Monday, May 09, 2005

Cannibals amongst us?

This is getting to be an habitual thing, this rash of people eating. Armin Meiwes is to be retried for the whole 'ooh let me eat you 'cause it's so sexy' thing. (I've got several pictures of him but I'm not going to sully this blog with his twisted mug.) The prosecutors in that case were apparently as ticked off as myself that he'd only netted 8 ½ years the first time around. Excellent, do what you have to do fair jurists.

I’d have rather forgotten about the whole sordid affair, willing victim and all; but then the copy cats started getting press of their own. The other German cannibal, Ralf M, bagged his vic, a "svelte man, around 30, for a holiday roast dinner", via an online personals ad as well. His trial began earlier this month.

I’d like to consider myself a fairly tough broad with a cast iron stomach to boot; so I tried taking these horrific reports in stride. After all a certain amount of aberrant behaviour is to be expected in any society, otherwise there would be no need for jurisprudence or insane asylums. Right?

Well here’s my problem, Meiwes asserts that there are hundreds of people practicing cannibal sex in Germany alone. Hundreds. My over active imagination finds it all too easy to do a world-wide extrapolation entirely unfettered by scientific data. Given that I'm a magnet for the psychopathically inclined, I may have already met a few. And yes, oddly enough, I’m of a mind to believe him. Why? Well, whatever faults you may lay at this man’s feet, dishonesty doesn’t appear to be one of them. He has been disturbingly forthright about his crimes and motivations.

Then whilst a-googlin' I found this:
Two brothers have been arrested and charged with murdering 13 prostitutes, slicing up their bodies and eating their kidneys in a 15-month crime spree across northern China...
I find myself asking the question; is cannibalism, never mind eroto-cannibalism, on the rise or are we just more likely to hear of such cases given increased accessibility to world media? So I went a-googlin’ again, but this time for cannibalism rates.

I found nothing. Let me clarify. I found scads of data on the cannibalistic tendencies of wolf spiders and catfish, but nothing on homo sapiens; other than rehashed speculation on the culinary peculiarities of tribal peoples and an article on a certain squabble which is entirely too close to home, and which I'm trying to ignore.

So lacking a statistical framework from within which I could neatly dismiss this unsettling business, I plodded on and hit pay gore with Katherine Ramsland's All about Issei Sagawa. It's a rough read and you won't feel any better for it afterwards.

5 Ninjas, 1 Kitten and a Fifth of Vodka!