Cannibal killer Issei Sagawa walks free and lives off his crime

A Japanese man who killed and ate a woman is free to walk the streets of his native country without any restrictions.

Oh, and he even said he dreamed of eating someone else before he died himself.

So if you live in the greater Tokyo area, you may have found yourself sharing the same tune as someone who shot and then cut up and ate parts of a poor woman called Renée Hartevelt in 1981.

His name is Issei Sagawa, and at the time of his crime, he had dreamed of killing a woman all his life.

Born in 1949, he admits having thought about eating human flesh since his childhood.

Issei Sagawa. Credit: Keystone Press/Alamy Stock Photo

He explained: “It’s just a fetish,

“For example, if a normal man liked a girl, he would naturally feel the desire to see her as often as possible, to be near her, to smell her and to kiss her, right?

“For me, eating is just an extension of that.

“Frankly, I don’t understand why not everyone feels this urge to eat, to consume, other people.”

Well, there are a few good reasons, actually.

However, in 1981, while studying abroad in Paris, he finally had the chance to fulfill his dark fantasy, choosing Dutch student Hartevelt as his unfortunate victim.

After gaining her trust and inviting her to dinner, he shot her in the neck.

Sagawa is still free, thanks to a legal loophole.  Credit: Everett Press Inc./Alamy Stock Photo
Sagawa is still free, thanks to a legal loophole. Credit: Everett Press Inc./Alamy Stock Photo

Sagawa said, “I thought about calling an ambulance,

“But then I thought, ‘Wait, don’t be stupid. You’ve been dreaming about this for 32 years and now it’s happening!’

So he raped her corpse and started cutting her up.

He explained: “The first thing I did was cut off his butt. No matter how deep I cut, all I saw was fat under the skin. It tasted like corn and took a while to reach red meat.

“The moment I saw the meat, I tore off a piece with my fingers and threw it in my mouth. It was truly a historic moment for me.

He had only one regret after that, which was not to eat her alive.

“What I really wanted was to eat his living flesh,” he said. “No one believes me, but my ultimate intention was to eat her, not necessarily kill her.”

Obviously, while trying to dispose of the corpse in a suitcase, he was discovered and arrested for murder.

He was never tried as he was declared insane and therefore unfit to stand, which saw him extradited to Japan and stuck in a mental hospital.

However, one loophole meant that because the charges were officially dropped in France, the court documents were never handed over to authorities in his home country.

Therefore, there were no cases against him, and he walks free to this day.

Now he lives in Tokyo and still dreams of eating people.

“People’s desire to eat becomes so intense around June, when women start wearing less and showing more skin,” he added.

“Just today I saw a girl with a very nice behind on the way to the train station.

“When I see things like this, I think of wanting to eat someone again before I die.”

He killed and ate Renee Hartevelt.
He killed and ate Renee Hartevelt.

“What I’m saying is I can’t bear the thought of leaving this life without ever tasting that behind I saw this morning, or her thighs,

“I want to eat them again while I’m alive, so I can at least be satisfied when I die.”

He even planned some kitchen ideas.

“I think either sukiyaki or shabu shabu [lightly boiled thin slices] is the best way to go, in order to really savor the natural flavor of the meat,” he explained.

Since his release, he’s become something of a minor celebrity, writing over 20 books and drawing pictures, even starring in some adult softcore movies.

From his latest book Extremely intimate fantasies of beautiful girlshe said, “I hope people who read it will at least stop thinking of me as a freak.”

Good luck with that one, mate.

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