In Russia, not one but two men have been arrested for suspected involvement in cannibalism. And they are completely unrelated incidents. A serial killer in the town of Penza, southeast of Moscow, is accused of killing, and eating, six people, possibly more. What’s really scary is that he wasn’t caught because of a grand police investigation reaching its conclusion. He was arrested for shoplifting and decided to confide in police that he had killed several people and buried them in his garden. This led police to his home, where they found a diary documenting his meals in detail. Apparently, Alexander Bychkov preferred the liver. He ate all of them from his victims.
Almost simultaneously, Russian authorities announced the arrest of another suspected cannibal who had no connection to Bychkov whatsoever. This one killed one of his friends and then ate the body. He confessed to the killing, and blamed it on alcohol. The remains (or would it be leftovers) were found in a refrigerator in his home.
This is not the first time cannibalism has been in the mainstream media in Russia. In 2010, a 21-year-old man was arrested after confessing to killing and dining on a man he met online…through a gay dating site. The same year, three homeless men were taken into custody after they murdered a man and ate parts of him. They even sold parts of the body off for profit to other cannibals in the region. Further back, in 2007, another famous Russian serial killer was convicted of 48 people’s murders. He ate all of them as well. He was sentenced to life in prison. Alexander Pichuskin showed no remorse for the crimes, likening it to falling in love. He was nicknamed the “chessboard murderer” because he expressed a desire to kill 64 people, one for each square on the chessboard. He fell a little short of his goals, as far as anyone knows.
Every country has an incident like this from time to time (Jeffrey Dahmer, anyone?), but this seems to be way too frequent in Russia. Why is cannibalism becoming Russia’s favorite pasttime?