition to the three-year prison term imposed on him in 2008 after he pleaded guilty to having sex with the corpse of Karen Range who was murdered in 1982. He had sex with Range’s corpse which was bloody, its head almost severed and had been stored in the morgue cooler for hours.


And so it waffles -

The judge said Douglas’ crimes were depraved.

“There’s a reason we say ‘the dearly departed, may they rest in peace.’ What happened he isn’t even primitive. It’s depraved and inhumane,” the judge said.


With the obligatory, and irrelevant, appeal to emotion from the sister of one of the deceased in an attempt to influence sentencing -

“He raped a five-months pregnant dead woman,” Apling, now in his mid-20s, said.

Ignoring the whole debatable "consent" issue, being "pregnant" while being "dead" hits a logical fallacy jackpot.

The sister was traumatised, of this there is no doubt. Probably for life. Don't need some junior court reporter to arrive at that conclusion for us. But like the tree in the forest, what benefit does it actually serve the sister being made aware of it ? A pervert that hasn't actually harmed anyone gets sent to the big house to a life surrounded by people that have genuinely, often violently, invaded and damaged peoples lives. She is left with poisoned memories that can't be repaired. And people like me stumble upon the story and compulsively have to share. All could have been avoided with a bit of delicacy and tact. It is, strictly speaking, a victimless crime. Instead, thanks to concerned citizenry, there is trauma all round.

Footnotes:

* Main image credit: Still from Jörg Buttgereit's rather excellent Nekromantik, the touchingly sad story of a love triangle between a boy, a girl and a corpse.

* From ForensicPsychiatry.ca: "Although assumed rare, many have argued that necrophilia may be more prevalent than statistics imply, given that the act would be carried out in secret with a victim unable to complain and given the length of time which the paraphilia has been recognized [...] As with most sexual anomalies, the cases reported in the literature have actually involved males between the ages of 20 and 50 with occupations that provide ready access to corpses: gravediggers, mortuary attendants, orderlies, etc. Most individuals have been reported to be heterosexual."

* For anyone that thinks necrophilia is a boys only adventure, there's always Karen Greenlee.

* Herodotus wrote of the Egyptians some two and a half millenia ago: "When the wife of a distinguished man dies, or any woman who happens to be beautiful or well known, her body is not given to the embalmers immediately, but only after the lapse of three or four days. This is a precautionary measure to prevent the embalmers from violating her corpse, a thing which is actually said to have happened in the case of a woman who had just died."

* And for an Indian engrish point of view, filed under "Kama Sutra" (!): "The Dead Corpse Can Fantasize Physical Pleasure" [link]

Tags: Schrödinger's cat, busted, freethinker, necrophilia, puritans, quantum mechanics

Views: 274

Replies to This Discussion

Good point about this being a victimless crime, and certain people being horrorized for life.

Would you please send me some brain bleach, though?
Schadenfreude is a term often loosely thrown at Cynics in an accusatory manner. True schadenfreude is, as you have also described, the bread'n'butter of the sewer journalist and is driven by the mindless voyeuristic hordes that create a sustainable economy out of the misery of others. Of course, stating something so bleeding obvious will only get you labelled as a small "c" cynic in return. "Ethical journalism" has joined "military intelligence" as a quaintly amusing joke oxymoron. The democracy of the free market has put all the genuine journalists out on the back pages, if not out of a job altogether.

A while back I also posted a light-hearted tale on the joys of prisoners that do death row post-execution cleanup duties if you're interested. It's a barrel of laughs.

Ignoring the whole debatable "consent" issue, being "pregnant" while being "dead" hits a logical fallacy jackpot.


hahahaha
Williams dealt with the grief for years before being told of an even more nightmarish crime – her sister’s body was sexually assaulted by a Hamilton County morgue worker as it was awaiting autopsy.

How is this MORE nightmarish than her murder?
How is this MORE nightmarish than her murder?

Welcome to morality Disneyland. All of this has its roots in puritanism, mainly, but not exclusively, from Abraham's bastards. This is pure faux morality and even more perverse faux value systems. It is similar to the logic that justifies throwing acid in the faces of unveiled women. Reality has been removed from the equation entirely and everything is based on perverted concepts of honour, pride and decency. Human life is quite low in the scheme of things.
I do like the black and white photo of the cute girl with the corpse, the chain-link headboard, and the photo of Charles Manson on the wall. I even like the comb holding her hair out of her face.

I wonder what the other image on the wall is.

No, I do not want to see the film in order to find out.
No, I do not want to see the film in order to find out.

Buttgereit is not your run of the mill video nasty merchant. He is a true cineaste and auteur. His films might be micro-budget and definitely not easy viewing, but they do stand head and shoulders above other offerings in the cinema of transgression genre.
i think this line of reasoning could be applied to lots of other moral questions or to other kinds of crime.

wouldn't this fall into the same category of reasoning as "its not cheating if if you don't get caught" ?
wouldn't this fall into the same category of reasoning as "its not cheating if if you don't get caught" ?

How does a corpse betray your trust ?
the morgue worker betrayed the trust of the family.
they leave the body in the care of the morgue/coroner with an understanding that the body of the (former)person they love will not be molested in any unnecessary way.

the betrayal/transgression is committed whether or not the family is informed.

even considering that your feelings might have been influenced by "Abraham's bastards" can anyone commenting say that they would not also feel horror and violation upon learning that your formerly pregnant now deceased wife's body had been used as fuck toy by some irreverent creep?
Do you actually know what group you're in ? This holy, sacred cow status bestowed upon the dead is really quite a perverse form of materialist idolatry if you can suppress your foaming long enough to actually consider it.

even considering that your feelings might have been influenced by "Abraham's bastards" can anyone commenting say that they would not also feel horror and violation upon learning that your formerly pregnant now deceased wife's body had been used as fuck toy by some irreverent creep?

I believe I actually said as much. I also said, is it really worth stirring up these feelings of violation when, ultimately, the sum of actual harm is zero? You are making an emotive, mammalian knee-jerk response and are propping it up by the straw man of comparing it to real life infidelity. Worship of the dead has it's roots in heathen ancestor worship and has carried over into most contemporary forms of religion, except for perhaps a few strains of buddhism where they leave corpses to the elements or wild animals - which I think is far more civilised than any of our ridiculous rituals.

I wasn't passing any judgement nor offering any right/wrong opinion. Like much of the human tapestry, this is merely another example of manufacturing a nightmare out of nothing for no good reason. I am just relating a story.
are you not a mammal?

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