Graveyard Shift

14 Serial Killers Who Practiced Necrophilia 

Jacob Shelton
Updated September 12, 2019 334.3k views 14 items

The Venn diagram of necrophiles and serial killers has surprisingly little crossover, but the serial killers who did enjoy having sex with corpses were (and are) some of the most brutal killers known to man. A serial killer's habits rarely change - at least, until the killer in question goes into their final, wild death march, when all rational thought goes out the window and they begin to get sloppy. Most serial killers who were necrophiliacs followed their modus operandi to a T, sometimes for years. And they all had sex with corpses for different reasons. Some killers couldn’t get a date; others were afraid to be abandoned or alone. And the most frightening necrophiliac killers simply had no regard for human life and wanted to instill as much fear in the general public as possible.

While many serial killers take a sick pride in their work, necrophiliacs rarely promote the fact that part of their sickness is the desire to make love to a corpse. In fact, most of the killers on here didn’t admit to having sex with a dead body until they were pressed on the facts by the police. The guys who did brag about their corpse love had either resigned themselves to the fact that they weren’t going to be seeing the outside of a cell ever again, or they might have been making it up to seem spooky. 

Jeffrey Dahmer is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 14 Serial Killers Who Practiced Necrophilia
Photo: Guantxi/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0

Jeffrey Dahmer is definitely one of the most outspoken and open necrophiliacs. After his arrest in 1991, he granted a number of interviews and laid out his reasons for killing multiple men and having sex with their dead bodies: "The only motive that there ever was was to completely control a person - a person I found physically attractive. And keep them with me as long as possible, even if it meant just keeping a part of them."

It would be heartbreaking and almost kind of romantic... if you didn't know he was talking about having sex with a corpse.

More Jeffrey Dahmer 

#2,789 of 2,830 The Most Influential People of All Time #3 of 34 Notable People Who Died in Prison

Edmund Kemper is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 14 Serial Killers Who Practiced Necrophilia
Photo:  Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office/Wikipedia/CC BY 3.0

Ed Kemper, or the Coed Killer, was similar to Jeffrey Dahmer in that he was trying to make a personal connection with the women he killed, albeit in the worst way possible. In Kemper's work, the killing and necrophilia that followed was a way to "transfer the affection" from whomever his victim loved to Kemper himself.

One gets the feeling that each time Kemper killed someone he equated it to going on a date. He buried one victim's head in the backyard, "with her face turned toward my bedroom window and, sometimes at night, I talked to her, saying love things, the way you do to a girlfriend or wife." 

More Edmund Kemper 

#139 of 432 Famous Tall Men Over 6'2 #1 of 15 15 Extremely Meticulous And Cunning Serial Killers

Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

Earle Nelson was a real piece of work. Nelson was known as "the Gorilla Killer" or "the Gorilla Man." He was a devout Pentecostal with deeply ingrained sexual problems. His favorite way to kill was to pretend like he was going to rent an apartment, and then after he gained his prospective landlord's trust, he would strangle them to death, have sex with their corpse, and sometimes hide the body under a bed. Nelson never fully admitted to being a murderer or a necrophiliac, and most of the quotes from his trial are just about how only God could judge him.

His last words before his execution were: "I am innocent. I stand innocent before God and man. I forgive those who have wronged me and ask forgiveness of those I have injured. God have mercy!"

Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

Over the course of John Christie's multi-year career as a murderer and necrophile, he would redefine what it meant to have sex with corpses - and take part in the classic serial killer pastime of hiding corpses under his floorboards or buried in the garden. 

While he never spoke about having sex with his victims, it's obvious that their rape was meant to be a final form of torture.