A case of necrophilia in Zamboanga?

By Queenie Casimiro, ABS-CBN Zamboanga

Posted at Mar 09 2010 01:21 PM | Updated as of Mar 10 2010 07:26 PM

One of the female corpses recovered in a cemetery at Barangay Mercedes, Zamboanga.

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - A number of female corpses have been removed from their destroyed graves here, which authorities believe were abused by a group of necrophiliacs.

About 5 dead bodies have been discovered in two cemeteries in Barangay Mercedes since October last year, when authorities found a freshly buried female corpse that was dug up and placed on top of her own grave.

In February, a corpse of an old woman was also found outside her final resting place. This went on until March, when bodies of a 17-year old lady and a 13-day old baby girl were removed from their respective graves.

Just recently, a corpse of a female teacher was found hanging upside down from her own stockings tied to a nearby post. Authorities said the victim's underwear was also removed and was placed on her head.

Relatives of the victims were enraged by the alleged sexual violation of the female corpses. Authorities said they are already looking at drug addicts, members of fraternities and lunatics as suspects to the so-called necrophilia case.

What is necrophilia?

Stephen Hucker, consulting forensic psychiatrist and a professor at the University of Toronto, said necrophilia can be best defined as sexual arousal stimulated by a dead body.

In his website, forensicpsychiatry.ca, he said the stimulation can either be in the form of fantasies (which are never acted upon) or actual physical contact (kissing, fondling, or performing sexual intercourse) with the corpse.

The concept of necrophilia has been known since ancient Egyptian times, when a dead woman's body was left to decay for three to four days before being given to embalmers to discourage intercourse with the corpse.

Citing studies, Hucker said the presence of other personality disorders in necrophilia can manifest in more grotesque elements such as the mutilation of the corpse, drinking the blood or urine, or homicide (called "necrophilic homicide" or "necrosadism").

Although assumed rare, Hucker said many have argued that necrophilia may be more prevalent given that the act would be carried out in secret with a victim unable to complain (since he or she is already dead). -- Report from Queenie Casimiro, ABS-CBN Zamboanga, with forensicpsychiatry.ca.