Issei Sagawa was born in Kobe, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan to wealthy parents.
He attended the University of Paris.
On the afternoon of June 13, 1981, the Japanese man 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, Due to loopholes in the law, Issei is a free man to this day.
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Sagawa now lives in Tokyo and is a minor celebrity in Japan. He was often invited as a guest speaker and commentator throughout 1986-1997.
He has also written restaurant reviews for the Japanese magazine Spa. In 1992, he appeared in Hisayasu Sato's exploitation film Uwakizuma: Chijokuzeme (Unfaithful Wife: Shameful Torture) as a sadosexual voyeur.
Besides books about the murder he committed, Sagawa wrote a commentary book Shonen A in 1997 on the Kobe child murders of 1997, when a 14-year-old referred to in the media as "Seito Sakakibara" and "Boy A" ("Shōnen A") killed and decapitated a child and attacked several others.
Despite this early freelance work, Sagawa can no longer find publishers for his writing and has been rejected from over 500 different places of employment.
Each job application requires writing his resume out in longhand.
He was nearly accepted by a French language school because the manager was impressed by his courage to use his real name, but employees protested and he was rejected.
In 2005, his parents died.
He was prevented from attending his parents' funeral, but he repaid their creditors and moved into public housing. He received welfare for some time but no longer does so.
In an interview with Vice magazine in 2009, he expressed suicidal thoughts and said that being forced to make a living while being known as a murderer and cannibal was a terrible punishment.
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