LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney H. Benjamin Perez | Jun 1, 2012

Modern-Day Cannibalism in the United States?

Two recent cases of alleged cannibalism have brought this issue to the forefront of people’s minds. Is this archaic practice on the rise again or are these isolated incidents? Continue reading to learn more.

Cannibalism may be a thing of the past, but two recent cases in Miami and Maryland have caused people to wonder if this practice goes on more often than we may like to believe. Cannibalism received its name from a tribe in the West Indies which was known for their practice of eating human beings. Also known as anthropophagy, this used to take place around the world, but gradually became less and less common. It may come as a surprise to learn that in most countries, including the U.S., the actual practice of cannibalism is not a criminal offense and those who are arrested in connection with it are usually charged with murder or desecration of a body instead.

In Miami on May 26thof this year, a homeless man was attacked and nearly killed by R.E. The victim, R.P., graduated from Stuyvesant in New York City in 1964 and friends and family believed him to have a bright future. He wanted to be the first Italian in the White House before his life was changed by drinking and petty crime. When he was injured by a gunshot wound in 1976, he took to the streets and has been homeless ever since. Friends and family did not know what had become of him and assumed he had died. It turns out that where he is now is a worse fate.

R.P. was sleeping near a Miami highway when R.E. attacked him, ripping off his clothes and striking him repeatedly. R.E. then began tearing and ripping at his face with his mouth. It was 18 minutes before the police arrived to stop him, but even then, they were not to stop him. After warning the drug-crazed man to desist several times, R.E. simply growled at them and continued to eat the victim’s face. The police were left with no option but to open fire and kill him. No one knows what caused this man to do such a heinous act, but it is suspected that he was under the influence of the hallucinogenic drug “bath salts." Over 75% of the victim’s face is now gone and he will need months of reconstructive surgery. Along with that, he is at risk of serious infection due to the high amount of bacteria that is in human salvia.

In another case, a missing person’s report was filed on May 26th in regards to 37-year-old K.K. Originally from Ghana, the victim had been attending Morgan State University as a graduate student, but had not been enrolled in classes since 2008. After the missing person’s report had been filed, the brother of the accused, 21-year-old K.A., made a horrible discovery. While in the basement of his home, he found two metal tins which had been covered by a blanket. When he opened the tins, he found a human head and two hands. The brother confronted the suspect, but K.A. said that the remains were not human.

When investigators arrived, they found that the remains were indeed human. K.A. then admitted that the head and hands were those of missing person K.K. and that he had killed him with a knife. Not only that, but he had went on to consume some of his internal organs, including his heart and portions of his brain. They found the remainder of his body in a dumpster behind a Baptist church. Although he has been accused of first-degree murder, authorities have no idea why he chose to act in this way. The victim had been staying at the suspect’s home for about six weeks before the incident took place.

Additional resources provided by the author

The team at Perez & Cedeño, P.C. is a criminal defense law firm dedicated to protecting the rights of the accused in New York City. As members of the New York State Bar Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the New York State Bar Association, you can be 100% confident that this team has what it takes to protect your rights and best interests. Whether you were accused of a drug crime, sex crime, federal crime, or violent crime, they will examine your case and seek to determine how best to help you. If you would like more information about their team, please contact their office for a free case evaluation. Their main priority is to protect your freedom and future.

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