In December, we covered the arrest of Oldtown man James David Russell, 39, for cannibalism and murder in relation to the September 10 death of David Flaget. Police had seized evidence including a bloodied microwave oven, a glass bowl and a bloodied knife and duffel bag. There was evidence that heat had been applied to the body of the victim and body parts were missing, speculation being that the body parts had been cooked in the microwave.
Court proceedings were paused in late October when the Magistrate found Russell unfit to stand trial for first-degree murder and ordered him to the Idaho Security Medical Program for a mental health evaluation. This has finally cleared him to stand trial.
The full report from December is at this page:
Idaho is the only state of the United States which has laws against cannibalism.
What a year it was – if a virus wasn’t invading your body, your neighbour might well be.
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.
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.
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.
On Friday, 18 June 2021, a Swiss court sentenced 46-year-old Alieu Kosiah, a West African rebel leader, to 20 years in prison for rape, murder and cannibalism, committed during Liberia’s civil war. The case before a three-judge panel at the federal criminal court in Bellinzona was Switzerland’s first war crimes trial held in a civilian court.
Kosiah, AKA “bluff boy”, was a commander in the rebel faction United Liberation Movement of Liberiafor Democracy (ULIMO) that fought former President Charles Taylor’s army in the 1990s. He faced 25 charges, including one in which he was accused of eating slices of a school-teacher’s heart. He was found guilty of all but four of the charges. The court listed the charges as
“recruitment and use of a child soldier, forced transportation, looting, cruel treatment of civilians, attempted murder, murder (directly or by order), desecration of a corpse and rape.”
Criminal complaints were filed by Liberian victims, represented by civil rights group Civitas Maxima. The indictment says Kosiah killed or participated in the killing of 18 civilians, forced a displaced woman to be his “wife”, raping her repeatedly, and recruited a 12-year-old boy as his personal bodyguard. In one incident described in the indictment, Kosiah joined fighters in eating slices of a dead man’s heart off a metal plate. Acts of cannibalism were not uncommon in the conflict.
Kosiah was arrested in 2014 under a Swiss law that allows prosecution for serious crimes committed anywhere, under the principle of universal jurisdiction. He had denied all the charges and told the court he was a minor when first recruited into the conflict.
Dubbed “the Monster” by survivors of the war, Kosiah is infamously remembered for the Black Monday attack on June 28, 1993 when rebels rounded up and massacred villagers in Foya, Lofa County.
Other Liberian war criminals
Liberia has ignored pressure to prosecute crimes from its continuous wars between 1989-2003, in which about 250,000 people died and thousands of child soldiers were conscripted and taught to kill and commit atrocities. Charles Taylor is himself currently serving a 50-year prison sentence for aiding and abetting rebels who committed atrocities in neighbouring Sierra Leone, but not for his actions in Liberia. His son, Chuckie, was sentenced for torture in Liberia by a U.S. court in 2009.
Ex-warlord Mohammed “Jungle Jabbah” Jabateh has been jailed for 30 years in the US for lying about his past as a leader of a force that carried out multiple murders and acts of cannibalism.
In July 2018, France detained naturalised Dutch citizen Kunti K, a suspected former militant ULIMO commander and placed him under formal investigation for crimes against humanity including torture and cannibalism. Another Liberian commander, Gibril Massaquoi, known as “Angel Gabriel” is on trial in Finland accused of eating his victims, burning kids alive and raping women. A verdict is expected around September this year.
An ULIMO commander named Joshua Milton Blahyi known as “General Butt Naked” gave evidence to Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2008:
“Any time we captured a town, I had to make a human sacrifice. They bring to me a living child that I slaughter and take the heart off to eat it… A lady offered me her child for my sacrifice. After cutting up the child I divided the heart among my boys and myself. The blood of the child was still on my hand when Jesus appeared to me and asked me to stop being a slave.”
Blahyi’s crimes included child sacrifice, cannibalism, the exploitation of child soldiers and trading blood diamonds for guns and cocaine, which he provided to boy soldiers as young as nine. He was never charged, and is now an evangelical pastor. He published an autobiography about his conversion.
The cannibal as animal
During his trial, Alieu Kosiah broke down and shouted:
“I’ve been locked up for six years, I have emotions, I’m not an animal.”
Well actually, he is an animal. We all are: humans are a species of Great Ape, as are our closest relatives the chimpanzees, who also wage war and indulge in occasional cannibalism. The point here, though, is that Kosiah saw himself stereotyped as a black man, an African, in a court full of white Europeans passing judgement on him. To the European, only a century or so ago, all Africans were considered savages and cannibals, little more than beasts, a libel which is hard to expunge, and a demonisation that was just as useful to European imperialist expansion as the use of gunboats. As recently as 1959, New York Times reporter Homer Bigart (an almost perfect name) wrote to his foreign news editor about his contempt for the new class of African leaders such as Kwame Nkrumah,
“I vastly prefer the primitive bush people. After all, cannibalism may be the logical antidote to this population explosion everyone talks about.”
The savagery and cannibalism of the multitudes of wars that have swept Africa in the last decades have led to appalling atrocities. But let us not forget the role of the colonialist rulers who divided the continent up, regardless of the local tribal areas, and sucked the riches out of the land, leaving the newly independent countries destitute and riven with implacable hatreds.
As Malcolm X wrote in 1965 about the colonisers of Africa:
They projected Africa always in a negative light: jungles, savages, cannibals, nothing civilized.