Artwork: Julienne Alexander.
Listen to it on: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, etc.
“In 1930, a Cuban woman named Elena de Hoyos went to the hospital in Key West, Florida. She had a bad cough, and her family was afraid she had Tuberculosis. She met a German x-ray technician who called himself “Count Von Cosel” and who claimed he could save her, using unusual methods he’d invented himself. But on October 25, 1931, Elena de Hoyos died. Count Von Cosel wrote that a strange new kind of life began for him.”
Breaking rules is a Halloween tradition. You know, harmless subversiveness – like TP-ing Old Man McKinney’s Buick or distributing THC Jolly Ranchers to trick-or-treaters*. Well, here’s my act of spooky defiance: today, I recommend not a movie… But a PODCAST EPISODE!!
::CUE STROBE LIGHTS, THUNDER CLAP AND AGONIZED GHOST MOANS::
My sister and I became obsessed with the true story of Carl Tanzler (aka Count Von Cosel) after a Key West ghost tour, some fifteen years ago. Incidentally, weirdo Key West has a lot of great local legends that you should be aware of (including Robert the Doll.) But Von Cosel’s macabre exploits really stood out to us because they verifiably happened.
If you’re unfamiliar with this dude, I would keep it that way until you listen to the episode. It’s pretty wild stuff and, for my money, it’s best to go in cold. I’ll just say that the Count was a kooky charlatan who became a little too enamored with a tuberculosis patient named Elena. And his infatuation didn’t end when she died…
Criminal is a painstakingly researched and wonderfully executed podcast that I can’t recommend enough. It’s no surprise that this is the most detailed account of the story I’ve heard so far. Lend it your ears.
And Happy Halloween!!!
Gross-o-Meter: 5/10. Gross stuff happens to dead bodies. That’s why we typically bury/burn them.
*Not a thing.