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Cannibal Killers:
The History of Impossible Murders

by Moira Martingale

ISBN 0786707038 / 9780786707034 / 0-7867-0703-8
Publisher Running Press
Language English
Edition Softcover
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Book summary

Anthropophagy: It's the crime that shocks us beyond all others. For the anthropophagite - neither acknowledging one of the last taboos of modern civilized society nor resisting an inordinate, savage, and perhaps uncontrollable bestial appetite - eats human flesh and drinks human blood. The anthropophagite murders to consume. Our fascination with cannibals, which has in recent time burgeoned with the publication of Thomas Harris's novels Hannibal and The Silence of the Lambs, lies as much in history as it does in fiction, for instances of cannibalism have for centuries cracked through the facade of civilization in human society. After tracing in quick, narrative strokes the history of cannibalism back to ancient China and recounting notorious crimes like those of Sawney Bean, who consumed more than one thousand victims over a period of twenty-five years in sixteenth-century Scotland, Moira Martingale chronicles the exploits of those few, uncommon criminals who have killed for flesh in the twentieth century. Among the subjects in Martingale's gallery are Jeffrey Dahmer, the murderer of seventeen young men; Edward Gein, who resorted to cannibalism after the death of his mother and provided Alfred Hitchcock with the role model for Norman Bates in Psycho, and, most infamous of all, reputedly the worst cannibal killer in modern history, the dreaded Russian Andrei Chokatilo.
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