Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Cannibal Celebrity: Issei Sagawa

Lust for Flesh, Part III

Fritz Haarmann, far left
Fritz Haarmann, far left

Fritz HaarmannKnown as Germany's "Hanover Vampire," Haarmann was a homeless vagrant who learned to butcher meat, which allowed him to start a business. He then brought wandering waifs to his home, fed them, and forced them to have sex. He was stopped when someone discovered a sack of skulls in the canal near his home. To the police, he confessed to the murder of some 50 young men. He described how he would grab the boys, and while sodomizing them, would chew through their throat until the head was practically severed from the body. As he tasted their blood, he achieved orgasm. He would then cut the flesh from their bodies, consume some of it, and sell the rest on the open market as butchered meat. He was executed.

Gary Heidnik (AP)
Gary Heidnik (AP)

Gary Michael Heidnik: Despite being schizophrenic, he successfully completed nurse's training, which allowed him to purchase a house in Philadelphia. There during the 1970s he ran a church frequented by retarded women. Then he got rich on the stock market, bought a different house and eventually set up a new church that became a prison for sex slaves that he kept chained in the basement of his home. When two of them died (one from electrocution and the other from hanging in chains for two days), he cut them up and stored the parts. By some accounts, he ate pieces of them and fed some to his other prisoners. Heidnik was finally arrested and in 1999, he was executed.

Jack the Ripper: In London's Whitechapel area in 1888, a series of five bloody murders shook up the town and ushered in the age of the modern serial killer. Although the offender was never caught, several letters came to different authorities, including one that enclosed part of a human organ. The letter writer claimed that it was the kidney of his latest victim (Annie Chapman) and that he had fried and eaten the other half — "was very nise." Jack, whoever he was, did take the kidney of one of his victims and the heart of another, which was very possibly consumed.

Edmund Kemper (AP)
Edmund Kemper (AP)

Ed Kemper: During the 1970s, he picked up six different college coeds in Santa Cruz, California, and killed them. Then he shoved them into the trunk of his car to take home. While his mother slept, Kemper brought the bodies inside to behead and dismember. He also had sex with them, sometimes with just the heads. From a few of the girls he cut off pieces of flesh to cook and consume. Then he murdered his mother and her best friend before turning himself in. In his confession he said that he'd sliced the flesh from the calves of two of his victims so that he could "possess" them by eating it. He cooked the pieces in a macaroni casserole. Kemper is still in prison.

 

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