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Dr Carl Von Cosel

Dr Carl Von Cosel

Original Name Karl Tanzler
Death 23 Jul 1952 (aged 75)
Miami-Dade County, USA
Burial Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend
Memorial ID 10657959 · View Source
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Doctor, Necrophiliac. Born Karl Tanzler in Dresden, Germany he abandoned his wife and children in 1927 to move to Key West, Florida, where he changed his name to Carl Von Cosel and added "Count" to his title. He also claimed to have had 19 different degrees though none were substanciated. Von Cosel worked for several years in a hospital that was full of patients sick and dying from tuberculosis (which was then uncurable). In 1933 one of his patients was 22 year old Elena Hoyos whom fell in love with Elena and did everything he could to try and save her. But there was nothing he could do and she passed away. Not long after her funeral Von Cosel got permission from her family to place Elena's body in a casket full of formaldehyde. His daily visits to her crypt began to make people take notice. Then one day Dr. Von Cosel stopped coming by many assumed that he had died. That was until he turned up in another part of town, having moved and bought a small house near the sea. Keeping to himself, Von Cosel lived a private life for years and neighbors only saw him when he went back and forth with large packages. They also said that they could hear him singing and playing his organ late into the night. Elena's sister grew suspicious and sought out Von Cosel when the cemetary reported that her casket was missing. Confronting the doctor at his house she demanded to know what happened to her sister and Von Cosel showed him, the body was upstairs in his bed. He was arrested and given a psychological evaluation but because the statute of limitations on molesting a grave was only two years (this was seven years later) no charges could be filed against him. In 1972 it was made public that Von Cosel had stolen Elena's body and taken it home where he treated it with oil and wax and attempted to rebuild her body as it decomposed, even giving her glass eyes and making her a wig out of her hair. He had made a puppet-like deathmask of Elena to preserve her beauty. Von Cosel was released when he was found to be sane but to this day still remains a curiosity. Elena's body was buried and encased in cement in an undisclosed, unmarked grave where Von Cosel couldn't find her again. The deathmask was put on display in a local museum when the case became local folklore. It was stolen some time later and turned up in 1952 on the floor of Von Cosel's home lying next to his dead body.

Bio by: Selk


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Selk
  • Added: 23 Mar 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 10657959
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Dr Carl Von Cosel (8 Feb 1877–23 Jul 1952), Find A Grave Memorial no. 10657959, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.