While it is known for sure that our ancient ancestors practiced cannibalism on a daily basis, in modern times it is considered one of the most rigorous taboos that is under no circumstances to be broken. People all over the world think cannibalism, or anthropophagy, is morally wrong. But a question pops up: WHY is it regarded disgusting and totally unacceptable? Here is a plausible reason: cannibalism may not necessarily imply murder as was the case with the famous Uruguayan flight which crashed in the Andes and the survivors ate the deceased. However, there is the thought that the act of eating human flesh is preceded by murder in most cases.
If you know a certain person is into human flesh, you’d better keep your distance, as it is highly unlikely that he will just sit and wait for his dinner to die an accidental death or from old age. Cannibalism has become a taboo because people fear that if it wasn’t, cannibals would be walking freely among us and… well, eating us. But here is a curious fact: a new look at the nutritional value of human flesh shows that, compared to other animals, we are not very nutritional and not even tasty at all. Yet, there were and still are people who won’t refuse a human chop now and then.
Check out our list of 15 most horrific cases of cannibalism in modern history.
15 Canadian Cannibal Butchers His Gay Lover and Sends Parts of the Body to… Schools
Luka Magnotta's case gained international notoriety. In May 2012, a video depicting the killing of the Chinese student Lin Jun was posted online. The footage showed Magnotta repeatedly stabbing his victim and gay lover with an ice pick, then dismembering him and sexually abusing the dead body. A more extensive version of the video available only to the police further showed Magnotta performing cannibalism. Not only this, but the twisted killer sent packages containing body parts to the Conservative Party and two schools in Vancouver. Magnotta managed to flee Canada, which sparked an intercontinental manhunt. He was eventually arrested in Berlin. He is currently serving a life sentence for first-degree murder in a prison in Quebec.
On June 26, Magnotta is getting married to a male inmate.
14 Schizophrenic Cannibal Fries Victim’s Brain In Butter
“Cannibalism is normal. It’s been here for centuries.” This is what the British serial killer Peter Bryan said as he bragged about how he chopped both arms and one of the legs of his second victim, Brian Cherry, and then fried his brain in butter. Bryan believed human flesh was a natural food that would make him stronger. He further told one of the psychiatrists examining his mental health during the trial that he had hoped to kill eight people. He, however, was stopped at three. The funny thing is that he got sent to a psychiatric institution after his first murder of 20-year-old Nisha Sheth, but he carried out two more, including the one of Cherry, while under the care of the psychiatrists!
His third victim was a 60-year-old fellow patient in Broadmoor maximum security hospital, whom he killed with his bare hands. After the horrible deed, he told the doctors, “I got these urges ever since I saw him. He’s at the bottom of the food chain – old and haggard. I just wanted to kill him and eat him.”
13 The “Crossbow Cannibal” Has A Palate Only For 'Ladies Of The Night'
In 2010, the criminology PhD student Stephen Griffiths killed three female sex workers and ate some of their body parts. Griffiths’ murder weapons of choice were a crossbow and a knife. When he was captured and sent to trial, the prosecution read out bone-chilling details of how he skinned the women and dismembered them in his bathtub, which he himself called “slaughterhouse.” Then he meticulously cooked and consumed their flesh. He later told the cops who arrested him that eating the prostitutes was “part of the magic” with a tone as if he was talking about a Broadway show.
Despite his high intelligence and extensive education, Griffiths never held down a full-time job, and suffered from a personality disorder. However, the psychiatrists concluded he was not mentally ill, but he was preoccupied with murder and obsessed with Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe, whose example he wanted to follow.
12 The Master Butcher’s Victim Volunteers To Be Eaten
Armin Meiwes, a computer repair technician from Rothenburg, Germany, also known as Der Metzgermeister (The Master Butcher) gained world fame for killing and eating a VOLUNTARY victim whom he found via internet. In one of the most extraordinary trials in German criminal history, the cannibal admitted he had met the victim after advertising on the Internet he was looking for a “young well-built man who wanted to be eaten.” And the 43-year-old Bernd Brandes replied. On March 9, 2003, the two men went to Meiwes’ farmhouse. Brandes swallowed a handful of sleeping pills and half a bottle of brandy, and with his agreement, Meiwes cut off his penis. He then fried it and both of them ate from the plate. In the early hours of the following morning, Meiwes kissed Brandes and then finished him off by stabbing him in the neck with a kitchen knife. He then chopped his victim into pieces, some of which he put in the freezer, and buried the skull in the garden. Over the next weeks, he’d defrost and cook large amounts of Herr Brandes in olive oil and garlic.
11 Pakistani Brothers Dig Up More Than 100 Corpses From The Graveyard And Eat Them
In April 2014, the shocking discovery of a young boy’s head in two Pakistani brothers’ home led to the re-arrest of two notorious cannibals. The brothers, 35-year-old Mohammad Arif Ali, and 30-year-old Mohammad Farman Ali from the small town of Darya Khan had previously served ONLY two years in prison for cannibalism and were released in 2013. Before that year, the brothers admitted to digging up over 100 graves and making stew out of the decomposed bodies. The discovery of a three-year-old boy’s head in their house led to their re-arrest, after which they were sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Cannibalism is still officially legal in Pakistan. There are no laws either against digging up graves or eating diseased humans’ flesh.
10 Two Dutch Presenters Eat Each Other’s Flesh On TV Show
In December 2011, Dutch TV presenters Dennis Storm and Valerio Zeno underwent surgery to remove small pieces of flesh from their bodies prior the broadcasting of an appropriately titled show Proefkonijnen (Guinea Pigs). The two presenters were first filmed getting surgery, and then they were challenged to eat each other’s body parts after they had been fried in sunflower oil (skipping salt and pepper to preserve the natural taste) by a TV chef. "They claimed they ate chunks of each other’s flesh because they wanted to find out what human meat tastes like, and in front of a studio audience."
The TV chef fried a piece of Storm’s buttocks, and another one of Zeno’s abdomen, both carved off earlier by a surgeon. “Nothing is really that special when you’re talking about the taste of meat,” Storm said in an interview. “But it is weird to look into the eyes of a friend when you are chewing on his belly.”
9 The Milwaukee Cannibal Feeds On Young Men’s Flesh For 12 Years Before Being Caught
In 1991, Milwaukee police found three human heads and other body parts in the fridge and a dresser full of photos of mutilated bodies in the squalid apartment of the 31-year-old Jeffrey Dahmer. Even for the toughest cops the stench and ghastly scene were unbearable. The inventory pointed to the murder of at least 15 people. Later, it became clear that the victims of the Milwaukee cannibal were 17 young men he murdered and ate between 1978 and 1991. Dahmer committed his first murder at the age of 18. After that, he perfected his technique – he would lure the boys to his apartment and drug them before chopping them up. Besides feeding on their cooked flesh, Dahmer also had sex with some of the bodies. He received 16 life sentences.
After only a year of his imprisonment, Dahmer was killed by a fellow inmate.
8 Miami Nutcase Eats A Homeless Man’s Face Off In The Street
On May 26, 2012, a naked African-American man named Rudy Eugene attacked and gruesomely mutilated a homeless guy underneath a tram bridge in Miami, Florida. This horrible assault made the headlines across the world in just a couple of hours. The investigation came to no clear conclusion of what precisely led Eugene to remove his clothes and start gnawing at the victim’s face, but there were theories that a fashionable designer drug known as “bath salts” may have had something to do with this erratic behavior. Among the symptoms of the drug is the removal of the clothes due to very high body temperature, and experiencing “super strength”. The victim, Ronald Poppo, survived the attack, but his face was badly disfigured after an irrational and crazed Eugene ate both his eyes and other parts of it. No first hand evidence from the attacker could be collected as the police shot Eugene dead at the crime scene.
7 Russian Monster Sets A World Record In Eating More Than 50 People
Andrei Romanovich Chikatilo had many nicknames, among which the Butcher of Rostov, the Red Ripper, and the Rostov Ripper. He committed the murders of a minimum of 54 women and children between 1978 and 1990.
Painfully shy as a child and teenager, his only sexual experience during adolescence occurred when, at the age of 15, he overpowered a girl, ejaculating immediately during the brief struggle. For which, of course, he got severely ridiculed. His first victim was a 9-year-old child, Lena, whom Chikatilo slashed with a knife, ejaculating while doing so, which only confirmed the psychological connection between violating his victims and sexual satisfaction. He went on a killing spree for the next 12 years, mutilating and eating the sexual organs of his victims until he was eventually arrested in 1990. When this happened, the policemen noted a disturbing odor coming from the pores of his skin, which was later revealed to have been caused by the rotten human flesh in his digestive system.
Chikatilo was convicted and sentenced to death, and subsequently executed in February 1994.
6 Italian Gourmand Grills His Mother In the Oven
The 45-year-old Lino Renzi lived a seemingly peaceful and carefree life with his 70-year-old mom, Maria Pia Guariglia, in Salerno, Italy. However, one hot day in July 2013, police and firefighters were called to their apartment because a concerned neighbor smelled gas. What they found there upon their arrival, was hard to fathom – most of Maria’s mutilated body was in the bathroom, one of her feet were in the freezer, while other parts of her body were cooking on the stove and in the oven. Renzi was discovered laying naked on his bed. Although he refused to speak in the beginning, he later confessed that his mother hadn’t died of natural causes. He brutally hit her in the head after an argument, and then dismembered her into pieces with a saw and a butcher knife.
Currently, Renzi is ordered to psychiatric confinement.
5 Three Brazilian Cannibals Kill Two Women And Cook Their Flesh Into Pastries
Jorge Beltrao Negromonte, a karate expert, and his wife Isabel, and mistress Jessica lured two women to their house with the promise that they would be hired as nannies. That was not the intention however. The sick trio killed the girls and used parts of their flesh to make empanadas, which they then sold to their neighbors in Pernambuco, Brazil. The police were able to solve the case of the disappearance of the two women after coming across a 50-page diary belonging to Negromonte, which contained detailed drawings of the cannibalistic killings. Jorge Beltrao said he could only remember blood gushing from the neck of one of the victims, the 17-year-old homeless girl and a mom to an infant daughter. It was revealed at a later stage of the investigation that the three Brazilian cannibals were part of a cult that believed in "the purification of the world and the reduction of the population."
4 Japanese Performance Artist Cooks And Serves His Own Genitals At A Cannibalistic Dinner Party
On April 13, 2012, Mao Sugiyama, a 24-year-old illustrator, performance artist and activist from Tokyo, seasoned, braised and served his genitals to five people. In order to make a statement about gender inequality, the guy tweeted the following message, “Please, I am offering my male genitals (full penis, testicles, scrotum) as a meal for 100,000 Yen…Will prepare and cook as the buyer requests, at his chosen location.” Sugiyama underwent a surgery after which he received a bag full of his penis and the other parts, as described in the tweet. It came as no surprise that his tweet won him international attention, as a result of which he hosted a dinner for 70 people. However, only five guests who had paid $250 each, got the honor to have a bite of Sugiyama’s genitals. The rest of the attendees of the infamous banquet were served a less fascinating meal of crocodile and beef meat.
3 Mexican Cannibal Cartel Forces New Members To Eat The Hearts Of Murdered People
La Familia Michoacana, a.k.a. LFM, is a vicious Mexican drug syndicate, which possesses a “bible” of their own sayings, according to which their traffickers and hitmen must avoid using the drugs they are selling. In 2015, a twisted scheme of proving the loyalty of the new recruits surfaced. People who wanted to join LFM were forced to eat the hearts and other internal organs of murder victims during a shocking initiation ceremony. The idea was to draw out infiltrators and other members who are not “fit” for the position. Witnesses told the officials how La Familia and an affiliated group called the Knights Templar would sometimes force potential members of the Temple to dismember victims while they were still alive.
The revelation came as the mountainous state of Michoacan in Western Mexico was ravaged by fightings between drug gang members and local vigilantes.
2 Frat Boy Chews On A Dead Man’s Face In Order To Chase A Demon-Like Figure Away
The 19-year-old Florida State University student Austin Harrouff claimed he “lost his wits” as he walked out of a restaurant after a heated argument with his father. The teenager was arrested for murdering John Stevens, 59, and his wife, Michelle, 53, on August 15, 2016. Both were random victims to his anger - beaten and stabbed to death in their own garage. The attacker said he stripped off most of his clothes as he tried to run away from a demon-like figure called Daniel. But he didn’t remember anything of what followed, only that he grabbed a machete he found in the couple’s garage, with which he killed them both. When deputies arrived, they found him on top of John Stevens, chewing his face. It took a couple of men, an electric stun gun, and bites from a police dog to pull him off.
1 Female Model Drowns A Colleague And Consumes A Piece Of Her Thigh
In March 2013, an epic, 2-year long investigation of a female model murder finally came to an end. The case wouldn’t have become such a big deal if it wasn’t for the cannibalistic part. The gruesome act happened in the picturesque village of Ulyanovka in the Saint Petersburg region, where a group of models gathered for a photo shoot. 25-year-old Anna and 24-year-old Regina stayed at the nearby creek to swim and sunbathe after their friends left. At some point, however, the older model felt jealous of the much more successful Regina and in a fit of rage drowned her. After the vicious deed was done, Anna pulled the body out of the water, cut a piece from the thigh and ate it. After that, she wrapped the body in a plastic bag and, as if nothing, went to visit a friend, to whom she confessed the murder. Fortunately, the friend was clever enough to collaborate with the police and not with the murderer.