Criminal Minds Wiki

The Mill Creek Killer, with the corpse of one of his victims.

A paraphilia, necrophilia (also known as "thanatophilia" and "necrolagnia") is a sexual attraction to the dead, the word being derived from the Ancient Greek terms νεκρός (nekros; "corpse," or "dead") and φιλία (philia; "friendship").


Motivations for necrophilia, which is often tied to low self-esteem, include the loss of a loved one and they want to reunite with them, the desire for complete control over an unresisting partner, a socially isolated individual finding comfort in the act, cultural or religious belief (for example, the ancient Moche people apparently practiced it, believing it allowed communication with the dead) or simple lust. The act of having sex with a corpse is often a misdemeanor or felony.

Types of Necrophilia

The ten types of necrophilia are as follows:

  1. Role players
  2. Romantic necrophiles
  3. People having a necrophilic fantasy ("necrophilic fantasizers")
  4. Tactile necrophiles
  5. People having a sexual fetish for the dead ("fetishistic necrophiles")
  6. People having a necromutilomania ("necromutilomaniacs")
  7. Opportunistic necrophiles
  8. Regular necrophiles
  9. Homicidal necrophiles
  10. Exclusive necrophiles

On Criminal Minds

  • The Mill Creek Killer ("The Last Word") - Lured his victims (always well-off brunette women) to an isolated area with a ruse, then bash their heads in, subsequently dragging the body into the woods, where he would groom and have sex with it every couple of days. He stopped after the decomposition became too severe, causing him to move on to another victim.
  • Cortland Bryce Ryan ("The Angel Maker") - Presumed to have committed necrophilia with his victims, who he would brutally beat to death either before, while or after raping them.
  • Chloe Kelcher ("The Angel Maker") - Stole the corpse of Cortland Bryce Ryan, who she had developed a romantic obsession over, and kept it at her home to worship despite it rotting away.
  • Norman Hill ("Normal") - After killing his wife and two daughters, he repressed the memory of doing so, and continually hallucinated they were still alive. As he never bothered to move his wife from their bed during his psychotic break, he presumably obliviously slept with her dead and rotting body every day afterward until his arrest.
  • Ivan Bakunas ("Cold Comfort") - A non-homicidal necrophile who would have sex with the female corpses (which he would often dress to resemble a local weather girl) he had access to when he worked as a medical technician in a morgue.
  • Roderick Gless ("Cold Comfort") - A wealthy medical school graduate who would abduct women who reminded him of his childhood au pair, whose body he would sleep next to when she died while his parents were on vacation. The victims would be brainwashed into believing they were the au pair before being embalmed alive, allowing Roderick to sleep with their corpses for months before the decomposition set in.
  • Rhett Walden ("Reflection of Desire") - A budding serial killer who is implied to have had an incestuous relationship with his mother, which may or may not have continued after her death, which was possibly at his hand. When she died, Rhett kept the corpse and presumably interacted with it still, under the belief via schizophrenic hallucinations that she was still alive.

Real World