A 37-year-old Swedish woman with an admitted obsession with skeletons has been convicted of disturbing the peace of the dead for allegedly using human bones for… though it doesn’t seem like a problem. The woman didn’t actually create the skeleton or skin it from a living person, but there’s more.
When the problem is against the law of the country in which you reside, it’s never a good idea to try and do whatever the illegal action would be, but when your illegal instance is not harming the living, there should be a little leeway.
In issuing its ruling on Monday, the Gothenburg District Court also convicted the woman of weapons crimes, sentencing her to probation and ordering that she undergo treatment for addiction and psychiatric problems.
The woman has continually denied committing any crimes, telling the local newspaper that while she may be an “odd bird” that she is “not sexually interested in necrophilia”.
She had argued that she acquired the skeletons legally and that she handled the bones in a respectful manner and that her actions weren’t covered by Sweden’s laws against disturbing the peace of the dead. The woman was found to have kept some bones scattered on the floor in her home, stored skulls in plastic bags, and to have sold some bones to other people. So I guess when you aren’t suppose to be handling the deceased’s bones, you probably shouldn’t be selling them either.
“Criminal protection starts when a person dies, and the protection remains as long as there are remains of the deceased,” the court wrote in a statement. “The fact that the woman had moved bones constitutes a crime because she was unauthorized to do so, just as it’s a crime to put together a skeleton and have it lying on the floor, to have bones in plastic bags, and to sell them.”
According to the court, the 37-year-old handled the human bones “ignominiously”, something which is prohibited by Sweden’s laws against disturbing the peace of the dead.
The court added that the woman didn’t need to be aware that her actions were criminal in order to be convicted, which is a shame as in America there wouldn’t be a single guilty party if that were the way to measure illegal activity.
“It’s enough that she knew that she was handling human bones,” the court said, explaining there was no doubt she was acting with intent. The court threw out a charge stemming from allegations that she had stored human skulls in her freezer and used human bones for sexual purposes. Though the pictures would support a case against her, it seems that maybe getting help would be enough and not require further court punishments.
While the 37-year-old was facing up to two years in prison, the court ruled that her lack of criminal record and the nature of her crimes meant she should not be jailed, but instead be sentenced to probation.
The woman, who has continually denied any wrongdoing, was arrested in September when police arrived at her flat and found human skeletons and knives after responding to a call about gunfire coming from the apartment.