We will now never know the reasoning or the full story behind the Slovak cannibal Matej Curko (43) as he died in hospital yesterday afternoon from the five gunshot wounds that he received to the head and body in the police operation on Tuesday.
The medical staff at the Louis Pasteur Hospital in Kosice did their best to keep Curko alive, including a 5-hour operation involving ten surgeons, but his vital organs eventually gave in.
The Slovak cannibal, as he is being referred to, was tricked into meeting a police agent in the village of Kysak as he had previously agreed to kill, cut up and eat a Swiss man who had volunteered himself as dinner. The Swiss man eventually contacted the police, though, but the police operation went wrong as the police tried to arrest Curko.
Curko pulled out a gun and was then immediately shot five times by police marksmen, but not before he managed to shoot the agent, who is still in a serious condition in hospital.
Over 200 police officers are now scouring the whole forest area where it is thought Curko wanted to bury the body of his victim, as they believe that Curko may already have committed his cannibalistic murders. There are strong suspicions that he was involved in the disappearance of a young woman who has been missing since last year.
On the same day as Cruko died, Interior minister Daniel Lipsic met with his Swiss counterpart Simonetta Sommaruga, whom he thanked and prised for the excellent collaboration in preventing Curko from committing the gory crime of cannibalism.
Curko leaves behind a wife and two daughters aged 8 and 14, while his brother, a known TV personality, totally disowned him and will probably not even attend the funeral.
Cases of cannibalism are rare, especially in Europe, but they do happen. Here are some of the most recent recorded cases:
- Michael Woodmansee was convicted in 1983 of kidnapping and killing 5 year old Jason Foreman in 1975 in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. There was evidence at the time that Woodmansee wrote in his journal of eating the flesh of young Jason.
- Dorangel Vargas known as “El comegente”, Spanish for “people-eater”, was a serial killer and cannibal in Venezuela. Vargas killed and ate at least 10 men in a period of two years preceding his arrest in 1999.
- Another serial killer, Jeffrey Dahmer of the United States, experimented with cannibalism before his arrest and imprisonment in 1991. The traces of human flesh and bones found on pots and pans inside his home are more likely from his practice of taking souvenirs from his victims. A court submission at the trial of perpetrators of the Bodies in barrels murders in South Australia revealed that two of the murderers fried and ate a part of their final victim in 1999.
- In March 2001 in Germany, Armin Meiwes posted an Internet ad asking for “a well-built 18 to 30 year old to be slaughtered and consumed”. The ad was answered by Bernd Jürgen Brandes. After killing Brandes and eating parts of his body, Meiwes was convicted of manslaughter and later, murder. The songs “Mein Teil” by Rammstein and “Eaten” by Bloodbath are based on this case.
- In February 2004, a 39 year-old Briton named Peter Bryan from East London was caught after he killed and ate his friend. He had been arrested for murder previously, but was released shortly before this act was committed.
- In September 2006, Australian television crews from current affairs programs 60 Minutes and Today Tonight attempted to rescue a six year-old boy whom they believed would be ritually eaten by his tribe, the Korowai, from West Papua, Indonesia.
- On September 14, 2007, a man named Özgür Dengiz was captured in Ankara, the Turkish capital, after killing and eating a man. After cutting slices of flesh from his victim’s body, Dengiz distributed the rest to stray dogs on the street, according to his own testimony. He ate some of Er’s flesh raw on his way home. Dengiz, who lived with his parents arrived at the family house and placed the remaining parts of Er’s body in the fridge without saying a word to his parents.
- In January 2008, notorious Liberian ex-rebel and reformed warlord Joshua Blahyi, 37, confessed to participating in human sacrifices which “included the killing of an innocent child and plucking out the heart, which was divided into pieces for us to eat.” The cannibalism of many children occurred during the conflict in which Blahyi fought against Liberian presidentCharles Taylor’s militia.
- During the same Charles Taylor’s war crimes trial on March 13, 2008, Joseph Marzah, Taylor’s chief of operations and head of Taylor’s alleged “death squad”, accused Taylor of ordering his soldiers to commit acts of cannibalism against enemies, including peacekeepers and United Nations personnel.
- The murder of Tim McLean occurred on the evening of July 30, 2008. McLean, a 22-year-old Canadian man, was stabbed, beheaded and cannibalized while riding a Greyhound Canada bus. According to witnesses, McLean was sleeping with his headphones on when the man sitting next to him, Vince Weiguang Li, suddenly produced a large knife and began stabbing McLean in the neck and chest. The attacker then decapitated McLean, severed other body parts, and consumed some of McLean’s flesh.
- A count of 25 albino Tanzanians have been murdered since March 2007 reportedly through witch doctor butchery arising from prevailing superstition. In 2008, Tanzania’s President Kikwete publicly condemned witch doctors for killing people with albinism for their body parts which are thought to bring good luck.
- In a documentary by Colombian journalist Hollman Morris, a demobilized paramilitary confessed that during the mass killings that take place in Colombia’s rural areas, many of the paras performed cannibalism. He also confesses that they were told to drink the blood of their victims in the belief that it would make them want to kill more.
- In November 2008, a group of 33 illegal immigrants from the Dominican Republic who were en route to Puerto Rico, resorted to cannibalism after they were lost at sea for over 15 days before being rescued by a U.S. Coast Guard patrol boat.
- In January 2009 Maxim Golovatskikh and Yury Mozhnov were accused of murdering and eating 16 year-old Karina Barduchian in Russia.
- As of February 9, 2009, five members of the Kulina tribe in Brazil were wanted by Brazilian authorities on the charge of murdering, butchering and eating a farmer in a ritual act of cannibalism.
- In a drug-related case, the rap artist Big Lurch was convicted of the murder and partial consumption of an acquaintance while both were under the influence of PCP.
- On November 14, 2009, three homeless men in Perm, Russia were arrested for killing and eating the parts of a 25 year-old male victim. The remaining body parts were then sold to a local pie and kebab house.
- In 2005, in Noida, India, a man named Pandher was charged with sexually abusing and eating body parts of children of the nearby areas.
- In April, 2011, in the town of Darya Khan, Punjab, Pakistan, two brothers were arrested for eating human corpses stolen from graves. They were cooking body parts for meal when arrested while the police also recovered remains of human body parts from their house.