Skull Collector: 56 Human Skulls, 55 Other Human Bones Stashed In Apartment

A skull collector was caught with 56 human skulls and related bone, as well as an additional 55 other human bones, mostly from thighs. The Guardian reported that the unnamed 47-year-old skull collector was arrested and charged with disturbing the peace of the dead after the gruesome find in his home in Oberwart, Austria.

Their report described the collection of over 100 human bones as a museum that the Austrian man had set up in his home. He got caught because he got greedy and attempted to sell some of the remains, including three skulls, in a flea market.

The Austrian Times chose to call it a hoard, not a museum, in their description of how the skull collector obtained the bones. Police officer Wolfgang Bachkonig described how the crime was committed, saying that the collector was actually bold enough to outright ask for the bones from a Maria Weinberg Parish Church worker:

“One month ago the 47-year-old man contacted the sexton claiming he was on an official mission and needed the bones for a museum in Oberwart.

“The sexton acted in good will and allowed the bones to be transported.”

The skull collector then climbed into an underground mass tomb thought to date back to the 17th century and removed all of the bones.

The remains have been seized by police, and the church’s priest has already said that the bones will be blessed before they are laid back to rest.

So what was the man’s defense for conning the church out of 56 skulls and other bones? Reportedly the skull collector has claimed he was just protecting them from decay.

Yikes. I actually know someone who got arrested in the 90s for stealing one skull from a damaged New Orleans mausoleum. I still have no clue what she was thinking.

So don’t ask me why somebody would want 56 human skulls. What’s your take on the Austrian skull collector?

[skull photo credit: digitalis_vitae via photopin cc]