At least six cannibalism news stories drew attention worldwide in recent weeks, and Zeus knows how many went unreported. A joke video also went viral in Miami.
- Tokyo: Mao Sugiyama had his genitals surgically removed and advertised online to serve his full penis, testes, and scrotum as a meal for 100,000 yen (around $1250). Five attended the event on April 13.
- In the most famous case, Miami police killed Rudy Eugene, 31, on May 26 after he refused to stop eating a 65-year-old homeless man’s face.
- On May 30, Alexander Kinyua, a 21-year-old student at Morgan State University in Maryland, was arrested for killing his roommate, Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie, and then eating his heart and portions of his brain. Agyei-Kodie was last seen alive May 25.
- May 31: Interpol issued a Red Alert for Luka Magnotta, the Canadian gay porn escort sent the body parts of student Lin Jun in the mail. The Chinese man was last seen on May 24 and reported missing on May 29. A video was posed on the web that showed the body being attacked, dismembered, and with acts of necrophilia. He ate his flesh with a knife and fork.
- A former researcher at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute cut off his wife’s lips and ate them after he suspected her of infidelity, according to accounts published May 31.
- On June 3, Texan Otty Sanchez, 33, killed her infant son, Scott, with a steak knife and two swords before eating the brain, nose and toes.
Is cannibalism on the rise, and if so, will this trend continue? The DailySkew has asked three experts in this field, with opposing opinions- actually two experts and one water cooler guy.
Dave Hudson is a former military police officer who now is in charge of a private security firm in Georgia. He is known to his friends as a “stat head”.
“This is just a blip. The events are unrelated. In 2012, there is a 24/7 news cycle and the internet is global, so reports have the potential to be instantaneous and wide-reaching. I doubt there will be more attacks. It sold some newspapers, got the TV ratings, and got the website hits. You won’t be eaten by someone. It’s a statistical aberration. When the attention disappears so will other attacks. Come December 25, and this will be a year in review footnote.”
“Some so-called experts have brought up the bad economy as a reason for people to eat each other. I file that under the logical fallacy of ‘correlation does not imply causation’.”
“Much has been said of ‘bath salt’, but it has only been a factor in one cannibal attack.”
Yet Dr. Richard Hoffman, frequent DailySkew contributor and Enneagram guru, has a different take.
“Go back five years ago, ten years ago, twenty years ago, do a few internet searches, and you’ll see that there has been an increase in cannibalism. There is no denying that. It is an upward trend. The media has a direct influence on it, and in fact encourages it. Now, I’m not saying that the media should ignore it, but front page/lead story only encourages copycats.”
“I’ve interviewed clients who had committed horrendous crimes, and many were copycats who had severe mental disorders. Mental health services are frankly underfunded and rare in many states. Politicians are going after those who possess bath salt, but the true crime is the lack of mental health options for those in need, and society as whole which ignore the signs.”
“Cannibalism is a trend that will probably continue. It is a horrific crime that cuts through humanity’s collective unconscious. Many states have a high homeless population and the majority suffer from a mental health illness, as do many poor uninsured citizens. They don’t have any public options for mental health assistance. We as a society choose to ignore them, and then get disgusted and shocked as they start acting immoral.”
The Water Cooler Guy (Charles Silverstein from the office had this to add:
“Zombie films and video games have been on the rise. If you check out IMDB stats you can see how popular they have become. Cracked.com even has a book about surviving the zombie apocalypse. People copy stuff from pop culture. Simple as that. Plants vs Zombies. You can ask why zombie movies have become so popular…I guess the reason is linked to cannibalism: people are skewed into believing consuming flesh leads to a kind of immortality or ownership.”