In October of 2014, Australia was shocked by the murder/suicide of a young couple in their plush Brisbane apartment. Marcus Volke, a chef, reportedly killed his girlfriend, Indonesian Mayang Prasetyo, and butchered her before cooking body parts. The case got even more bizarre as facts emerged.
Not strictly speaking a cannibal, Dennis Nilsen nonetheless, cut up and cooked his victims. Between 1978 and 1983, when he was arrested, he killed some 15 men and boys in his top floor London flat, then dismembered them and cooked up their body parts, before flushing them down the toilet. When the plumbing clogged, plumbers were brought in and called the police. Nilsen, a lonely man, kept the bodies of his victims, sat and watched TV with them, even slept next to them, before cooking them up. For some inexplicable reason, he was dubbed “The Kindly Killer.”
And who can forget the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, with people being bumped off by a family of cannibals led by the menacing, chainsaw wielding, “Leatherface”. Sold as a “true” story, it was really based on the murders of serial killer, Ed Gein. With that being said, here are 10 killers, mostly serial ones, who killed and then feasted on their victims.
10. Marcus Volke
They were a young, attractive couple, who lived in a swank Brisbane apartment. Her friends did complain that he was cold and difficult to get to know. So everyone was shocked in October of 2014, when Volke, who was a chef, killed his girlfriend and took his own life, but not before cutting her up and cooking her body parts. But the story gets even more bizarre. His girlfriend, Indonesian Mayang Prasetyo, was a transgender “Asian shemale” who charged upwards of $400 an hour as a prostitute and sent the money to her family in Indonesia. The police were called-in when neighbors complained of the smell of rotting meat coming from the apartment. Volke’s body was later found in a nearby street. Police later said, the murder was the result of domestic violence that just got out of hand.
9. Ed Gein
Dubbed “The Psycho Cannibal” or the “Plainfield Butcher”, Ed Gein killed at least two women. He also dug up recently buried corpses in his hometown of Plainfield, Wisconsin, and cut them up before cooking them and sometimes, using the skin to make homey items like lampshades and seats for chairs. He had been traumatized by his mother’s death and was using the skin of women he had dug up, in order to fashion a female skin he could slip into. It doesn’t take much of a leap to realize that he formed the basis for some of the most chilling movie killers, including Norman Bates in Psycho and Leatherface in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The human heads found in his house that were cut off above the eyebrows might also remind you of Hannibal Lecter.
9. Albert Fish
When Fish went to the electric chair at Sing-Sing in 1936, he left behind a legacy of child rape, murder and cannibalism. He claimed to have raped 100 children (in every State) and confessed to 3 murders. It is likely there were many others. Called the Werewolf of Wysteria and the Bogey Man, he was electrocuted for the murder of 10 year old Grace Budd. In a letter to her parents, he claimed to have stripped her naked, choked her and then cut her up, cooked her and then ate her, over a nine day period. Another letter describes a similar fate for one Billy Gaffney, whose blood he claimed to have drunk after he murdered him.
7. David Harker
In 1998, Harker met 32-year old Julie Paterson in a pub and took her back to his place. He reportedly “got bored” while having sex with her and admitted strangling her with her own tights, before cutting off her head and cooking parts of her body, which he claimed to have eaten with cheese and pasta. The man some people called intelligent and charming, had the words “Subhuman” and “Disorder” tattooed on his scalp. An English court heard his diminished responsibility plea and sentenced him to life in prison. Her daughter has said that only part of her body was recovered, lending credence to Harker’s claims.
6. Stephen Griffiths
Griffiths lived in Bradford, home of the notorious serial killer, Peter Sutcliffe. The picture is believed to have come from his own MySpace page. In 2010, he killed three Bradford prostitutes, cut up their bodies, and ate parts of them. One of the bodies was never found. Griffiths was fascinated by crime, had a degree in psychology from Bradford Univerisity, and was a part-time PhD student there. Dubbed the Crossbow Murderer, because of his use of that weapon on his victims, he was captured by a surveillance camera, shooting a woman in the head with a crossbow, before dragging her body back into an apartment. Once in prison, he attempted suicide on four occasions and has been in and out of hunger strikes.
5. David Viens
In 2013, David Viens, a California chef, was convicted of having murdered his 39-year old wife, Dawn, then slow-cooking her body in a 55-gallon drum near his Long Beach cafe, for 4 days before eating her. Viens claimed that the death had been an accident that happened after he bound her with duct tape, he claimed, so she would not disturb his sleep. A neighbor who was suspicious when Dawn simply disappeared in October of 2009, watched Viens’ Thyme Cafe and grew even more suspicious when he saw girlfriends coming and going and clothes being disposed of. Eventually, Dawn’s sister filed a missing person report and police began their investigation. Viens got 15 years to life. The case has been featured on 48 Hours.
4. Jeffrey Dahmer
Between 1978 and 1991, Dahmer raped, murdered, dismembered and consumed parts of some 17 men and boys. The “Milwaukee Cannibal” sometimes drugged his victims and sometimes, injected killing substances into their brains. He cut victims up in his bathtub, sometimes acidifying their skeletons, sometimes stuffing them into a freezer. By the summer of 1991, he was killing once a week. He freely admitted to having sex with some corpses and eating the hearts and livers of his victims. Serving 16 life sentences in a Wisconsin prison, Dahmer was bludgeoned to death by a fellow inmate, in 1994.
3. Andrei Chikatilo
Russian Chikatilo murdered and dismembered at least 52 women and children, between 1978 and 1990. He confessed to drinking victims’ blood and chewing on uteri and penises. His murder in 1990, of 22-year old Svetlana Korstik, was his downfall. Spotting Chikatilo coming out of the woods where he had killed Korostik, a policeman noted grass stains on his clothes and a red smear on his face. When arrested, Chikatilo (at first) denied he was guilty of the killings. He eventually confessed and was executed in 1994. The Butcher of Rostov was a former teacher who had been sacked for sexual assaults on pupils, male and female.
2. Peter Bryan
When English police caught up with him, he was cooking a victim’s brain in a frying pan. He committed three murders between 1994 and 2004. In 1994, he was sent to a secure prison hospital for the murder of a 20-year old woman, but worked his way through the system with encouraging reports from social workers. In 2004, he walked out of a secure unit and killed Brian Cherry. It was his brain Bryan was cooking when police arrived. The paranoid schizophrenic and cannibal was sentenced to life for two cases of manslaughter, having claimed diminished responsibility at this trial at the Old Bailey.
1. Robert Maudsley
Yet another British serial killer and cannibal, “Hannibal the Cannibal” was first imprisoned for the 1973 murder of a man who had picked him up for sex. He committed an additional three murders while in prison, by garroting and stabbing three inmates and reportedly eating the brains of one of his victims. He is isolated from the general prison in Wakefield Prison and a Hannibal Lecter-like Perspex cell, where his every move can be observed from a safe distance. He gets one hour of exercise a day in the company of some six guards.