CANNIBALS YOU’VE NEVER HEARD ABOUT
March 10, 2021
WARNING: content ahead that may be upsetting to some people. Read at your own discretion.
Serial killers are rare, and cannibalistic serial killers are even rarer… and some seem to prefer their victims that way.
Baltimore’s Joe Metheny
After being left by his drug-addicted wife and their six-year-old son in 1995, Joe Metheny found the urge to kill. Wanting to punish his wife’s drug dealers, Metheny bought an ax and waited under a bridge till they showed up. Instead, there were two homeless men, but Metheny supposedly killed them instead. He claimed to have killed three more that night through drowning, but lack of evidence points to that being just talk.
Within the same year, Metheny lured two women to his trailer and killed, dismembered, and cannibalized them; however, he didn’t let the cannibalism end there.
“I cut up the meat and put some in Tupperware bowls then put it in a freezer,” Metheny recalled in court. He explained he then opened a barbecue stand and claims the sandwiches he made–of both human and pork meat “were very good.”
“The human body taste is very similar to pork,” Metheny added. “If you mix it together, nobody can tell the difference.”
After those two victims, Metheny attempted to kill a prostitute. While she suffered from horrific injuries, she managed to escape and tell local authorities what happened. Metheny was found guilty on three accounts of murder (the third body being found not on his property), and received the death penalty, which changed to life in prison. He was found dead in his cell in August of 2017.
During interviews with authorities, they noted Metheny showed no signs of remorse. In fact, he said the only thing he regrets is not killing the two people he was “really after. And that’s my ex ole lady and the bastard she got hooked up with.”
He did, however, decide to give his personal experience as a warning to travelers: “So the next time you’re riding down the road and see an open pit beef stand that you’ve never seen before, make sure you think about this story before you take a bite of that sandwich.”
Manitoba’s Vince Li
Late in July of 2008, two men sat next to each other on Greyhound Bus 1170. Tim McLean smiled at the man who sat next to him and continued listening to music through his headphones, falling back to sleep.
Minutes later, McLean woke up to the man who sat next to him pushing a knife into this neck. The man, Vince Li, remained emotionless as McLean and the rest of the bus screamed. McLean tried his best to fight back, but sadly, he was unable to and died.
The passengers quickly ran out of the bus while two tried their best to save McLean’s life, but Li chased them away with his weapon in hand and was locked inside the bus. Li then beheaded McLean, displayed his head towards the horrified passengers outside, and began to eat parts of McLean’s body; the eyes and part of his heart was one of them, being that officers weren’t able to find them on the bus. Some parts were found in Li’s pockets when police searched him.
Authorities arrived to the scene to see men with crowbars and hammers guarding the bus in case Li attempted to escape. The driver was sure to turn on the emergency immobilizer system as to prevent Li from driving away. Eventually, Li climbed through a window to run away but was tasered and brought into custody.
After his trial, Li was found not guilty on the grounds he was mentally unstable due to untreated schizophrenia, which explains why Li was convinced he had to kill McLean or else he himself would die. He was admitted to a psychiatric ward and was eventually given full freedom after changing his name. Many at the ward saw significant improvement with his mental health, though many of the passengers, officers, and the McLean family are left with severe PTSD.
Soviet Union’s Nikolai Dzhumagaliev
Nikolai Dzhumagaliev, AKA the Metal Fang (named that because of the white metal that replaced his teeth after losing them in a childhood fight), had a fairly normal childhood. He worked for the Soviet Army for the chemical defense unit then traveled, taking on a series of jobs, like being a sailor or even electrician.
He eventually returned to his hometown and suffered from trichomoniasis and syphilis for two years. During that time, Dzhumagaliev planned his first murder, possibly due to the diseases’s side effects. He stalked a woman then approached her with a knife, taking her to the woods to avoid witnesses.
Dzhumagaliev went to extreme measures when he mutilated her body, and he seemed to use all parts of her for cannibalism (details could be found here, excluded due to a graphic description from Dzhumagaliev himself). This cycle of cannibalism continued with the next six victims, often storing them in the fridge for leftovers.
In 1979, Dzhumagaliev shot a colleague while drunk, but he was released due to being diagnosed with schizophrenia. He committed three more murders after that.
In 1981, Dzhumagaliev hosted a dinner party, and he asked one of the guests to speak privately to him in another room. Once separated from the rest of the group, Dzhumagaliev killed and dismembered the guest, alerting the other guests. They called the police, but Dzhumagaliev left the scene, covered in blood, and was found in his cousin’s house in the mountains.
Due to his mental illness, the court decided he wasn’t guilty and sent him to a mental institution. He requested a transfer in 1989, and during it, he escaped. They found him two years later in Uzbekistan and promptly placed him in another mental facility, keeping a close eye on him.
In 2015, rumors of another escape spread throughout the world, and Uzbekistanian authorities and the mental facility refused to give any indication on if this was true or even if he was accounted for while in the institution, leaving it a mystery on where or if Dzhumagaliev is alive and dangerous.