Only the bonely: The strange case of sex with a human skeleton

One of the most bizarre (and arguably disturbing) stories I have come across in looking for topics to write about in my blog is the relatively recent case of a 37-year old Swedish woman who was arrested in September 2012 by local police for having sex with human skeleton. The human remains were found by chance in Kosmosgatan (located in the Bergsjön district of Gothenburg) after someone reported hearing a gunshot from the woman’s home. Swedish national television SVT reported that she was initially charged with murder, but this was subsequently downgraded to “violating the peace of the dead” (so-called “brott mot griftefriden” in Sweden) by the District Court in Gothenburg. It was alleged that she used the human bones as sex toys, and claimed her sexual activity was a hobby was motivated by an interest in history. According to Swedish prosecutor Kristina Ehrenborg-Staffas:

“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…In the confidential section of the investigation we have material which indicates she used them in sexual situations…We claim it’s her, but she claims it’s someone else and that she found the pictures on the internet…She has a lot of photos of morgues and chapels, and documents about how to have sex with recently deceased and otherwise dead people…You have to ask yourself why she would have those pictures…She admits to having the bones, but says she collected them out of a historical and archaeological interest”.

Allegations were also made claiming that the woman boasted to local children and teenagers that she kept many knives, weapons, and dead people in her apartment (subsequently confirmed after the police raid found knives and human bones in the woman’s living room). One of the teenagers claimed the woman had said to him that she had “killed people and there’s blood everywhere”. The woman then went to her apartment and fired a gunshot.

Ehrenborg-Staffas also said the woman had used the human bones in an “unethical” way but couldn’t explain how the accused had managed to assemble almost an entire human skeleton. Thomas Fuxborg, the Västra Götaland police force’s press spokesman told SVT at the time of the initial arrest that “several skeleton parts” were found in the police search. However, there was great speculation as to whether the bones had come from a local graveyard, a hospital, or from a murder. The police could not confirm if the bones came from a male or female, or were from more than one person. Later in court, it was revealed that the woman kept at least six human skulls (one of which was found in her freezer), one human spine, and “a large number of other [human] bones”.

The prosecuting team presented their evidence that included two compact discs (one entitled “My necrophilia” and the other “My first experience”) that contained both written documents and various photographs (such as ones which showed the woman hugging and licking a skull). She was also alleged to have sold human skulls to others via the internet. For instance, the court was told that the most recent online transaction was a person in Uppsala (Eastern Sweden) who allegedly bought three human skulls and a human spine. Other evidence shown in court included mortuary photographs, body bags, and a drill, all found inside a secret compartment in the woman’s apartment. According to a Swedish daily newspaper (Goeteborgsposten), the accused woman (who claimed she was in a relationship) wrote on an internet forum that:

“My morals set my limits and I’m prepared to take the punishment if something should happen. It’s worth it. I want my man like he is, whether he is dead or alive. He allows me to find sexual happiness on the side”.

A number of psychological evaluations were carried out, none of which showed she was suffering any mental illness but was “fascinated” by death, however, there was no evidence that the woman had dug up any graves to access human remains. Like Ehrenborg-Staffas, Dr. Katarina Öberg (Head of Stockholm’s Centre of Andrology and Sexual Medicine at Karolinska University Hospital) also claimed that this particular case was the first she had heard of 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”.

The women claimed that she had not done anything illegal, and therefore pleased ‘not guilty’ to all charges except possession of a firearm. The accused woman was said to have reported in court that:

“I’m not saying I’m the world’s nicest or best person. I’m an odd bird. I’m interested in forensics and I’m passionate about osteology. I have photographs of dead people”.

The charge of necrophilia was dismissed but it was noted by the court that:

“Moving parts of the skeleton is a crime, since she was unauthorised to do so, just as it is a crime to assemble a skeleton and keep it lying on the floor, (and) to keep skeletal parts in plastic bags and use them for trade. [She also knowingly handled the bones] in an undignified manner”.

In all the articles and paper that I have ever read in writing various blogs on necrophilia, I have never come across a single case (even anecdotally) of someone having sex with a skeleton. In a previous blog I outlined Dr Anil Aggrawal’s typology of necrophiliacs published in a 2009 issue of the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine. Dr. Aggrawal classified necrophilic behaviour into one of ten different types (Classes I to X). However, if you read my previous blog, you will come to the same conclusion as me that the behaviour described in this blog does not fit into any of Aggrawal’s ten types of necrophiliac, therefore I agree with the Swedish court’s decision to dismiss this as a case of necrophilia. Weird and depraved it might be, but using human bones for sexual bones doesn’t fit any definition of necrophilia that I am aware of.

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

Further reading

Agence France-Presse (2012). Swedish woman arrested for using human skeleton for sex. The Raw Story, November 20. Located at:

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

Aggrawal, A. (2009). A new classification of necrophilia. Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, 16, 316-320.

Aggrawal A. (2011). Necrophilia: Forensic and Medico-legal Aspects. Boca Raton: CRC Press.

Johansson, E. (2012). Woman charged for sex with human skeleton. The Local, November 20. Located at:

The Local (2012). Woman held after human bones found in her flat. The Local, September 6. Located at:

The Local (2012). Woman held on remand over bones found in flat. The Local, September 8. Located at:

Ryan, E.G. (2012). Women [sic] who kept human skeleton for sex is somehow declared sane. Jezebel, November 20. Located at:

The Sun (2012). Swedish ‘skeleton sex’ case woman convicted of ‘disturbing the peace of dead’. The Sun, December 17. Located at:

About drmarkgriffiths

Professor MARK GRIFFITHS, BSc, PhD, CPsychol, PGDipHE, FBPsS, FRSA, AcSS. Dr. Mark Griffiths is a Chartered Psychologist and 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”. His most recent award is the 2013 Lifetime Research Award from the US National Council on Problem Gambling. He has published over 600 research papers, four books, over 130 book chapters, and over 1000 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 2000 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 June 21, 2013, in Case Studies, Compulsion, Mania, Obsession, Paraphilia, Psychology, Sex, Sex addiction and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I am the one you write about, i was completely freed in high court a year later except for the weapons charges that i admitted to and did not complain about.

    Sex with skeletons are of course necrophilia (i know of several others who does it), the charges of sexual interaction where dropped not because it was not necrophilia as you state but that they could not prove it was me. They tried to but they used over 10 year old photos.

    They found on my computer something like 20 000 images and videos of corpses. On backup dvds they found but did never bring up (odd i thought considering collateral evidence is essential in cases like these), up to 300 000+ pictures of corpses at least and something like 50 000 videos. They also found lots of fake sex videos of necrophilia (i would estimate it to be something like 1000) and tens of thousands of pictures (but fake doesn’t do it for me so i collected to trade).

    BTW I am lesbian so the quote is wrong. It is not me who written that about a man. I have no interest in males what so ever (I actually lived with a another woman when I was arrested that i also had a sexual relationship with). Just a week before i had cleaned a few skulls from dirt in my bathtub and i had to use a toothbrush and spunge to clean them. After that i took a bath with them in the water. Death in it´s essence i orgasmed. I went to my girlfriend afterwards not trying to clean myself to much and had sex with her. She thought i smelled a bit funny but i used perfume and stuff so i gave her some of death’s embrace too.🙂

    But from what i wrote above take your guess what i really am. Haha I got my skeletons back, my body-bags and my lock-picks and everything. Sadly i should have waited because i already rebuilt my kit with body-bags and everything the little necrophile should have.

    But now I’m going to go to school and become a morgue worker.🙂 So i can access corpses and with no charges of disturbing the peace of the dead there won’t be any problems with getting access.

    And btw in Sweden they do not re-open cases after they are over so good luck with telling the court or police. LOL I am already in the suspect registry most likely as a necrophile who beat the court system. I read interrogation technique handbooks, criminal profiling and criminology and of course forensic medicine since i was a young (i have never been caught before of anything). I been prepared and trained for this, this was just a trial run. Next time it will be for real and now i got much insights inside the police and jails and such i will use then (i knew exactly how to talk to a forensic psychiatrist because i am well researched). That i was caught now was just because i was so drunk i would never been caught ever if it would not been for that stupid thing.

    The moronic cops couldn’t even access my encrypted hard-drives which i had four of with most of my personal videos and images. All they had where aged and old crappy photos of some woman who they almost could identify but could not stand in court. Haha

    And one last thing, my court case in high court decided that human remains that are not meant to be buried in Sweden are also not to be counted to be protected by “Griftefriden”. I actually made sex with some dead legal now in my unprecedented high court turning!

    It is so funny.

    And a last thing, Anil Aggrawal’s texts and books about necrophilia are really dumb, judgemental and based on lazy research. He claim there is no lesbian necrophiles but he is wrong. There is actually one mentioned in a source that he did not include in his research. Also i am a lesbian so i know he is wrong. His research have not been academic and it¨s a shame that CRC press that is usually good and respected accepted his book.

    Bye from a class 10 necrophile🙂 (yeah i know it’s Anil’s typology and i had a girlfriend i had sex with but i never could achieve orgasm from it just death)

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