A grave robber in Vienna is currently wanted by Police for entering the tombs of composers Johann Strauss and Johannes Brahms to steal their teeth – whilst filming the entire event and giving a running commentary of the theft. In the video, that was posted online, the man – known only as ‘OJ’ by the Austrian media – can be seen removing a skull from the casket and pulling the teeth out with a pair of pliers, allegedly to place them in a museum.
‘OJ’ claims to have collected hundreds of skulls, dentures, and teeth from graves all over the Viennese Central Cemetery, and when detectives opened up the composers tombs, they found that they were indeed missing their natural teeth and synthetic replacements. When it came to light that other graves had been disturbed, and the video was made public, the Austrian authorities decided to act to prevent other invasive crimes occurring at the cemetery known by locals and tourists as ‘number 71’.
The Federal Criminal Police Office had chosen not to act until now, saying that the crime was outside the statute of limitations in Austria, but one local paper questioned this, commenting ‘The bottom line is that they just didn’t seem to feel that any damage had been done,’ when in fact, the perpetrator could face several charges and a lengthy prison sentence if found guilty of burglary and disturbing the peace of the dead.