Authorities in Stahnsdorf, Germany aren’t sure what to make of long-deceased silent film director F.W. Murnau’s missing head.
The skull of the famed 6’11 filmmaker was reported stolen from his family plot earlier this month, according to Variety. Wax residue was found near the disrupted gravesite. Authorities believe the wax may be from candles lit during a possible cult ceremony.
Murnau, who was best known work for his 1922 vampire film Nosferatu, died in a car accident in Santa Barbara in 1931. He was 42 at the time. One of Old Hollywood’s longest-standing rumors — never substantiated — suggests that he died while performing fellatio on a young Filipino man who was driving his car when it crashed into an electric pole.
The recent theft isn’t the first time Murnau’s head has been the object of people’s fascination. According to Hollywood legend, after he died, screen siren Greta Garbo commissioned a death mask of Murnau’s face, which she kept on her desk.
Cemetery overseers say they are now trying to decide whether to seal Murnau’s grave or move his remains to a different site altogether. They also said this isn’t the first time people has disturbed the filmmaker’s tomb.
Authorities in Stahnsdorf are asking anyone who may have any information on the missing head to please contact them immediately.