Society

Oklahoma Woman Guilty Of Corpse Mutilation At Funeral

| by Erik Kindel

An Oklahoma woman, charged with mutilating the corpse of her boyfriend's ex-girlfriend, was found guilty April 21.

Shaynna Sims, 28, will be sentenced in June on five charges, including disturbing or interrupting a funeral, unauthorized dissection, first-degree bulgary, and unlawful removal of a body part from a deceased person, according to KFOR.

As first reported by the Associated Press, 12 witnesses pieced together the bizarre events of 2015 that led Sims to court. According to prosecutors, Sims worked to gain the trust of the deceased woman's family and friends. Just before the funeral began, Sims offered her services as a beautician who could help prep the woman's body at an open-casket viewing.

Sims had no such skills, however, and instead spent her time mutilating the dead woman's corpse, removing body parts and slashing the deceased woman's face. The strangest facet of this story, though, is that it took place within sight of most of these people. Many claimed to see Sims' hands in the casket before the funeral began, but didn't suspect anything foul until it was too late.

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Two employees and the director of the funeral home testified to corroborate the events, reporting that someone had "pulled a glob of hair" from the dead woman's head and left it on the floor of the funeral home. The funeral parlor's security and maintenance manager, Lawrence Hutchings, also testified that the dead woman had a toe and a breast removed.

According to Hutchings, the body parts still haven't been found.

The dead woman's mother, Charlotte Wheeler, testified through tears about her daughter's treatment. "She had makeup and lipstick smeared all over her face; her hair was all over the place."

According to Tulsa World, Sims was released on bond in June 2015, but was arrested four days later when she returned to the apartment where the victim's children lived, and was quickly picked up when the apartment manager noticed her ankle bracelet and several people recognized her. Sims was apparently wearing a wig at the time.

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Vice reports that when she was arrested, she was found with a folding knife on her person, and attached to the knife was hair "consistent with the deceased's hair, type, and color."

Sims' defense had been attempting to build a case around Sim's mental competency. Sims' first defender recused himself following after Sims appeared to hold delusional views about her relationship to the deceased.

Ultimately, the victim's family is confused as to why Sims felt the need to attack the dead woman, and Sims continues to offer little in the way of explanation.

Sources: Vice News, Tulsa World, AP, KFOR / Photo Credit: Robert Lawton/Wikimedia Commons

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