Carl Tanzer


Tanzer with his corpse wife.

Faith Mayhugh, staff writer

Being lonely sucks. In most cases, the reason you don’t have friends or a significant other is because you’re weird. And that’s not a bad thing– in most cases. 

Doctor Carl Tanzer took not being lonely to a whole other level.  

Tanzer was an intelligent and curious kid. He got married later in life, but never stopped looking for the face he saw in one of his dreams he had when he was eleven years old. He saw the face of his destined true love. 

When Tanzer was 56 years old he was working as a radiology technologist in Key West, Florida. That is where he meet patient Elena De Hoyos, who suffered from tuberculosis. 

Long story short, Tanzer fell in love with her. Later that year, Hoyos lost the fight to her illness. However, Tanzer wasn’t ready to let her go. 

At first Tanzer was seen by Hoyos tomb at night. Nobody knew he had the key and was secretly preserving her corpse. He stuffing her body and placing wires and glass eyes throughout the corpse. He moved Hoyos to his home. There he cared for her like a real person. He cooked, sang, and danced with her. 

He was spotted buying women’s clothes and perfume, and people believed he had moved on. 

Rumors reached Hoyos parents that he found someone else. They were glad for him until one day in 1940 when Hoyos sister went to visit Tanzer. There, she found her sister. She ran out in horror and called the police. Tanzer was prosecuted for “wantonly and maliciously destroying a grave and removing a body without authorization.” 

Tanzer asked for the body back, but it was burned and buried in an unmarked grave so nobody could steal her again. Once Tanzer was off the hook he made a life size doll of her and spent his remaining life with it till he died at 75 in 1952

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