crime The Sordid, Morbid Tale Of Karen Greenlee, The Necrophiliac Who Stole A Hearse And The Body Inside  

Erin Wisti
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In 1979, Karen Greenlee was supposed to drive a hearse containing the body of a 33-year-old man to a funeral home. Instead, Greenlee took off with the corpse for a two-day joy ride, transporting it to another county where she had sex with it. Greenlee then confessed to her necrophilia in a disturbing letter and was eventually charged and convicted of stealing a hearse and interfering with a funeral. 

The Karen Greenlee necrophilia case was a tremendous public scandal. She became one of the most famous female necrophiliacs in American history because most necrophiliacs known to the public were male. Questions of how and why arose during her trial, so Greenlee gave a very telling interview in which she seemed largely accepting of her attraction to dead bodies. Read on below to discover chilling facts about Karen Greenlee and her creepy love for the deceased. 

She Had Sex With 20 To 40 Bodies


She Had Sex With 20 To 40 Bodi... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Sordid, Morbid Tale Of Karen Greenlee, The Necrophiliac Who Stole A Hearse And The Body Inside
Photo:  Alisha Vargas/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Apparently, the corpse Greenlee stole was just the tip of the iceberg. In her confession, she admitted she had sex with many other corpses in the past. She claimed to have made love to anywhere between 20 and 40 bodies over the years before getting caught. 

She Confessed In A Disturbing Four-Page Letter


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Photo:  Mennonite Church USA Archives/WikiMedia Commons

Greenlee was responsible for delivering the body of John Mercure, to a cemetery for burial, but instead, she ran off with it for two days. She wrote a four-page letter confessing to her crimes and stuck it into the casket before attempting suicide by overdosing on Tylenol and Codeine. In the letter, she lamented that she was cursed with an unnatural desire and confessed she was unsure why she was drawn to corpses. She also referred to herself as a "morgue rat." 

Greenlee Admitted The Smell Of Blood And Embalming Fluids Attracted Her


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Photo:  Willjay/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0

Years after her arrest and trial, Karen Greenlee elaborated on her attraction to human bodies. She claimed she found the smell of death very attractive - particularly freshly embalmed corpses. Even seeing blood just oozing from bodies was arousing to her. "When you're on top of a body, it tends to purge blood out of its mouth while you're making passionate love," she said. "You'd have to be there, I guess."

She Was Caught Once Before


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Photo:  max merz/Flickr

Greenlee attempted suicide multiple times prior to getting caught with stealing the body of John Mercure,. After one particular botched attempted, she was living in a halfway house near a funeral home. She would routinely sneak in at night in search of bodies. If she found bodies unsupervised, she would have sex with the corpses. One night, workers at the funeral home caught her in the act

The workers threatened to call the cops, but Greenlee bolted before they could see her face. Greenlee was never caught or charged with any crimes, but an alarm was later installed in the funeral home. She suspects that, while the police were indeed called, the workers declined to press the issue as they did not want the bad publicity.