Interview with a Cannibal

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.

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  1. Heed the warning in the beginning of this doc, people.’s quite disturbing in more ways than I can say, and very tragic. I feel so-o sorry for the victims and their families. What a slap in their faces, this was for them, on top of everything else they’ve likely been through. It made me sick to my stomach to see him smiling and laughing in the pics w/ the girls. This man is a (very) sick person, and should NEVER have been allowed to go free, to begin with, let alone deported and unleashed on society, yet again. HE even aknowleges how sick and perverted he is. ..and even goes as far as stating he should die in a similar way. ..stupid, stupid, stupid, for them to have released him. ..Morons!!!

  2. I feel so-o sorry for the victims and their families. What a slap in their faces, this was for them, on top of everything else they’ve been through. Tragic. It made me sick to my stomach to see him smiling and laughing in those pics, with the girls. This man is a very sick person, and should NEVER have been released, to begin with, let alone deported and unleashed on society, yet again. HE even acknowledges how sick and perverted he is, and states how he should die the same/ similar way. ..very sad/tragic documentary. Heed the warning in the beginning of this doc, people.’s disturbing and very tragic.

  3. when i saw the statue of the armless woman , i couldn’t help but chuckle a bit…as horrible as that is ….

  4. This dude needs to be killed off like a rabid dog.

  5. Well, I acknowledge the same feelings as most of your have; fear, disgust, confusion. But the thing is, I think that his “mental instability” was caused solely by his lack of sexual education. I mean, c’mon he didn’t know what an erection was or what to do with it. The lack of “good” sexual education is probably the main cause of most mental problems similar to this one. I will not blame his mother or father fully, although it was possible for them to go against the zeitgeist and teach him about sex. There are a lot of people on here, and elsewhere, that are talking about a weird relationship with his mother. There is no reported evidence of this but it could be a possibility, but I just see it as the basic lack of understanding of sex. So, if anyone comes to understand this story like I have, please, teach your children the right things about sex, or they might find out something fucked up on their own. Also, the Japanese punishment system is very, different. Here in the US, people would be locked up for life, taking from taxpayers to pay for his life in prison, which will eventually only lead to more “psychosis.” If he would be released, let’s say 30 years from the incident, he would be a truly fucked up citizen, feeling the need to do it again. The treatment he received in Japan, which I totally agree with, actually curbed his “appetite.” He was given time to reflect on why he would do such a thing. At the same time, he was shunned from society which can teach someone more of a lesson than being locked up with other “psychos.” Anyway, interesting doc, made me think. Thanks!

  6. I’m only seeing this because of reddit, and sorry, I know this is awful and this man clearly has serious mental issues … but I just can’t help laughing at his statement when talking about the beautiful girl he murdered; “maybe if we’d just had dinner once more, I wouldn’t have eaten her.”

    That just kills me.

  7. This is what extreme narcissism coupled with sexual repression causes. 6 years in a ward just made it worse. Surelly he has killed more, we just don’t know it.

  8. A very oddly beautiful movie. I like that they mostly just let him talk. Interesting approach.

  9. Actually, the city at 9:50 isn’t Paris at all, it’s Salzburg (Austria), my hometown.

  10. I think he’d be awesome on a night out

  11. I thought this documentary was excellent, and showed exactly what type of mental damage occurs when societies suppress sex. This guy was mentally ill because he was never told about the birds and the bees. Reminds me of a few religions that I know of, one where priests often fuck little boys.

    • There is a documentary on here called “very young girls” where the John program in New York is full of Hasidic Jews, so I agree with you.

  12. What The Fuck Issei I think its Time for you to move on You need to come see me Alien or What your Time hear with Us needs to End Come on man, go Gracefully into the Mouth of the Lion All I know is You are suffering, You have caused Suffering Beyond your allotted allotment and so let me get this over for all of Us Like what the fuck man are you thinking, Any man who has had a daughter and has loved her would easily pull your arms and legs from your body, like a little spider and then I dont know , I sure wouldnt eat your sick little carcass. Prob to the fish or Swine depending on where we meet

  13. P.S. I also eat white bitches…

  14. I don’t get why you guys trash Vice, I watch 2 or three documentaries a day, and I kind of get bored with every doc being produced like a poor man’s Zeitgeist, with some 20 year old boy trying to hip me about what’s really going on in the world. Give these guy’s a break, I think it’s refreshing and if it’s not in depth enough for you… her’s an idea… pick up a book and do some research for yourself, You can’t let Vice teach you every thing about everything, I think they do a good job of wetting your taste buds and then letting you do your own digging as opposed to putting together some 3 hour snore fest that reads like a Jack London novella.

  15. @ghghgh….I agree that VICE has lowered its standards, but I actually found this one quite compelling. Yes, it could have been done differently, but we’re talking VICE here. If you can get past the VICE touch, it’s a condensed look at a very sick and twisted individual. I know it lacks an in-depth view of so many factors as to why he came to be this way…..but again….this is VICE. I wanna say this……”Just give this guy his wish, and feed him to some wild African dogs!”. End of.

    • Your a good guy jack, but would you mind explaining how this doc has “the vice touch”? There are very few documentary’s that don’t have some @sshole who’s pretending to be a psychologist/sociologist telling you how to interpret everything.

      No interviewer. No ex A-list celeb trying to make a buck. No Al Gore. -Just the subject in their own words. The purist form of documentary. Vice touch? This is the most un-vice doc I’ve ever seen. plz explain.

      P.S. ghghgh is an idiot.

  16. And here I thought I was the only person who had urges to kill and eat white girls. At least I know I am not alone.

  17. VICE you truly do make the worst, most boring shit documentary’s ……stop reporting on shock values for views and please report on decent stuff. broken record….get the msg

    • That’s what vice does. Exploit for cheap kicks. It’s owned and operated by a bunch of rich kids who get off on slumming.

    • “…please report on decent stuff” …ok? like what? Another 9-11 doc? OH! I got it! How about another Hitler doc! Broken record huh? Either cite an example of what you think they should report on or GTFO.