The remains in a grave in Romania have been, thanks to DNA testing, concluded as belonging to the infamous dictator Ceausescu. The despotic ruler was executed along with his wife on the Christmas of 1989. His tyrannical reign lasted 24 long years and has left an indelible scar on Romania’s history.

As mentioned, Nicolea and his wife Elena were executed in a revolution which killed over 1000 people. They were buried in a cemetery, specifically the Ghencea military cemetery in Bucharest. However, descendants of the Ceausescu have doubted and questioned whether these remains really belonged to the dictator. Valentin Ceausescu, 62 years old, the living son of the dictator and his wife as well as a nuclear physicist by profession, says he has never even visited the grave where his parents are allegedly buried as he is not sure that this is really their grave.

The exhumation has shocked Romanians; this was a necessary step to be able to get DNA samples from the remains of Nicolea and Elena and compare their DNA profiles to that of living relatives. The exhumation came about following a five-year law suit by the family.

The team of pathologists worked efficiently, exhuming the corpse, taking the necessary DNA samples and re-burying them back into the graves in just a matter of 2 hours. There was of course, the issue of whether the DNA would be suitable for testing; the environment in a grave, humidity and fluctuating temperatures, can mean the DNA would be too degraded to conclusively finish the test.

Ceausescu had two other children; a daughter who died of cancer in 2006 and a son who died of cirrhosis in 1996.

DNA testing has brought closure and the Ceausescu family can now mourn on the right grave.

Bobby Fischer’s paternity test

Another famous person requiring a DNA paternity test is world-famed chess player Bobby Fischer. Fischer however, died in 2008 and thus, his body will need to be exhumed in order to get a DNA sample from him.