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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-29-2008, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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Another 1 who likes his served cold...........

Sex crime linked to morgue

Prosecutor calls suspect an animal


Bond was set at $700,000 for a suspected necrophiliac who is charged with having sex with the corpse of a 19-year-old murder victim.

The former Hamilton County employee accused of having sex with a body in the morgue had his bond set today at $700,000.

Kenneth Douglas, 55, of Westwood, was before Common Pleas Court Judge William Mallory for an arraignment that lasted less than five minutes where none of the details of the horrific allegations were discussed.

Douglas pleaded not guilty.

Douglas was indicted Monday for gross abuse of a corpse. He is accused of having sex with the body of murder victim Karen Range in the morgue – where Douglas worked as an attendant – hours after David Steffen killed her and nearly beheaded her with a paring knife.

Douglas is accused of having sex with the woman’s uncleaned body after it had been stored in more refrigeration for four hours awaiting an autopsy the next day.

“In a case like this, you are tempted to refer to (Douglas) as an animal but that really isn’t fair to animals. They don’t do things like this. He is one sick dude,” Assistant Prosecutor Mark Piepmeier said after the brief arraignment.

Norm Aubin, Douglas’ attorney, wouldn’t comment on the case.

Piepmeier said officials believe Douglas had sex with more dead bodies and expect similar, additional charges in the future against Douglas.

“Someone capable of what Mr. Douglas is charged with doing is capable of anything,” Piepmeier.

Douglas rarely spoke, only telling the judge his age, where he lived and that he’d recently lost his job.

His job from 1976-1992 was an attendant at the morgue

Steffen was convicted in 1983 of the aggravated murder, rape and aggravated burglary after the door-to-door soap salesman attacked 19-year-old Range in her Roselawn home. Her partially nude body was found by her mother.

Steffen admitted he killed Range but insisted he never raped her. Last year, DNA analysis exonerated Steffen of the rape.

After Douglas was convicted of violating his probation on a drug trafficking conviction, his DNA was taken. Days later, officials discovered it matched the body fluid found inside Range’s body.

The gross abuse of corpse charge is a fifth-degree felony, the lowest felony in Ohio, and carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison.

Hamilton County law-enforcement officials knew that Steffen killed Range in 1982, but he insisted for 26 years he never raped the teen.

Prosecutors won murder and rape convictions against Steffen to send him to death row - the first Hamilton County inmate to receive a death sentence after the death penalty was reinstated in Ohio.

DNA evidence exonerated Steffen last year on the rape charge.

Now, authorities have the man they believe responsible for the sexual attack.

Douglas, 55, of Westwood, was arrested Friday on a charge of violating his probation for a March conviction on a drug offense. He had been ordered to give a DNA sample after the March conviction, and last week, Ohio's Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation told authorities that the sample matched evidence from Steffen's case.

"There are no words to describe the disgust everyone associated with the case feels," Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said Monday as he outlined the twists in the bizarre case.

"Now we know what happened. As horrific as it is, now we know," Deters said Monday.

"This was a scenario no one imagined in this office," Deters said. "It was so bizarre that no one could even comprehend it. I can't explain this at all."

Douglas was charged with abuse of a corpse. If convicted, he faces up to a year in prison.

Deters expects Douglas to be charged with violating other corpses based on "overwhelming evidence" from those discussions with the suspect.

"Our initial indication is it's less than five (victims), but we don't know," Deters said.

Because of the allegation against Douglas - and the hint of more charges to come - Deters said his office and the coroner's office are obligated to review all of the cases Douglas was involved in during his 16 years with the coroner's office.

He said the government will look at files from other cases and check DNA evidence when it's available.

"There's people who had loved ones in this county who deserve to know," Deters said.

Coroner O'dell Owens was elected in 2004, 12 years after Douglas left the office.

Deters sent two of his employees to Florida to tell Range's mother, Laurie Rockel Range, of Douglas' indictment.

The mother was ecstatic at the news.

She insisted that her daughter was a virgin when she died and fumed at the suggestion during Steffen's murder trial that Karen Range had been sexually active.

"I am jumping for joy. I'm going out dancing tonight," the 76-year-old mother said Monday from her Florida home.

She was stunned, though, to find out who was accused of abusing her daughter's corpse.

"Who's going to rape a dead body? Well. A morgue attendant (apparently)," she said. "I was shocked."

For 26 years, she said, her daughter has come to her in dreams. She never saw her daughter's face in the dreams, but she was always washing dishes or shoveling snow.

"That showed she was trying to help me deal with all of this," Range said.

Steffen was convicted in 1983 of aggravated murder, rape and aggravated burglary of Range.

Steffen was a door-to-door soap salesman who knocked on the door of the Ranges' Roselawn home and then stabbed the teen to death, almost severing her head.

Steffen, 48, was sent to death row after admitting he killed Range, but he always maintained that he never raped her. DNA testing had not been developed in 1982, and blood typing did not rule out Steffen as a suspect.

Last year, DNA tests showed the body fluid inside Range was not Steffen's.

In Ohio, defendants are eligible for the death penalty only if they are convicted of murder and another crime - such as rape, kidnapping, burglary or another murder, among others.

Steffen's lawyers have argued that because the body fluid of someone other than Steffen was found in Range, prosecutors can't prove that he raped her. They say that means Steffen isn't eligible for the death penalty.

Prosecutors have countered that Steffen - who admitted stabbing Range to death - should remain on death row because he was convicted of aggravated burglary and that still makes him eligible for execution. They also contend that Steffen tried to rape Range but couldn't.

An attempted-rape conviction along with the murder also would qualify him for the death penalty.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-29-2008, 12:14 PM
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Does this mean you're supposed to get permission from the family, now?

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-29-2008, 12:20 PM
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It has been a cold case for 26 years.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-29-2008, 12:25 PM
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^ Is it just me or was that the most confusingly written article ever?
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-29-2008, 12:38 PM
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Apparently they don't teach sentence structure in Cincinnati.

Every sentence is its own paragraph.

It makes you wonder if the writer is this much of a start/stop person in bed.

I would assume that they would then be single.

Go Reds.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-29-2008, 02:00 PM
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I have seen a mouse screw a dead one on a trap
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-29-2008, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcbear View Post
Apparently they don't teach sentence structure in Cincinnati.

Every sentence is its own paragraph.

It makes you wonder if the writer is this much of a start/stop person in bed.

I would assume that they would then be single.

Go Reds.
I would bet that the writer had it dead on but the editor killed it off and made it a little stiff.

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