Issei Sagawa "The Japanese Cannibal" audio (lost audio of murder and cannibalism; 1981)

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This article has been tagged as Needing work due to its lack of references.


This article has been tagged as NSFL due to its extremely disturbing subject matter/visuals.


A picture of Issei Sagawa.

Status: Lost

In the summer of 1981, Issei Sagawa, a Japanese student studying abroad in France, invited Renee Hartevelt, a classmate, to his apartment for dinner and to study poetry. What culminated was Sagawa's intention to kill and consume Hartvelt's flesh.

The Murder

While Hartvelt was reading a Johannes Robert Becher's poem about death, he shot her with a rifle. Using an electric knife, he started taking more than seven kilos of meat off her body. He consumed her flesh during the next three days, cooking several meals, and having sex with the corpse before finally getting rid of the body. In addition to recording the whole butchery (Hartevelt's last words and the actual fire shot were caught on tape), Sagawa also shot a total of 39 photographs showing several "stagings" he made with the corpse.

Trying to make Hartevelt's body disappear, Sagawa eventually committed a mistake by losing in a public garden one of his suitcases containing body parts. The police later found the owner of the suitcase and arrested the man who was to be called "The Japanese Cannibal" by the newspapers. The rest of Hartevelt's body, the rifle, the butchery photos, the tape recorder as well as several other pieces of evidence were found in his apartment.


All of the graphic images from the crime scene and autopsy pictures were published in the magazine photos in December 1983 but the alleged tapes are presumed to be in possession of French police. They are unlikely to surface for obvious reasons.

External Links and References