Katherine Mary Knight was not the first person to skin and eat her lover. A long line of killer-cannibals preceded her.
In Wisconsin in 1957, after having sex with decomposing cadavers and skinning them, Ed Gein would eat the body parts. When the sheriffs eventually caught up with the mild-mannered hillbilly on his farm, they found the headless body of a woman who had been gutted and dressed like a deer hanging from the rafters, a human heart in the frying pan ready for lunch and a refrigerator stocked with body parts wrapped in paper.
Investigators also found lampshades and facemasks made out of human skin, a soup dish made from a hollowed out human skull and a belt made of nipples and human skin slippers.
Ed confessed that he liked dancing around in the farmyard by the light of the moon with a real woman's torso, tanned like shoe leather and oiled to keep it supple, strapped around his middle. Needless to say, farmer Ed was locked away at the state mental facility in the room with no corners, a high ceiling and the walls coated with thick rubber until he died in 1984.
In Philadelphia in 1986, 42-year-old army pensioner Gary Heidnik kidnapped women and kept them chained up in his cellar as sex slaves, eventually murdering some of them and eating their remains. Heidnik kept as many as five women in his cellar at a time until one escaped and called the cops.
What police found in Heidnik's cellar defies imagination. Four young women who had been repeatedly tortured, raped and beaten, sat chained in filth and squalor in the dungeon with a young woman's head in a pot in the kitchen and human ribs in a roasting dish that was presumably going to be their's and Gary's dinner.
But long before Ed Gein and Gary Heidnik shocked the world with their culinary preferences, people had been murdering and eating each other. Back in 1570, an evil bit of work named Peter Stump roamed the German countryside, faithfully aided and abetted by his mistress and daughter, in search of young women to tear to shreds to satisfy his bloodlust for human flesh.
Stump had also eaten a freshly born baby that was the result of his incestuous relationship with his daughter. Urged on by the two women, in five years Stump murdered 15 women and children and ravenously ate their hearts while they were hot, along with other body parts.
When caught, the law's retribution for the evil trio was almost as barbaric as their crimes. Stump's body was tied to a cartwheel and the flesh was pulled from his bones with red hot pincers. Still alive, his arms and legs were then broken with a wooden hatchet and he was beheaded. His headless corpse was then burned alongside his mistress and daughter.
Copyright 2003, Paul B. Kidd Publications. All Rights Reserved