Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Cannibal Celebrity: Issei Sagawa

Ultimate Fantasy

He then undressed her, finding it difficult to remove clothing from a corpse. But he was pleased that now she could no longer refuse his advances. She belonged to him. Then he got a knife and used it to cut off the tip of her left breast and a piece of her nose. These he consumed.

"I touched her hip," he later wrote in his fictional account, In the Fog, "and wondered where I should bite first." He chose her right buttock, but he found it difficult to bite into, and then realized he had a headache. He then went on to describe, moment by moment, the appearance of her fat and muscle, and the taste of it.

As fat oozed out of one stab wounds, Sagawa said it had the consistency and appearance of yellow corn. He smelled it and found that it had no odor. Cutting deeper to find the flesh, he placed a chunk into his mouth. "[It] melted in my mouth like raw tuna in a sushi restaurant."

To him, there was nothing more delicious, and he looked into Renee's dead eyes to tell her so.  He was ecstatic now that he had indulged himself in his fantasy. He had this gorgeous body all to himself. It had taken him until the age of 32 to consummate his desires, but he had done it.

Then he got serious. Using an electric carving knife, Sagawa began to cut Renee into parts. He laid out strips of flesh to store for later and nibbled on a few pieces raw. Then he made a quick meal of fried human flesh with mustard. He took photographs of the mutilated corpse and had sex with it. "When I hug her," he recorded, "she lets out a breath." He told her that he loved her.

As he cooked and ate more of her remains, he listened to the recording he had made of her reading the poem. When he was finished, he used her underwear as a napkin to wipe his mouth. He then returned to her body, cut off a breast and baked it, but disliked the greasy consistency. He found that he preferred her thighs.

When he finally felt exhausted, he took what was left of the corpse into his bed to sleep with it. He knew that in the morning he would have to prepare to get rid of the evidence.

The next day, finding that the body did not yet smell, he continued to try parts of it, in particular the arm that had so fascinated him. He chewed on it all the way from the underarm to the elbow. "I had no idea," he wrote, "that it would taste so good."

Sagawa was curious about a few of the body parts that seemed more repulsive. He hesitated over what to do, but decided to go ahead and indulge. Cutting out the anus, he put it into his mouth, but the smell overpowered him, so he spit it out. He tried frying it, but that failed to diminish the odor, so he gave up and returned to the body.


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