Criminal is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.
How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.
How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.
To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.Show less
"If you are what you eat, I could be you by tomorrow."—Combichrist, "Feed Your Anger"
In polite society, there are certain crimes that are considered to be too taboo to speak of. Many, such as human trafficking and sex crimes, have become the concern of international welfare groups. Some of these crimes, though, are a little different.
Certain unspeakable acts are just so rare, they shock the world when they happen. One of the most obvious examples of a rare but striking crime can be seen in cannibalism.
It's obvious why eating another person is rare. Due to social taboos as well as obvious health concerns, people are typically wired to avoid eating human meat whenever possible. Plus, it tastes like gamey pork...Just kidding.
However, once in a while, you'll find criminals who are sick enough to do it. If you look at these modern-day cases of cannibalism, it becomes clear that people may need mental health help in order to take a bite out of crime.
(Author's Note: To keep things "true crime," no cases of survival cannibalism will be featured in this post. So, if the people had to eat human flesh to survive, it's not included in here.)
Albert Fish kidnaps and eats a young girl.
When it comes to famous and terrifying cannibal serial killers, few have the twisted reputation of Albert Fish. Often considered to be one of the very first modern serial killers, Fish was known for having serious sexual deviancies that caused him to become a killer.
On the surface, Albert Fish appeared like a kindly, divorced father of six who struggled to make ends meet. In reality, Fish was a known pedophile with an extreme sadism streak.
Fish had already come under the investigation of authorities over his penchant towards being whipped and eating large quantities of raw meat. Despite extremely obscene letters being used as evidence to institutionalize him, courts ruled him sane.
Eventually, things caught up to him after children started to go missing. He allegedly molested over 400 children before he was caught, and yet, that wasn't the worst thing he did. Albert Fish ended up admitting to killing, torturing, and eating six children.
It was his murder of Grace Budd that ended up getting him locked up. The scariest part was that he was only caught because he wrote letters to her parents detailing how he tortured her and ate her, going so far as to describe the flavor of the meat.
Fish was considered to be one of the most disturbing cases of cannibalism in modern history. He was caught, sent to Sing Sing, and executed in 1936. Good riddance.
Issei Sagawa thought a co-ed was good enough to eat.
Japanese foreign exchange student Issei Sagawa was known for his quiet demeanor and occasionally odd behavior. During his time in Paris, he pretty much kept to himself—until he met Dutch student Renée Hartevelt.
He quickly became obsessed with her, and decided to lure her to his apartment in the early 1980s, claiming that he needed help with his French. She agreed to come over.
The first time she visited, nothing happened because Sagawa couldn't bring himself to kill her. However, the same couldn't be said about the second time. When she turned her back to him while at his apartment, he pulled out a gun and shot her.
Once she died, he raped her and then decided to cook her. According to him, he made a "teriyaki" out of her. He then took time to figure out what to do with the mutilated body.
After raping, killing, and eating her over the course of two days, Sagawa decided to throw the remains, using bloody suitcases, into a river surrounded by people. He was apprehended almost immediately.
He was deemed too insane to stand trial and got deported to Japan, where he spent a year in a psych ward before being released. He is now a free man.
The Mauerova family killed and ate their own.
In Eastern Europe, few cases of cannibalism are as notorious as the Mauerova family's. This was a family that formed their own cult. The cult was small and primarily composed of the family's members. It was the family's petite size that kept them out of the public eye.
The family was known for abusing their two sons, Ondrej and Jakub, to the point that their lives were pure hell. The mother, along with the boys' siblings, admitted in court that they boys were locked in the cellar.
Their mother, the cult's matriarch, regularly put out cigarettes on them. When they screamed, she would cut pieces of their bodies off and force the family to eat them.
A baby monitor was what saved the boys' life. Matriarch Barbara Mauerova installed it so that she could watch the boys suffer from her bedroom.
A neighbor had the same baby monitor as the Mauerova's, and accidentally picked up frequencies showing the boys chained to the floor. When authorities were able to come in, the boys testified against their mother.
Multiple life sentences wouldn't be enough here.
Jeffrey Dahmer may just be one of the most famous cannibal serial killers of all time.
Jeffrey Dahmer was the kind of kid that made other weird kids in school feel a little bit nervous—or at least, that's what his classmate said in My Friend Dahmer. His tumultuous home life led him to have very disturbing urges that he eventually acted out shortly after his high school graduation.
Dahmer was famous for sedating his victims with drugs, raping them, then dismembering them. Once in a while, he would also have sex with dead bodies or eat them.
When one of his victims managed to escape and alert police, Dahmer's apartment was searched. Police discovered human body parts in his refrigerator, sealing him as one of the most chilling cases of cannibalism ever seen.
The serial killer became known for killing and eating 27 gay men, and also serving human flash to guests under the guise of it being ham. No one knows how many people ate others because of Dahmer's cooking.
He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison several times over. However, since you probably already know everything you need to know about Jeffery Dahmer, it should be no surprise to find out he died by being beaten to death by an inmate in 1991.
Carrol Cole was arrested for cannibalism on his honeymoon.
Could you imagine dating a serial killer? What about finding out that you were married to a cannibal? The newlywed wife of Carrol "Eddie" Cole would be able to tell you what it's like.
Carrol "Eddie" Cole was a man who was raised in less-than-stellar conditions. His mother would beat him, have sex with men in front of him, and also abuse him.
As he got older, he began to get very misogynistic and started to attack, kill, and eat "loose women." His killing spree took place over several states, and occasionally, would involve him cutting off women's buttocks and frying them up.
Somehow, he was able to continue dating and managed to find a woman to marry him. The two walked down the aisle, and shortly after, police arrested him during their honeymoon.
Rapper Big Lurch ate his girlfriend while on a PCP bender.
The 90s rap scene was definitely a violent one, but when most people think about it, they usually assume the violence was all gang related. It wasn't. During this time, PCP was a huge problem as well.
PCP; also known as "angel dust," "formaldehyde," or "wet;" is a chemical that can be used to lace a joint or a cigarette for a very dissociative high. It's also known for causing blunted pain, violent outbursts, and blackouts in high doses.
Antron Singleton was a tall, muscular rapper who was known as Big Lurch in the Texas hip hop scene. He was an avid PCP user who regularly sang about the benefits of the drug. The rapper had a very promising career until one fateful night when he had too much PCP.
No one knows exactly what happened, but what we do know is that Lurch's drug-induced rage killed his roommate, Tynisha Tsais. When he woke up, her chest was torn open, a knife was broken off in her chest, and Lurch's teeth marks were found on her lungs and face.
The sheer force of his bite ripped out her lungs and tore off parts of her face. Tynisha's boyfriend testified and admitted that the two had smoked PCP the night Tynisha died. He has been sentenced to life in prison, and currently is appealing the decision.
The Cannibal Frat Boy is proof that bath salts aren't the only cannibal-making drug on the market.
Everyone knows about the guy who did bath salts and then ate a homeless man's face. That's old news, and while it was shocking, there's really not much more we can say about it.
What most people don't realize is that there are other, more recent cases of cannibalism linked to drug use—with the Cannibal Frat Boy being one of the most unlikely.
Austin Harrouff was a young fraternity brother at Florida State University. He was a partier, sure, but he wasn't a bad guy. He was, in every sense of the word, a typical frat boy.
That is, until he decided to try the experimental drug known as flakka, anyway. Flakka is a drug very similar to PCP in the sense that it tends to cause psychosis, dissociation, and blunts a person's ability to feel pain. Also like PCP, flakka is known for causing people to become very violent.
When Harrouff took flakka for the first time, he broke into a house, stabbed a couple to death, and ate a man's face. Joseph John Stevens, one of the victims, made enough noise for a neighbor to notice. Harrouff saw the neighbor and stabbed him.
The neighbor fled, called 911 while bleeding, and Harrouff was arrested. The flakka took his future away, and landed his father on Dr. Phil.
Cargo cults in New Guinea have been eating people.
If you know a bit about politics, you may have heard the term "cargo cult" before. This usually refers to people who blindly try to follow concepts that they are unable to fully grasp.
The original term came from Papuan tribespeople who first saw the tools, airplanes, and uniforms of white settlers in the 1940s and 1950s. They believed white people had god-like powers.
They also believed they would be able to go to the world of the dead and get a better harvest if they mimicked white people. To this very day, people in New Guinea cargo cults can be seen marching with wooden guns and wearing military uniforms made of leaves.
For the most part, people treated cargo cults as a very humorous page in history. That changed pretty recently though, when newsgroups revealed that the cargo cults had begun to kill and eat people as part of their religious behavior.
According to locals, it's believed that you will gain power if you commit yourself to killing and eating someone.
Jorge Beltrao Negromonte da Silveira, his wife, and his servant pulled a Sweeney Todd.
Did you ever watch the musical Sweeney Todd? If so, you recall the story of the barber who would slice people up, cook them, and serve them in pies. A recent criminal investigation that took place in Toronto turned the old British tale into something a lot more real.
The "cannibals of Garanhaus" were caught killing women and using their meat as filling for pies. Ringleader Jorge Negromonte's behavior was so uncannily similar to the demon barber of Fleet Street, he actually gained the moniker "the Sweeny Todd Cannibal" from newsgroups.
This is one of the most recent cases of cannibalism to hit the news. So, we don't really know whether they will be sentenced to death or just spend their lives in prison.
Omaima Nelson was definitely not a model wife.
Back in the 90s, Omaima Nelson was incredibly good looking and impressively good at posing for photos. That's why she became a model. At first glance, you would think she had it all—a career, great looks, a loving husband, and more.
Her love life, though, wasn't what it seemed. Her husband was allegedly extremely abusive to her, and one night, it seemed she snapped. She was found dismembering his body, cooking and eating his ribs, and trying to dispose of what was left.
Omaima claimed temporary insanity and self-defense, but to no avail. She's serving life in prison, was denied parole, and is a female cannibal killer that will make your skin crawl.