VICE MEETS ISSEI SAGAWA

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. Inside those suitcases, Sagawa carried the dismembered body of a fellow student he’d shot...

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Nov 18 2010, 4:05pm

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. Inside those suitcases, Sagawa carried the dismembered body of a fellow student he’d shot — and begun devouring — three days prior. According to reports, Issei uttered, “I killed her to eat her flesh,” to the police raiding his home.

Sagawa was declared insane and unfit for trial and 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 the August 12, 1986, Sagawa checked himself out of Tokyo’s Matsuzawa Psychiatric hospital, and has been a free man ever since. VBS met up with him to find out what he’s been up to in the 30 years since. Vice Japan’s editor, Tomo, courageously visited the cannibal’s home to find out the whole story. You can read about his encounter with Sagawa here, or watch Sagawa on VBS Meets.

Thanks to PHOTO magazine for contributing to this documentary. Check em out here.

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