This breaking news could be straight out of a horror movie. The head of legendary director F. W. Murnau was stolen from his grave in Berlin. He died in 1931.
The movie Nosferatu has been released in 1922 and is still one of the scariest movies ever made. Now the classic movie is in the news today because of a real world scary story. Unknown people have broken into the grave of Nosferatu director Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau in Berlin. The stole the head of the embalmed body of Murnau. He has been buried in 1931 in the family burial vault at graveyard in Stahnsdorf near Berlin.
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German actor Max Schreck (1879 - 1936), as the vampire Count Orlok, being destroyed by sunlight, in a still from F. W. Murnau's expressionist horror film, 'Nosferatu, Eine Symphonie Des Grauens', 1921. The film is based on Bram Stoker's novel 'Dracula' and was released in 1922. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
According to German Bild, Police does not know yet how the grave robbers got into the tomb. It is also completely unclear why the skull has been stolen. This could be related to a ritual or cult as investigators found wax on the floor. It could also just be a tasteless prank. F.W. Murnau has been buried in a metal coffin. In the tomb are also his two brothers buried. The grave had been disturbed several times before. The graveyard management is now considering to completely seal the tomb. Let's just hope there will not be a Youtube video about this violation of graves.
Update: Days after the incident the Police in Germany has still no new leads about identity of the grave robbers. We have been one of the first News outlets reporting about this weird story. Two days later the report about the theft of F.W. Murnau's skull has been reported by all major news outlets including New York Times and Washington Post.
Friedrich Wilhelm "F. W." Murnau (born Friedrich Wilhelm Plumpe was born on December 28, 1888 and died March 11, 1931. He was a German film director greatly influenced by Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Shakespeare and Ibsen plays he had seen at the age of 12, and became a friend of director Max Reinhardt.
F. W. Murnau's best known movie is his 1922 film Nosferatu. The film is an adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula. It was not a commercial success due to copyright issues with Stoker's novel, the film was considered a masterpiece of Expressionist artwork.
Murnau emigrated to Hollywood in 1926, where he joined the Fox Studio and made three movies, including Sunrise (1927), 4 Devils (1928) and City Girl (1930) according to Wikipedia.
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Murnau died in a car accident in 1931 at the age of 42 in Santa Barbara.