Dead creature feature: A brief look at necrobestiality

Back in October 2006, many American papers reported the case of Ronald Kuch, a 44-year old man from Michegan who was jailed for having sex with a dead dog. The incident was seen by a number of people included staff members of a nearby day care centre and the police. A summarized account of the incident at the Pet Abuse website reported that:

Kuch was arrested after police searched the area of Midland and Carter roads on Oct 20 for a man who ran away from a Bay County Animal Control officer. The entire incident was within view of a nearby day care center…Kuch is charged with crimes against nature and assaulting a law enforcement officer. Troopers said a woman from the day care center called for animal control because there was a dead dog near the property that had been hit by a car several days earlier. Before officers could arrive, the man showed up and began engaging in sexual acts with the dog, police said. The animal control officer also reported seeing Kuch involved in the sex act and as he approached him, Kuch shoved him away and ran off… [Police officers] later learned that the dog, a black Labrador retriever, belonged to [Kuch’s] girlfriend. The dog had been dead for four or five days”.

Dr. Brenda Love in her Encyclopedia of Unusual Sex Practices defines necrobestialism as referring to those individuals who derive sexual arousal and pleasure from having sex with dead animals. According to Dr. Love, this may include ‘bestial sadists’ who kill before or during the torture of animals, as well as those who choose to have sex with animals that they already find dead. A 2011 paper (that I examined in a previous blog on different types of necrophilia) by Dr Anil Aggrawal (Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India) in the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine proposed a new classification of zoophilia including those individuals who had sex with dead animals. One of the ten sub-types (so called ‘Class IX zoosexuals’) comprises ‘homicidal bestials’ who need to kill animals in order to have sex with them (i.e., necrozoophiles). Dr. Aggrawal reports that although capable of having sex with living animals, there is an insatiable desire among Class IX zoosexuals to have sex with dead animals.

The act of humans having sex with dead animals appears to be incredibly rare. What’s more, the reason for engaging in such acts may not even be sexually motivated. For instance, Brenda Love’s entry on necrobestiality in her Encyclopedia of Unusual Sex Practices noted that:

“The Suaheli and Arabian fishermen along the coast of Africa until a hundred years ago believed that unless they had anal sex with the sea cows that they netted or that had washed up dead they would be dragged out to sea the next day and drowned by the sea cow’s dead sister. Many locals would therefore make these fishermen swear by the Koran that they did not have sex with the sea cow they were selling at the local market”.

There was no reference in Love’s book as to where the evidence was for this practice but given the thorough job she did on most entries in her encyclopedia, I have no reason to think this practice was untrue.

There are more recent examples of humans having sex with sea animals. One British tabloid newspaper reported that a 46-year old man (Andrew Dymond) was caught with a picture of a man having sex with a dead squid along with pictures of child pornography and other zoophilic pornographic acts (including humans having sex with dogs and horses). After Dymond’s home computer had been seized by police, they found a large amount of “grossly offensive” pornography on it including someone “performing an act of intercourse with a dead animal, namely an octopus/squid, which was grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character”. 

In a 2006 book chapter on paraphilic crime signatures, Dr. William Hickey reported that the serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer collected animal roadkill, dissected the remains, and masturbated over the animals he had cut up, because he “found the glistening viscera of animals sexually arousing”. In Dr. Louis Schlesinger’s book on sexual murder, it was reported that: “Dahmer dissected roadkill, butchered small animals, nailed cats and frogs to trees behind his house, and once put a dog’s head on a stick”. Aggrawal also reported the case of 20-year old Bryan Hathaway from Superior, Wisconsin (USA) who in 2006 was arrested for having sex with a dead deer. Hathaway’s case is arguably the most notorious case of necrobestiality in recent times as the case was reported by the worldwide mass media. The case also raised lots of legal, moral and ethical questions over whether a dead animal was really an animal.

Hathaway was charged with ‘sexual gratification with an animal’, but his legal team argued that the deer carcass wasn’t an animal and that the legal statutes do not prohibit an individual from having sex with a carcass. One of Hathaway’s legal team, Fredric Anderson, said that “If you try to include corpses in the category of ‘animals’, then ‘you really go down a slippery slope with absurd results”. For instance, would the picked-over skeletal remains of a dead animal still meet the definition of an animal? Mr. Anderson said that if the carcass was defined as an animal, it would therefore be illegal to have sex with frozen meat or a roast turkey. The state prosecutor James Broughner argued that a deer carcass was still an animal because in Hathaway’s own personal statement he had admitted to having sexual relations with a ‘dead deer’ indicating that Hathaway still thought of it as an animal. He also added that pet owners still call their deceased pets animals after death. In March 2007, Hathaway was given probation rather than a prison sentence However, it was then revealed that Hathaway was given a 9-month prison sentence for killing a horse so that he could have sex with it.

Dr Mark Griffiths, Professor of Gambling Studies, International Gaming Research Unit, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK

Further reading

Aggrawal A. (2009). Forensic and Medico-legal Aspects of Sexual Crimes and Unusual Sexual Practices. Boca Raton: CRC Press.

Aggrawal, A. (2011). A new classification of zoophilia. Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, 18, 73-78.

Coles, J. (2010). Perv ‘had pics of sex with squid’. The Sun, March 4. Located at:

Hickey, E.W (2006). Paraphilia and signatures in crime scene investigation. In Hickey, E.W. (Ed.), Sex crimes and Paraphilia (pp.95-107). New Jersey: Pearson.

Love, B. (2001). Encyclopedia of Unusual Sex Practices. London: Greenwich Editions.

Pet Abuse (2007). Sex with dead dog, assaulting an ACO Freeland, MI (US). Located at:

Schlesinger, L. (2004). Sexual Murder. New York: CRC Press.

Metro (2006). Man has sex with dead deer. Located at:

The Smoking Gun (2006). Can you get dear with a dead deer? November 16. Located at:

Steel, K. (2006). 101 uses for a dead deer. In The Middle, November 16. Located at:

Steel, K. (2007). 101 uses for a dead dog. In The Middle, February 27. Located at:

Verbruggen, R. (2006). Lawyer: necrophilia and animal bestiality are two different things. Minnesota News, November 16. Located at:

About drmarkgriffiths

Professor MARK GRIFFITHS, BSc, PhD, CPsychol, PGDipHE, FBPsS, FRSA, AcSS. Dr. Mark Griffiths is a Chartered Psychologist and Distinguished Professor of Behavioural Addiction at the Nottingham Trent University, and Director of the International Gaming Research Unit. He is internationally known for his work into gambling and gaming addictions and has won many awards including the American 1994 John Rosecrance Research Prize for “outstanding scholarly contributions to the field of gambling research”, the 1998 European CELEJ Prize for best paper on gambling, the 2003 Canadian International Excellence Award for “outstanding contributions to the prevention of problem gambling and the practice of responsible gambling” and a North American 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award For Contributions To The Field Of Youth Gambling “in recognition of his dedication, leadership, and pioneering contributions to the field of youth gambling”. In 2013, he was given the Lifetime Research Award from the US National Council on Problem Gambling. He has published over 800 research papers, five books, over 150 book chapters, and over 1500 other articles. He has served on numerous national and international committees (e.g. BPS Council, BPS Social Psychology Section, Society for the Study of Gambling, Gamblers Anonymous General Services Board, National Council on Gambling etc.) and is a former National Chair of Gamcare. He also does a lot of freelance journalism and has appeared on over 3500 radio and television programmes since 1988. In 2004 he was awarded the Joseph Lister Prize for Social Sciences by the British Association for the Advancement of Science for being one of the UK’s “outstanding scientific communicators”. His awards also include the 2006 Excellence in the Teaching of Psychology Award by the British Psychological Society and the British Psychological Society Fellowship Award for “exceptional contributions to psychology”.

Posted on November 5, 2012, in Case Studies, Compulsion, Mania, Obsession, Paraphilia, Psychiatry, Psychology, Sex, Sex addiction and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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