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14th August, 2015

Abusing the Corpse: An Illustrated History of Necrophilia Laws in the USA

Event Details

Date:
14th August, 2015
Time:
18.30
Venue:
Bart's Pathology Museum, 3rd Floor Robin Brook Centre, St Bartholomew Hospital, EC1A 7BE London
Price:
£8.50 plus booking fee

In September 2006, Wisconsin police discovered Nicholas Grunke, Alexander Grunke and Dustin Radtke digging into the grave of a recently deceased woman. Upon questioning by police, Alexander Grunke explained that the three men wanted to exhume the body for sexual intercourse. In the Wisconsin state court system, the three men were charged with attempted third-degree sexual assault and attempted theft. None of the men could be charged with attempted necrophilia, however, since the state of Wisconsin had no law making necrophilia illegal.

What the Wisconsin case exposed was the following gap in American jurisprudence: many states have no law prohibiting necrophilia. This talk on American necrophilia laws argues that human corpses and the laws that govern the use of dead bodies are uniquely positioned to cause precisely these legal discrepancies since the dead body is a quasi-subject before the law.

This examination also presents an argument about one of the fundamental reasons that this gap in American law exists. Specifically, Troyer will argue that the ambiguous juridical standing of the human corpse in necrophilia cases compounds the sexual monstrousness of the necrophiliac and of necrophilic acts.

The lecture will also present updates on cases of necrophilia in Ohio and other states.


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