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Old 06-03-09, 03:12 AM
spurscrazed's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio, Texas
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Remember this Woman who lived with three dead siblings

This story was posted in the last SR site before it crashed and they lost all the posts in..

I found it now and just can't forget how twisted this lady was.

CityNews: 90-Year-Old Woman Lived With Dead Bodies Of Her Siblings For Up To 30 Years

She's a 90-year-old woman and she lived with a disturbing secret for as long as three decades.

It was finally uncovered in a Chicago suburb on Friday when authorities revealed that Margaret Bernstorff hadn't been entirely alone in her home in Evanston, Illinois (top left) all this time - she had apparently been living with the dead bodies of three siblings, possibly for as long as 30 years.

A care worker alerted authorities to the surprising find and they entered the cluttered and messy Victorian-era house and confirmed the discovery just before the weekend.

The remains, some hidden under blankets, were located in several different parts of the residence, and included a sister who died sometime in the late 1970s, a brother who passed away at age 83 in 2003 and another sister who was 98 when she died in May.

No foul play is suspected and the final survivor has been taken away to a local care facility. She apparently identified what was left of her nearest relatives for police, who took the bones for forensic testing and autopsies that were conducted on Saturday.

Neighbours in the quiet city were stunned by the news, recalling that Bernstorff kept to herself, but was seen by many even in her frailty tending her garden outside. She was known as something of a loner and a pack rat and her home was cluttered with tons of old newspapers, furniture and other material.

But no one dreamed what else was inside and they can't fathom how they all lived there so long with their dead relatives in the house. Various family members had resided at the address over the years, but gradually, one-by-one, they disappeared.

Most thought they'd either died or moved away.

Tragically, only one of those assumptions turned out to be right.

There's no word on why the woman or her sisters didn't call authorities.

Bernstorff has been cooperating with police but has yet to explain the circumstances behind what they found in her house.

Nothing To Do With Arbroath: Woman lived with three dead siblings
Woman lived with three dead siblings

Neighbours knew 90-year-old Margaret Bernstorff's Evanston home was a mess, cluttered with old furniture and stacks of yellowing newspapers. But no one imagined that inside the colourful Victorian-era home on Judson Avenue were the decayed bodies of three siblings, one of whom died in the 1970s and another of whom died about six months ago.

The Cook County medical examiner's office confirmed yesterday that the dead included Bernstorff's sister Anita, who died in May at age 98; her brother, Frank, who died in 2003 at age 83; and another sister, Elaine, who died in her 60s sometime in the late 1970s. The bodies, some covered with blankets, were found on Friday in different rooms of the home.

It was determined that all three died of natural causes and police have not charged anyone with a crime. Bernstorff was unavailable for comment and has been placed in a senior care facility.

Photo from here.

As investigators continued to gather information from the home, police and neighbours were left to wonder how a woman could apparently live for years inside a home with the decaying remains of family members.

"I'm shocked. I think we're all shocked," said Allan Redmond, an Evanston contractor who had become friendly with Margaret Bernstorff after doing repairs on her home. "A few weeks ago I asked her about her sister [Anita] because it had been a long time since I'd seen her. She said that her sister was sick and upstairs, but I couldn't have imagined something like this."

Some neighbours knew Margaret Bernstorff had once lived with relatives. But it had been years since anyone had seen her brother and months since they had seen or spoken with Anita, Redmond said. Given the horrid conditions inside her home, many were concerned that Margaret could no longer care for herself. Some neighbours occasionally checked in on Bernstorff, bringing food and groceries the woman didn't always warmly accept. "She could be stubborn and she didn't take help a lot of the time," Redmond said.

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