Advertisement

CANNIBAL SERIAL KILLINGS STUN MEXICO CITY

Published Oct. 12, 2007|Updated Oct. 12, 2007

On the stove, a frying pan with chunks of flesh. In the refrigerator, a leg and part of an arm, both deboned. The bones were stuffed into a cereal box.

Mexico City police made the grisly discoveries this week as they arrested the man the Mexican press is calling the nation's first cannibalistic serial killer.

Police said Jose Luis Calva Zepeda, 40, was arrested Monday and being held for "probable" homicide after an investigation into the disappearance of his girlfriend. Investigators found the body of Alejandra Galeana, 30, in Calva's closet and believe Calva killed and mutilated at least two other women since 2004.

Calva was sent to the hospital after his arrest - police say he fell from his apartment balcony while trying to flee when they arrived - and will undergo a battery of psychological testing, police said.

Authorities are also testing the limbs and flesh found in Calva's apartment to determine whether they are human.

The apparent murders and cannibalism have sent shock waves through the Mexican capital, a city long accustomed to violent crime, but not to such gruesome dismemberment. Mexico has had cannibalism cases before - the last near Cancun in 2005 -but experts say they have always been isolated.

"I don't know of another case like this in Mexico," said Cutberto Enriquez, curator of an exhibition on serial killers and the death penalty at Mexico City's Police Cultural Center. "This case is exceptional. (Calva's) profile is much more European and American than Mexican."

The details of the case seem to come straight from a Halloween movie: Calva is a poet and writer of tales of horror. Inside his small apartment, in the heart of Mexico City and just a few blocks from the mariachi musicians at the famed Plaza Garibaldi, police found an unfinished manuscript entitled Cannibal Instincts, according to local press reports.

Calva sold his poetry at the city's informal markets. He also reportedly is a failed screenwriter who unsuccessfully tried to sell his scripts for horror movies.

Enriquez said it is possible that Calva's frustration with his professional career fueled his rage. "It would be very interesting to get a copy of his work," he said. "It would probably give a good psychological look at his concepts of good and evil."

Calva is also accused of killing his former girlfriend, Veronica Consuelo Martinez Casarrubias, who was found dismembered in 2004, and a prostitute known only as La Jarocha in April.

Police say his two girlfriends shared similar ages and appearances and both worked in pharmacies.