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Cooking With Nico, Issei, and Jane.

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First we had Issei Sagawa. You know who he is, don’t you? Here, let Sagawa introduce himself:

The public has made me the godfather of cannibalism, and I am happy about that. I will always look at the world through the eyes of a cannibal.

Sagawa was spending time in France in 1981, taking classes at the Sorbonne, when one night he decided he had a hankering for German food.

White, female, German food.

To that end, Mr. Sagawa shot his friend, a fellow student from Germany named Renee Hartevelt, and proceeded have sex with her corpse, then eat her. I will spare you his mind-numbingly detailed descriptions of that experience – they are all over the web, anyway.

The French legal system judged the man, who writes of his experience, by the way, in a very lucid manner, incompetent to stand trial. He was placed in the Paul Giraud Asylum in Paris, transferred to Tokyo, and just a little over a year after he digested portions of Ms. Hartevelt’s anatomy, Issei Sagawa was free.

In Japan he is now a well-known author, and frequent talk show guest. And a frequent guest on cooking shows.

Then there was France’s very own Nico Claux. Nico is even more interesting. He’s got his own blog, and a website he uses to promote his art, to boot.

Nico Claux is a necrophile, cannibal, and sadist, and he’s happy for you to know it. His description of the crime that had the Parisian authorities really bring the hammer down on him is the best there is:

…I looked at his face just as he turned his head towards me and saw the gun pointed at his eye. After a few awkward moments passed, I pulled the trigger. He instantly fell face down without a word. It was really eerie. It all happened like in slow motion. Then I watched him bleed on the carpet. Soon I decided to see what the apartment was like and wandered around a bit…

“A few awkward moments.” Yeah. Nico didn’t eat that unfortunate victim, one Thierry Bissonier, who thought he was having a hookup with a guy he met over an early version of an Internet message board. Nico just ate pieces of the corpses he dealt with as a morgue attendant.

Nico benefited from something the French have called Rule 242, which allows consideration of “diminished responsibility” – insanity – when jurists are deciding on the sentencing of a criminal. So, for the numerous charges for which Nico was found guilty, he got a big honkin’ 12 years in prison. Nico Claux served 7 years of that sentence and has been on the loose since March 22, 2002, looking goth and attending tattoo and body mod conventions all over Europe.

When I first read about these guys and the way the French legal system allowed them to actually move among members of the general public again, I was appalled, and could only joke, “What the hell is it about FRANCE?”

Then this story hit the news here in the US on Friday, April 8, 2005:

…A woman accused of killing and cannibalizing her boyfriend will be allowed to leave a state mental hospital as long as she continues to take her medication and undergoes therapy, a judge ruled Friday.

Psychiatrists at the Colorado Mental Health Institute in Pueblo had recommended the release of Jane Lynn Woodry, 51, who changed her name from Carolyn Gloria Blanton in 1999. Prosecutors opposed the request and sought independent mental health evaluations(…)

(…)Woodry had been held at the hospital since her 1994 arrest for the murder of her boyfriend, Peter Michael Greene, 51, whose mutilated body was found at his home near Alamosa(…)investigators testified that they found “bite-sized chunks of human flesh” in a cooking pot at Woodry’s home…

I’m really hoping that medication and therapy work for ya, Jane.

Because what must be remembered are Nico Claux’s words about what it felt like to him to eat human flesh – I tend to wonder if for other cannibals it isn’t much the same:

“It feels like touching the face of God. It makes you feel like you don’t belong to the human race anymore.”

Honestly…are cannibals members of the human race anymore?

I don’t know. I do know three of them are able to walk the streets among us, and that should be enough food for thought in and of itself.

I would like to know if they share recipes, though.

(This entry has been cross-posted to planethuff.com/steve, and the livejournal of Indrid Cold.)

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