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Entries in Cannibals (8)

Wednesday
May012013

Evidence Discovered of Cannibalism at Jamestown Colony

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Colonists at the oldest settlement in America, Jamestown, may have resorted to cannibalism during the winter of 1609, archaeologists said Wednesday.

Archaeologists had previously discovered evidence that settlers had resorted to eating livestock during that winter, known as the "starving time" due to drought and famine.

According to Smithsonian Magazine, a new discovery, the dismembered remains of a 14-year-old English girl, mark the first hard evidence that desperate times led settlers to resort to cannibalism.

The colony was founded with 104 settlers in 1607, and by 1609 more than half of the population had succumbed to drought, disease or hostile relations with Native Americans, according to Smithsonian Magazine.

The remains were found in the summer of 2012, amidst a deposit that also contained the bones of butchered animals. According to lead archaeologist William Kelso, livestock were only butchered "in times of extreme hunger."

Further excavation revealed human teeth and a partial human skull. Analysis of the bones pointed to dismemberment and cannibalization.

According to Smithsonian Magazine, many of the details of the case remain uncertain, including whether the girl was murdered or died of natural causes. It is also unknown whether the cannibalism was the action of one person or multiple.

An exhibition dedicated to the discovery will open at the Historic Jamestown site on Friday, according to USA Today.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun282012

Texas Man Faces Animal Cruelty Charge for Eating Dog While High

McLennan County Sheriff's Department(WACO, Texas) -- A Texas man faces a felony charge after he allegedly bit, killed and ate a housemate's pet dog while high on the synthetic drug "spice."

The alleged attack is the latest in the series of violent and bizarre incidents linked to spice, which mimics the effects of marijuana, and bath salts, which mimics cocaine.

Michael Daniel, 22, allegedly smoked spice in his Waco, Texas, home before he assaulted his housemates and then ran out of the house into his yard, where he began crawling around on his hands and knees.  He barked and growled at a neighbor and chased him back into his home.

Daniel then allegedly took his housemate's dog, a medium-sized spaniel mix, out onto the house's porch.  He allegedly beat and strangled the dog, according to Waco Police Sgt. Patrick Swanton, and then began chewing "hunks of flesh" from the animal.

Daniel's housemates called police and requested emergency assistance, saying Daniel was "going crazy."  Officers arrived at the house to find Daniel sitting on the porch with "blood and fur around his mouth" and with the dead dog lying in his lap, Swanton said.

Daniel, who police say told his housemates he was "on a bad trip" just before the alleged rampage on June 14, was charged on Monday with cruelty to a non-livestock animal.

The incident in Waco follows a series of bizarre attacks by people allegedly high on synthetic drugs, including a Glendale, Calif., man striking a 77-year-old woman with a shovel last week, and a man in Milton, Fla., biting into the hood of a police cruiser in February.

Spice and related products have often been sold as incense in packaging that says the contents are not to be ingested, but authorities say they are frequently used by consumers to mimic the effects of marijuana and other drugs.

In a 20/20 investigation that aired in 2011, ABC News found that spice and bath salts were being sold to teenagers across the country with little to no oversight, and many of those young users were showing up at drug treatment centers.

"They think they're dying," Louisiana Poison Control Center Director Dr. Mark Ryan told ABC News.  "They have extreme paranoia.  They're having hallucinations.  They see things, they hear things, monsters, demons, aliens."

Since then, the government has fought to block the sale and usage of synthetic drugs.

Last December, the House of Representatives voted to add 41 chemical compounds used to make spice and bath salts to Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, making them illegal to manufacture or dispense.

Last week, a similar bill passed the Senate that would criminalize 26 of those compounds, stripping off 15 of the 17 compounds that are used to make bath salts.

And according to authorities, manufacturers of synthetic drugs are constantly trying to develop new compounds that don't fall under the umbrella banned by state or federal law, making drugs particularly dangerous for users who don't know what they are going to get.

"When people use this, they may use it one time and the next time it's a totally different chemical substance," Swanton said.

According to Dr. Ryan, it's that lack of "quality control" that makes the drugs particularly risky, since some batches might affect the brain's chemistry at a more dangerous level.

"When someone buys these products, they don't know exactly what ingredient they may be getting and they don't know the amount of the substance that's in there," Ryan said.  "So somebody may get one batch and get five mg, someone may buy the product around the corner and get 2,000 mg."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun122012

Miami Cannibal Victim Recovering, But Unrecognizable

Rudy Eugene is pictured in this undated mugshot. (Obtained by ABC News)(MIAMI) -- Ronald Poppo, the 65-year-old Miami homeless man whose face was eaten during a vicious attack two weeks ago, is "doing well, eating, walking around, and remembers the attack," doctors said Tuesday as they updated the public for the first time on the victim's condition.

Poppo gave permission for doctors to discuss his case with reporters, but has had no visitors. Doctors described Poppo as upbeat despite significant portions of his face being destroyed, and said he's beginning to remember the horrific and unprovoked attack on the streets of the city.

"When Poppo arrived you could not make out facial features," said Dr. Nicolas Namias, chief of trauma at Miami Jackson Memorial Hospital. "Our primary goal was to close his wounds…[and] allow him to recover before undergoing more surgeries."

Doctors say his left eye was destroyed. His right eye is still there but they covered it with a flap taken from skin from his forehead and scalp. He suffered a brain injury, similar to those experienced by those involved in car accidents, according to doctors. Both his ears remain intact.

"Fifty percent of his face is gone, and he is missing all the features that would make him recognizable," said Dr. Wrood Kassira, Jackson chief of plastic surgery.

Mental health providers have begun seeing Poppo, and doctors described his condition as upbeat. Still, he has many months of surgery ahead.

"He had wounds involving the forehead, both eyes and the cheek. We did skin grafts to his wounds, which are still healing and evolving. He is missing his eyebrows and his eyes. It is hard to see who he is," said Dr. Namias.

Police say 31-year-old Rudy Eugene randomly met Poppo on the side of a heavily trafficked Miami thoroughfare during Memorial Day weekend. Police believe it was a chance encounter that occurred after Eugene dumped his car in South Beach and walked 3 ½ miles across a causeway, stripping off his clothes in broad daylight and then attacking Poppo.

Law enforcement officials continue to speculate that the dangerous new street drug "bath salts" may have played a role in the attack. Autopsy results on Eugene did not reveal any drugs in his system; however, toxicology results have not been released. Eugene was shot and killed by police after they say their repeated pleas to get him to stop attacking Poppo were met with growls.

Surveillance video shows that for 18 agonizing minutes Poppo was disrobed from the waist down, kicked, punched and eaten alive before police shot Eugene four times. Poppo then sat up covered in blood as three paramedics quickly got him onto a stretcher, put a neck brace on him and rushed him to the emergency room.

Poppo, who once attended New York City's elite Stuyvesant High School and dreamed of becoming president, will need months of reconstructive surgery that will cost thousands of dollars. A foundation set up in his name has raised $15,000.

Poppo qualifies for Medicare and Medicaid. He will have to decide which operations he seeks to undergo, which will most likely involve taking pieces from his skin to attempt to reconstruct his face. Doctors say he may not be a good candidate for a face transplant.

He will remain in the hospital for several more weeks, and then doctors and social workers will assess what to do with him next. He is currently battling a mild infection.

His doctors said he had a message for the public: "Go Heat." The team is meeting the Oklahoma City Thunder for the NBA championship.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun082012

Canadian 'Cannibal' and Hollywood Murder Not Connected: Cops

Montreal Police Department(LOS ANGELES) -- Los Angeles police do not believe the dismemberment of a Montreal student by a Canadian "cannibal" is connected to the chopped up body found beneath the famous Hollywood sign in January, a commander told ABC News on Friday.

L.A. cops said on Thursday they were in touch with their counterparts in Montreal looking for a possible connection between the murder of Hervey Medellin, 66, who was decapitated and his remains were scattered beneath the famous landmark, and the videotaped dismemberment of Jun Lin, 33, a Chinese student killed in May in Quebec.

Lin was allegedly killed by former porn actor Luka Magnotta, 29, who recorded himself murdering Lin with an ice pick and hacking apart the Chinese student's corpse. Magnotta then allegedly had sex with some of Lin's dismembered body parts and ate others. The man's hands and feet were mailed to two government offices and two schools.

Authorities in Los Angeles are continuing to talk with Canadian cops, but at this point do not believe the two murders are related.

Los Angeles sources believe there is a large body of evidence suggesting Medellin's murder was the result of a love-triangle. There was also a very distinct method of dismembering Medellin's body, sources told ABC News.  The evidence points to a person or persons with no known link to Magnotta, sources said.

A Facebook page in Magnotta's name, and one of many attributed to the accused killer, includes posts made in February that suggest the user was in Los Angeles working as a masseuse.

Authorities in Los Angeles say they do not believe Magnotta was in L.A. at the time of Medellin's murder. Canadian sources, however, have yet to determine Magnotta's whereabouts at that time.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun072012

Did Accused Canadian Cannibal Strike in Hollywood?

Montreal Police(LOS ANGELES) -- Los Angeles police are in contact with Canadian authorities to determine if Luka Magnotta, suspected in the murder and cannibalism of his gay lover, was also involved in a gruesome decapitation in Hollywood earlier this year.

"We are in touch with the Montreal police," an LAPD spokesman told ABC News. "We'll see if there's any connection."

Magnotta, 29, is currently in a German jail awaiting extradition to Canada, where police say he allegedly murdered Chinese student Jun Lin around May 24. Magnotta is accused of killing Lin with an ice pick and dismembering his corpse, some pieces of which he had sex with and others he ate. Magnotta is also accused of sending Lin's severed limbs in the mail to schools and government offices.

Los Angeles police are investigating if Magnotta may also be connected to the murder and dismemberment of Hervey Medellin, 66, whose decapitated body was discovered under the iconic Hollywood sign in January.

Magnotta and Lin were gay lovers, according to Montreal police. Los Angeles police confirmed Medellin, a former Mexican Airlines employee, was openly gay.

Medellin's head was discovered in Bronson Canyon Park on Jan. 17 when a dog discovered a plastic bag that contained a head. The accompanying dog walker called the police, who discovered severed hands and feet during the course of a two-day search.

Citing privacy concerns, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency would not confirm if Magnotta, a gay porn actor, was in the United States at the time.

However, posts on one of several Facebook accounts attributed to Magnotta, and which bears his name, date from February and suggest he was in Los Angeles at the time. In those bulletins, first discovered by the New York Observer, the poster appears to be arranging appointments to offer massages and includes a phone number with an L.A. area code.

"Raymond and I are doing massages at his place on La Bra, pick me up at his place after we're done and we'll go out. I NEED A JOINT," reads one post, dated Feb. 19.

In addition to the sexuality of both victims, the crimes appear to bear some resemblance. In each case the head, hands and feet were severed.

The killers in each case also appear to be seeking some publicity. Medellin's killer placed his head near the Hollywood sign, guaranteeing discovery. Montreal police confirm that Magnotta is the man seen killing, dismembering and eating his victim in a video posted online.

On May 29, a human foot was found by a receptionist who received a blood-soaked package at the Ottawa headquarters of the Conservative Party of Canada. A second package containing a hand was seized at a post office in Ottawa later in the day. The parts were later confirmed to belong to Lin.

On Tuesday, packages containing another foot and hand, also believed to belong to Lin, were received by two Vancouver elementary schools.

Lin's head is still missing.

Magnotta is expected to be extradited back to Canada before the end of June.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun012012

Maryland Man Tells Cops He Ate Heart, Brain of Victim

Harford County Sheriff's Office(BALTIMORE) -- A 21-year-old man charged with murdering his roommate told police in Harford County, Md., that he ate the victim’s heart and part of his brain after killing him.

Alexander Kinyua first became a suspect when his brother found what he thought were human remains in the basement of the family’s Joppatowne home.  When the brother confronted Kinyua, he told him they were animal remains, according to ABC 2 News in Baltimore. 

The brother then told his father about the grisly find, but when the father searched the basement the remains were gone.

Harford County Sheriff Jesse Bane said a head and hands were recovered on the main floor of the home.  Harford County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Monica Worrell said deputies also found more body parts at a nearby dumpster.

Detectives have not yet positively identified the body.  Police say they have a strong suspicion it’s Kinyua’s roommate, Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie, 37, who was reported missing last Friday, according to ABC 2 News.

Investigators say Agyei-Kodie left the house for a run but never returned.

This is the second cannibal-like attack in less than a week.  Last Saturday, police discovered a man devouring the face of a homeless man on a Miami highway. 

Rudy Eugene was shot dead by police after he refused to stop tearing the flesh off the face of Ronald Poppo, who is in critical condition after police say 75 percent of his face was devoured.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May312012

Miami Face-Eating Attack Lasted 18 Minutes

Rudy Eugene is pictured in this undated mugshot. (Obtained by ABC News)(MIAMI) -- The grisly assault on a homeless man whose face was eaten by an assailant in Miami last week went on for 18 agonizing minutes and was captured on nearby surveillance cameras.

Rudy Eugene, who authorities suspect may have been high on a dangerous new street drug known as "bath salts," had to be shot four times by a police officer to halt the cannibalistic attack.

The victim, Ronald Poppo, 65, is in critical condition after police say 75 percent of his face was devoured by Eugene.

Footage taken by security cameras at the nearby Miami Herald building show most of the 18 minutes of Eugene's growling and vicious attack on Poppo when Eugene ate the man's nose, mouth and eyes.

Eugene, 31, had a criminal past and has the notoriety of being the first person ever tasered by the North Miami Police Department after he was arrested for beating and threatening to kill his mother in 2008.  Police told ABC News affiliate WPLG that they had to taser him three times to subdue him.

According to WPLG, police believed that Eugene may have been mentally ill, but, according to the judge who handled the case, was never referred to the court's mental illness diversion program.

Eugene was found guilty, but the court suspended his sentence citing in court records that "the defendant is not likely to engage in a criminal course of conduct."

That prediction proved to be wrong last Saturday.  Police say Eugene started his day in South Beach where he dumped his car.  It is believed that he may have been cruising the streets for the popular Urban Beach Weekend.

He then walked across a causeway that connects the popular neighborhood with downtown Miami when he began to strip his clothes off.  The footage picks up and shows an agitated Eugene naked and bent over a second figure believed to be Poppo.

Poppo was homeless and lived near the area where the attack occurred.  Poppo tries to fight back as Eugene tries to take off his clothes.  As the assault begins, the surveillance video shows a few passerbys beginning to notice what is going on.  Police say they received at least five calls from witnesses.

When a police officer, who has been described as traumatized by the incident, arrives on scene, he is seemingly casually getting out of his patrol car until he notices what is going on.  The officer almost immediately draws his gun.  The cop ordered Eugene to stop the attack, but Eugene ignored his command and even growled back at the officer. 

It's unclear when the officer fired because the video is obstructed by a metro commuter train line, but it eventually took four bullets to make Eugene stop his brutal assault.

It's still unclear what triggered the violent attack.  Police and many in the medical community believe that drugs, in particular "bath salts," may have played a role.  "Bath salts" have become increasingly popular in the Miami party scene, and they can trigger extremely violent outbursts.  But police have found no evidence of drugs at the scene, and toxicology results will take several weeks to come back in. 

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May292012

Cannibal Attack Possibly Prompted By 'Bath Salts'

Rudy Eugene is pictured in this undated mugshot. (Obtained by ABC News)(MIAMI) -- Miami police suspect that what caused a 31-year-old man to rip off his clothes and viciously gnaw on the face of another man in a daylight attack on a busy highway is a new and extremely dangerous street drug known as "bath salts."

A Miami police officer shot Rudy Eugene Saturday after repeated pleas for him to stop eating another man's face. His demands were met with only growls. Eugene continued, and it took four bullets to kill and finally stop him as witnesses watched in horror.

According to police, little remained of the victim's face, with 75 percent of it eaten away, rendering him almost unrecognizable. One source says all that remained was blood and the victim's goatee.

[ CLICK HERE TO SEE A PHOTO OF THE VICTIM PRIOR TO THE ATTACK ]

Police have not officially connected Eugene's behavior to "bath salts," but experts say he was exhibiting the classic signs of someone high on the drug.

Armando Aguilar, president of the Miami Fraternal Order of police, who has been in contact with the officer who killed Eugene, says the similarities between this and other recent cases involving "bath salts" are striking.

"The cases are similar minus a man eating another. People taking off their clothes. People suddenly have super-human strength," says Aguilar. "They become violent and they are burning up for the inside. Their organs are reaching a level that most would die. By the time police approach them they are a walking dead person."

According to WPLG, the victim was a 65-year-old, apparently homeless man who was living near the causeway where the attack occurred.  The victim, identified as Ronald Poppo, is listed in critical condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital, WPLG reports.

Eugene, who was believed to be homeless, left few clues behind as to what led to the attack. Court records show that although he was arrested several times, they were for minor offenses. His ex-wife described him as having violent tendencies, but is shocked by the attack.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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