renee hartevelt

Investigators inspecting a suitcase containing the remains of Renée Hartevelt, cannibal Issei Sagawa’s victim

“After I went to study in Paris, my cannibalistic urges showed no signs of slowing down. Almost every night I would bring a prostitute home and then try to shoot them from behind while they washed their vaginas at the bidet. I tried hundreds of times, but for some reason my fingers froze up and I couldn’t pull the trigger. From around that time, it became less about wanting to eat them, but more an obsession with the idea that I simply had to carry out this “ritual” of killing a girl no matter what. Yet for some reason, I failed so many times to pull the trigger. Rather than morals and whatnot, it was instinct that stopped my hand from moving. Somewhere in my mind I knew that I, and the world that I lived in, would shatter to pieces the moment I pulled that trigger.

Some time after that, I spotted the girl who would later become my victim in one of my classes at university. All of the French women I had met before then were beautiful, but were stuck-up and totally out of my league. In contrast, this girl was so friendly and warm. I found out after the murder that she was Jewish, which is probably why a Japanese guy like me felt an affinity with her. In any case, we became friends. Then one day, we decided to have a sukiyaki party—just the two of us—at my house. The moment I saw her wash her hands in the bathroom, the image overlapped with the prostitutes washing themselves at the bidet in my mind, and inevitably she became another candidate for my “ritual.” From that point on, every time I invited her up to my room, I found myself pointing a gun at her from behind. Still, I just couldn’t shoot. Then one day, one of the employees from my father’s company came to Paris and took me to a Japanese restaurant. I had a bit of a fever that day, which might have made me delusional, because the whole time I was thinking about how she was coming over the next day, and how if I got food poisoning from the raw fish that I ate there, I wouldn’t be able to finally realize the fantasy that I’d been obsessing about for 32 years” -
Issei Sagawa discussing the build up of his urges


Freed Cannibal
Issei Sagawa

On June the 11th 1981 in France, Issei Sagawa invited back fellow student Renée Hartevelt to study poetry, of course he had no intention of doing this. What Sagawa did however was shoot her dead, then he raped her corpse and over the next few days began eating certain parts of her body. Sagawa was only caught due to attempting to dump the body, and was caught by police.
After being held for two years, Sagawa was deemed insane and sentenced to a mental institution.

During his time inside he became a celebrity, Japanese author Inuhiko Yomota met the killer and published a book about him. This in turn led France to deport Sagawa back to Japan where he was institutionalised. Not long after, Japanese doctors found him sane, but as France dropped all charges Sagawa was a free man.

From August the 12th 1986, Issei Sagawa was a free man. Since his release he has done many interviews and books. Even though his release was publicly criticised he said, “Being forced to make a living while being known as a murderer and cannibal was a terrible punishment”.


Issei Sagawa murdered an innocent woman and spent three days eating her flesh. Due to loopholes in the law, Issei is a free man to this day.

On the afternoon of June 13, 1981, a Japanese man named Issei Sagawa walked to the Bois de Boulogne, a park on the outskirts of Paris, carrying two suitcases. The contents of those suitcases, to the lament of a nearby jogger, was the dismembered body of a fellow student – a Dutch woman named Renée Hartevelt, whom Sagawa had shot three days prior and had spent the days since eating various parts of her body.

He was soon arrested. According to reports, Issei uttered, “I killed her to eat her flesh,” when they raided his home, whereupon they found bits of Renne still in his fridge.

Sagawa was declared insane and unfit for trial and was institutionalized in Paris. His incarceration was to be short, however, as the French public soon grew weary of their hard-earned francs going to support this evil woman-eater, and Issei was promptly deported. Herein followed a bizarre and seemingly too convenient set of legal loopholes and psychiatric reports that led doctors in Japan declaring him “sane, but evil.”

On August 12, 1986, Sagawa checked himself out of Tokyo’s Matsuzawa Psychiatric hospital, and has been a free man ever since.

Hatred and Injustice

Yesterday I watched the Vice documentary on Issei Sagawa and I was appalled at the French judicial system… they just let him go. 

You can read about his crime here

But I absolutely hated the fact that the once beautiful Renee Hartevelt never got any justice; and that Issei continued to live his life consumed on his cannibalistic fantasies and other fetishes. She was getting her Ph.D for literature and was fluent in 3 different languages; but now if you search her name you’ll only see the mutilated body. 

Another girl who was coerced into sleeping with him because she didn’t know his identity later found out and was shocked by how selfish someone could be about their fetishes. 

The more I watched the documentary the more I hated him; and I hated every second of attention I was giving him. His most recent fantasy was to be ripped apart to death by a beautiful girl or have a savage death, and I wanted nothing more than to deny him of that. I wanted to give him a quiet potassium injection right then. Hatred was boiling in me. I guess it made me angry to see someone that vile and unwanted in society tainting the world I live in.

It sucks to share a spot on Earth with people like him.