The thought of death and dying generates a sense of fear and uncertainty even among the bravest of individuals. Morgue workers tend to have a better grasp on the concept of death and what happens to our bodies when we die by being surrounded by corpses. While the dead body is sacred for many, for others, specifically mortuary worker Skarkur Lucas, it develops into a genuine sexual attraction.

The former mortuary man at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Ghana admitted on television station Adom TV he has had sex with dead women "many, many times," claiming necrophilia is part of the job training.

"That is the training. You have to do that, because once you have done that you will not be afraid of them again. Working with dead bodies is a talent that God gave me. I'm with the dead bodies every time, every day, and it is as if I'm with another person,” Lucas said.

He has now gone on the run since making these claims, which has prompted the police to launch an investigation. Not surprisingly, Lucas has been sacked by his employers, although he fails to see what he has done wrong. When asked whether he suffered from mental health problems, Lucas insisted, "I am OK. I am OK, sir.”

This case isn’t the only mortician-necrophilia incident that has occurred. Kenneth Douglas, a necrophilia-obsessed morgue assistant from Ohio, admitted to sexually abusing up to 100 corpses over his 16-year career last August. Douglas was found guilty of having sex with murder victim Karen Range in 1982, after semen was found in her vagina. The woman was nearly decapitated by a door-to-door salesman in 1982.

The former mortician’s DNA has also been linked to 23-year-old Charlene Appling, who died in 1991 after being strangled during her sixth month of pregnancy, and 24-year-old April Hicks, who fell from a third-story window in 1991 and died of blunt force trauma. Douglas would have sex with these corpses and more while they were kept in storage awaiting autopsies.

Similar to Lucas and Douglas, a necrophiliac’s common motive is being in possession of an unresisting and unrejecting partner. Lucas admitted he has struggled with that when it comes to dating because of his occupation. "I wanted to marry, but the girl says I am a mortuary man," he said. "I can satisfy myself [at the mortuary] because girls don't want to [date] me outside."

Necrophilia among morgue workers is far more common than people think. A study published in the journal The Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law found more people used corpses for sexual pleasure in the 122 cases reviewed. More than half of these people worked in morgues or some aspect of the funeral industry. This suggests necrophiliacs often choose occupations that put them in contact with corpses.

Drs. Jonathan Rosman and Phillip Resnick, researchers of the study, say most necrophiles are heterosexual, although about half of the known necrophiles who have killed people were gay. In about 60 percent there is a diagnosed personality disorder, with 10 percent being psychotic. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) defines necrophilia as the presence, over a period of at least six months, of recurrent and intense urges and sexually arousing fantasies involving corpses that are either acted upon or have been distressing. It suggests the individual should be assessed for associated psychopathology and treated accordingly.

A necrophiliac’s fascination with the dead could also be his way of transforming fear into desire to be able to master death.

Source: Resnick, P and Rosman, J. Necrophilia: An analysis of 122 cases involving necrophilic acts and fantasies. Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. 1989.