Morgue Worker Admits to Sex With More Bodies
HAMILTON COUNTY, Ohio - A man who worked at the county morgue for 16 years and is serving time for having sex with a corpse admitted on Monday to having sex with two more bodies during his employment.
Kenneth Douglas, 56, of Westwood, pleaded guilty to two counts of gross abuse of a corpse before visiting Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Niehaus. He could be imprisoned for a maximum of three years at his Dec. 10 sentencing.
Douglas was employed for 16 years, from 1976-1992, as a night attendant at the morgue. He told authorities previously that while there, he invited women in and partied with them with drugs and alcohol. He also admitted to having sex with bodies being stored while awaiting autopsies.
He is currently serving a three-year sentence for having sex with another corpse -that of Karen Range, an 18-year-old murder victim who was nearly beheaded in 1982 and had been in the morgue cooler for hours.
Douglas said nothing Monday except to give respectful, short answers to routine questions from the judge.
On Monday, Douglas admitted he had sex with the bodies of two homicide victims as they were awaiting autopsies:
- Charlene Edwards, 23, also known as Charlene Apling, who was strangled to death. He had sex with that body Oct. 1, 1991;
- Angel Hicks, 24, who was pushed from a third-story window and died from blunt trauma. He had sex with that body Dec. 8, 1991.
Douglas pleaded guilty without a plea deal. Assistant Prosecutor Mark Piepmeier said his office would offer no deals to Douglas.
After Douglas pleaded guilty in 2008 to having sex with Range's corpse officials conducted an extensive investigation comparing Douglas' DNA to that of other bodies in the morgue during the time Douglas worked there.
Initially, officials feared there could be dozens of other victims, based on some of the stories Douglas told them. They were able to indict him on two additional charges.
"He told us he was out of control," Prosecutor Joe Deters said in March after Douglas was indicted on the two charges he pleaded guilty to today.
"This is off-the-charts weird."
Douglas was first caught when he violated his probation on a previous conviction, and his DNA was taken by officials and placed in a database. The database showed Douglas' DNA matched that of the semen left in Range's body.
That was good news for David Steffen, the man who spent 26 years on Ohio's death row for Range's murder but who insisted he never raped her. Now, Steffen's attorneys are using Douglas' acts to try to get Steffen off of death row.