Human meat tastes like veal. Apparently. That’s according to 1920s journalist William Seabrook, who ended up feasting on human flesh while journeying in Africa. We wouldn’t know for sure because cannibalism isn’t exactly acceptable in modern society.
That doesn’t stop some people, though. Whether because of mental illness, the influence of drugs, or not being able to afford pizza again, some of the most horrifying crimes in recent history have involved the perpetrators having their victims for dinner. Some of these are shocking in their brutality, and others are even worse because the cannibals are people who otherwise seem thoroughly normal – maybe they even accompanied the meal with some fava beans and a nice chianti.
We’ve put together a fifteen-course menu featuring the most disturbing stories of man-eating man. Be warned, though – some of these cases are seriously grisly, and those of a sensitive disposition may not want to read this while tucking into their lunch.
15. Man Beheads And Eats Guy On Public Bus – Because God Told Him To
We’ve all found ourselves sitting next to unpleasant characters on the bus – someone who forgot to shower this morning, perhaps, or a baby which just won’t stop crying. But we should count ourselves lucky.
Canadian man Tim McLean was taking a nap while traveling on a Greyhound bus when the man next to him, Vince Weiguang Li, pulled out a huge knife. Li proceeded to stab McLean repeatedly in the neck and chest until the man’s head had been completely hacked off. Li then walked around showing off the head to the terrified passengers. When everyone had run off in panic, he stayed behind and further dismembered McLean before eating his flesh.
What could have made a man do such a thing? Sadly, Li was a sufferer of schizophrenia and believed that the voice of God had told him to do this. He later recounted: “The voice told me that I was the second coming of Jesus [and that] I was to save people from a space alien attack … I believed he was an alien.”
14. The Little Girl Murderer Who’d Send The Bones To His Victims’ Families
Tsutomu Miyazaki earned notoriety in Japan for killing four young girls between the ages of four and seven, becoming known as ‘The Little Girl Murderer’, ‘The Otaku Murderer’, and ‘Dracula’.
You can probably guess how he got that last name. After abducting and killing the girls, Miyazaki would not only eat their flesh but also drink their blood. If that wasn’t bad enough, he had sex with their corpses. And the list of his horrible acts goes on – he’d then send letters to their families, detailing everything he’d done to the girls, along with the burned ashes of their bones.
As a child, Miyazaki had been ostracized due to a deformity in his hands, which led to him being somewhat of a loner, but as an adult, he was known as a mild-mannered accountant, which just goes to show that anyone could have a dark side hidden within them. He was eventually caught assaulting a girl by the victim’s father, leading to his arrest and execution.
13. Chef Serves Up Own Genitals With A Garnish Of Parsley
“[Please retweet] I am offering my male genitals (full penis, testes, scrotum) as a meal for 100,000 yen …Will prepare and cook as the buyer requests, at his chosen location.”
When this post appeared on Twitter in 2012, it spread like wildfire in Japan, and it was no joke – 22-year-old asexual chef Mao Sugiyama had undergone surgery to remove his penis and testicles and had kept them frozen for two months. When people actually responded, he invited five chosen guests to a special dinner party, for the equivalent of $250 each. Here, he served his unique chef’s special – genitals with a side of button mushrooms and a garnish of Italian parsley. Except for the choice of meat, it actually sounds tasty…
As the guy being eaten was doing so of his own consent, and cannibalism isn’t actually illegal in Japan, police allowed this banquet to go ahead. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – as Sugiyama later tweeted, “I receive questions from some women and men… asking ‘Will there be a next time? Please host it again.’ But there is only one set of male organs.”
12. Brothers Robbed Over A Hundred Graves To Make Corpse Curry
When Mohammad Arif Ali’s neighbors complained about a stench coming from the man’s house, they had no idea the extent of the crimes that would be uncovered.
What the police found inside the house was the severed head of a three-year-old boy. The two brothers had dug up the boy’s corpse from a nearby graveyard and cooked it in a curry. Under interrogation, the brothers admitted that they had in fact dug up over a hundred bodies. At least, in a way, that’s not as bad as killing the people themselves, right?
Making this story even stranger, the brothers had already served a previous jail sentence for cannibalism after having stolen the body of a 24-year-old woman three years earlier. The investigator who found them on this occasion described the scene: “I saw a cooking pot which was half full of meat curry. Nearby was a wooden board, a butcher’s ax, and a large kitchen knife. Bits of fat clung to the board and the blade of the ax.” The town will undoubtedly be hoping they stay in jail for longer this time!
11. The ‘Miami Zombie’ Eats Homeless Guy’s Face
It was an attack so brutal and inhuman that those who saw the surveillance camera footage labeled the killer the ‘Miami Zombie’. In May 2012, a man called Rudy Eugene ripped off his clothes and attacked 65-year-old homeless man Ronald Poppo.
Eugene tore off Poppo’s own clothes and then proceeded to bite at his face. This grisly torture went on for almost twenty minutes, after which police showed up and confronted Eugene, fatally shooting him. By this point, it was far too late for the poor victim – though he was alive, almost all of his face, including his left eye, had been eaten off.
The motivation for Eugene’s attack remains a mystery. Investigators speculated that he’d taken a drug known as ‘bath salts’ that can turn people psychotic, but no traces were found in his system. Perhaps he really was the first victim of a zombie virus that never spread any further.
10. Mom Eats Newborn Baby’s Brain
The sister of Texas woman Otty Sanchez returned home to a seriously gruesome scene – not only was Sanchez on the floor with a stab wound to the heart, but also the woman’s three-week-old baby son had been killed and tortured, with three of his toes chewed off, his face torn away, and his brain ripped out.
Investigators piecing the evidence together concluded that Sanchez had eaten her own son’s toes and part of his brain before stabbing herself – all because she believed the devil had forced her to. In the 911 call made by the sister, Sanchez can be heard screaming “I didn’t wanna do it! He told me to!”
Sanchez was charged with murder but successfully pleaded insanity and was sent to a psychiatric hospital instead of jail. It was later discovered that she had repeatedly sought help for her illness but hadn’t been given the proper care.
9. The Cannibal Restaurant Serving Up Human Heads
Police were tipped off to a hotel restaurant in Anambra, Nigeria when a local priest became suspicious about the high price he’d been charged for a certain cut of meat – over three times the daily wage of most Nigerians. What the cops found was much more alarming than simply expensive steaks.
In a back room of the restaurant, officers reportedly discovered two human heads, wrapped in cellophane. Though he didn’t realize it, this is what the priest had been eating. The restaurant had also been selling the meat to shifty figures who saw it as a luxury item. One local resident said: “I am not surprised at the shocking revelation. Every time I went to the market, I observed strange activities going on in the hotel. People who were never cleanly dressed and who looked a bit strange made their way in and out of the hotel, making me very suspicious of their activities.”
8. The Internet Ad For Cannibal Victims
You can find all sorts of things on the Internet if you look hard enough. German man Armin Meiwes posted one of the most infamous online ads of all time – on a website called The Cannibal Cafe, for those with a fetish for the taste of human flesh, he claimed to be “looking for a well-built 18-to-30-year-old-male to be slaughtered and then consumed.”
Remarkably, he got a response. A man named Bernd Jürgen Armando Brande got in touch, and the two met up. In a specially prepared ‘slaughter room’, with a video recording set up, Meiwes cut off Brande’s penis, cooked it and seasoned it, and then they ate it together. He then killed and ate his willing victim.
But a college student had seen the ad and reported it to police, and Meiwes was put on trial. He’s currently serving a life sentence – despite the fact he was polite enough to get permission before killing anyone!
7. The Notorious Cannibal With A Child Victim In Every State
One of the most disturbingly evil serial killers in history, Albert Fish once boasted to have either abused or eaten a child in every state of the US. Born in 1870, he grew up in an orphanage where he was mistreated, forced to drink urine and eat feces. This may have contributed to his gradual descent into insanity.
Fish had an obsession with children and would abduct them before torturing them horrifically, often making use of a meat cleaver and a bone saw. But his most notorious kill was the ten-year-old Grace Budd. He tricked Budd into thinking he was taking her to a party, in fact bringing her to an empty house where he tortured and ate her.
6. The Stamina Pills Containing Powdered Human Fetuses
How far would you be willing to go to boost your stamina? South Korean officials recently confiscated over 17,000 pills from China that claimed to do just that, but on close inspection, contained the powdered remains of aborted human fetuses.
It appears that someone was gathering together the fetuses, chopping them up, drying them on stoves, and making them into powder. And that people actually believed that taking these pills could cure disease and improve stamina. The customs officials wouldn’t reveal if they knew who was behind the scheme, implying diplomatic tensions causing trouble behind the scenes.
5. The Boy Forced To Eat His Own Arm – By His Family
When one proud parent in the Czech Republic tuned into his newly bought baby monitor in order to check in on his beloved kid, what he instead received was the image of a naked, bound and gagged young boy. He recognised this boy as Ondrej, the seven-year-old son of his neighbor, and immediately called the police.
Police found that Ondrej and his brother Jakub had been tortured by their mother and aunt, who belonged to a bizarre and sinister cult called the Grail Movement. In order to turn them into unquestioning slaves of the cult, the boys had been whipped, sexually abused, and forced to stand in their own urine. Disgustingly, the abusers had also skinned Ondrej’s arm and made him eat his own flesh; it’s unclear whether or not they also ate some of it themselves.
Unbelievably, the mother received a jail sentence of just nine years, and the aunt got 10 years. It gets even weirder: a teenage girl apparently rescued alongside the boys turned out to actually be 34 and another abuser; she escaped to Norway but was later captured.
4. Mountaineer Had To Eat Friends To Survive… Or Did He?
In the winter of 1873 to 1874, Alfred Packer and five of his friends went trekking in the Colorado Mountains. Only Packer returned. He explained that his companions had abandoned him.
However, when someone noticed that Packer carried a knife belonging to one of the other prospectors, his story changed and he admitted that the group had become trapped and killed each other for food. So what now seemed like the truth was that Packer, having avoided the scuffle, had only narrowly survived by having lived off the flesh of his mates. An awful situation, but his cannibalism had been necessary.
Except this turned out not to be true either. Inconsistencies in his story, and his reluctance to reveal the location of their campsite, led to the real revelation – Packer had set out to kill and eat the five men. He was charged with pre-meditated murder and given 40 years in jail. By the time of his parole in 1901, he’d turned vegetarian.
3. The Family Man With A Fridge Full Of Women
Matej Curko was, on the surface, an ordinary family man. He lived with his wife and kids in Sokol, Slovakia, and no one who knew him suspected any wrongdoing. But he had a secret. He liked to meet women on the Internet and invite them to meet him for some Netflix and chill. By ‘Netflix’, we mean manslaughter, and by ‘chill’, keeping them fresh in a hidden fridge so he could eat them later.
Not all his victims were female. Markus Dubach posted an ad online, not entirely seriously, asking for someone to eat him, and was shocked when Curko gave a genuine response. The Swiss man called the police, who set up a sting operation to catch Curko, with an undercover agent meeting him in the woods while pretending to be Dubach.
However, Curko had prepared for this eventuality and brought an arsenal of weapons with him. A firefight broke out and Curko was downed by police snipers. He was later linked to 30 missing women, including the two in his fridge when police found it.
2. The World’s Most Disturbing Snuff Video
In 2012, one hell of a disturbing snuff video was uploaded to Best Gore, one of those websites you really don’t want in your browser history. It depicted Canadian model and porn star Luka Magnotta brutally murdering his lover, Chinese student Jun Lin, with an ice pick.
But he did more than just kill Lin. Magnotta decapitated the body, devoured bits of the flesh, fed more of it to a dog, masturbated with some of the body parts, and even anally penetrated the limbless and headless torso. As well as posting the video online, he went on to send pieces of Lin to political parties and schools across Canada.
Though the crime may have been racially motivated, as Magnotta had links to white supremacist groups, it was also a result of mental health disorders suffered by Magnotta. After an international manhunt, he was apprehended in Berlin, while admiring news stories about his crime in an internet cafe.
1. Jeffrey Dahmer, Serial Cannibal
One of the world’s most infamous killers, Jeffrey Dahmer once claimed that his urge to kill and his necrophilia began at the age of 14. Between 1978 and 1991, Dahmer drugged 17 boys and men before murdering them.
But he didn’t just kill them. The chocolate factory employee from Wisconsin also dismembered the bodies, ate their flesh, and sometimes kept hold of bits of their remains. He even had an insane plan to turn his victims into zombies using a drill and muriatic acid. Unsurprisingly, this didn’t work.
Dahmer was arrested in 1991. In February 1994, he gave a famous interview with Stone Phillips of NBC in which he coldly and calmly describes the experience of killing. Just a few months later, he was himself murdered, by a fellow inmate. No one had him for dinner, though.