Cannibalism - Most recent cases - Year 2007                                Previous Page                           Home

Cannibalism suspected in murder
Vienna - Austrian police arrested a 19-year-old homeless German on Tuesday on suspicion of murdering a flatmate
in a homeless shelter and eating parts of his body.
A cleaning woman found the naked, sliced-open corpse of a 49-year-old Austrian on Tuesday morning in the flat he
had shared with the German, a Vienna police spokesperson said.
The victim's skull had been crushed with a bar bell, and his chest and stomach cut open with a large knife, spokes-
person Gerald Hoebarth said.
Hoebarth said some brain tissue was found arranged on a plate - "whether the suspect ate from that, we don't know
yet" - with other body parts in an adjoining room.
Court psychiatrist Reinhard Haller told Austrian ORF television that the perpetrator was "deeply abnormal" and
added: "The cause could have been a psychotic reaction or a sadistic compulsion". Reuters

                                                            
Images. Left: Albert Hamilton Fish (May 19, 1870 January 16, 1936) was an American serial killer, child molester,
and cannibal. Right: Alferd Packer, popularly known as one of only two Americans ever imprisoned for cannibalism.

Cannibal attack chills France
Paris - A French self-confessed cannibal was in custody at the weekend after apparently eating bits of a fellow prison
inmate in a gory case raising questions about psychiatric care in detention centres.
It also brings back memories of Japanese Issey Sagawa, who 25 years ago killed his Dutch girlfriend in Paris, ate
much of her body over three days and went on to become a celebrity at home.
Reminiscent of psychopath Hannibal Lecter in the 1981 film The Silence of the Lambs - who was "having an old friend
for dinner" - the 35-year-old French prisoner may have fried parts of a cellmate's lungs and chest with onions before
devouring them, investigators believe.
The prisoner - named by the French daily Le Parisien as Nicolas Cocaigne - has confessed to the attack and been
charged with premeditated murder and "violating the integrity of a corpse".
The body of 31-year-old Thierry Baudry was found early on Thursday when guards opened the cells in the prison of
Rouen in northwest France.
According to the prosecutor, he had been beaten, cut with scissors and a razor, strangled and finally asphyxiated
with a plastic bag.

A third detainee in the cell was charged with being an accessory to murder.
Cocaigne's initial claim that he had eaten his victim's heart was disproved when the heart was found intact in an
autopsy.
But investigators do believe that he devoured parts of his lungs and chest, possibly after preparing them in a cooker.
Detectives were running tests on samples of fat and onion taken from a saucepan in the cell, Le Parisien reported on
Saturday.
Samuel Lepastier, a psychiatrist at the Pitie-Salpetriere hospital in Paris, said Cocaigne probably suffered from major
schizophrenia. He would have regressed to a state of early-childhood anguish and rage, exacerbated by prison conditions.
This tallies with a report in Le Monde daily that Cocaigne, who was awaiting trial on charges of armed rape, explained
the attack by saying he was overcome with a sudden violent urge.
He reportedly got angry because his cellmate failed to respect prison cell rules.
"You can't always detect the mentally ill among the prison population," Lepastier told Le Parisien.
But Cocaigne's lawyer, Fabien Picchiotino, said the prison authorities had ignored early warnings.
"This drama could have been avoided if my client had been placed in psychiatric care, or if the recommendation of
the investigating judge to place him in solitary confinement had been followed," he said.
Prison director Yves Bidet refused to say whether he had been warned that Cocaigne was dangerous.
AFP

Cannibal couple' arrested
Maputo - A Mozambican couple have been arrested on allegations of cannibalism and have confessed to the charge, said
a police official on Thursday.
Jose Cumbe, police chief for the central district of Gorongosa, said: "They have admitted to eating human flesh and bones."
"They explained that the bones were crushed and mixed with traditional ingredients which they consumed to
strengthen their spiritual powers and help them save human lives."
Cumbe said some human remains would be sent to the port city of Beira for tests.
AFP

Cannibal loses final appeal
Berlin - A German cannibal, jailed for life for killing and eating a willing victim in a case that shocked the nation, lost
an appeal against his sentence and will serve at least 15 years in prison, a court ruled on Friday.
"The life-long sentence means the defendant can be released no sooner than in 15 years - and then only if he is no
longer dangerous," the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe, Germany's highest appeals court, has said.
A Frankfurt court in May 2006 overturned an earlier manslaughter conviction and threw out the defence argument that
Meiwes had acted on his victim's request, a crime similar to euthanasia which in Germany carries a maximum prison term of five years.Reuters