Issei Sagawa aka "The Japanese Cannibal" (lost Renee Hartevelt death footage recorded by cannibalistic murderer; 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 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 one of his suitcases containing her body parts in a public garden. 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.


The alleged tapes are presumed to be in possession of French police. They are unlikely to surface for obvious reasons.