Pope Stephen VI dug up his predecessor's corpse and put it on trial.
Pope Stephen VI began his brief tenure as pope in 896 with a grisly spectacle. He had the body of his predecessor, Pope Formosus, dug up and put on trial for blasphemy. Formosus's real crime had been his allegiance to a different faction in the halls of power. "The corpse was provided with a council," details one historian's account, "who wisely remained silent while Pope Stephen raved and screamed his insults at it." The moldering body was then stripped of its sacred vestments, three fingers on its right hand were hacked off and what was left of the corpse was dragged through the streets of Rome and dumped into the Tiber river. Stephen, though, didn't last long; he was strangled to death by his own enemies the following year.