Medicinal Cannibalism and the Power of Implicit Bias

The prevalence of corpse medicine in early modern Europe.

Prepare yourself for a history of Europe that you’ve probably never heard.

In the words of historian Richard Sugg, “For well over two hundred years in early-modern Europe, the rich and the poor, the educated and the illiterate all participated in cannibalism on a more or less routine basis.”

Pharmaceutical products were commonly created from blood, flesh, fat, and bone. Mummy powder was considered a powerful medicinal substance. In some countries, executioners sold convicts’ skin, teeth, hair, and skulls, which led some apothecaries to complain that their prices were being undercut.

This is all very gruesome to modern readers, and it seems strange to say the least. So, why was corpse medicine so pervasive, and what were its moral and ethical limits?

The Rise of Corpse Medicine

As Sugg points out, there were very few instances of medicinal cannibalism before the fifteenth century, but shortly after, physicians started seeking remedies to human ailments within other human bodies.

The sixteenth-century German-Swiss physician Paracelsus argued that it was beneficial to drink fresh blood because it contained vitality. Human flesh was typically prepared as a powder, and it was considered useful for bruising, bleeding, inflammation, fever, or diarrhea. Powdered skull was used to combat epilepsy and other head-oriented afflictions. In other words, pieces of the human body were used to cure a wide range of ailments.

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the term “mummy” referred not only to ancient embalmed corpses but to any medicine made from a human source. According to scholar Louise Noble, “The most highly prized mummy was that from a fresh corpse, preferably a youth who had died a sudden and violent death, because of the widespread belief that a swift death captured the body’s healing life force, while a slow death depleted it.”

That conviction—that human bodies were a powerful source of healing—helped erase any possible taboos around the use of corpse medicine. Medicinal cannibalism was widespread and culturally accepted. In fact, even popes relied on corpse medicines. At the time, there was nothing sensational about using human bodies as medicine.

On a basic level, people relied on corpse medicine because, in many cases, they had actually seen it work. Powdered blood can stimulate coagulation (in fact, any powder can), and when fat was applied to wounds, it could provide some protection from infection. Of course, these substances weren’t effective because they came from humans, but they showed results, which convinced people of their value.

A Blatant Double-Standard

Of course, the moment we call something “cannibalism,” it becomes taboo. That word carries with it a justifiably negative connotation. In large part, that is why I and other scholars use it to refer to these European practices—to highlight an irony that surrounds the widespread acceptance of corpse medicine.

At the same time that people across Europe were buying bone powders and slices of human flesh to cure themselves, these same Europeans showed particular disdain for the “cannibalistic” practices of New World natives. Chroniclers recounted (and often fabricated) sordid tales about the “barbaric” practices of other peoples.

For example, Christopher Columbus told tales of the warlike “Caniba” people “who ate men.” Spanish accounts of the Aztecs are filled with stories of cannibalism, despite the fact that researchers haven’t found definitive evidence that this was customary. (Cannibalism may have occurred occasionally to humiliate enemies, but there is also evidence to suggest that Spaniards created the myths.)

The discourse of “cannibalism” was a political tool for European Christians looking for reasons to excuse their invasion of the Americas, Africa, and other parts of the world. It seemed to be undeniable evidence of others’ “savagery” and gave license to the so-called “civilizing mission.” Meanwhile, Europeans’ own medicinal practices escaped the label of “cannibalism” and fell under the benign labels of “mummy” or, simply, “medicine.”

Some early modern writers were aware of this hypocrisy. In his essay “Of Cannibals,” Michel de Montaigne pointed out the European double standard that “physicians make no bones of employing [dead carcasses] to all sorts of use.”

He continued, “…everyone gives the title of barbarism to everything that is not in use in his own country,” highlighting the fact that many Europeans never considered that they condemned people for actions that weren’t radically different from their own.

I hope I don’t have to make this clear, but I will: I’m not endorsing cannibalism or corpse medicine. My essential point is to draw attention to the fact that similar practices—consuming parts of a human corpse—received distinct labels across different cultures, and people who freely consumed “mummy” condemned those branded as “cannibals.”

US BISHOPS DISCOURAGE CATHOLICS FROM EATING HUMAN FLESH IF ALTERNATIVES AVAILABLE

A satirical take on the bishops’ response

Author John Zmirak takes a satirical look at the recent moral interpretation of the U.S. bishops concerning abortion-tainted vaccines.


In a bold act of moral courage, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) released a statement March 2 encouraging Catholics to avoid eating human flesh, if supermarkets and restaurants offer alternatives.

In Thursday’s statement, Bp. Kevin Rhoades, chairman of the conference’s Committee on Doctrine, and Abp. Joseph F. Naumann, chairman of the conference’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, recommended Catholics eat at Chick-Fil-A, Wendy’s or Chipotle over fast-food restaurants that admit they serve human flesh obtained from Planned Parenthood.

‘Li’l Snackers Mystery Veal’

“The approval of ‘Li’l Snackers Mystery Veal’ for sale in the United States again raises questions about the moral permissibility of consuming human flesh, especially when it is only available thanks to homicide,” the bishops wrote in their statement.

This has prompted criticism from a number of Catholic groups, including the Catholic archdiocese of New Orleans, which last week urged people to avoid having “Li’l Snackers,” calling it “morally compromised.”

The guidance was at odds with The Vatican, which in December declared that it is “morally acceptable” for Roman Catholics to eat “Li’l Snackers,” except on Fridays in Lent.

Bishop Rhoades and Abp. Naumann said that when “ethically irreproachable” protein is not available, it is morally acceptable for Catholics to enjoy “Li’l Snackers.”

However, they urged Catholics to try and choose meat products containing the lowest percentage of human flesh when possible.

Fighting Hunger by Eating Meat

“Therefore, if one has the ability to choose a meat source, pork, beef or chicken should be chosen over ‘Li’l Snackers,'” the bishops continued.

“While we should continue to insist that meat companies entirely stop selling abortion-derived meat products, given the worldwide suffering that hunger causes, we affirm again that eating meat can be an act of charity that serves the common good,” they added.

OK, OK …US Bishops Discourage Catholics From Receiving Johnson & Johnson Vaccine If Alternatives Available Over Abortion Link.GabTweet

As you might have guessed, that wasn’t quite a genuine news story. In fact, I created it by changing just a few words here and there in a news report. It came from my paper of record, The Epoch Times: “US Bishops Discourage Catholics From Receiving Johnson & Johnson Vaccine If Alternatives Available Over Abortion Link.”

Why do that? Not for a chance to engage in macabre humor. At least, not just for that reason. I wasn’t that warped by watching The Addams Family as a kid.

Because We Are Neither Hot Nor Cold

No, I wanted to highlight the limp, wet-noodle approach the U.S. bishops have taken to a serious moral issue. Now, solid pro-life Christians — as all Catholics ought to be, no matter what the president or his trained, pet Jesuits tell you — can differ here. And they do.

Some Catholics believe that it’s absolutely immoral to use a vaccine developed using tissue lines from murdered unborn children. They regard the research use of aborted babies’ tissue as morally equal to picking up the results from Nazi experiments in death camps. Virtually all scientists refuse to do that, even in the name of saving lives.

It’s not even clear that for most people — apart from those of advanced age or with serious underlying conditions  — the COVID virus represents a mortal threat. Nor do the vaccines fully prevent transmission of the virus. So for the healthy and young, shrugging at vaccines’ abortion links seems crass and amoral. Only those at real risk of COVID death, thanks to other medical conditions, could really plead “necessity.”

And if it’s the only way to avoid starving, the Church believes that actual cannibalism can be justified. But only if the person’s already dead (and wasn’t killed for food).

Cardinal Burke: It’s Abhorrent

Some of the most doctrinally solid Catholic bishops agree with that stance. As the excellent LifesiteNews reports:

Cardinal Raymond Burke, former prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, has previously spoken out against vaccines using aborted babies: “It must be clear that it is never morally justified to develop a vaccine through the use of the cell lines of aborted fetuses. The thought of the introduction of such a vaccine into one’s body is rightly abhorrent.”

Catholic Neocons: It’s Morally Neutral

Other equally dogged Catholics disagree. Just today, the Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC) issued a statement by pro-life scholars. Its conclusions are clear:

While there is a technical causal linkage between each of the current vaccines and prior abortions of human persons, we are all agreed, that connection does not mean that vaccine use contributes to the evil of abortion or shows disrespect for the remains of unborn human beings. Accordingly, Catholics, and indeed, all persons of goodwill who embrace a culture of life for the whole human family, born and unborn, can use these vaccines without fear of moral culpability. [emphasis added]

[The vaccines] do not contain the remains of any human being and so its use does not show disrespect for human remains, any more than the contemporary use of products, such as roads or train lines that were constructed by unjustly enslaved human beings, or use of land unjustly taken, shows disrespect for those victims in the distant past.

The EPPC statement dismisses the bishops’ attempt to distinguish between which vaccines are more or less tainted by abortion links:

[W]e think it a mistake to say both that these vaccines are morally permissible to use and yet that some ought to be preferred to others. There appears to us to be no real distinction between the vaccines in terms of their connection to an abortion many decades ago, and thus the moral starting point is one of equivalence.

Let’s Split the Difference, OK?

Both Cdl. Burke’s position and that of the EPPC have one thing in common: They’re coherent and self-consistent. Each of the vaccines on the market have real abortion links, though Johnson & Johnson’s are the most blatant. Burke and his supporters think the abortion link is direct enough to make the vaccines immoral, akin to cannibalism. The EPPC considers the links so remote that they shouldn’t trouble pro-lifers considering the vaccine.Burke and his supporters think the abortion link is direct enough to make the vaccines immoral.GabTweet

But the U.S. bishops, in the spirit of “splitting the difference” and going along to get along, have managed to adopt a stance that really is as absurd as the “Li’l Snackers” stance I depicted above. Use of these vaccines is either a form of cannibalism or morally neutral. Suggesting that taking them is kinda sorta morally reprehensible, so we gently encourage Christians to avoid it … if it’s not too inconvenient?

That’s the kind of pastoral courage that gets you promoted to top leadership positions in the Catholic Church today.

United Airlines flight forced to make an emergency landing after a ‘report of someone’s ear being bit off’

A Boeing 777/200 of United Airlines on July 30, 2020.
DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images

  • A flight from Newark to Miami was diverted after police were alerted about a “disruptive” passenger.
  • The suspect bit and punched other passengers and had to be sedated with Benadryl, USA Today reported.
  • He was arrested after police found 1.5 grams of methamphetamines in his pocket, the media outlet said.

United Airlines flight made an emergency stop after a “disruptive” man bit and punched other passengers, according to a police report seen by USA Today.

The flight from Newark to Miami had to land in Charleston, South Carolina, after a “report of someone’s ear being bit off,” a spokesperson for Charleston County Aviation Authority Police Department told USA Today.

One passenger told police that the suspect, identified as John Yurkovich, was “agitated” after a visit to the bathroom. Yurkovich then began to “scream and thrash around,” according to a police report seen by USA Today.

He then proceeded to hit a passenger with a “closed fist” and broke their glasses, the police report said.

Others tried to restrain Yurkovich but the initial victim received a deep wound to the ear during the scuffle, USA Today reported. Another passenger was punched by Yurkovich and told police that he thought his nose had been broken, the media outlet said.

Yet another traveler was injured in the incident. He told the police that he was punched in the “temporal region,” according to USA Today.

A doctor on the flight tried to pacify Yurkovich by injecting him with Benadryl, the police report said.

John Yurkovich, 45, of New Jersey faces a single count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine
Charleston County Sheriff’s Office

Police apprehended Yurkovich once the plane had been taxied to the gate, USA Today reported.

His hands had been tied behind his back with zip ties and a belt when the police approached him, the media outlet said.

Yurkovich was arrested on a charge of “possession with intent to distribute methamphetamines” after police found 1.5 grams of the drug in his pocket, police said.

FBI also has other pending charges against Yurkovich, USA Today reported.

ZOMBIE ATTACKS: Over 50 colleagues of NYC paramedic bitten in face have suffered attacks

A teenager took a bite out of a FDNY paramedic Jenna Piscitello’s face last week.Anthony Almojera/Twitter

New York City medics are under siege.

Fifty-two paramedics and emergency medical technicians have been attacked so far this year — a trend which, if it continues, would result in a serious spike in assaults on such frontline workers, a union head told The Post. 

The concerns come on the heels of a disturbing incident involving a crazed teenager who took a Hannibal Lecter-like bite out of a paramedic’s facelast week.

If the disturbing trend continues, more than 200 EMTs and paramedics will suffer similar battle scars this year — a 43 percent surge from the 140 assaulted in 2020 — doing a job that is inherently dangerous.

“Lack of respect to men and women in uniform, no consequences to career criminals, the public is well aware of the bail reform, there’s simply no consequences to committing crimes,” said Oren Barzilay, president of Local 2507, the Uniformed EMTs, Paramedics and Fire Inspectors union.

And the terrifying tally of “kicks, bites, spits, death threats” is probably higher.

If the trend continues, there will be a 43 percent uptick from 2020 in paramedics assaulted in NYC.
Shutterstock

“Many of our assaults go unreported due to our members knowing the prosecutors won’t do anything to the offenders,” Barzilay charged, citing figures from internal reports.

He said EMTs are dealing with more individuals with mental health issues due to the “COVID lockdown” and “the past year of people not being able to go about their daily routine has taken a toll on many.”

In the horrific March 5 incident, Jenna Piscitello, 28, who started as an EMT and became a paramedic in 2019, was bitten in the face in Brooklyn after she and her crew responded to a call for a patient with “altered mental status.”

Piscitello said a 17-year-old girl was trying to run out of the house, and kept falling. But, she said, the teen was not threatening until first responders tried to get her onto a stretcher. 

“She just wrapped her legs around my torso, her arms around my neck and just took a nice big chomp out of my face,” Piscitello recounted. “She was like on me for almost a minute. It felt like an eternity.”

The paramedic received four stitches at the hospital and was scheduled to see a plastic surgeon. The teen was charged with assault in the second degree and assault with intent to cause physical injury, police and sources told The Post.

Oren Barzilay said many of the attacks on EMTs have gone unreported.
Natan Dvir

Two of Piscitello’s FDNY colleagues started a GoFundMe campaign to help the Staten Island resident.

The shocking story is not an outlier, sources previously told The Post.

Another EMS member had his thumb chomped on during a call in the Bronx on Feb. 27 and there were reports of a first responder also getting bitten in the borough March 4, the sources said.

Despite the attack, Piscitello remains undaunted:“This incident isn’t going to ever stop from me continuing to be as compassionate as I am with people.”

Oklahoma man accused of triple murder confessed to killing neighbor and cooking her heart ‘with potatoes,’ investigators say

Feb. 24, 2021 at 6:33 a.m. EST

When police broke into Andrea LynnBlankenship’s home in Chickasha, Okla., on Feb. 12, they found her body stabbed and her chest mutilated.

Earlier that day, the victim’s neighbor admitted to breaking into Blankenship’s home, cutting out her heart and taking it back to his uncle’s house, police said.

“He cooked the heart with potatoes to feed to his family to release the demons,” an agent with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said to a judge in a request for a search warrant, which was reviewed by the Oklahoman.

Lawrence Paul Anderson then allegedly killed his uncle and his uncle’s 4-year-old granddaughter in a gruesome case that has rocked the city of 16,400 about 40 miles southwest of Oklahoma City. Anderson, 42, was charged Tuesday with three counts of first-degree murder and two felony charges of assault and battery with a deadly weapon and maiming, court records show.

Anderson was denied bond on Tuesday, and it isn’t clear whether he made a plea. Lawyers for Anderson didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment late Tuesday.

Police have not said whether they suspect a motive in the slayings.

Police first learned of the crimes on Feb. 9, when they received a 911 call from someone inside the home of Leon Pye, Anderson’s 67-year-old uncle, OSBI said in a news release. Anderson had been staying with his uncle and aunt, 64-year-old Delsie Pye, after Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) commuted his 20-year prison sentence. He was released on Jan. 18 after serving a little more than three years in prison, according to court records.

According to OSBI, the person who called the police quickly hung up, prompting the dispatcher to alert Chickasha police. Once they arrived at the home, police heard someone inside yelling for help and then found Leon Pye and his 4-year-old granddaughter, Kaeos Yates, who was visiting for the day, dead. His wife, Delsie, was maimed with stab wounds in both eyes, KFOR reported.

Delsie and Anderson, who was also injured, were transported to a hospital for treatment, OSBI said.

While in custody in the hospital on Feb. 12, Anderson admitted to killing Blankenship, 41, police said. Anderson said he had walked to her house and used his shoulder to slam into the back door to break it open. He then fatally stabbed her and “cut her heart out,” he later told OSBI agents. Then he walked to his aunt and uncle’s home, where he cooked it and tried to force them to eat it before attacking them, the Oklahoman reported.

After he recovered at the hospital, police transported Anderson on Feb. 15 to GradyCounty Jail. Anderson is scheduled to return to court on April 1.

Anderson has a lengthy criminal past, court records show. He first went to prison in 2006 and served two years for possessing crack cocaine with the intent to distribute and for attacking his girlfriend and pointing a gun at her. In 2012, he returned to prison with a 15-year sentence for another crack cocaine distribution charge, but was released early after less than six years. In 2017, he was sentenced to 20 years on drug charges and having a gun, which was in violation of his probation. That sentence was commuted by Stitt last June to nine years before he was again released early.

At a news conference on Tuesday, Grady County District Attorney Jason Hicks (R) condemned the governor’s commutation and blasted the parole board for letting Anderson out. “I really think an offender such as this should have not ever been able to even apply for a commutation,” Hicks said.

A spokesman for Stitt did not immediately return a request for comment.

Hicks added the Oklahoma Department of Corrections warned in Anderson’s application that he was a “high risk to offend.”

Hicks also said he is considering capital punishment.

“The death penalty is absolutely on the table,” he said.

In an interview with KFOR, Haylee Blankenship, Andrea Blankenship’s 18-year-old daughter, remembered her mother as caring and “filled with so much love.” 

Speaking for a family still in shock over the details of their loved one’s death, the younger Blankenship hopes the district attorney pursues the death penalty. “I hope that he spends the rest of his life thinking about it until he gets his life taken, just like he took those people’s lives,” she said.

Brazilian mom reportedly kills daughter, by gouging out eyes, eating tongue

Josimare Gomes da Silva allegedly killed her 5-year-old daughter Brenda in gruesome styleNewsflash

A Brazilian woman allegedly killed her 5-year-old daughter during a gruesome psychotic episode in which she gouged out the girl’s eyes before cutting out her tongue and eating it, according to a report.

Josimare Gomes da Silva, 30, was arrested Sunday at her home in the town of Sao Cristovao after the girl’s grandfather broke into the bathroom and discovered the horrifying scene, Newsflash reported.

He had noticed blood running from an outside drain after da Silva locked herself up inside the bathroom with her daughter, Brenda Carollyne Pereira da Silva, according to the report.

The grandfather found the mother praying in a daze as the lifeless girl lay beside her.null

Investigators said the unhinged mother attacked Brenda with a pair off scissors while she was still alive, according to Newsflash.

Da Silva gave police a garbled statement the following morning in a number of languages including Spanish.

She reportedly denied gouging out her daughter’s eyes and putting her chopped tongue in her own mouth.

The victim, Brenda with the suspect, her mom Josimare and an unidentified man
@josimare.silva.9216/Newsflash

The woman, who is known to suffer from mental health issues including depression, is believed to have carried out the attack during a psychotic episode.

She was being held at a police station in Delmiro Gouveia and will be transferred to a women’s prison in the state capital of Maceio during the investigation.

‘The heart was eaten’: Man accused of killing and eating girlfriend faces life in prison

mugshot_1566512738925_7610621_ver1.0_1280_720Joseph Oberhansley is facing life in prison without parole. (Clark County Sheriff’s office)

– As the murder trial for Joseph Oberhansley, 38, began on Wednesday, prosecutors went into grisly details recounting the stalking, rape and murder of Oberhansley’s girlfriend just before Oberhansley allegedly cut open her chest and ate her heart and brain.

According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, in September 2014, Joseph Oberhansley, 38, left the dismembered body of Tammy Jo Blanton, 46, in a bathtub in her Jeffersonville home with multiple stab wounds and blunt-force injuries just days after she broke up with him and changed her locks.

Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull told jurors Wednesday during opening statements that “Joseph Oberhansley butchered Tammy Blanton like you wouldn’t kill a livestock animal.”

Mull showed the jury a videotaped interview in which Oberhansley told police that Blanton “really wasn’t all that scared, surprisingly,” as if she knew she was about to die.

Carmichael is facing life in prison without parole. Prosecutors agreed to not seek the death penalty so long as Oberhandley’s attorneys don’t use insanity as a defense.

However, while the defense was not allowed to present evidence pertaining to Oberhansley’s sanity, his defense attorneys argued whether or not someone who “eats the brain and heart of his ex-girlfriend is thinking right.”

“Her chest had been cut open. The heart was removed. The heart was eaten,” said Oberhansley’s defense attorney Bart Betteau.

On Thursday, Clark County Circuit Judge Vicki Carmichael declared a mistrial after a witness called by prosecutors on the first day of testimony brought up the defendant’s past drug use and time in prison.

Carmichael said that information could have prejudiced the jury.

According to the Journal, the witness was a close friend of Blanton said that Blanton had told her in a previous conversation that drugs motivated him to commit the gruesome acts.

“A simple admonishment to disregard (the comments) would be insufficient and certainly would not clear the prejudices created by the witness’ testimony,” said Carmichael.

The jury had been selected in Hamilton County, about 120 miles (193 kilometers) north of Jeffersonville, which is a suburb of Louisville, Kentucky.

A new court date set for Sept. 3. A new jury will need to be selected.

 

 

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Guy Served His Friends Tacos Made From His Own Amputated Leg

Screen-Shot-2018-06-12-at-17.32.50

Okay, so bear with me here. There’s this guy, who as-yet remains anonymous (probably for the best). He was knocked off his motorcycle so bad once he had to amputate his foot. Having kept said foot, he and his buddies then ATE it. 

He was prepared with ‘No sauce, cooked with some lime and onions and peppers.’

‘So the quick and dirty,’ he wrote in a ` AMA. ‘About 2 years ago I was hit on my motorcycle . They salvaged my foot but I would never be able to walk on it. I elected to have it amputated. I asked the doctors to keep it. I signed some papers. I got it back, and with the help of some friends cooked a portion of the tibialis anterior.’

A good start is… why?

Screen-Shot-2018-06-12-at-17.32.22

In his own words:

So my friends and I always had this joke, If you could try human flesh in an ethical and health way, would you. And we always said of course. Well the opportunity came up and I called them on it

Screen-Shot-2018-06-12-at-17.33.09

Speaking about who would be eating the flesh he said:

I called folks who might be amenable. It was only about 2-3 oz that I took off the leg so it couldn’t be a big group Plus only people I knew very well

I had one person back out, and it’s totally understandable. I think there was a lot of “wait really” Kinda hoping that I’m joking But it was all happy people who showed up that day Lots of dark jokes.

There were some people very dear to me there, who supported me through that time and who’s friendship I will cherish.

Screen-Shot-2018-06-12-at-17.35.55

He added:

10 of my friends joined in for a brunch. Only the foot was damaged, but with below the knee amputations they want to do it higher up so there is a balance between having enough stump to make for a good lever and having enough room beneath for prosthetic equipment. If they amputated low it would make it difficult to put good hardware underneath.

Screen-Shot-2018-06-12-at-17.33.30

As for how he tasted when it was all said and done:

On this scale I would give it a solid 6.5, but keep in mind that I have had a lot of good food. So it’s way better than a hot dog or regular burger. Maybe equal with regular bacon, which is pretty decent. But no where near as good as butter seared sea scallops or a rare sous vide tenderloin seared in grape seed oil in a cast iron pan.

It was from a healthy part of the amputation, Im a healthy person, waste not want not, and they [my friends] all consented. As far as I know they are all still cool with it. It’s a fun weird thing.

Okay, so if you’re reading this you might be thinking ‘Uhmmm, bro. Where’s the foot pictures?’ Well, if you wanna ruin your day like I did mine then be my guest and check them out right here.

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Man accused of wanting to eat child sex slave gets probation!

180820-man-accused-wanting-to-eat-child-featureJustin Teeter Bensing – Greenville County Sheriff’s Office

 

GREENVILLE, S.C. — A man who South Carolina authorities say wanted to enslave and eat a child has been sentenced to probation.

News outlets quote court records as saying 36-year-old Justin Teeter Bensing pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal solicitation of a minor and was sentenced Aug. 9 to 10 years in prison, but the sentence was suspended to five years of probation.

A sentencing sheet The Greenville News obtained from the Greenville County Clerk of Court’s Office says Bensing was diagnosed with autism and considered low risk. The judge said no prior criminal charges were also among the factors determining Bensing’s sentence.

Bensing had been accused of soliciting an undercover officer he thought was a girl. Bensing’s attorney James Brehm said Saturday that the cannibalism comments were Bensing joking with someone else and unrelated to the investigation.

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A glimpse into the strange world of self-cannibals!

180824-woman-tried-cannibalism-for-first-timeAnthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter in 2001’s “Hannibal.” MGM

 

Warning: Graphic Content

The texture was good, it looked tasty, there was a nice hint of spice and if Gwen van der Zwan hadn’t have spent all day cooking it, she’d probably never have guessed that the sausage she was eating had been made from human blood.

She’d invited one of her friends over to try the meaty dish as well, and served it up at a candlelit table with a side salad and a gourmet-style bloody drizzle. They both agreed: too much soy sauce, but otherwise delicious.

In July, van der Zwan, from the Netherlands, tried cannibalism for the first time.

However, she’s no Hannibal Lecter and no humans were hurt in the making of her dinner.

Instead, she made the meal from her own blood — which she had painstakingly drained into a medical bag — after becoming fascinated with the idea of trying a human sausage.

“Why is my idea considered disgusting, but doing the same thing with pigs’ blood isn’t?” she asked at the time.

’37-year-old male seeks cute piece of meat’
Although she’s rare in acting publicly on her unusual tastes, van der Zwan is far from the only one to be fascinated by cannibalism.

Dating-style fetish sites match up those desperate for human flesh with those who want nothing more than to be eaten alive themselves.

“Cannibal seeks meal,” one post reads. “This 37-year-old male seeks a nice cute piece of meat. I prefer girls.”

Another says: “I’m a thirty-something man looking for a female so we can sample each other’s flesh. Cut together, cook together and eat together. Non-lethal cuts so we can enjoy eating one another.”

Would-be victims refer to themselves as “longpigs” — a term meaning human flesh which was used by man-eating Pacific Islanders who thought people tasted like pork.

But why would anyone want to eat, or be eaten by, someone else?

Experts say that cannibalism is largely to do with power — breaking the “ultimate taboo” leaves man-eaters feeling euphoric.

Therapist Karen Hylen has even suggested that cannibalism can become addictive for a small number of people with psychopathic tendencies, comparing the act of eating someone to a cocaine high.

On Reddit, a growing number of posters chat openly about their fascination with cannibalism, although comments seem to often be driven more by a morbid curiosity than anything else.

Bill Schutt, author of “Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History,” ate a human placenta when writing his book.

He told The Sun: “We think cannibalism is revolting because that’s what our culture dictates.”

“Other cultures that didn’t get that memo have had very different attitudes toward cannibalism.”

“For example, in the mid-20th century, the Wari people of Brazil were apparently just as upset to find that Western anthropologists buried their dead as the anthropologists were aghast to learn that the Wari ate their loved ones after they died.”

The man who served his friends foot tacos

180824-woman-tried-cannibalism-for-first-time-3

In June, a 38-year-old man took to Reddit to share the story (verified by Vice) of a dinner party where his friends ate a meal made from his amputated foot.

After a motorbike accident in 2016, he had the smashed limb cut off and doctors let him keep it.

Then, three weeks later, he threw a brunch for 10 willing friends where the main course was tacos made from the flesh which had been amputated.

The anonymous man posted photos of the dish and explained how he kept his mangled foot in the freezer until it was time to cook it.

Then he cut out a chunk of flesh, marinated it overnight and sauteed it with onions, peppers and lime juice.

Posting on Reddit, he says: “I taste like buffalo. But chewier. Super beefy and a little fat. We weren’t looking to go all Hannibal and get gourmet — just to make it so no one gagged.”

“My friends and I always had this joke,” he adds. “If you could try human flesh in an ethical and healthy way, would you? And we always said of course. Well, the opportunity came up and I called them on it.

“It was a neat experience, and I wouldn’t change it.”

‘What would my mom think of my blood sausage?’

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In van der Zwan’s case, it all started because she had been thinking about how her friends would react if she really made a dish from her own bodily fluid. So last month she got online and ordered a set of needles and a blood bag.

A couple of days and a few YouTube tutorials later, she punctured the skin on the inside of her elbow and started filling a bag with half a quart of her blood.

Listening to the sounds of blood splashing into the bag, van der Zwan wondered: “What would my mom think if she saw me sitting in my living room like this?”

Once she had extracted half a quart of her own blood from her now weak and purple-looking arm, she removed the needle accidentally squirting a few droplets onto the carpet.

Then, with the help of a close, not-too-squeamish friend, van der Zwan mixed lentils, tomato puree, soy sauce and herbs into a filling and sloshed in almost the entire bag of blood.

“The kitchen looked like a slaughterhouse,” she jokes in a Munchies article.

Amazingly, many of van der Zwan’s friends were eager to try her creation, which she served up, MasterChef style, on white plates with a bloody jus.

“We cut happily into the sausages and chewed on them as if we were judges on a cooking show,” she writes.

“The texture was very good and the level of spiciness was perfect. Unfortunately, I went a bit heavy on the soy sauce, so the sausage is a bit salty. Not bad, though.”

The computer geek who ate a willing victim’s penis

However, not all would-be cannibals are so easily satisfied with just a bit of blood sausage.

An alarming number of online posts feature requests for victims willing to be eaten alive to satisfy cannibalistic sexual desires.

The forum which hosts hundreds of these posts is the evolution of Cannibal Cafe, a now-defunct website for cannibals seeking the same.

Supposedly, the message board is for fetishists who want to roleplay as man-eaters, but we know from a high-profile case on Cannibal Cafe that some users were deadly serious about eating someone they met online.

German IT technician Armin Meiwes was among the unknown number of legitimate cannibals lurking on the site.

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Armin Meiwes AP

In the most notorious case of cannibalism this century, he posted: “looking for a well-built 18 to 30-year-old to be slaughtered and then consumed.”

Bernd Jürgen Armando Brandes, an engineer from Berlin, answered his ad in March 2001, stating that he was willing to be killed and eaten.

A few days later, the pair met in Meiwes’ home in the small town of Rotenburg and filmed a video where Meiwes cut off and ate Brandes penis, with his consent.

As Brandes bled to death, Meiwes fried the penis in a pan with salt, pepper, wine and garlic.

He later stabbed his victim in the throat and hung his body on a meat hook.

Meiwes ate the remains over the following 10 months, hiding body parts in his freezer and eating up to 44 pounds of human flesh all for the supposed sexual pleasure of it.

The cannibal wasn’t arrested until 2002, when another ad he posted online was brought to the attention of the authorities.

Even though his victim had agreed to being killed and eaten, he was eventually convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Today, Meiwes is a vegetarian and says he regrets his crime, but he estimates that there could still be as many as 800 active cannibals in Germany alone.

As for the number of cannibals elsewhere, experts say it’s impossible to guess.

But new posts pop up on the cannibal forum every day, and based on the chatter online it seems like the appetite for these dark and unconventional tastes is only growing.

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