The Strange Obsession of Dr. Carl Von Cosel

The Strange Obsession of Dr. Carl Von Cosel

The story of Dr. Carl Von Cosel and his obsession with Maria Elena Milagro de Hoyos whom he loved beyond the grave is one of the most bizarre cases of necrophilia in history. It is however also one of the most inspirational love stories ever as even in death, Carl Von Cosel refused to be parted from his beloved.

Karl Tanzler Becomes Carl Von Cosel

Karl Tanzler was born on February 8, 1877 in Dresden, Germany. He married his wife in 1920, and they had two children together. In 1926 he decided to emigrate his family to America, and they settled in Zephyrhills, Florida. Because he used many different names, it is uncertain what his actual real name was. His marriage certificate states his name as Georg Karl Tanzler, but upon settling in Florida he stated his name was Carl von Cosel. Shortly after their arrival to Florida, Carl and his wife separated.

According to Carl he had been visited by an ancestor named Countess Anna Constantina Von Cosel, a reason for which he changed his name. He said that she told him that his true love will be a dark haired exotic woman. Whether that claim is true, we do not know, but he did indeed meet his true love.

Meeting Maria Elena Milagro de Hoyos

Carl von Cosel accepted a job working at Marine Hospital in Key West, Florida. It is here where he first met Maria Elena Milagro de Hoyos, while working on the tuberculosis ward. She had been diagnosed with the disease, which at the time, was fatal. To Carl, Elena was love at first sight, he believed she was the exotic woman that his ancestor previously told him about. He was captivated with her beauty and was determined to save her and cure her from her disease.

There was never any proof of any kind of romance between the two, and no indication Elena wanted anything romantic with Carl von Cosel. With his self-professed medical knowledge, Carl told Elena’s family that he wanted to experiment, and try to cure her from her inevitable fate. Her desperate family, who knew they could do nothing to save her themselves, agreed to let him try his experiments, and hopefully save Elena.

Carl tried lots of different treatments to save his new love. Treatments he used ranged from herbal remedies to X-ray treatment, and even reportedly electric shocks. And while he was trying his own treatments, Carl did everything to try and make Elena happy – he bought her gifts and was constantly trying to please her. He was hoping that by saving her life she would come around to one day loving him back.

Elena Hoyos’ Death

Despite Carl’s efforts, just before Halloween in 1931, Elena succumbed to her illness and died. Carl couldn’t bear the thought of being alone after finally meeting his true love so he paid for Elena’s funeral, and with her family’s permission, he paid for a construction of a mausoleum. He wanted Elena buried above ground, because he thought the underground burials would contaminate her body.

Carl had access to the mausoleum, so after burial, he would visit it every day. He would sit with her for hours, talking to her like she was alive. He even installed a telephone so they could communicate. Elena’s family was not alarmed by Carl visiting their daughter’s grave so often since they trusted him as a doctor and felt he had a special connection with her and was just grieving.

When the Obsession Becomes Pathological

Little did Elena’s family know, Carl made a key for the mausoleum that no one knew about and would visit her every night. He would bring with him formaldehyde and other chemicals to try and preserve her body. After 2 years of visiting Elena’s grave, Carl lost his job at the hospital and moved into a small remote shack.

One night while visiting Elena, Carl claimed she appeared in front of him and confessed his love to him. She also told him she needed him to take her away from the mausoleum. Carl wasted no time in doing just that – he took Elena’s body and placed it into a toy wagon and took her back to his home.

It was here at his home, that he laid Elena on their bed and would take care of his love, still trying to preserve her body with chemicals from the hospital. The chemicals were only working for so long, and soon enough, her skin started to decompose and his once beautiful love, was becoming unrecognisable. So he used perfumes and other chemicals to try to mask the smell of her rotting flesh.

As Elena’s skin decomposed, Carl would replace it with silk coated in wax and plaster. He tied her bones together, with piano and coat hanger wire. When her hair would fall from her scalp, he made her a wig. As her inside’s liquefied, and her body began losing shape, Carl would fill her chest and abdominal cavity with rags and clothes. He replaced Elena’s rotting eyes with glass ones, and reconstructed all her features. He even inserted a tube into her rotting vagina, so he could still have sex with her.

Carl created his own macabre doll with her remains and with it, an illusion that Elena was still somehow with him. He even tried to marry her, and spent 7 years living with her as his wife. He spent his days with her, talking to her while she was placed on their large bed, wrapped in cloth veil.

The Discovery

Elena’s family suspected something was seriously wrong. They had not seen Carl for the best part of seven years, he had stopped visiting Elena’s grave, and just overall seemed to disappear. Things did not add up and when one of Elena’s sisters heard rumours around the town that Carl was sleeping with the body of her dead sister, she alerted the authorities, who broke into the mausoleum and discovered that her tomb was empty. She went to Carl’s shack and confronted him about it. Carl invited her inside and to her horror, she found herself face to face with the creation Carl had made using her sister’s remains.

Carl was immediately arrested. He was found mentally capable to stand trial on the charge of “wantonly and maliciously destroying a grave and removing a body without authorization.” The case was eventually dropped as the statue of limitations on grave robbing had expired.

Because of the high interest in the case, Elena’s body was put out on public display and over 6,800 people visited her remains before her second and final burial. Still badly decayed, she was laid out on a trailer cart for people to see for themselves the creation Carl had made. Then, Elena’s body was buried in an unmarked grave in a secret location.

Later Life and Death

In 1944, after the case was dropped, Carl moved to Pasco County, Florida. In 1950 hr finally received United State’s citizenship. It was here, while separated from his true love, that he created a death mask to build a life-sized effigy of his wife Elena. There is no indication any human material was used in the creation of the death mask, but Carl life with his wife and his morbid obsession continued up until 1952, when he was found dead in his home – in the arms of his effigy.

Here’s a video about the Strange Obsession of Dr. Carl von Cosel:

Another documentary about Carl von Cosel with re-enactments of real life events:

And a gallery of a few photos. Props to Best Gore member wicked mama for the pics:

77 thoughts on “The Strange Obsession of Dr. Carl Von Cosel”

    1. I have heard and read about this Sick old fuck……Seriously, nice love story?!? If this old fart would of done this to any of my kin I would mop the floor with his disgusting jehova loving face. This was a twisted sick puppy and the sad part about it is that there are still fucks like this in our communities……
      Humans wake up!!!!!! Heaven loves idiots like this they enjoy it and most of you love it too…..
      Ave Rex Luciferi!!!!!!

  1. They should make a romance film out of this material, it would be much better than any Romeo and Juliet adaptation and the story would not end at the death of Juliet, and Romeo would not need to kill himself to be with her, simply apply to her a bit of makeup, a splash of perfume and then pants down and cock in.

    A thoroughly enjoyable romantic movie and one you would be proud to take your date to see.

  2. 6 Billion people on the planet, but you won’t find another one who would be so dedicated to loving one and one only person that not even death would stand in the way to his love. Dr Cosel – the greatest lover to have ever lived. My utmost respect to this fine man.

  3. @Kaitlin- Thank you for this awesome love story! I gotta say that i dropped a tear. So beautiful yet strange and deranged at the same time. Love can be a scary thing to some, but any man who tried as hard as he did should have some recognition! The only thing he was guilty of was- being crazy in love!

    @WickedMama- Thank you girl, your awesome too! 🙂

    1. Hi, Brazilian_NOTDASILVA

      Tuberculosis still is incurable in so far as there is no direct antigen because the Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a pathogen that, just like our own antibodies, resists attack and strengthens its self.

      This makes it very hard to pin point any particular characteristics of the Mycobacterium because it is forever adapting itself, which of course means that it is very hard to treat.

      The key to beating the disease lies in how fit and healthy the host is. This is why the treatment tends to be more biased towards strengthening the immune system, the stronger the host the stronger the possibility of beating the disease.

      In the 1920’s the working class were often of poor health, often malnourished and there was large amounts of air pollution due to extensive factory output, therefore they had much lower immune systems and a much lower chance of beating the disease.

      Tuberculosis therefore is still deadly, particularly when caught late, however the survival rates are much better now.

  4. That’s really creepy, but also very interesting. I don’t want someone to do that to me, when i’m gone, i’m gone and if they loved me that much, they can make sure they behave themselves and meet me again in heaven 🙂

  5. I remember seeing this on HBO’s Autopsy series a long time ago, and the I never forgotten the case. It always creeped me out how the Doc preserved her, but hey… Love is love, I guess.

    My older brother’s name is Carl, so naturally when all of us teenagers saw this way back in the day his nickname became Carl Von Cosel. Which actually turned out to be quite fitting for him, because he is pretty strange himself about the women in his life… I wonder if the nickname had anything to do with that.

  6. how did he overcome the smell enough to fuck her?

    i’m incredulous to find that he only used perfumes to mask the dead stink, it has to be some other thing

    or maybe being insane deadens the senses of people?

    they also didn’t say what he used to lubricate her, wow, I guess it’s whatever turns you ON

  7. Wow.. to be loved like that is incredible! It really makes me think. I would love to see this in a movie or a play, what a beautiful love story. Now of course sick and demented but beautiful in its own little way. I wish I could get into that guys head and find out what made him tick… rebuilding her… wow… why isnt this a movie yet! D:<

  8. A strange story, but it shows just how deep love is. Maybe in his mind, it wasn’t necrophilia. It’s weird that he inserted a tube in her vag to have intercourse with her. That is creepy, but it happens. It is sad that he couldn’t let her RIP and find a living woman to share his life with. I guess to him, he could never love another.

  9. This has got to be the most fucked up shit Ive ever heard! I thought it was sick that the green river killer whiped maggots of the vagina of his victims so he could fuck them! I also must say I love this site and sick fucks like myself who enjoy this stuff! I love the internet!

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