Saturday, August 31, 2013

cannibal freed

And, in the fact is stranger (and sometimes more grisly) than fiction category, there was this that was passed along in email this morning:
On the afternoon of June 13, 1981, a Japanese man named Issei Sagawa walked to the Bois de Boulogne, a park on the outskirts of Paris, carrying two suitcases. The contents of those suitcases, to the lament of a nearby jogger, was the dismembered body of a fellow student – a Dutch woman named Renée Hartevelt, whom Sagawa had shot three days prior and had spent the days since eating various parts of her body.
He was soon arrested. According to reports, Issei uttered, “I killed her to eat her flesh,” when they raided his home, whereupon they found bits of Renne still in his fridge.
Sagawa was declared insane and unfit for trial and was institutionalized in Paris. His incarceration was to be short, however, as the French public soon grew weary of their hard-earned francs going to support this evil woman-eater, and Issei was promptly deported. Herein followed a bizarre and seemingly too convenient set of legal loopholes and psychiatric reports that led doctors in Japan declaring him “sane, but evil.”
On August 12, 1986, Sagawa checked himself out of Tokyo’s Matsuzawa Psychiatric hospital, and has been a free man ever since.
This is where the real story begins. VBS met up with him to find out what he’s been up to in the 30 years since.
Video interview: There is a Part I and Part II, both of them sensationalized, I gather. I say "I gather" because I have to admit I could not bring myself to watch them.

1 comment:

  1. Having watched it with wildly mixed feelings, i would say his life was sensationalized, but this documentary wouldn't qualify as that. It interviews a sad old man who has an acknowledged variety of issues who fell through the cracks. A sensationalizing media provided his livelihood for a time. But that as well as his release that he believes kept him from reoffending is now gone with time, and he now harbors a fantasy of being tortured to death for fear of reoffending or being forced to homelessness. He is complex, brutally honest and sincere. The horror of what he says is mixed with sympathy for his situation. There are very graphic images and language, but not to sensationalize, only because the story is such.