Anthropophagy - the eating of human flesh - is the crime which shocks and stuns more than any other.Moira Martingale traces this phenomenon back to the sixteenth century to the notorious Sawney Bean who, together with his family, consumed more than 1,000 people over a period of twenty-five years.In modern times little has changed. "Cannibal Killers" looks at modern murderers, including: Fritz Haarmann - who would tear out young men's throats to drink their blood, before selling their flesh for meat; Jeffrey Dahmer, the murderer of seventeen young men whose dismembered body parts were found in his apartment; Edward Gein - the role model for Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho" - who after his mother's death began killing and eating women, and Andrei Chikatilo, the Russian cannibal who has the dubious reputation of being the worst cannibal-killer in recent history.These crimes, and others, are explored, together with speculation about how such monsters are made. Is there a clinical explanation for vampirism? And when it comes to deciding whether these people are sane or insane, why are psychiatrists and lawyers not always in agreement?
Moira Martingale is a journalist, author and former columnist for national and regional newspapers. She is the co-author of Ghostbusters UK, also published by Hale. Her interest in deviant behaviour stems from her studies of abnormal psychology as part of her degree. She also has a doctorate in Gothic Literature.