Halloween Chaos Countdown: 13 Cases of Modern and Old-school Cannibalism
I first became interested in cannibals by watching all those awesome vintage exploitation cannibal films like Cannibal Holocaust, Cannibal Ferox, and Eaten Alive! to name a few of the many brilliant cannibal movies out there.
But gorging on the flesh of fellow humans doesn’t just happen in splatter films. There are many instances of real life cannibalism happening recently and throughout history. Here are some of the most fucked up, bizarre, and notorious cases of real cannibalism. Hope you’re hungry!
I) In 1846, the Donner Party set out on a pioneering trip which trapped them in a brutal snow storm. 36 people died and the surviving group were forced to eat the dead to stay alive. Crispin Glover was recently in a terrible film reennacting this famous incident but it has Crispin in it so it’s still awesome.
Members would dress in leopard skins, waylaying travelers with sharp claw-like weapons in the form of leopards’ claws and teeth. The victims’ flesh would be cut from their bodies and distributed to members of the society. In theory, the ritual cannibalism would strengthen both members of the society as well as their entire tribe.”
III) Japanese cannibal, Issei Sagawa, who murdered and ate his university classmate, and got away with it, is one of the most notorious. This VICE documentary which interviews Sagawa is an internet classic:
IV) Serial killer, Albert Fish, brutally tortured, murdered and ate children in the early 1900’s. He boasted that he “had a child in every state” but police could only link him to 3-10 murders. Hannibal Lector’s character was inspired by Fish. Fish died by the electric chair, but not before revealing chilling insight into his level of sadism.
V) By far the most savage instance of modern cannibalism happened in Miami, Florida, when a man chewed off the face of a homeless man named Ronald Poppo. Bath salts were instantly blamed as the cause since news about the zombie drug was rampant during the time of the incident but only cannabis was found in the “cannibal’s” system. Poppo survived the attack and is now learning guitar and has refused reconstructive surgery. He is said to be positive and in good spirits despite what he’s been through.
VI) In one of the most bizarre acts of group cannibalism, Mao Sugiyama had his genitals surgically removed then served them at a dinner party of 70 guests who knew what the “main course” was going to be. His genitals were chopped up and served with parsley and button mushrooms but wasn’t enough to feed everyone. Most people only got to eat crocodile.
VII) The word “cannibal” comes from the Spanish word “Caníbales” which refers to the Carib Tribe in the West Indies who were said to practice cannibalism. This ended up being a Spanish colonial myth meant as an excuse to murder and enslave indigenous people. Indigenous cannibal tribes have been a big part of the cannibal mythology and cannibal tribes have existed and perhaps still do, but much of it is just misconception, rumors and racism.
VIII) The Korowai of New Guinea may be the only surviving cannibal tribe. A reporter recently visited the tribe and says “they still eat their fellow tribesmen.”
IX) A chef by the name of David Viens, slow cooked his wife in boiling water after having an argument with her. He initially confessed to the crime but the redacted it, saying he was hallucinating. The judge didn’t buy it and Viens received 15 years to life in prison.
X) Andrei Chikatilo murdered up to 56 people beginning in the late 70’s. Certainly one of the most sadistic serial killers in history with a high murder rate, Chikatilo, on top of eating some of his victims, was also a necrophiliac who loved to eviscerate his victims.
XI) On Friday the 13th, October 1972, a chartered flight carrying a Uruguayan rugby team and their family, crashed in the Andes. The Andes Plane Crash Survivors, stranded in freezing temperatures for 72 days, ended up having to eat the dead to stay alive. 16 out of 72 people survived.
XII) “Eat the rich” has become a popular phrase since our economy ate shit but there was actually a group that did just that. The Chijon family were a Korean gang who targeted rich people. They were convicted of killing 5 people and one of the members admitted to eating at least one of the victims.
XIII) I can’t make a cannibalism post without mentioning Jeffrey Dahmer. This totally “normal” looking, guy-next-door, was convicted of murdering 17 men and children. His fetishes included necrophilia, exhibitionism, hebephilia, fetishism, pygmalionism, and erotophonophilia. He also tried to make some of his victims into sex-slave zombies by drilling holes into their head and filling it with various liquids. It didn’t work of course. This interview with Dahmer is one of the best interviews with a serial killer. Dahmer is very articulate and self-aware of everything he did and how society views him. Incredible insight into the mind of a cannibal killer.
Now time to eat some food…