Issei Sagawa

The Cannibal Celebrity: Issei Sagawa
The Cannibal Celebrity: Issei Sagawa

He was a short man, just under five feet tall. His hands and feet were small and even his voice was more like that of a girl. He had mentioned in some interviews that he wasn’t the kind of man most women would find attractive, and he surmised that being acutely self-conscious of his shortcomings might have fueled his obsession with “the perfect woman.”

In Cannibal Killers, Moira Martingale describes how Issei Sagawa, a brilliant Japanese student, obsessed over tall women with Occidental features. Eventually fantasy was not enough, so while studying for his degree in English literature at Wako University in Tokyo, he became attracted to a German woman who was teaching him the language.

“When I met this woman in the street,” he later said to British reporter Peter McGill, “I wondered if I could eat her.”

One summer day, he crawled through the window of her apartment, intent on killing her. To his delight, she was asleep. Even better, she was wearing hardly anything at all. He looked for something to use to knock her out or stab her and he spotted an umbrella. However, before he could do anything, the woman woke up and saw him there. She screamed, scaring him, and he fled from her apartment.
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