Cannibalism is Quite Common, It Seems
I recently came upon another odd and gruesome case of human cannibalism. This one is quite unique in that the cannibal is a celebrity roaming free in Japan who writes restaurant reviews. I’ve pasted a little taste of the gory details below, but the whole story is much more interesting and can be found on Wikipedia.[Issei] Sagawa served time in a French jail for the murder of the Dutch student Renée Hartevelt, a classmate at the Sorbonne Academy in Paris, France. On 11 June 1981, Sagawa, a student of avant garde literature, invited Hartevelt to dinner under the pretense of literary conversation. Upon her arrival, he shot her in the neck with a rifle while she sat with her back to him at a desk, then began to carry out his plan of eating her. She was selected because of her health and beauty, those characteristics Sagawa believed he lacked. In interviews, Sagawa describes himself as a “weak, ugly, and small man” and claims that he wanted to “absorb her energy”. Sagawa said he fainted after the shock of shooting her, but awoke with the realization that he had to carry out his desire to eat her. He did so, beginning with her hips & legs, after having sex with the corpse. In interviews, he noted his surprise at the “corn-colored” nature of human fat. For two days, Sagawa ate various parts of her body. He described the meat as “soft” and “odorless”, like tuna. After two days, he dumped the mutilated body in a park, but was seen in the act. Five days later, he was arrested by the French police. French psychologists found him legally insane and unfit to stand trial. He was deported back to Japan, where he was put in a mental institution. The deportation order did not specify how long Sagawa must remain in the institution, and Japanese authorities were refused the necessary paperwork from French justice officials. As a result, fifteen months later, Sagawa checked himself out, and he has been a free man ever since. Update: Not only does cannibalism seem to be common, but it seems to be particularly prevalent in Russia (check out this and this). I just came across a new story of casual Russian cannibalism with a Sweeney Todd vibe to it via Boing Boing (who got it from MSNBC who reported it from Reuters…etc). Click here for the scoop!