Cannibal killer-turned adult star celeb who ate woman as he ‘craved flesh’ dies

A twisted cannibal killer who went on to become a porn star has died, according to his family.

Issei Sagawa, 73, killed and ate Dutch student Renée Hartevelt in Paris in 1981. He had sex with her corpse over several days.

Sagawa, from Japan, died of pneumonia in late November and had a small private funeral with his family, according to his younger brother.

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Sagawa befriended Hartevelt and lured her to his apartment under the pretext of translating poetry. There, he shot her in the back of the neck with a rifle.

Over the course of the following days he would have sex with the corpse and chop different parts off to eat, either cooked or raw.

He was caught out when two joggers noticed him attempting two dump suitcases that were dripping with blood.

Police were called, who found the suitcases and then the rest of Hartevelt's remains, leading to Sagawa's arrest.

He would eventually walk free from French prison in 1986 when he was found legally insane to stand trial.

After deportation to Japan, examining psychologists at Matsuzawa Hospital in Tokyo all found him sane.

However, given the French charges were dropped, his court documents were sealed – meaning he could not be legally detained in Japan.

Sagawa would go on to become a celebrity in Japan. He wrote books about his murder, appeared on Japanese TV shows eating raw meat and wrote restaurant reviews. He also starred in Japanese porn films.

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He spoke openly about still wondering what beautiful women tasted like but insisted he wouldn't act upon his urges again.

He also never apologised for his crimes or to Hartvelet's family.

Sagawa suffered a stroke in 2013 and had been cared for by his younger brother since.


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