Eating the flesh of another human being is one of the most disturbing acts imaginable. Cannibalism can’t help but fascinate us though; it’s one of the ultimate taboos. So when somebody actually chows down on long pig (man meat), it makes the headlines. Here are 10 terrifying tales of bad people eating other people. Proceed with caution.
When you have a “fridge of horrors,” it’s a pretty safe bet that you’re not a cool dude. Slovak cannibal Matej Curko died in a gun battle with policemen in 2011, and when they investigated his house they discovered a freezer chock full of body parts, the vast majority of which were unidentified. His neighbors knew nothing about his hobby, thinking that he was just an ordinary man who lived with his wife and kids. But his online conversations revealed something else, with Curko saying things like, “I am not a rapist, I am not gay, I am just a pervert who wants to feel death.” He was caught when a Swiss man whom Curko was trying to persuade to fly to Slovakia to get eaten contacted the cops.
Is it really a crime if the victim knows what he’s getting into? In 2001, German man Armin Mewes posted an online ad asking for a “well-built man age 18 to 31 to be slaughtered and consumed.” When a man actually answered the ad, Mewes stabbed him in the neck and butchered his body, cooking selected parts of it with olive oil and garlic. What’s even more unsettling is that before the victim died, he and Mewes tried to eat his severed penis together.
Vince Weiguang Li
No place is safe from the horror of cannibalism, not even the road. In July 2008, a 22-year-old man named Tim McLean was sleeping on a Greyhound bus bound for Winnipeg. When a burly 40-year-old man came on at Erickson, Manitoba and sat next to McLean, nobody batted an eye. But then the man, Vince Weiguang Li, pulled out a huge knife and began stabbing McLean in the neck and chest, and then decapitated him. After brandishing the severed head at the other passengers, Li then began cutting parts off of McLean’s body and eating them. The driver stopped the bus and the other passengers fled, barricading the cannibal inside until the cops came and apprehended him. Li was later deemed not criminally responsible for the murder after being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. He claims he thought McLean was an alien that he had to kill to save everyone else.
One of several recent outbreaks of cannibalism on this list, the world was shocked when an otherwise normal Florida man named Rudy Eugene was shot to death by police officers on the MacArthur Causeway in Miami. Eugene was naked and hunkered over, chewing on the face of homeless man Ronald Poppo. When police tried to get him to stop, he simply growled and returned to his grisly human-face feast. Friends and family all describe Eugene as a nice, non-violent guy who never had a hankering for human flesh, but police believe that he was under the influence of the drug known as “bath salts.” This incident also was the first spark in the growing talk of a zombie apocalypse.
One of the most famous criminals in Japanese history, Issei Sagawa was studying at the Sorbonne in Paris when he became obsessed with a fellow student, an attractive girl named Renee Hartevelt. Saying he wanted to “absorb her energy,” Sagawa lured her to his apartment in 1981 on the pretense of needing help translating some poetry. When she was distracted, Sagawa shot her in the neck with a rifle and passed out. When he awoke, he started trying to eat her butt and thighs with just his teeth, but quickly realized he needed a butcher knife. After consuming various parts of her body, which he claimed tasted like tuna, he was caught trying to dump her body in a lake. In one of the ultimate cases of injustice, Sagawa was freed of his crimes by reason of insanity, but released from a mental institution in 1986 and has been a free man, and minor celebrity, ever since.
Probably the most famous cannibal in American history, Jeffrey Dahmer was a serial killer who terrorized Milwaukee, Wis. throughout the late '80s and early '90s. When the police finally arrested him (after multiple tips and complaints from his neighbors), they opened his fridge to discover a human head. A heart was in the freezer, and Dahmer had stashed all kinds of body parts in other hiding spots, including three more heads and a few penises for good measure. While Dahmer’s primary activity with corpses was trying to make sex-slave zombies, it’s generally believed that he had a few midnight flesh snacks as well.
The cannibal holocaust just keeps on rolling with the case of Maryland's Alexander Kinuya, who confessed last week to police that he ate his housemate’s brain and heart. Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie had been missing for four days when Kinuya’s brother discovered two tins hidden under a blanket in his basement. Inside the tins were Agyei-Kodie’s head and hands. Kinuya confessed to the crime and told police that the rest of the body (not nearly as tasty, I guess) was in a nearby Dumpster.
The rap game can get serious real quick, but cannibalism to go with it? It’s more likely than you think. Antron Singleton, better known as rapper Big Lurch, was an up-and-coming Bay Area star in the early 2000s. When he suffered from a broken neck in a car accident, he turned to PCP to ease the pain. The unfortunate thing is PCP also makes you totally insane. One night in 2002, Lurch spent the night smoking angel dust with young Tynisha Ysais, and things got so wild that he stabbed her in the chest, ripped out her lungs and started eating them. The cops found him standing in the middle of the street covered in blood, just screaming at the sky. He is now serving a life sentence for murder. Don’t do drugs, kids.
Some of these cannibals eat human flesh because it’s a compulsion that they just have to satisfy, and some of them do it just because they’re totally messed-up human beings. British criminal Peter Bryan was a multiple murderer with serious impulse-control issues, trying to throw people out of windows and beating them to death with hammers. In 2004, he just walked out of the mental ward he was committed to and went over to a friend’s house, where he butchered him and cooked up his brain in a frying pan. When the cops came, Bryan proved to be rude as well, as he didn’t even offer them any. He is serving life in prison.
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Probably the most prolific serial killer in history, Ukranian man Andrei Chikatilo murdered 52 women and children between 1978 and 1990. He also couldn’t separate the act of killing from the act of eating. When he killed, he would celebrate by chewing on the excised sexual organs of his victims (male and female) and taste their blood. Needless to say, the dude was seriously disturbed. The general theory is that he turned to murder when he was unable to get it up with his wife, and was only able to achieve sexual arousal after that through stabbing and slashing women and kids to death.