Two more cannibalism arrests in the FIRST TWO WEEKS of 2022

Last week we looked at the case of the German cannibal Stefan R. who made the early 2022 news when was finally sentenced to life imprisonment for killing and probably eating a man he met on a dating site in September 2020. Justice takes its time. That was our first cannibalism news story for 2022.

Two weeks before THAT, I reviewed 2021 and declared it “THE YEAR OF THE CANNIBAL.” I guess that was tempting fate, since we now have three cannibalism stories in the news in the first two weeks of 2022. Looks like in 11.5 months, we may have to call 2022 the YEAR OF EVEN MORE CANNIBALS.

The German cannibal

Stefan R and mystery of the missing penis. Read about it here.

The Brazilian cannibal

Serial killer who ‘ate eyes and ears of victims’ captured in Brazil.

Djalma Campos Figueiredo, 46, was arrested in Brazil this week.  Figueiredo had already been sentenced to 42 years in prison for several other murders and was on the run.

9th Military Police Battalion officers (Brazil’s preventive police force) captured Figueiredo, 46, in the city of Cuiaba in Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, on Tuesday night, January 11. He had already been sentenced by the Court of Justice of Rondonia in the city of Porto Velho to 42 years in prison for several counts of aggravated murder. An arrest warrant for a pending sentence of 26 years and four months in prison was issued against him on September 30 last year. The total number of his victims is still unknown.

According to the Civil Police (Brazil’s investigative police force), Figueiredo would eat his victims’ eyes and ears and drink their blood after killing them. Most of the killings took place in and around the city of Ji-Parana, in the state of Rondonia.

The Nigerian cannibal

Meanwhile, the Zamfara (NW Nigeria) State Police Command arrested a 57-year-old man, Aminu Baba, for allegedly eating and selling human body parts.

Ayuba Elkana, the state Commissioner of Police, paraded the suspect before journalists on Thursday, where Baba stated that he had conspired with three other people, who usually sold the parts to him at the rate of 500,000 nairas per body (about $1,200 US).

The suspected accomplices were identified as Abdulshakur Mohammed, 20; Buba, 17; and Tukur, 14. The suspect and his collaborators were apprehended based on information from the public. Elkana said,

“On December 12, 2021, around 2pm, one Ali Yakubu Aliyu reported at the Central Police Station, Gusau, that his son, Ahmad Yakubu, 9, was missing. On December 28, 2021, around 9.30am, police detectives received an intelligence report with regards to the earlier report, that on the same date around 9am, the corpse of a human being was found in an uncompleted building at the Barakallahu area, Gusau, with the two hands and legs tied with rags, and the head covered with a polythene bag.”

An autopsy on the body found that some of the little boy’s body parts had been removed. Baba was arrested on January 4. The second suspect, Abdulshakur Mohammed, confessed that he had procured the body for Baba and received N500,000, the third time he had done so. Mohammed, Buba and Tukur had tricked a victim into going with them into an uncompleted building, where they killed him and removed his intestines, oesophagus, genitals and eyes.

Mohammed claimed that the parts were taken to Baba, who gave them N500,000.

Aminu Baba is a father of 19 and husband of three women, and a prominent businessman dealing in cars and other vehicles at Aminchi Motors Gusau. The police commissioner said Baba had confessed to the crime, adding that his admissions were assisting the police in the arrest of other members of his gang. He added:

“The suspect further confessed that he usually ate the body parts and identified the throat as the most delicious part. He also sold some of the human parts to his customers. Exhibits recovered from the suspect included intestines, oesophagus, penis and two eyes.”

The Nigerian daily Blueprint Newspaper thundered:

“By being vigilant, we could save lives of those who may be lured into the abyss and also protect the main victims whose blood will be used to water the fortune of their prosecutors.”

The carnival of cannibals

Brazil has been a centre of cannibal stories since the term was invented by Columbus, mispronouncing the name of the Caribs, a little further north in the Lesser Antilles. Brazil is the home of the Tupinambás, a nation for whom cannibalism has never been a source of shame. They were depicted in the film Como Era Gostoso o Meu Francês (How tasty was my little Frenchman) and, rather less sympathetically, in slasher cannibal soft-porn movies like Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals. Cannibalism as a metaphor for the rich exploiting the workers was presented in a Brazilian context in the 2018 movie The Cannibal Club. Away from the silver screen, a gang of people calling themselves “The Cartel” were sentenced recently for killing young women and selling their flesh in salgados (salty, deep-fried pastries).

Africa is also a favourite site for fantasies of cannibalism since colonial times. The movie District 9 portrays Nigerian criminal gangs who trade with captive aliens from another planet, and hope to learn how to use their weapons. They want to eat the protagonist of the movie, because he is turning into an alien. From the newspaper headlines, we had reports last year of a commercial driver in Ebonyi biting off and swallowing the fingers of a urban planning inspector, as well as a propaganda war over who was responsible for the cooked human carcasses found at the camp of a separatist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra.

Why are there so many reports of cannibalism these days? As we lurch from crisis to crisis, is our faith in the modern religion of humanism being eroded, so that we become just another prey animal for those who seek flesh? Is the voracious hunger that is the heart of modern consumerism overflowing the artificial walls of species?

CANNIBALISM NEWS January 2022 – German killer who had ‘cannibalism fantasies’ jailed for life

‘Cannibal teacher’ hid his victim’s penis to avoid being outed

A man dubbed by the press a ‘cannibal teacher’ has been convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. The judge said the murder was carried out as part of his “cannibalism fantasies”. The 42-year-old, identified only as Stefan R, was also convicted of disturbing the peace of the dead, after a trial that opened in August 2021 and concluded this week.

German prosecutors described evidence of cannibalism in the killing of 44-year-old high-voltage technician, Stefan Trogisch, on 6 September 2020.

Stefan R. allegedly ate parts of his lover after sex, and subsequently concealed somehow the victim’s penis, so he wouldn’t be “outed” as gay. German police arrested the 41-year-old maths and chemistry teacher in November 2020 on suspicion of “sado-cannibalism for sexual gratification” after they found human bones stripped completely of flesh in a Berlin suburb. Under German law, the man’s surname cannot be revealed, yet there are pictures of him everywhere, so I’m guessing this is not a serious privacy issue.

A Berlin prosecutor’s office spokesperson said

“The suspect had an interest in cannibalism. He searched online for the topic.”

Well, hello! So do I, and maybe you, dear reader. I also look up COVID and cricket, but that doesn’t mean I caught one or played the other. Maybe he was writing a PhD thesis?

No one knows whether the victim, the other Stefan, had an interest in cannibalism, but we know that the two men were communicating on a gay dating website called Planet Romeo, according to a report in Der Spiegel. Stefan R. called himself “Spieltrieb1976” (roughly translated as “instinct to play”) and Stefan T. (now deceased) was “Dosenöffner79” (tin opener). Stefan R. also used the handle “Masterbutcher79” which prosecutors claimed was a reference to Armin Meiwes, who was dubbed the “Master Butcher of Rotenberg.”

The bones of Trogisch were found a couple of months after the murder, and showed signs of bite marks, although having been out in a field for a couple of months, it’s hard to say what species of animal had been biting them. A police officer told the newspaper Bild:

“Based on the bones found, which were completely stripped of flesh, and further evidence, we strongly suspect that Stefan T was the victim of a cannibal.”

Sniffer dogs led police to the apartment of the suspect, where they discovered knives, a medical bone saw, and a large freezer. Investigators also discovered 25kg of sodium hydroxide, a reagent that can be used to dissolve bodily tissue. It can also be used to make soap, which the accused claimed he bought it for. Traces of blood were discovered in the hallway of the suspect’s flat. The defendant had previously erected a sex swing in the living room and had a sign on the window ledge that read: “Instructions for emasculating and slaughtering a person.” He reportedly searched terms associated with cannibalism on the dark web such as “long pig” and “fatten and slaughter people” before Trogisch arrived at his residence. According to German newspaper Bild, he had also previously searched whether or not a person could survive after having their penis cut off.

Stefan R. told the court that Trogisch had died in his sleep on the sofa after a (presumably vigorous) sexual tryst. He claimed that Trogisch had consumed a cocktail of drugs and alcohol, and that he tried to revive him, but did not call emergency services “because it would have come out that I am homosexual”, according to Bild.

He said he decided to dispose of the body, and opted to separate Trogisch’s genitals “since my DNA could still have possibly been present due to the oral sex I performed”. But hours after the death, he logged back into the human slaughter forum where he proudly told a man from the city of Bremen: “I have it [the penis] now!”

In the sensitive style that we have come to expect from British news media, The Sun wrote

“the victim’s manhood has not yet been found.”

Judge Schertz said that, in 30 years as a judge, “nothing like this has come across my desk before”. He added that the defendant’s version of events was “unbelievable from start to finish”, noting the “very careful separation of testicles and penis” as evidence of a cannibalistic ritual.

The trial began in August 8 2021 and heard an autopsy report which revealed that the cause of death was a fatal loss of blood from the pelvic area due to a severed artery. This would seem to indicate that Trogisch bled to death after his penis was chopped off. The autopsy also ruled out the defendant’s claim that the victim was affected by alcohol or drugs, causing his death.

It’s a sensitive subject in Germany, where cannibalism was not uncommon between the world wars and was made into the subject of Fritz Lang’s masterpiece – “M – EINE STADT SUCHT EINEN MÖRDER” one of my favourite cannibalism movies. More recently, Armin Meiwes in 2001 met Bernd Jürgen Brandes on a site called Cannibal Café, and after a romantic interlude, agreed to Brandes’ request to kill him and eat him. The first act of the killing (all captured on video) was Meiwes cutting off Brandes’ penis, which he then cooked and the two men attempted to eat, very unsuccessfully. Meiwes subsequently killed Brandes and ate an estimated 45-65 pounds of flesh (20-30kg) from him.  Meiwes is still in jail, and Brandes is still in Meiwes (well, only in spirit, unless he has a very slow digestive tract). Unlike Brandes, there is no evidence that Trogisch had “consented” to his killing.

Then in 2013, Detlev Guenzel, a German police forensic specialist (you couldn’t make this stuff up), chopped up a man he met on a cannibalism fetish website and buried the pieces in the garden, taking a picture of himself standing next to a skeleton and holding an axe, wearing nothing but socks and sandals. There is little evidence to show that Guenzel ate any of the victim, although the victim’s penis and one testicle were not found in the flowerbed where the other pieces of the puzzle were unearthed.

There is probably another thesis to be written on the proportion of cannibalism reports that involve queer sexuality. Meiwes, of course, and Jeffrey Dahmer, who collected young men and killed them to keep them close. The film The Silence of the Lambs was heavily criticised when it was released for showing the serial killer Jame Gumb (“Buffalo Bill”) as a transsexual, although the plot was all about how he wasn’t authentically trans, and was killing women because he was rejected for gender reassignment surgery, and so was making himself a woman suit out of the skin of his victims. The film’s cannibal, Hannibal Lecter, was not gay in that series of films and books (he fancied the hell out of Clarice Starling), although Krendler, the nasty dude from the Justice Department in the book Hannibal, said he “figured he [Hannibal] was a homosexual” because, you know, he had good taste in food and wine and music – “artsy-fartsy stuff”. Krendler’s brain is later eaten by Hannibal and Clarice, so we have no reason to take him too seriously. But there was certainly plenty of homoerotic interaction in the twenty-first century reboot of Hannibal on TV, particularly when Hannibal is holding Will tenderly while cutting him up.

Is this tendency to depict cannibals as queer a reflection on the traumas experienced by gay youths and where they may lead behaviourally, or simply a noxious reaction against the lifting of restrictions on gay couples? Someone will write a paper on that one day. They probably already have.

The other issue raised by this case if of course the persistent theme (Meiwes and Guenzel again) of the chopping off and consumption of the male penis. Stefan R. discussed on one forum whether it was possible to survive a genital amputation – saying that some people desired it in order to feel like women, or else take masochistic pleasure in it. Prosecutors argued that Stefan R. had cut off the victim’s genitals with the intention of eating them, and the judge agreed, but it could not be established whether he had carried out that plan.

Freud had a lot to say about this! When little boys discover that their mothers or sisters have no penis, they assume the women were castrated, and as a result fear their own castration by their father (whom they suspect of the act). This is supposed to be the basis of the repression that eats away at the male mind and drives us to our various deviant behaviours.

Subsequent psychological studies as well as feminist analyses have demolished much of Freud’s speculative theories, but there is one thing we still don’t know – where is Stefan Trogisch’s penis?

The presiding judge, Matthias Schertz, told Stefan R. “What you did was inhuman”. But another German, Friedrich Nietzsche, might have called it “Human, all too human”.

“Egoism is not evil, for the idea of one’s “neighbour” (the word has a Christian origin and does not reflect the truth) is very weak in us; and we feel toward him almost as free and irresponsible as toward plants and stones. That the other suffers must be learned; and it can never be learned completely.”

2021: THE YEAR OF THE CANNIBAL

What a year it was – if a virus wasn’t invading your body, your neighbour might well be.

Thank you!

First of all, a big thanks for reading and sometimes commenting on my blog. Eighteen months ago, I was very excited at seeing over 1,000 views in a month. In December 2021, we had over 6,000 views.

The year by year growth of readership (59,002 in 2021) has been going, pardon the term, viral. So, thank you!!

Cannibals and rumours of cannibals in 2021

I decided to postpone this blog post until January 2022 because, at the end of 2021, new cannibalism cases were still being reported. In the previous year’s summary, I had missed THE GRANNY RIPPER, because she died of COVID on December 29 2020 while awaiting trial. So we’re sneaking her in to the section at the end – cannibals sentenced in 2021, although her judge and executioner was a tiny virus.

There were so many cannibal stories in 2021 that I am listing them alphabetically by country. I should point out for my American readers that the good ol’ USA won gold in the number and strangeness of cannibal acts last year, with Russia, Mexico and Nigeria tied for silver.

Australia

A Tasmanian man pleaded guilty to assault and attempted abduction of a five-year-old girl, telling the court that he just wanted a cuddle (albeit from a screaming child, whom he had just attempted to strangle) and later telling prison officers that he had wanted to eat her, and that he had been wanting to eat people since he was a child.

Bolivia

A woman chowed down on a burger in Santa Cruz de la Sierra only to find that she was chewing on a severed and decomposing human finger. The unfortunate incident (you’d have to call her an innocent cannibal) was the source of some semi-amusing puns from the world’s press, plus a hilarious unintentional pun from the burger company who told her “the issue is out of our hands”.

France

A man in Tarascon, a town between Avignon and Arles, was shot by police after the decapitated and partly consumed corpse of young boy was found in his apartment.

Ghana

Richard Appiah of Abesim near Sunyani in the Bono Region, allegedly lured three boys to his house, killed them and kept their mutilated bodies in his fridge. He is said to have cooked for them, before cooking them.

Indonesia

A family in Gowa allegedly gouged out their six-year-old daughter’s eye as part of a black magic cannibal ritual that was supposed to bring them wealth, before her mother ate her eyelid. Police also arrested a shaman, who allegedly convinced the family to sacrifice children.

Malawi

Patrick Gome from Ntcheu was allegedly found biting a nine-month old baby on her cheek and thigh. A police spokesperson said Gome acted “like a wild animal”.

Mexico

David Sanabria and his young daughter, trying to cross Mexico from Honduras in the hope of entering the United States, was kidnapped by a Mexican cartel and held for ransom. Those refugees who did not pay, he later told Noticias Telemundo Investiga, were murdered and cooked and the surviving migrants were made to eat the meat.

Andres Filomeno Mendoza Celis, 72, was arrested in Calle Margaritas, in the municipality of Atizapan de Zaragoza. Detectives arrived at Mendoza’s home to interview him about the suspicious disappearance of a woman, Reyna González, a mother of two, only to find her mutilated remains on a table. Mendoza reportedly admitted to slaughtering and eating parts of around thirty women over the last twenty years.

Nigeria

The cannibal of Ebonyi was the name given to a commercial driver in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, who reportedly bit off and swallowed the finger of a member of the taskforce raised by the state’s Ministry of Capital City Development to enforce compliance with urban planning regulations.

A video has surfaced online purporting to show the Eastern Security Network (ESN), the security wing of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), celebrating the abduction, beheading and cannibalisation of two police officers. The Director of State Security said “We saw human flesh being roasted, it was an eye-sore.” An IPOB spokesperson, Emma Powerful, denied claims that their members eat human flesh and engage in barbaric acts, saying that the claim by the DSS was meant to demonise IPOB and ESN operatives and tag them as criminals.

Russia

Vladimir Yadne killed three people in Siberia and ate their flesh, washed down with vodka.

On the other side of Russia, Yegor Komarov was seen running from his car, which he had crashed into a road safety barrier. The problem was not the accident, but the headless body which fell from the car boot. Komarov admitted to being a cannibal and stated that he ‘likes killing people’. He confessed to stabbing and killing another man in a park in St Petersburg last year for the sole purpose of tasting human flesh, and said he had sliced off the tongue and fried it in butter.

South Africa

A community leader told the Financial Times newspaper that rioting and looting have caused food shortages which have led people to consider cannibalism.

Spain

National Police officers in Sevilla were deployed on Saturday, September 18, to deal with what they have described as one of the most bizarre incidents in the history of the force, a case involving African witchcraft and cannibalism. Allegedly, a fight had broken out between two women after one threw a bottle of water containing salt at the other, and accused her of witchcraft. Believing that her roommate was possessed, she struck her on the head with a stone, and then bit off and ate two of the woman’s fingers. After this, the aggressor, in an attempt to rid the other woman of the supposed demon, inserted the stone into her anus in an attempt to extract her guts.

USA

The biggest cannibalism story in the USA in 2021 was about a man who almost certainly has not eaten anyone. He did, however, boast about it in text messages to some very pissed off girlfriends, who reported it widely. Yep, the actor (maybe former actor) Armie Hammer. Arguably now more famous for his cannibalism posts than for his movies.

On February 9 2021, Chickasha (Oklahoma) police responded to a 911 call. They found Leon Pye dead and his four-year-old granddaughter Kaeos critically injured. She died in the back of the ambulance. Delsie Pye, Leon’s wife, was alive, but had knife wounds to both eyes. Lawrence Anderson confessed to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation that before slaughtering his family, he had broken into the home of a neighbour and butchered the woman who lived there, cut out her heart, and cooked it with potatoes to feed to his family, to release the demons. Apparently unsuccessfully.

Landon Copeland, an Army veteran from Utah who had been accused of assaulting police during the Capitol insurrection, was refused bail after he threatened to “eat the flesh” of a probation officer. He is said to have shouted “I will eat your flesh for nutrients. I don’t think you don’t know what I am!”

James Phelps, 58, and Timothy Norton, 56, were arrested and charged with kidnapping a young woman named Cassidy Rainwater in September. The County Sheriff said that Rainwater was disembowelled and dismembered after she was strangled. Some of her remains were found in a freezer. Conspiracies are floating around that both Norton and Phelps were involved in cannibalistic activities.

Cassidy Rainwater kidnappers arrested

Just squeaking into 2021 before the ball falls in Times Square, Idaho man James David Russell, 39, of Oldtown in Bonner County had cannibalism charges added to his accusations of first-degree murder. Police found pieces of the neighbour, some of which appeared to have been cooked in a microwave oven. According to the supplemental probable cause affidavit, Russell believed that he could “heal himself by cutting off portions of flesh” in order to “cure his brain.”

Sentenced

Some cannibals sit in jail for a while before they are finally sentenced. Here are a few who ate people in earlier years, but were sentenced in 2021.

  • On Friday, 18 June, a Swiss court sentenced 46-year-old Alieu Kosiah, a West African rebel leader, to 20 years in prison for rape, murder and cannibalism.
  • Bulawayo man, Rodney Tongai Jindu, has just lodged an appeal to the Zimbabwean Supreme Court against a High Court ruling which sentenced him to death for murdering two of his friends. Jindu had told the court, in gruesome detail, how he had eaten the men’s livers raw, and cooked and eaten their brains.
  • Alberto Sánchez Gómez, a Madrid waiter, was jailed for 15 years in June. He had told police he butchered his own mother before sharing her body parts with his dog. The 66-year-old pensioner had been chopped into at least 1,000 pieces and her vital organs were missing.
  • Sunil Rama Kuchkoravi (35) of Kolhapur India was found guilty of murder for killing his mother after she refused to give him money to buy liquor. He later chopped up parts of her body and ate them, after frying them in a pan.
  • A Sydney (Australia) woman who cut her 57-year-old mother’s head off with kitchen knives in July 2019 was found guilty of manslaughter in the NSW Supreme Court in March, and sentenced to 21 years imprisonment, after pleading not guilty to murder due to mental impairment. The court was told that Jessica Camilleri – who had a history of refusing to take psychiatric medications – had only stopped the attack when her mother’s head fell off and her eyeballs came out of their sockets. The judge said Camilleri had engaged in “acts of decapitation and cannibalism”.
  • Eduard Seleznev, known as the “Arkhangelsk Cannibal”, who killed and ate the flesh of three men, was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Russian Supreme Court. Seleznev admitted the murders, and added that he had then sliced their bodies up, kept the meat in plastic bags, and disposed of the bodies in the Volokhnitsa river. He subsequently boiled and ate the flesh.
  • At the end of the year, we heard that Mark Latunski, who allegedly killed his Grindr date, hung him upside down and ate his testicles on Christmas Eve 2019 (thus missing out on my 2020 update), will go to trial early 2022. Very inconsiderate.
  • Sofia Zhukova, known as the ‘Granny Ripper’, who supposedly gave children sweets made from the flesh of her victims, died in Russia of COVID-19 on December 29 2020, at the age of 81, before the conclusion of her murder trial. You may have noticed that most of the 5,351,812 people who died of COVID up to December 20 (plus millions more whose deaths were not reported to WHO) did not have articles written about them. Sofia had heaps of media coverage though, because, you know, cannibalism.

2022

Well, I hope you can see why I nominated 2021 as THE YEAR OF THE CANNIBAL. But what does 2022 have in store for us? Well, if you follow the prophecies of Nostradamus, which a surprising number of people do, 2022 offers, yep, even more cannibalism, this time because of inflation and the price of food.

 “So high the price of wheat
that man is stirred
his fellow man to eat in his despair.”

Looking further ahead, a professor of astrobiology at Edinburgh University has warned that humans who attempt to colonise other worlds such as Jupiter’s moon Callisto and Saturn’s moon Titan could well find themselves running out of food and resorting to cannibalism.  It happens – think of the “Starving Time” in the Virginia colony of Jamestown in 1609-10, or Sir John Franklin’s 1845 exploration of the Arctic that resulted in the crew cannibalising each other.

https://www.news24.com/witness/news/the-covid-jab-wont-turn-you-into-a-cannibal-kzn-health-mec-20211026

As I stand before you, I’ve never had the urge to eat anyone, and it will never happen. So, what people are saying about the vaccine making people want to eat others… of being part of 5G technology, or linked to the work of the devil, is all nothing but a myth. It is not true.” 

Hope you enjoyed your New Year festivities! Next year you might need a barbeque. Please keep reading and liking, and commenting! If you need some light reading, here’s my complete listing of Hannibal films and episodes.

Dec 2021 Cannibal News: IDAHO MAN CHARGED WITH MURDER AND CANNIBALISM

A man from Oldtown in Bonner County has had cannibalism charges added to his accusations of first-degree murder.

The Bonner County Prosecutor amended the criminal complaint on Wednesday, December 15, charging James David Russell, 39, of cannibalism in relation to the September 10 murder of David Flaget.

Police searched Russell’s home the day after the murder and found portions of Flaget’s body, including a “thermal artifact” which is an observational finding showing that heat has been applied to only a portion of the remains, rather than the entire body.

Dr. Veena Singh of the Spokane Medical Examiner’s Office completed an autopsy on September 13, finding that the tissue found in Russell’s residence belonged to Flaget. Some of Flaget’s remains have not been found.

Police seized a bloodied microwave oven and glass bowl and a bloodied knife and duffel bag. Bonner County Detective Phillip Stella said on Thursday

“When dealing with death and carnage it’s a shock to our conscience. As far as I know this is the first cannibalism charge in Idaho.”

Sheriff’s deputies had been called to a possible murder on Lower Mosquito Creek Road on September 10. They found Flaget upside down in the passenger’s seat of his truck, unresponsive. Russell eluded the officers, barricading himself in the loft space of the garage on the property.

After a brief stand-off, Russell was apprehended. According to court documents, Russell was unable to understand his Miranda rights after they were repeatedly read to him. Russell made only one statement to law enforcement in which he repeated more than twice: “It’s private property and we don’t like non-family on it.”

“Flaget had several conflict-like run-ins with Russell and told the family about them,” Detective Stella said. “The family had enough warning signs that Mr. Russell was a danger to himself or others.”

According to the supplemental probable cause affidavit, Russell believed that he could “heal himself by cutting off portions of flesh” in order to “cure his brain.”

The Detective added:

“There’s a lot of facets we will certainly never know. It wasn’t the bloodiest crime scene, but it’s more of the psychological, ‘what the heck is going on here?’ and ‘why am I picking up pieces?’ It’s a walk down the dark path that we don’t see very often.”

Court proceedings were paused in late October after First District Magistrate Judge Tara Harden found Russell unfit to stand trial for first-degree murder and ordered him to the Idaho Security Medical Program. The results of the mental health evaluation on October 5 remain sealed by court order.

Oldtown is on the state border of Washington, and is a suburb of Newport, Washington, but is but is officially a city in Bonner County, Idaho, with a population of 184 at the 2010 census.

Idaho is the only state of the United States which has laws against cannibalism, having introduced legislation in 1990 aimed at stopping Satanic rituals.

TITLE 18
CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS
CHAPTER 50 MAYHEM

18-5003.  CANNIBALISM DEFINED — PUNISHMENT. 
(1) Any person who wilfully ingests the flesh or blood of a human being is guilty of cannibalism.
(2)  It shall be an affirmative defense to a violation of the provisions of this section that the action was taken under extreme life-threatening conditions as the only apparent means of survival.
(3)  Cannibalism is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not exceeding fourteen (14) years.

This is not to say that you should all start eating each other. The Legal Information Institute points out that

…most, if not all, states have enacted laws that indirectly make it impossible to legally obtain and consume the body matter. Murder, for instance, is a likely criminal charge, regardless of any consent. Further, even if someone consents to being eaten and kills himself, the cannibal may still be liable for criminal or civil actions based on laws governing the abuse or desecration of a corpse, which vary from state to state.

What you may do under the law of most states of the world is pay someone to kill pretty much any other animal for your dinner. As philosophy Professor William B. Irvine of Wright State University (Ohio) says:

“in America and in much of the world a human corpse is more of a sacred thing than is a living cow: to defile a corpse – which of course is incapable of suffering – is a far greater crime than is causing a cow significant discomfort and suffering simply so that one can enjoy a Big Mac.”

We end 2021 with yet one more proof that Aristotle’s claim that humans are rational animals was vastly over-optimistic.

Cannibal news: Russia, 2021, “I fried it in butter”

Russia is a big place, and has a population of around 144 million, so we could expect some cannibal news to come out of there. But two stories in one month is a new record.

Last week’s story concerned Vladimir Yadne who ate three people in Gaz-Sale in northern Russia, up near the Arctic Circle. This new case is 4,300 km (2,700 miles) west, near the border with Finland.

A suspect identified as Yegor Komarov, 23, has been arrested in Sortavala, Northern Russia, following a car accident on November 22, 2021, in which he crashed into a road safety barrier and a headless body fell out of his car boot, according to the news agency Tass.

Komarov and two other men fled into a nearby forest after the crash, leaving behind spades, ropes and sacks in the car boot.

After he was apprehended, Komarov admitted to being a cannibal and stated that he ‘likes killing people’. He confessed to stabbing and killing another man in a park in Sosnovka Park St Petersburg last year for the sole purpose of tasting human flesh, and said he had sliced off the tongue and fried it in butter before disposing of the body.

“When he died, I gutted his neck and tasted the blood and meat. However, because the knife was blunt, cutting the meat was difficult, and the taste of his veins was unpleasant. But I probably would have liked another part of the body.”

He said he regretted killing that victim:

“I killed that one in Sosnovka in vain, It turned out he was not tasty.”

A video of the court hearing was leaked to social media:

“I nibbled to just take a taste.”
“Are you ready to eat a human again?”
“Do you have some?”

Online media 47news reported that during the interrogation police took Komarov’s handcuffs off, and he screamed: “What are you doing, I can bite you to death!”
“Police thanked Komarov for his confession, twisted his arms behind this time and put the handcuffs back on,” the report said.

Komarov is interested in ‘anarcho-primitivism,’ ‘elixirs of immortality,’ and psychedelic music, according to his social media profile on the Russian site VKontakte.

One comment on social media said:

“You walk on the streets, stroll in the parks without any clue that some pedestrian who looks like an ordinary man, could turn out to be a man eater”

Such is the nature of modern, domestic cannibalism. To the contemporary cannibal, humans are just one more animal, and if you are going to eat pigs or cows, why not add one more mammal to the menu? Fried in butter of course.

Skin in the Game: PETA’s URBAN OUTRAGED campaign, 2021

https://www.urbanoutraged.com/

This website purports to sell leather goods: shoes, belts, coats, etc., all made from human body parts. And like many websites in this competitive time, they offer free shipping!

The campaign is from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and started back in June with a poster from celebrity photographer Mike Ruiz, who has photographed Kim Kardashian, Ricky Martin, Katy Perry, and Paris Hilton, as well as being a judge at America’s Next Top Model and RuPaul’s Drag Race.

PETA’s press release stated that leather production isn’t just cruel, but also contributes to the climate crisis, releasing hazardous chemicals. The World Bank has also cited cattle ranching as one of the largest drivers of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. Farming, transporting and killing animals for meat and leather is responsible for a very large proportion of global greenhouse emissions.

Here’s the poster near Penn Station in New York.

On the Urban Outraged website, the items for “sale” reveal human faces, human teeth, and oozing blood. Each item is named after an individual who was “killed” for it and is “reviewed” by customers. (“I’m not really a boot person, but I’m glad Meg was, because these are the best boots I’ve ever worn.”). Users can even send a fake “gift card” to their friends’ emails using the form on the last page.

After the initial page, the website gets deadly serious and asks:

Why is it OK to raise sheep just to shear off their wool?
Why is it OK to kill a cow for leather?
Why aren’t you horrified by what’s already in your closet?

“While Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, and Free People (all owned by Urban Outfitters, Inc.) don’t actually kidnap, abuse, or kill humans or other animals for their products, they do sell skin and other animal-derived materials from farms and suppliers that exploit and kill animals.
Every year, billions of animals suffer and die for wool, cashmere, leather, down, mohair, silk, and alpaca fleece production. Sheep are often beaten, stomped on, and kicked in the wool industry. Goats exploited for cashmere scream out in pain and terror as workers tear out their hair with sharp metal combs. Later, their throats are slit in slaughterhouses and they’re left to die in agony. And cows are routinely beaten and electroshocked for leather at some of the largest suppliers

Many cannibal films featured in thecannibalguy depict not just the consumption of human flesh but the use of other body parts, particularly skin. Think of Leatherface in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, wearing a mask made of human skin. Or Jame Gumb, “Buffalo Bill” from The Silence of the Lambs, making a woman suit because he is frustrated at being diagnosed as not a true transsexual. Both characters, as well as Norman Bates from Psycho, were based on the real-life “Butcher of Plainfield” Ed Gein, who did kill a couple of women but mostly sourced his body parts from gravesites, and produced a bewildering array of  chairs, waste-baskets, bedposts, bowls, corsets, masks, belts and lampshades from human skin and bones.

The use of human skin, including for binding books, is known as anthropodermic bibliopegy. Human skin used as a medium goes back into prehistory, and was reportedly popular among the Assyrians, who would flay their prisoners alive and display their hides. Perhaps the best known modern examples were the lampshades of Nazi concentration camp guards, but it was also not uncommon among slave owners, who felt that, since they owned the slave, they could use his or her body as they wished.

People have expressed shock and outrage at PETA’s new website, but that really was the point. Such atrocities against humans were carried out by people who saw nothing particularly wrong with what they were doing. The workers who skin cows and sheep, minks, snakes and crocodiles, dogs and cats and so many other animals are just, they say, doing their job. But that acceptance of appalling suffering for the sake of meat or clothing brings us closer to the possibility of adding one more species to the list of edible, flayable animals.

Human meat with a vodka chaser: The SIBERIAN CANNIBAL, Nov. 2021

You don’t often see Siberia in the news, particularly remote towns like Gaz-Sale. But this month (November 16, 2021 to be precise) it made a splash on news sites, with the sentencing of Vladimir Yadne for killing three people and eating their flesh, washed down with vodka.

The murders took place on March 6, 2021. The court heard that Yadne had gone out to buy some hard liquor when, on his way home, he saw a 51-year-old man and 59-year-old woman embracing. It is not clear if he knew them – the total population of the town is 1,800 so it is quite possible. At any rate, he got into an argument with them, and then stabbed them both to death.

Gaz-Sale, Siberia

Feeling hungry, perhaps from all the exertion, Yadne then cut pieces from the bodies and ate them raw, with his vodka, according to Inna Nosova, the head of the criminal justice department in Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Region.

“He came in with alcohol on him, and drank it as he was eating the meat.”

Apparently finding the taste to his liking, Yadne later that night stabbed to death another 52-year-old man and ate some of his flesh too. He then tried to dump the bodies (or what was left) but was arrested a few hours later, after police found them. He confessed to the murders and even helped police by recreating the crimes.

Yadne recreates the killings

He underwent psychiatric evaluation, which determined that, at the time of committing the crimes, Yadne was ‘sane’.

Vladimir Yadne

The case has at least put Gaz-Sale on the map, with reports in the British tabloid press, US news services, Hindi Newstrack and even withinnigeria.com. One way to get famous I guess. The really fascinating question for me relates to the role of cannibalism in determining the newsworthiness of a story. A man who killed three people in northern Siberia would barely rate a mention in a Russian news outlet, let alone on websites all around the world. Take a bite of the corpses, though, with or without vodka, and everyone wants to know. The conclusion has to be that we are more interested in what happens to dead bodies than living ones.

Yadne has been sentenced to life in a very uncomfortable Siberian prison colony.

Human pastries: Os Canibais de Garanhuns (The Cannibals of Garanhuns, Brazil)

In 2012, police in Garanhuns, Brazil, arrested for murder Jorge Beltrao Negromonte da Silveira, his wife, Isabel Pires, and his mistress, Bruna Cristina Oliveira, who all lived together in a group they called “The Cartel”. Residing with the Cartel was a small child named Vitória, who had been the daughter of their first victim. In 2018, all three adults were found guilty and sentenced to decades in prison.

However, the worldwide public interest in the crimes did not stem from their murder of three young mothers, but from the fact that the Cartel stripped the flesh from the victims and baked them into salgados, salty, deep-fried pastries, which were then sold to the unsuspecting public. To the disappointment of the media, the pictures of the perpetrators showed them as three ordinary Brazilian people, not the monsters the public had expected.

Isabel Pires, left, Jorge Beltrao Negromonte da Silveira, and Bruna Cristina Oliveira

This case, one of about one hundred reported incidents involving cannibalism since the year 2000, is of particular interest because it incorporates many of the issues considered in this blog.

  1. Reports of cannibals from earliest times almost invariably labelled them ‘monsters’, the same term the media used in this case to describe the members of the Cartel. Silveira muddied this even further by accusing his mistress Oliveira of being a witch, who had tortured him and Pires into taking parts in “purification” rituals.
  2. Cannibalism has been a useful accusation against colonised peoples since the time of Columbus, and Brazil has been particularly singled out in the literature as offering indisputable examples of “savage” cannibalism. Gananath Obeyesekere, one of the foremost scholars of cannibalism, writes that he omitted a chapter on the Tupinamba of Brazil from his book Cannibal Talk, which casts significant doubt on the existence of systemic savage cannibalism, partly because of the passionate commitment of Brazilian scholars to the “empirical reality of conspicuous anthropophagy”.
  3. Contemporary narratives of cannibalism, particularly since Jack the Ripper, assume that there are psychogenic bases for the act; de Silveira was found to have written a book called Revelações de um Esquizofrênico (Revelations of a Schizophrenic).
  4. Unknowing cannibals are often described as “innocent” in that they are offered meat without recognising its provenance. The enduringly popular Sweeney Todd, the ‘demon barber of Fleet Street’, is supposed to have, in the late eighteenth century, murdered his customers and furnished their flesh to his accomplice, Margery Lovett, who turned them into meat pies for her unknowing but enthusiastic customers, just as the Cartel did with their salgados. In neither case were there any misgivings because, according to da Silveira, human meat tastes almost the same as beef.
  5. Reports of cannibalism usually leave readers hungry for explanations – the motivation of the act. The Cartel chose its victims partly on the basis that they were tackling overpopulation by killing off single mothers who were unable to care for their children. The Cartel had its own methods of selecting victims, involving not just their unmarried maternity but a set of rules provided by “spiritual entities” which determined which women were evil and should be killed, based on the numbers on their identity cards adding up to 666.
  6. At the heart of this case lies an ethical question: is there a fundamental difference between a salgado (salty) snack full of beef and one filled with human meat? The premise of arguments for such a difference is the concept of anthropocentrism, the belief that (some) humans can transcend their disowned yet undeniable animality, and attain a higher moral status than other animals, such that intentionally killing a human is ‘murder’ while killing other animals is considered commercial harvesting. This sometimes called “speciesism”, except that there has never existed a culture where humans honestly considered all other humans their equals, or sometimes just human narcissism.

Silveira was sentenced to 71 years in prison, while his wife received 68 years and his mistress 71 years and 10 months. This is on top of another conviction in 2014, where the trio were found guilty of killing Jéssica Camila da Silva Pereira. Silveira was sentenced to 23 years in prison for that murder, while his wife and mistress were each sentenced to 20 years.


References

Araújo, E. L. V. M. d. (2018). Estudo do Caso dos Canibais de Garanhuns. (Law thesis), Centro Universitário Tabosa De Almeida, Caruaru, Brazil. Retrieved from http://repositorio.asces.edu.br/handle/123456789/1548 

Haining, P. (2007). Sweeney Todd: The True Story of The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. London, Robson Books.

Hunter, B. (2018). “Cannibal killers served flesh-filled pastries to neighbours” Toronto Sun, (December 18). Retrieved from https://torontosun.com/news/world/cannibal-killers-served-flesh-filled-pastries-to-neighbours

Lam, K. (2018) “Cannibal trio sentenced for killing women, stuffing flesh into pastries”, New York Post, (December 17). Retrieved from https://nypost.com/2018/12/17/cannibal-trio-sentenced-for-killing-women-stuffing-flesh-into-pastries/

Obeyesekere, G. (2005). Cannibal talk : The Man-eating Myth and Human Sacrifice in The South Seas. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Other fun cannibalism facts can be found at: thecannibalguy.com/category/cannibal-news/ and thecannibalguy.com/category/on-cannibals/

Satanic rituals and forced cannibalism. How many refugees share this fate?

The news service Noticias Telemundo recently reported a case of kidnapping, murder and cannibalism which, it seems, may not be so uncommon among refugees trying to cross Mexico into the United States.

Noticias Telemundo Investiga interviewed 32 migrants kidnapped from 2019 to 2021 in Mexico and the U.S. Their relatives were made to pay $1,500 to $5,000 as ransom to criminal gangs for the release of the kidnapped migrants.

The latest story follows the ordeal of a young man named David Sanabria and his little girl Ximena, who are from Honduras.

David Sanabria had arranged a coyote (smuggler) to escort them to the Texan border, where he planned to turn himself and his daughter in to U.S. immigration authorities and seek asylum. But when they reached Reynosa in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, the coyote turned them over to a cartel gang. David and other captives were repeatedly made to call relatives to ask for a ransom, and were beaten if the relative said they couldn’t afford it. The victims are not US citizens so relatives cannot ask for help from the FBI, and in many cases the local police in Mexico are in the pay of the cartels.

If the ransom was not paid by the deadline, the captives would be murdered. David said:

“With a machete they dismembered them, killed them, and the only thing I could do was cover my daughter’s eyes and ears so that she would not know what was happening, nor would she have those memories for her whole life.”

After that, the corpses were cooked and the surviving migrants were made to eat the human meat, “so that there would be no trace of anything — that’s what one had to eat.” The term “innocent cannibal” is usually reserved for those who are not aware that human meat is in their meal, but in this case, I think we can apply it to David and Ximena.

At night, the kidnappers performed satanic rituals. “They knelt down. They had images of the devil, of Santa Muerte. They made pleas. They made offerings. It was something horrible,” he said. Several survivors who spoke to Noticias Telemundo Investiga talked about the kidnappers’ “cult of death”.

David’s brother borrowed money from his co-workers, friends and relatives and even asked strangers for money on the streets of Nashville. He eventually raised the $7,500 ransom and David and Ximena were released. David waded across the Rio Grande with Ximena on his back. So they made it to the US border where they were detained for three days, but then were returned to Mexico. Under Title 42 to curb the spread of COVID-19, migrants who are detained at the border are returned to Mexico while their petitions for asylum are processed. This year, 100,000 migrants a month are being returned to Mexico.

They were put in a shelter by the National Migration Institute of Mexico, and Al Otro Lado, which provides free legal assistance to migrants from Baja California, helped David fill out an asylum application.

In August, the U.S. granted David and Ximena humanitarian parole so they could enter the country and live with his brother in Tennessee while they await the results of their asylum petitions.

This is Ximena in the shelter.

The United Nations estimates there are over 82 million people in the world who have fled their homes, of whom 26 million are refugees, half of those under the age of eighteen. That means one in every ninety-five people on earth has fled their home as a result of conflict or persecution.

Imagine, if you can, being a refugee, anywhere in the world. You are fleeing from a place which doesn’t want you, and where people are possibly threatening to imprison or kill you, to another place that also does not want you and may send you back, and almost no one will support you en route. Men, women and children are helpless, easy prey for unscrupulous smugglers and criminal gangs. If you disappear, no one will find you, particularly if you have been eaten.

Migrant kidnappings happen all the time. Mexican authorities at the beginning of September 2021 reported a total of 697 migrants kidnapped and rescued in just 10 days. These are not statistics. They are people like David and Ximena, who may be robbed, kidnapped, beaten, killed, forced into cannibalism, and even eaten themselves, as the world ignores them. In a world where we capture, kill and eat some 350 million animals every hour of every day, is it really surprising that we sometimes do the same to members of our own species?

It made me think of the last line of the film Cannibal Holocaust:

Cannibal News September 2021: Woman bites into rotting human finger in hamburger

Who’s in your burger? One of the best parts of any news story about cannibalism (and don’t the media just love them?) is the cheeky double entendre, the thigh-slapping pun, the sly innuendo. This story has generated many of them. E.g.

Estefany Benitez wrote in a Facebook post about an incident she alleges occurred on Sunday September 12 at the Hot Burger store in Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia. Benitez claimed that she chewed on a severed finger with her first bite of her hamburguesa magnifica burger.

Accompanying photos show what appears to be a rotting fingertip on the plate next to the burger.

In Benitez’s accompanying video, which currently boasts more than 60,000 views, she says,

Here we are at the magnificent Hot Burger where a finger ended up in my burger.”

The video shows an employee pleading “Please tell me what you want and we will give it to you.” The young employee tells the angry customer that the burgers arrive at the restaurant pre-prepared and that “nothing like this has ever happened to us before.” But the video claims that the restaurant then reportedly continued “serving customers like nothing had happened”.

UNINTENTIONAL PUN OF THE WEEK GOES TO:

This issue is out of our hands.”

After the post went viral, a company spokesperson called the discovery an “unfortunate incident” and explained that an employee had lost two fingers while prepping the meat — a story that has been confirmed by local police.

It’s not unusual for customers to discover human body parts in their food. In an incident in 2019, a UK couple claimed they’d found a tooth in their Chinese takeout. This trope of the innocent cannibal eating human body parts under the assumption that they are from some anonymous animal who is not human has been around since the legend of Sweeney Todd, the ‘demon barber of Fleet St’ who processed his customers into meat pies, and who was supposedly hanged in London in 1802. Todd has graced several movies, most recently a musical with Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. Other similar stories include  Motel Hell and the Danish comedy Green Butcher, starring Mads Mikkelsen. Of course,  The Texas Chain Saw Massacre famously begins with a group of tourists chowing down on some unnamed “barbeque” before themselves becoming the ingredients.

In the movie The Farm, a group of animal activists make a living cutting up tourists who stop at their hotel, selling their meat as part of a catering business. Female victims are artificially inseminated to make saleable milk. Like the Hot Burger company, they also have production problems, when a customer finds a tooth in his delivery of meat.

In light of the events at Hot Burger, the Bolivian vice-minister for the defense of consumer rights ordered the temporary closure of the burger branch and fined the firm. However, it’s unclear whether Benitez will pursue legal action. Comments on her Facebook page are running hot, many of them condemning her for putting hard-working restaurant staff out of work. And, when you think of it, is it really so very shocking to find meat from a large mammal in a burger?