Bones Broken, Hole Found in Skull : Mutilation of ‘Mengele’ Body Suspected

Associated Press

The body believed to be that of notorious Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele may have been mutilated before burial, police said today.

“There is a suspicion that someone may have tried to deform the cadaver,” federal police Chief Romeu Tuma said at a news conference.

Tuma said the examiners reported accelerated erosion of the skeletal remains, “which is not normal.” He said some of the 208 bones unearthed were broken, including facial bones.

Marco Antonio Veronezzi, a federal police officer working on the Mengele case, said a small hole was found under the left eye of the skull. The cause was not immediately known, he said.


Neither official speculated as to why mutilation might have taken place.

Investigators also discovered a hidden attic in the house on the outskirts of this city where Mengele is believed to have lived from 1975 to 1979.

Veronezzi said police found a one-inch tube wrapped in aluminum foil, two .45-caliber bullets, vitamins and medicine in the attic. He said lab experts were analyzing the contents of the tube “to see if it contains poison.”

Forensic experts from the United States, West Germany, Israel and Brazil were examining the remains, exhumed June 6, to determine if they belong to Mengele, accused of sending hundreds of thousands of Jews to their death at the Auschwitz extermination camp.


According to testimony, the man believed to be Mengele drowned on Feb. 7, 1979, while swimming at Bertioga, a beach resort 47 miles from this city.

The body was buried the next day in the town of Embu, 17 miles from Sao Paulo under the name of Wolfgang Gerhard. Some Nazi hunters have expressed doubts that the body is Mengele’s, but the Mengele family announced last week that it was convinced the Nazi fugitive was dead and had been buried in Brazil.