True Crime The Most Violent Cannibal Attacks In History  

Amanda Sedlak-Hevener
5.2M views 17 items

Cannibalism remains one of the strangest and most disgusting crimes a person can possibly commit, and famous cannibal serial killers possess a level of infamy unique to their crimes. While some cultures around the world cannibalize as part of their society, the lone cannibal killers in this list acted on their own selfish and twisted impulses. Childhood abuse and psychological trauma account for many of these cannibals' motives, but many simply wanted to know what human flesh tasted like, and used dirty methods to find out. In some cases, these cannibals roam free, either escaped from their holding cells or released on a technicality. 

In addition to eating victims' flesh, cannibal murderers performed all types of psychological and physical torture not only on their victims but also their relatives. Some killers even tricked people into eating human flesh. Hailing from all around the world, from urban epicenters to rural villages, cannibal killers know no restrictions when it comes to location. Read further if you dare, but be warned; this isn't a list to peruse during your lunchbreak.

Matthew Williams's Last Meal Was His Female Victim
Matthew Williams's Last Me... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Violent Cannibal Attacks In History
Photo: Courtesy Photo/via BBC/Fair Use

Suspected murderer Matthew Williams, 34, had just been released from prison a few weeks, after served a five-year prison sentence for a violent attack on his partner. While at the hotel, which also served as a bail hostel, Williams lured a young woman back to his room despite the building's rules against guests. When staff came to his room to notify Williams of the policy, they found him eating the woman's face off.

According to Jill Edwards, a local resident who described Williams as "an animal," they entered his room after not getting a response from Williams. This attack would prove to be his last, as he was struck by a high voltage taser when apprehended by police. Though formally arrested following the tasing, Williams became "unresponsive" moments later and died.

Austin Harrouff Stabbed Two People To Death And Was Caught Actively Eating Parts Of Their Faces
Austin Harrouff Stabbed Two Pe... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Violent Cannibal Attacks In History
Photo: Courtesy Photo/via Local 10/Fair Use

In 2016, Austin Harrouff, a 19-year-old college student living in Tequesta, Florida, burst into the garage of John Stevens and Michelle Mishcon. There, Harrouff stabbed them to death and attacked one of their neighbors. When the authorities arrived, Harrouff was literally gnawing on part of Stevens' face. Harrouff apparently acted strangely before the attack, storming off during a dinner with his parents.

Police took Harrouff to the hospital for treatment (he had intestinal pain) after the incident, but was found to be in good health and has since been charged with two counts of first-degree murder

Miami Man Attacks Homeless Bystander With His Teeth
Miami Man Attacks Homeless Bys... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Violent Cannibal Attacks In History
Photo:  Miami-Dade Police Department/via CBS News/Fair Use

On May 26th, 2012, 31 year-old Rudy Eugene told his girlfriend "I'm going to be late. I love you and I'll be back." Sometime thereafter, Eugene ripped off his clothes and attacked a homeless man in broad daylight in Miami, FL. At the time thought to be on the drug commonly known as "bath salts," Eugene began by tearing away at the homeless man's face with his teeth. This happened over the course of 18 minutes.

The victim, Ronald Poppo (age 65), was just an innocent person in the way of Eugene's bath salt-induced rage. Footage of the crime showed Eugene jumping onto the homeless man, who was sleeping at the time, stripping off the man's clothing, and then attacking Poppo with his teeth. The man survived, but lost 75% of his face. Eugene was shot to death by police at the scene; since the toxicology report ruled out the presence of bath salts, the cause of Eugene's violent episode remains unknown.

Vince Weiguang Li Beheaded A Man While On Public Transportation
Vince Weiguang Li Beheaded A ... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Violent Cannibal Attacks In History
Photo:  KK70088/via flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

In 2008, Vince Weiguang Li, who recently acquired Canadian citizenship, suffered a break with reality.  Li claimed "the voice of God" began speaking to him, which told him he was the second coming of Jesus destined to fight against an alien invasion. While traveling on a Greyhound bus, Li snapped and began stabbing fellow passenger, Tim McLean, believing the man to be one such alien.

Li wound up decapitating McLean while on the bus, in full view of everyone else on it, and then began eating pieces of the man's flesh and licking blood off of his hands. Needless to say, the bus stopped and everyone fled, leaving Li on the bus where he continued to slice McLean's body into small pieces until the authorities intervened. Li has since been diagnosed with schizophrenia.