If you have had the pleasure of watching Bryan Fuller’s horror series Hannibal you would technically be in a good spot to belief that at this very moment, in this dying planet, there is human flesh in a freezer meant for a dinner plate somewhere.
One would, however, argue that the series produced for the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is pure fiction woven out of novels written by Thomas Harris and in no way represents everyday life and that cannibalism is a dead, barbaric culture.
So, for a moment, let us all peel the fiction mask off, and waltz our way out of myths, sensationalized appetites, fears, and runaway imagination into cannibalism in the 20th and 21st century.
Does it still happen?
For starters, please take a closer look into Wild India’s mind-boggling Cannibalism and Cannabis: India’s Aghori Sect and rivet into the closely guarded traditions of the Korowai people of Papua New Guinea.
Those two are prime examples of communities that are said to still practice cannibalism having shunned the rush to ‘modern enlightenment’ and ‘ritualized the act of eating fellow human beings’.
This story is, however, not about societies; let us narrow down to individuals, shall we?
Rapper Big Lurch
Born Antron Singleton, rapper Big Lurch made headlines in 2002 after he was arrested for killing and feasting on his girlfriend Tynisha Ysais.
According to the Mirror, Lurch forced his way into Ysais’ apartment in South East Los Angeles, USA, while armed with a knife.
He stabbed her several times, drove the blade into her chest, cut her open and ate part of her right lung.
“When he finished his morbid feast, he stripped off his clothes and ran out of the apartment,” adds Mirror.
Lurch was, however, spotted by a neighbor as he fled and called the police.
When tests were conducted, “Blood and pieces of human flesh were found inside his stomach.”
In court, the rapper’s lawyers claimed that he was under the influence of Phencyclidine (PCP). He is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole at California State Prison.
The year 2000 saw the world turn its spotlight on Hunter Valley, north of Sydney, Australia.
This is after Katherine Knight was arrested for killing and skinning her boyfriend John Price before cooking up his head with potatoes.
According to the Daily Mail, Knight, who worked in an abattoir, stabbed Price 37 times as revenge for ending their relationship.
Police officers who reported to the scene found Price’s head floating in a pot laced with cabbage while his skin was hanging by a hook.
She had set up a table and was reportedly preparing to feed her three children.
Knight was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole and is currently imprisoned in Silverwater Women's Correctional Centre, New South Wales.
2018 was not a kind year for Morocco on this front.
A native of the country residing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was arrested for killing her boyfriend and cooking his body before serving it to Pakistani construction workers.
According to the BBC, the unnamed woman served up the man’s “remains as part of a traditional rice and meat dish” for planning to marry someone else.
Her almost perfect crime was, however, turned on its head after her husband’s brother came looking and found his tooth in a blender.
When arrested, the woman told investigators that she did it during a moment of "temporary insanity” and was reportedly taken to hospital for a mental evaluation.
24 witnesses were lined up to testify as of December that year according to Khaleej Times.
2019 was an anticlimax for a family seeking justice in Russia after a suspected cannibal fell into a coma and died after attempting suicide.
According to Metro, Arkady Sverov, 22, was facing charges for killing Alexander Popovich, 21, when he died.
Sverov is alleged to have microwaved Popovich’s head before ‘gouging his eye out, boiling it and eating it along with his heart and brain’.
He told a 12-year-old girl he was living with to eat it too.
She later narrated to the police that “she used a frying pan to cook and eat Popovich’s heart” and described the taste as "being ‘too sweet’ but ‘the brains turned to be much tastier’”.
He died in hospital while awaiting trial.
The city of Tete, Mozambique, by all means tries to forget events of January 2018.
This is after a local, Rui Foia, was busted by a neighbor cooking a child's body.
Foia’s plot was unraveled after he offered the neighbor some of the meat.
She, however, spotted “a child's hands and rib bones sticking out of the saucepan,” reports Daily Star Sunday and raised the alarm.
Police found two pots filled with the flesh believed to have been that of a girl who had recently been buried in the village and arrested the cemetery’s gravedigger, Joao Buino, to aid in investigation.
According to local police spokeswoman Lurdes Ferreira 10 graves - nine of them children's had been vandalized.
"There are indications that may prove the involvement of Rui Foia in desecrating graves," said Ferreira.
2009 was Kenya’s turn to ink itself on the page of the macabre courtesy of Philip Ondari Onyancha.
Onyancha shocked Kenyans by confessing that he killed 18 women in a morbid spree that he claimed was directed by puppeteers in the occult.
He narrated to Dennis Onsarigo from Kamiti Maximum Prison that the devil told him to kill 100 women.
The self-confessed serial killer denied earlier reports that he feasted on his victim’s blood and reiterated that he is now reformed.
“I was never born a serial killer. I was molded into one. I have now denounced the cult and I am a changed man. I know the families of the victims will find it hard to forgive me, but I ask for forgiveness. I swear that after the murders, I never feasted on the victims’ blood,” Onyancha told Case Files.
In 2018, the High Court ordered Onyancha to be tried afresh, citing a mistrial.