Thank you for your patience!
What a year it was – if a virus wasn’t invading your body, your neighbour might well be.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
A community leader told the Financial Times newspaper that rioting and looting have caused food shortages which have led people to consider cannibalism.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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”.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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/
Of all the (sometimes) wonderful cannibal movies and shows I have reviewed in this blog, my personal favourite is still The Silence of the Lambs with Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal the Cannibal. It was the first film I reviewed on this blog (does that mean I liked the others less each time? Not at all), and interestingly, it does not actually feature any cannibalism, although we hear a lot about it.
So I was pretty chuffed to find that The Silence of the Lambs is the favourite horror movie of the State of Utah, according to the Horrornews.net website. They used information from Rotten Tomatoes and Google Trends, and partnered with Mindnet Analytics, to analyse how interest in horror movies varied in each US state and the District of Columbia (DC). The results are presented on their website:
This survey covers all horror, whereas in this blog we concentrate on the cannibal, so please let us know your favourite cannibal film (or TV show, but if it’s a series, your favourite episode) either in the comments at the bottom of the page (after a few suggestions) or at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll let you know the results.
So the news media is sure that Armie Hammer either is, or is not, a cannibal. Let us (briefly I hope) review.
Hammer is a young American actor (not yet 35) who found fame with his 2008 portrayal of the evangelist Billy Graham in Billy, the Early Years for which he won a “Faith and Values Award” from Mediaguide, a Christian review organisation. Will the ironies never cease!
Hammer went on to star in several movies (including some bombs like The Lone Ranger alongside Johnny Depp) but he is best known for playing Oliver in Call Me by Your Name in 2017. He was supposed to star in a sequel, based on the novel Find Me, when his world turned to shit. Or didn’t. Because he was a cannibal. Or wasn’t.
“It was a very complicated, intense situation, with big personalities all locked in a little tiny place. I don’t think I handled it very well. I think, to be quite frank, I came very close to completely losing my mind.”
Hammer’s family was, shall we say, a colourful one. His aunt Casey declared “I started watching Succession and I had to turn it off, because it was like, ‘Oh, my God. That’s my family.’”
Close families! Hammer said he felt like a trapped wolf who wanted to “chew his own foot off.” Despite the raging pandemic, he flew back to the US, where he got over his imminent divorce with wild parties and a series of girlfriends.
Unfortunately for him, several of those girlfriends in early 2021 took to social media to describe Hammer as abusive, manipulative and violent. Screenshots of his text messages appeared to show him describing fantasies (or real events) of rape and cannibalism.
“I am 100% a cannibal…. Fuck. That’s scary to admit. I’ve never admitted that before. I’ve cut the heart out of a living animal before and eaten it while still warm.”
“I want to see your brain, your blood, your organs, every part of you. I would definitely bite it. 100%. Or try to fuck it. Not sure which. Probably both.”
“If I fucked you into a vegetative state id keep you, feed you, watch you, and keep fucking you…Till you are so sore and broken…. I can’t stop thinking of [fucking] your actual brain.”
“Brand you, tattoo you, mark you, shave your head and keep your hair with me, cut a piece of your skin off and make you cook it for me…. “Who’s slave/master relationship is the strongest?” We’d win. When I tell you to slit your wrists and use the blood for anal.”
In early March, Armie’s ex-girlfriend Paige Lorenze, 24, said in an explosive interview with Vanity Fair that during their time together she felt “really unsafe and sick to her stomach.” The interview claimed that the celebrity’s ex-partners have “compared him to Ted Bundy” and said he was obsessed with Shibari – a Japanese bondage art form where people are tied up in intricate patterns. Lorenze was horrified to see the accusations of cannibalism,
“Because he would say things to me…weird stuff…like, ‘I want to eat your ribs’.”
She also claimed that Hammer had carved his initial into her pubic area and licked the wound, later bragging about it to friends, and that Hammer was fixated on biting her body, saying,
”If you did not tell me to stop I would eat a piece out of you.” And he was serious too. It was like he actually wanted to eat my flesh away.
On their first night together, Lorenze said Hammer insisted: ‘You can either call me daddy or sir.’
Another woman named Effie whom he dated for about five months in 2020 said that he had told her he wanted to eat her flesh, and would suck or lick her wounds if she had “a little cut on my hand.”
But let’s remember that no one has actually accused Hammer of acting on his alleged cannibalistic fantasies — and in fact he has never confirmed that he sent those texts. In any case, texting and sex play, even bondage and sado-masochism (if consensual), are not illegal, and Hammer clearly enjoyed both.
But if he sent these texts, and if they were just fantasies, as they appear to be, he picked the very worst time, the apex of the #MeToo movement, to send them. Hammer subsequently lost leading roles for which he had been preparing, including in the Jennifer Lopez film Shotgun Wedding, and his agency dropped him. In March 2021, Effie, the woman who initially came forward with abuse allegations on Instagram, identified herself and accused Hammer of violently raping her in April 2017. The Los Angeles Police Department subsequently confirmed that he was the subject of a sexual assault investigation, which had been set in motion a month prior. Hammer has vehemently denied any wrongdoing via his lawyer, who stated that “all of his interactions with [Effie] – and every other sexual partner of his for that matter – have been completely consensual, discussed and agreed upon in advance, and mutually participatory.”
Hammer was unable to see his family during the pandemic lockdown, and his marriage fell apart.
In June 2021, Hammer checked into a Florida treatment centre for drug, alcohol and sex issues.
Katharine Gates, the author of Deviant Desires, describes a cannibalistic sex role play that tends to “involve more realistic scenarios…but still fantasy—they’re not actually eating pieces of people, but you will have one person be the meat and another is the preparer.”
Many, many people seem fascinated by cannibalism, and one artist is already turning Armie Hammer’s explicit DMs into NFT art (non-fungible tokens – it’s a long story).
One role play which seems popular on sites like Tumblr revolves around cannibal acts, a ‘paraphilia’ known as vorarephilia (it’s not in the DSM) – sexual arousal at eating, or being eaten by, another person (enthusiasts call themselves “vores”). A few, such as Armin Meiwes, eventually find a willing partner and make the fantasy a reality, but such cases are incredibly rare – Meiwes himself found that almost all the men who responded to his requests for someone who wanted to be eaten were not finally ready to take it to the next level – actually becoming his meal.
But why this fascination? Cannibalism is an act of domination – there can be no greater conquest of another than converting them into a meal and eventually into excrement. Hammer revealed this need to dominate in wanting to be called ‘daddy or sir’. But this hunger for incorporative power goes back to our earliest experiences.
Freud wrote of an infantile impulse toward “oral incorporation” – a desire not just to feed at the mother’s breast but to consume, possess that source of nourishment, comfort, security and love. He called one of the earliest psychological phases the “cannibalistic pregenital sexual organisation”. This drive is both loving – wanting to unite with the object of desire, and destructive – prepared to destroy the object to satisfy those desires. Infants may generate such hostility when their needs and desires are not satisfied promptly, and may also learn fear from the suspicion that the source will never be enough, or that their feeble attempts to dominate the adult may be met with far more powerful reprisals.
Maggie Kilgour, the doyen of Cannibal Studies, summed up:
“…far from being sublimated into symbolic forms or even sexual desire, our original appetites still move us, so that we remain trapped in a new oral phase of consumption. The work implies that man-eating is a reality – it is civilisation that is the myth.”
So there is a deep vein of cannibalism in our unconscious minds, and it may resurface at times of stress (e.g. being locked down in the Cayman Islands) or as an expression of affection, which in Hammer’s case did not go over well.
Is Armie Hammer a cannibal? He is a rich and handsome movie star from a rich and famous family, who built his career on playing men who can get away with anything. He is certainly a privileged and persuasive abuser of (often much) younger women, a form of exploitative consumption that is uncomfortably close to cannibalistic ingestion.
But is he a cannibal? Almost certainly not in reality. But in his mind, in the deep, dark fissures of his unconscious, he certainly is. We all are.
Lawrence Paul Anderson was arrested in February for the murder of his neighbour Andrea Lynn Blankenship, 41, as well as his uncle Leon Pye, 67, and his four-year-old niece Kaeos Yates. Police allege that Anderson, 42, cut out his neighbour’s heart and cooked it with potatoes for his family, then proceeded to kill them too.
On February 9 2021, Chickasha (Oklahoma) police responded to a 911 call from a woman pleading for help. They found Leon Pye already dead and his 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.
Two days later 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 (Blankenship) who lived there.
“He confessed to going to 227 West Minnesota Avenue, Chickasha,” an agent reported. “He used his shoulder to knock in the back door. There were two German Shepherd dogs in the house. Anderson advised he killed the female resident and cut her heart out.”
“He took the heart back to 214 West Minnesota, Chickasha. He cooked the heart with potatoes to feed to his family, to release the demons.”
The SBI is seeking a warrant to collect from the home “pots, pans and any utensils for cooking.”
The triple murder sparked additional public outrage after it emerged that Anderson had been released from prison early, in January, as reported by the Oklahoman. He had been sentenced to twenty years behind bars for gun and drug offenses in 2017 before Governor Kevin Stitt commuted the sentence to nine years at the recommendation of the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board. He was released on parole in January after serving just over three years, and had been staying with his aunt and uncle since his release.
Grady County District Attorney Jason Hicks charged Anderson with three counts of first-degree murder and two felony charges of assault and battery with a deadly weapon and maiming on Tuesday. He was not charged with cannibalism. With the exception of Idaho, there are no laws against cannibalism in the United States.
Anderson sobbed in court during his initial appearance Tuesday, telling the judge: ‘I don’t want no bail, your honor. I don’t want no bail.’ Anderson does not look, at first glance, like a monster. Rather, he seems to offer support to Arendt’s theory of the banality of evil.
Anderson is being held without bond, and the prosecution says that the death penalty ‘is on the table’.
Once again, we see that acts of cannibalism will dominate news stories, while murders are considered barely more than mundane. Yet paradoxically, while penalties for murder are usually substantial, cannibalism is not against the law in most jurisdictions, even in the USA (excluding Idaho), the country where a large proportion of cases of contemporary cannibalism occur.
Legislators, it seems, would prefer to pretend it just doesn’t happen. Until it does.
For more cannibal news, choose that category in the box on the right of the screen.
The Russian Supreme Court has just confirmed the sentence of life imprisonment on Eduard Seleznev, known as the “Arkhangelsk Cannibal”, who killed and ate the flesh of three men.
Seleznev killed three of his friends aged 59, 43 and 34 between March 2016 and March 2017, getting them drunk and then stabbing them to death. He 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.
Psychiatrists advised the court that they had found him to be sane and responsible for his actions, and he was sentenced to life imprisonment, but appealed to the Supreme Court, which has just this week confirmed the earlier sentence and advised that he should never be paroled. He was ordered to pay over one million roubles (roughly $14,000 USD) in compensation to the victims’ families.
The parents of one of the victims had gone looking for their son but found Seleznev living in the man’s flat. After murdering and eating the man’s flesh, Seleznev had decided to stay in the flat and started working at a local meat processing plant. Seleznev told the parents that the man had moved to St. Petersburg, but the family members found odd-looking unpackaged meat lying on the floor. Understandably suspicious, they went to the police.
Seleznev apparently had been convicted for a double murder previously but been released after thirteen years in jail in 2000, and had lived in basements, where he caught and cooked local cats, dogs, birds and other small animals found on the streets. Murder of humans is very often preceded by slaughter of other animals. It is not surprising that Seleznev killed dogs, cats and birds or chose to work in a slaughterhouse.
The sociopathic personality usually develops in early childhood or adolescence and is classified under the diagnosis of “conduct disorder,” which then develops into “anti-social personality disorder” (both of these are listed in the DSM). One of the early signs of a conduct disorder is often cruelty to animals.
Like most jurisdictions, cannibalism is not listed in the Russian criminal code, so Seleznev was charged with murder and misusing the victims’ body parts. To the cannibal, of course, burying good meat is misuse, while eating could be considered – sustainable harvesting?
For more cannibal news, check out https://thecannibalguy.com/category/on-cannibals/
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.
Zhukova, a retired pig butcher, was charged with murdering three people, but police suspected she was involved in many other unsolved cases in Russia.
Neighbours claimed she made sweets from the flesh of her victims.
Zhukova, 81, a retired pig slaughterer, was accused of butchering schoolgirl Anastasia Alexeenko, seven, whose severed head was found in 2005 with her face severely battered. The child had reportedly annoyed Zhukova by being noisy while playing nearby, and had thrown ice-cream at Zhukova when told to be quiet.
The court was told that she kidnapped the schoolgirl and held her for three weeks. The child was allegedly murdered the day before her severed head was found near Zhukova’s flat. A phone call assuring Anastasia’s mother, Natalya, that the girl was still alive had been made from the sausage factory where the pensioner worked as a pig slaughterer, the court was told. Forensic experts found the girl’s DNA in Zhukova’s bathroom, some fourteen years after the alleged killing.
She was also charged with murdering and dismembering a 52-year-old janitor in Khabarovsk, and killing a female friend, who was aged 77. Police were investigating at least four more unsolved murders linked to her. Internal organs of the janitor, Vasily Shlyakhtich, a Ukrainian immigrant who was her tenant, were allegedly discovered in the granny’s fridge in 2019. She said in evidence: ‘I killed the janitor, but he raped me. What do you think I should have done? I chopped him up with an axe.’ She demonstrated her technique in court.
Local children found his severed arm in a rubbish skip, and other remains were found in plastic bags at a skip.
A law enforcement source said:
‘The bowels and other inner organs of the man were found in her fridge – and she threw away the bones. But dogs smelled the blood and carried the body parts all around the area.’
Neighbours said she even turned her victims into food and sweets (candies, lollies), and offered them around to children. One stated:
‘We always found it strange that despite being surly and unfriendly, she would often find the time to cook things for the local children. ‘They were always meat dishes. Sometimes she gave them to the adults, she bought me and my husband plates with jellied meat.’
Zhukova’s crimes, murdering at least three people, are unfortunately not unusual. More than 400,000 people are murdered every year globally. What made this old lady newsworthy, and her death the subject of headlines (unlike most of the millions who have died of COVID) is the allegation of cannibalism – particularly the fact that she fed some of the human meat to neighbours and possibly made sweet treats for children out of the flesh.
But, you know, we do what we know. Like the Sawyer family in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, her life was centred around killing as a calling – so pigs, rapists and noisy children were all just items of work or problems to be solved. In retirement, she solved her problems the same way she had solved her employment tasks, as well as finding ways to ingratiate herself to her neighbours. As one of the Sawyer lads said:
“My family’s always been in meat!”
Or as Pythagoras said some 2,500 years ago:
“For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other.
Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.”
2020 assailed us with fires, floods, famine and pestilence (both the pandemic and political varieties). The power of nature was demonstrated in several forms: in the massive power of storms, floods and fires, and the microscopically small virus that crippled the world economy and killed (probably well over) 1,700,000 people (so far). Our faith in being the masters of this planet and the manipulators of the natural world was finally shaken. We were toppled from our declared place at the top of the food chain by a miniscule virus that used our own cells as food to proliferate. We, like the animals we breed and kill by the billions, became fodder, not just to viruses, but occasionally to other humans. Some reported cases of alleged, proven or suspected cannibalism from 2020 are listed below. How many more are still unknown? Considering the hundreds of thousands of people who go missing each year, that is anyone’s guess.
I am well aware that, as I write this, there are still a handful of days to go in the year, and there is a good chance 2020 may still have some more surprises for us. But anyway (as far as I know), this is the year 2020 in cannibal news.
Note: 2020 saw reports about the guy who allegedly hung his Grindr date upside down, cut off his testicles and ate them, but he is not counted here as he did it last Christmas eve, which technically was still 2019.
A blind couple in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur district allegedly had a seven-year-old girl killed so they could eat her organs, as they believed that this would result in them having a child. Police said that a seven-year-old girl had gone missing on the night of Diwali on Saturday. Her blood-stained body was recovered from a field near the village on Sunday. ”Several organs of the body were missing….her stomach had been ripped open” and the girl was also raped before being brutally murdered.
On 8 November a hiker came upon the skeletal remains of a human leg in a field on the northern outskirts of Berlin. Investigators discovered bite marks on the bones, though they said it was still unclear if they were human or from another animal. A 41-year-old man was arrested at his home close to the site where the victim’s bones were found, on suspicion of murder with sexual motives. “The suspect had an interest in cannibalism,” Berlin prosecutors’ office spokesman Martin Steltner said. “He searched online for the topic.” Well really, who hasn’t?
Because the alleged killer and victim met on an on-line dating site, reports of the arrest have evoked parallels to the infamous case of the “Rotenburg cannibal”. In 2006, a German court convicted Armin Meiwes of murder and disturbing the peace for killing a man he had met online and eating him. Meiwes is serving a life sentence.
66-year-old Viktor Zakharov was arrested on suspicion of three murders after a severed penis was found in his garden in the Siberian village of Severnoye. Skeletal remains of two other men were subsequently found under his floorboards. Authorities are investigating whether the scrap metal collector ate the men. He is now also being investigated concerning the disappearance of 14-year-old Alexey Bakun in 2012.
A 41-year-old Ukrainian admitted that he killed his girlfriend, then fried and ate her legs after the two had a drinking session at home on April 13. He hid the rest of her body in the reeds of a nearby river, where it was found the next day by a father taking his two children for a stroll. Officers ambushed Oleksandr in his home and found him frying flesh from his girlfriend’s leg before eating it. Local reports said the police felt sick after witnessing the horrific scene. According to Ukrainian media, Oleksandr cooked his girlfriend’s legs and ate them after he reportedly ‘got hungry’.
Also in Ukraine, Maxim and Yaroslav Kostyukov, 42 and 21, were convicted of killing Yevgeny ‘Zhenya’ Petrov, 45. The three had been drinking together when a row developed over the conflict between Kiev’s army and pro-Moscow rebels in the eastern part of the country. A court heard how the son had held Petrov from behind while the father stabbed him twice in the chest. Yaroslav Kostyukov then beheaded the victim and cut flesh from the corpse as well as his heart, kidneys, liver and other internal organs. He confessed to cooking the meat which was served when the father and son hosted a homeless man called Yura. Prosecutor Oksana Karnaukh said: “There is no such crime as cannibalism listed in the Criminal Code of Ukraine.” The pair were, however, charged with murder and aggravating circumstances committed by a group of persons, and illegal possession of arms. And, presumably, legs.
In Oklahoma, a hospital admitted a severely bleeding 28-year-old patient, who told the staff that two men had surgically removed his testicles as he lay on a wooden table in their remote cabin in the woods. One of the men said he was a “cannibal” who kept body parts in a refrigerator. The unnamed “patient” met the “surgeon”, Bob Lee Allen, on a website advertising castrations. Allen said that he had 15 years’ experience doing similar surgeries and would remove the man’s testicles free of charge. Why so generous? After the two-hour procedure, Allen “laughed and said that he was a cannibal,” the victim told investigators, adding he had a freezer full of body parts.
In Brooklyn NY on April 15, Khaled Ahmad ran up to some cops from the 68th Precinct who were on meal break in a bagel shop about 4:30 a.m., and told them he had killed his 57-year-old father. The victim had been gutted and “the victim’s innards were removed but not found, leading some investigators to believe Ahmad may have eaten them”. Ahmad “had a history of mental illness” while the unfortunate father was a retired grocer, who had just sold his store in Rockaway Beach, Queens. Ahmad had created a GoFundMe page in September 2019 that asked the public to help fund his return to the Palestinian territories, but at the time of the murder, he and his 57-year-old father, Imad Ahmad, were sheltered at home in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn to avoid getting the coronavirus. One high ranking cop said, “it’s the worst crime scene I’ve ever seen.”
On the other side of the country, police were called to a home in Richmond, California, where they found Dwayne Wallick, a “suspected” cannibal, “digging into his grandmother’s dead body and trying to eat her remains”. The murder involved both a knife and an ice pick. “Police believe unspecified drugs may have played a role in the crime”. No shit, Sherlock. A Richmond Police spokesman said the crime scene was among the most gruesome he’s seen in his career.
Here’s the thing – would you pick any of these guys as cannibals? They don’t have a single eye in the middle of their forehead like the cyclops or dog-faces like the cyanocephali. They don’t have bones through their noses like the mythical cannibals of the colonial stories. In fact, since Jack the Ripper, or perhaps Sweeney Todd, cannibals have looked “normal” – indistinguishable from anyone else. Cannibalism has come home, and the cannibal could be living next door. Or even closer.
2020 CANNIBAL MOVIES
Pretty amazing that anyone managed to produce anything in 2020 with all the lockdowns and social distancing, yet below we have a bunch of cannibal movie releases. Several others were put on the backburner and will hopefully appear in 2021 when things get back to abnormal.
Gretel & Hansel (Oz Perkins) – a reboot of the Grimm Brothers tale.
Human Hibachi (Mario Cerrito III) – Indie cannibalism, banned by Amazon.
The Last Thanksgiving (Erick Lorinc) – cannibal pilgrims attack a restaurant that stays open for Thanksgiving.
Cannibal Comedian (Sean Haitz) – you know how comedians like to say “I killed out there”?
Spell (Mark Tonderai) – Hoodoo cannibal rituals.
The Dinner Party (Miles Doleac) – an invitation from the cultural elites – they’d like to have you for dinner.
Butchers (Adrian Langley) – stranded in the backwoods, attacked by cannibals, did anyone mention chainsaws?
Cadaver (Jarand Herdal) – post-apocalyptic family are invited to a show, where they can join the cast, or the menu.