January 13, 2011

Richard Sanden - Jailed After Having Sex With Woman’s Corpse, Claimed He Didn’t Know She Was Dead

Washington, Indiana (The Weekly Vice) - Richard Elwood Sanden, a 55-year-old Geneva man was jailed after he "unknowingly" had sex with a dead woman's corpse.

According to Washington police, Sanden met 48-year-old Rebecca Whitehead through a telephone dating line and had been in contact with her for about four months before finally meeting up with her at his apartment on Saturday.

Investigators say Sanden stated that he and Whitehead were drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana, then ultimately became sexually intimate. He stated that during sex, he noticed that she had quit breathing. He attempted to perform CPR on her before calling 911.

He claimed that the last time he had spoken to her was around 8:00 p.m. Officers arrived at the scene around 9:30.

Detectives searched the apartment and recovered a video camera from the bedroom. They also found several other tapes of various women. After reviewing the tapes, officers determined that Sanden knew that the victim was deceased and continued to sexually violate her. Whitehead's cause of death is pending an autopsy. Her funeral is scheduled for Thursday.

Sanden was booked into the Daviess County Security Center and charged with necrophilia, mutilating a corpse, abuse of a corpse, possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia. He is being held on $500,000 bond.

Mandi Milenko
The Weekly Vice

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