Nico Claux (aka Nico Castelaux) is a French killer and real-life cannibal. I’ll let him tell his own story below. You can follow him on Instagram at www.instagram.com/nicoclaux His store is at www.serialpleasures.com
The interview was conducted via Skype in the Autumn of 2020.
Thank you, Nico, for your time!
Who are you? Tell us a bit about yourself!
I´m Nico Claux, 48 years old.
I´m also known as Nicolas Castelaux – that is my pen name for books because I write books too.
I´m a publisher, entrepreneur, I have a company called Serial Pleasures. I Sell things related to crime and true crime.
And I´m also a painter. I paint serial killer mugshots and I’m famous for that, having been doing that for 20 years now.
I´m also a death-merchant and that means I sell serial killer artifacts – what others call “murderabilia”. I’ve been doing this for ten years now and I started it by writing to serial killers while I was in prison myself.
So I’m quite busy in the true crime scene.
What was your childhood like and where do you come from in terms of your family?
I’m an only child, born on March 22nd 1972.
My father was a computer technician and he was studying networks around the world for a banking company. He travelled a lot. When he was away I was left alone with my mom in Paris.
When he came back from his trips he would show pictures he took. He would travel mostly to Asia.
He was fascinated by anthropology and sometimes he would show weird rituals he shot on camera so I became kind of interested in those kinds of things, especially when he showed me a possession he had filmed.
When he was in Africa he took a lot of pictures of voodoo kind of stuff.
When he was in Thailand he would go to the Wang Saen Suk Hell torture gardens. I don’t know if you are familiar with them, but they are very popular in Thailand; they depict the tortures of Hell.
It was quite graphic and I grew up in that atmosphere.
When I was about 10 my grandfather died. I went to the funeral home and had like an epiphany of some sort. Not the fact that he had died, but I was very fascinated by the atmosphere of the whole funeral home.
There was also the circumstance that he had died in: a stroke when he was playing badminton with me, and part of my family actually blamed me for his death.
So it was really mixed feelings that happened when I was 10 years old.
I was already really into horror movies back then. It was in the late 70’s, early 80’s, and that time horror movies weren’t really popular among kids so I was more or less a loner.
At school I would read a lot and not mix up with the other kids.
I grew up with a fascination for death and the occult.
When I was about 12 my uncle had a magazine showing the pictures of the crime of the Japanese cannibal Issei Sagawa. Sagawa cannibalised a young Dutch student in France, and it was a big case. They put out a magazine with pictures of the crime scene and with the pictures of the girl in the morgue. The magazine got banned after a few days of course but my uncle managed to get a copy. I watched the magazine while he was away and I was really, more or less, fascinated by the pictures I saw.
Later on we went to Portugal because of my father’s work, so I spent my teenage years there. I became even more of an outcast because I had nothing in common with the other kids. I started to hang out in the graveyards in Lissabon.
When we came back to France four years later, this is when I really started hanging out in graveyards, and this was the time I decided to actually investigate what was under the graves.
All this was an escalation that took about four or five years.
I would skip school to go to cemeteries. It became an obsession. Later on when I was in prison the psychiatrist said that I was borderline psychotic, beginning of psychosis.
I began to have obsessive thoughts, thoughts of killing my classmates. So I would bring knives and other stuff to the school. I went to the headmaster a few times because of that. It was a time when there weren’t many school shootings. There was only Marc Lepine in Canada who did this but it wasn’t the time of Columbine yet.
I was really focused on annihilation, grave robbing, satanic worship – all those things, in a really early age, and at the time it wasn’t cool. In the 80’s and late 80’s nobody would talk about that, it wasn’t “edgy”, it was purely psychotic.
I didn’t have friends to talk to or other kids, all this I did alone. It escalated and escalated and escalated, and I robbed my first grave.
I would open the locks, I became good at lock-picking, and would enter the mausoleums. In France there are mausoleums where you have access when you pick the locks, and the crypts are actually downstairs. Sometimes I would do this in the middle of the day when people were out for lunch and sometimes I would find a way to access the graveyard at night. There were a couple of times I went to a couple of fresh graves that were just recently excavated. The coffin was there and I opened it. So yeah, little by little I did more and more.
Then I went to the army, when I was about 18. When I came back I decided I want to make a career in the funeral industry. At first I wanted to be an embalmer but then my other grandfather died. I went to see him in the morgue and it was actually the first time I entered a hospital morgue. I understood right away that this is the place where I belong.
So I applied for a job at the morgue and worked in a couple of morgues when I was 20. First one was a hospital for children, and this is where I learned how to do autopsies and the basics of working in a morgue.
After a while I got a job at another hospital. Saint-Joseph in Paris, a Catholic institute, so there were a lot of Catholic ceremonies. I would learn how to prepare them, with a Catholic priest, who was an actual exorcist. He was the exorcist of the Notre Dame of Paris, the cathedral. He also was the priest of that hospital.
I remember one time he looked at me and said “I saw the devil!” and he pointed at me. I thought “Oh fuck – he found out!”, but he was actually talking about something else, he was talking about seeing the Devil where I was sitting, which was very funny. *laughs*
This was the time things started to get very intense for me. I would sometimes be left alone in the morgue, and I would bring my girlfriend at the time there, so there was a lot of sexual activity going on: in the chapel, in the morgue, in the autopsy room, on the coffins, wherever.
I would also assist the autopsies. When you do the autopsy as a morgue attendant, you have to stitch the body back up. The cavities are open and the organs are removed. You have to get paper and newspapers and crush them into some kind of a ball and stuff them in so the cavities go back up, and you have to stitch the body shut.
This was the time I was left alone in the autopsy room. I would actually cut strips of flesh from the cadavers. Sometimes I would eat them raw, sometimes I took them back home to fry or whatever. I tried a few different things. This all happened within a year.
I was also working in a blood bank at the time. I would bring the blood bags to the surgery unit. Sometimes I found a way to get a few blood bags to bring them home. I would mix the blood with several things. All these activities took place within a year.
It was quite intense.
Going back a little bit in your personal story. You mentioned in an interview with Crime Library, you had a somewhat emotionally distant relationship with your parents. Can you elaborate on that?
My father was away for most of the time so I didn’t see him much. My mother, she would never say “I love you” or all that stuff, so she was quite distant.
I didn’t really have an emotional bond so I think it helped me distance myself from people and it helped me lose some of my humanity.
When you think back to this kind of behavior, it’s a formula. I have a tendency to believe you are born more or less with that in you. But of course there is the upbringing, social environment, little things that add to the cocktail.
But I don’t think that all these little things are the main things. The main thing is the spiritual thing that you have deep inside you. The Indians call it “Dharma”.
Dharma is a straight line, your life, it is what you are supposed to be and what you are supposed to do. And if you deviate from that straight line, you don’t feel good because it’s not your Dharma anymore. So my Dharma straight from the start was to do these kinds of things. And this is my deep belief. When I try to, say, have a normal life, I don’t feel good, I feel unbalanced.
Are we talking about psychology, do you think it’s all neurology, brain activity? Or are you talking about actual supernatural spiritual components that are in you, creating your fate?
I believe in both, psychology and spirituality. But I think psychology is a phase. A phase in behavior. Some forms of behavior are not understandable to normal people, so they try to find fancy names for them: “psychosis” or “neurosis” or whatever. Because they like to put people in standards, because they want to predict things. But I think that some individuals are totally chaotic in terms of their psyche; you can’t predict them. For example “ok this guy has been doing that, he can do it again.” But only I know the formula and only I know what is going to happen next.
I have seen a lot of shrinks, I have seen a lot of psychiatrists, and absolutely none has been able to pick me apart and to know exactly what’s going on in my head. I’ve been a mystery to them.
Of course there are people you can predict from where they are to where they are going, but for me, I absolutely defy anybody on Earth to say what I am going to do next.
You talked about the fact that both your grandfathers died and referred to the possibility that it might have been the “trigger” for you to become more fascinated by the macabre. Do you think that was the turning point or was it the fascination already there before those deaths?
I think my love for the macabre was there before. I remember clearly a childhood memory that I have from when I was about seven. I was on a vacation in the alps in a ski resort. I was watching TV on an old TV set. It was a TV show about the upcoming movies in theaters. There was this movie that I clearly remember, it was about a guy that was working in a funeral home, it was a really tall guy. And there was this sphere flying above him and there were blades etc. The movie was called Phantasm. I realized that years later.
But I was a kid and I was seeing that and felt totally “WOW!” Totally obsessed with the images I had just seen. I would dream about it. First I dreamed I was being chased by this sphere, and then I dreamed about being that tall man walking in the funeral home.
So yeah, I figure it was there from the start. And what my father would bring home from where he went on his trips, the images he would show, maybe to impress me, I don’t know. But it did impress me the wrong way, maybe. I don’t know.
It was a time when there was no access to the internet, no access to these kinds of things, and I reeeeally wonder what I would be like now if I had access to the internet as a kid, seeing live suicides online, stuff like that. Decapitations and that when seven years old. You can’t really tell.
Ted Bundy was influenced by another killer called Harvey Glatman. He was a photographer and killed his victims. He would photograph his victims, and pretend that they would get a job as a model. Bundy was completely fascinated by that guy, before he killed. And so, there is always an influence. Jack The Ripper was probably influenced by someone else. There is always influence in your life.
But it’s a formula as I said, I can’t really verbalize it more clearly than that. It’s complicated.
Another thing you mentioned that is interesting: You said you fantasized about killing your classmates and even brought weapons to school. If Columbine had happened before this, do you think you would have been inspired by that incident to be a school shooter yourself?
The thing is that in France you don’t have access to guns that easily. So that would have been a huge stop for me in trying to copycat the Columbine kids, but I would have certainly been a fan of them or collect newspaper clippings.
I remember, when I did most of the things, I was 21 years old and the Jeffrey Dahmer case broke. Big news. They found cadavers in his home. He would eat them, et cetera. And I was like “wow, I’m not really doing the same right now, but I probably have the same amount of corpses in my stash in my basement”, because you know, I used to bring home skulls and shit. So I would really relate to Dahmer in terms of collecting body parts and things.
It was also a time when nobody was collecting skulls and stuff like that; you wouldn’t find a 20 year-old-kid with plenty of skulls at his place. Now it’s a common thing. It is funny ’cause I have seen the things 20 years later, I see some of my behavior that was totally abnormal back then becoming more or less accepted. Well, except for a few things of course, and I don’t think they will ever be accepted, but yeah, now it’s kinda weird to see that.
Going further in your story a little bit: you started popping open these caskets that were just buried, in the cemetery. I used to work in a cemetery, when I got back from the army, and it was always like a fascination of mine to pop open one of those caskets but I never did it. So take us through the experience of actually doing it. What did it smell like? What does it look like?
There are eight screws on coffins. First I had to unscrew each screw, and there is a protective thing over the screw so you have to pop it open. You remove the screws and there is this lid, and I used the screwdriver as a lever to pry the lid open.
There is like this kind of foul stench coming out. I remember clearly one that had been buried maybe eight months before. Inside she was completely wrapped in a shroud, which is quite rare in France, usually we keep people fully clothed, there are no shrouds. But this one had one all over her. Like in a Jewish ritual, but she wasn’t Jewish, there was no Jewish sign on the lid.
I remember that the shroud was completely stained and mostly on the belly because that is where the decomposition starts, and stained where the face was. I tried to lift the shroud and it stuck like fly paper, because of the juices. The stench was awful.
I wanted to carry the head with me, I wanted to hack but I didn’t have the right tools. I left the person inside the crypt, I locked it and went back, I think it was two months later. I now had a hacksaw in my bag. I opened the lid again, I had left it slightly open. The shroud was covered entirely with black and white dots, it was actually some weird small flies. And the flies had laid eggs, it was completely gross and I actually vomited next to the casket. I didn’t even attempt to saw the head.
Did you ever take photographs of the bodies in the caskets you opened?
Oh yeah, Polaroids. I had plenty of Polaroids back in my place. Unfortunately, the police took all of them when I was ultimately arrested.
You ended up working in a morgue like you told us. There has also been talk of the taboo of cannibalism with relation to your story. Was the morgue where it started or was it some other time?
I first started to drink my own blood, so I would cut myself when I was 16, 17. Then I started to date similar-minded girls that were into bloodplay. We would use razors or syringes, the ones you use when you have diabetes. We would use this for bloodplay.
I actually took a trip to New york, there was a girl there I met, and she actually showed me how to do this, bloodplay, mixing sex and blood. I was 17 back then.
I went there with my father because he was on a trip to New York for his job and he would leave me alone most of the time, so I would hang around New York. It was quite crazy, being a 17 year old kid. But yeah, this is when I started doing these kinds of things and I started getting accustomed and addicted to the taste of blood, the metallic taste of blood, and I wanted more and larger quantities.
I would read a lot about vampire killers like Richard Chase and… There was actually a movie that I saw at that time. It was a movie by William Friedkin, the guy who did The Exorcist, and it’s called Rampage. It’s more or less based on Richard Chase. It’s actually a courtroom movie, so it’s about the trial of Richard Chase, but there’s a scene in that movie that totally fascinated me because it took liberties with the actual case, and in that movie the suspect actually breaks out of jail so he is on a rampage. And he ends up in a church. The cops find him in the church totally naked, covered in blood.
So when I saw that it was like the Stendhal syndrome, I don’t know if you are familiar with the term, but it’s when you go to Italy and you see all the magnificent renaissance paintings and you kind of faint before them, because of the beauty. So I felt that with this image, I felt really like “WHOAHH this is what I wanna do!”.
So there was that.
And when I had the opportunity to actually access that meat [at the morgue], to the open cavity of the cadaver with all these pieces of meat waiting for me to cut them, this is when I actually started to do it.
It was also a time when I was between 15 and 22 and I absolutely had no… I didn’t think about any consequences. And that’s a major thing that separates, I think, what are called sociopaths from the rest – it’s the risk factor. A total fearless ability to do things without thinking about the consequences. Which can be good or bad, of course, because when you don’t think about consequences, you take huge risks.
Most of the time I don’t understand how lucky I was not to get caught doing these things. The more I didn’t get caught, the more I felt compelled to do it. It was pure adrenaline rushes when I think of it.
But I think it’s a major factor when you are interested in that kind of “psyche”, the risk factor and the people I’ve met after that, the absolute zero fucks given about the consequences.
Why do you think you have this desire? Do you think it’s also “built in”, like the love for darker things, something that was always with you?
Yeah I think it was always… I was always as a kid, interested in stories about vampires, Dracula, of course. But all kids are – Halloween is popular among kids.
But for me it was more of a way of life. I became interested in the actual liquid. Because people talk about blood a lot, but when they see blood they don’t feel easy, they feel kind of uneasy. It takes a little something to be actually attracted by/to blood. It’s not cinema, it’s not movies, it’s actual blood, it has a consistency, it has a taste, it has a color, and visually for people it means pain and extreme pain. So this is why they have this “wow” *gestures shock* They like to see it in movies, but the real deal, no, they don’t like it. And I think it takes a little bit of being different from the norm to be actually sexually attracted to blood, I think.
And do you think this attraction to blood and cannibalizing is more a sexual thing for you?
Oh yeah totally. It’s two things: it’s sex and power. Which often mix when you think of it. Sex and power, there’s an interaction between them.
For me it was… I felt alive when doing those things. And when I would live a normal life, I felt dead. But doing those things and being in that environment.. I feel alive.
For example, four days ago I was in the Armin Meiwes´ abandoned house. And wow, I was like.. This energy I get, I was in the slaughter room, the energy I get. It was the energy I had when I was 20! See what I mean? And I felt in the right place. And when I came back and I take the subway and whatever and I see all these people and they look like zombies to me. That’s the best way to describe this. *smiles very widely and seems happy reminiscing the trip to the house*
So you see life through death?
Yeah. Death gives me meaning to life.
Tell us more about the visit to the Meiwes house! I’ve been meaning to go there. Was it hard to find? How did you get in?
I did a lot of research, and I have friends who have been there. They gave me tips because the neighbor is really nosy. I ran into the neighbor actually and I told him I was just looking, and he was like “yeah yeah but you leave you leave”, and he was speaking German and I said “yeah yeah yeah just a few minutes!” and I stayed 2 hours *laughs*.
But yeah, it’s an expedition to go there and I wouldn’t recommend going there at night for most people. Because the house is crumbling. There are holes on the floor. So the higher you get the bigger the chance is that you fall down and get physically hurt.
What’s interesting about the place is that some parts are intact and you could actually imagine Armin having tea with his mother watching the garden etc. Other parts are like the place of a hoarder. He had rooms full of stuff, it was hard to get into the rooms because there was so much stuff. Maybe it was because of the police search.
But of course there is stuff that you see you are like wow, like the freezer, the slaughter room. Oh I´m gonna show you something, hold on. *walks away, then comes back and holds up a floral pattern plate*
Straight from Germany! And even better: *holds up a big rusty old loop-screw* I took this from the slaughter room. It was in the ceiling. This is what Bernd Brandes’ body was hanging from.
But the neighbor is very aggressive?
Yes, very. You can tell he is fed up with people going in there. Each time he sees a car approaching, he knows why the people in the car are coming there.
It’s hard to say when he is there and when he is not but he is not the only one living there, there are a few people that are living there I think. The village is really small, but they share the same huge house that is directly next to Armin’s mansion. It’s about the same size, and they have the full view of what is going on at Armin’s house. All the doors are wide open and the windows are wide open, and you can actually see movement going on in the house. So you can tell if somebody is doing something.
Coming back to your own story: how did you go from working at the morgue and taking the strips of flesh and eating them to developing an interest in having your own victim? Killing someone yourself, I mean. Can you take us through this progression from working at a morgue to being willing to actually kill someone?
Well, the need and the craving to actually kill someone came way before that, when I was a teenager, and wanting to kill my classmates, et cetera. I did a bit of psychology in university, but it didn’t last long because I didn’t like it. It was just before going to the army. And there was a huge tower in the middle of that university. I had found access to the roof.
It was the first time I had access to guns. So I was actually looking for a sniper gun. My plan was to do like Charles Whitman in the 60´s and go to the top of the tower and shoot the students. Because I didn’t like them, they pissed me off.
That was the first actual murder plan I had, that involved planning. I planned for two months but, there were many things going on in my life so I put the plans aside and waited until I had an actual sniper gun.
After that.. There’s a cemetery in Paris called Pere Lachaise cemetery that I loved to go to. The most famous part of the cemetery was the part where there were lots of broken mausoleums, and I would enter them.
The cemetery is also frequented a lot by the gay community. They would see me as a young kid hanging around. They would not directly hit on me but they would follow me everywhere. I wanted to be left alone because I wanted to do my things, which was not to have sex with them but actually entering the graves.
I always had a hammer with me, and I remember one time I hit one of the guys with that hammer.
So, let me tell you something, because I read that a lot: I didn’t hit the guy because he was gay; I’m not homophobic. I really don’t care. It was just the fact that in the graveyard I wanted to do my stuff and I wanted them to leave me alone. And I wanted them to understand to leave me alone if they ever saw me. It was like a territory. For them it was their territory, the place they would hit on each other, and for me it was my territory, for you know, grave robbing. So yeah, I hit the guy, I ran away and didn’t go to that graveyard for six months.
So it could have been anybody?
Oh yeah. It could have even been the cemetery keeper.
But after that there was other stuff because I was studying a lot of serial killers back then. There was a French serial killer called Rémy Roy who actually hit on gay guys on the internet, got them to his place and killed them. He did this 3 or 4 times, killed them with a hammer actually. It was not a sex-thing. It was a power-trip for him to kill people.
I felt it was the perfect MO to actually try my guns because I had one gun I wanted to try on a human target. I wasn’t sure if it was a 22” so I wasn’t sure if the force of penetration of the bullet would be so fast it would enter the skull. This is why I actually did the same [as Roy]: I went to the equivalent of the internet back in the days. It was called Minitel in France. It was some kind of a primitive network and you would have access to forums and chats, etc.
My girlfriend at the time would use it a lot because she was a professional dominatrix, so she would hit on her clients through that. So I used the same, not dating of course but to actually approach this guy.
I approached a guy that was looking for S&M and I went there with my gun and I shot him several times in the head. That was the actual murder I was convicted for.
What was it like when you pulled the trigger? Was it a climaxing moment or was it a let down? How did you feel?
I felt pretty calm, actually. I don’t think my heart beat very fast when I did this. I felt really emotionally detached, I don’t know. It was more like an experiment for me, like some kind of a weird doctor watching an experiment on a prisoner. Like the Japanese did on the Chinese, the Unit 731, and then the Nazis of course…
You know, it was an experiment for me to see the effectiveness of the bullets I was actually shooting to that guy’s head. It might sound really weird and of course horrifying when I say that because it’s actually totally inhuman. But it’s what went through my head, I have no other words to explain.
How did the cops get to you? How did they find you?
I was in such a psychotic state that I made several mistakes. I used an ID to get stuff so they easily found out about… But I thought that the fake ID I did was enough, but it wasn’t enough. When I bought something the guy took a photocopy. They multiplied the small photo I put on the driving licence and this huge photo was in all the police stations in Paris.
They had been looking for me for a month and a half when they spotted me in front of a club and this is when they arrested me, next to the Moulin Rouge cabaret.
They took you to the station and the investigation began. What was that like?
At first it was a normal kind of thing. This is where they did the papers relating to the murder, stealing from the guy, et cetera. They booked me for that. And then when they went to my place they found all those things I had taken from the morgue and cemetery. It took another proportion after that, and I remember their reaction because when they saw everything… I mean the place was filled with bones and I had human fetuses that I stole from one of the morgues. The fridge of course was full with stuff. I didn’t have human meat anymore inside, but I still had some blood bags that I kept.
There was all this pornography that they found, S&M, bondage stuff. They found guns, they found skulls and bones and shit. Autopsy books. It was too much for them. One of them actually went to get (sick)leave. *chuckles* He was an investigator, a crime investigator, who had been working on the case of the strangler of the east, a French serial killer called Thierry Paulin. He was a famous French serial killer in the 80’s and he actually had worked on that case. He said that when he saw me on trial he saw that same look in my eyes that this guy had. I was like “yeah well…”. *laughs*
Were you disappointed that you got caught?
I was in the middle of escalating and of course it was going to darker things. In a way, retrospectively, thinking back, it’s good that they stopped me there. It’s also good that I had time to get rid of certain things before they caught me.
What was prison like? How did you spend your time there?
At first it was a matter of adapting. You have to adapt to this new environment, adapt to people you have never met before, crooks and pimps and whatever. Small caliber gangsters, let’s say. You are mixed with all kinds of criminals, but it’s mostly small time criminals. And they look at you and you are this big case, and there are rumors about you and they call you the cannibal of course. Plus at the time I was doing a lot of workout, it’s basic but in this kind of environment, might is right. The stronger you are, the more respected you are or the more feared you are.
So I wouldn’t say I was really feared but I was.. Well, maybe yeah. There were lots of superstitious people everywhere but especially in the prison environment there was a lot of superstition. They don’t like to mess up with that kind of stuff, because they think that if you aren’t gonna eat them, you are gonna put a curse on them or whatever.
There was a guy that befriended me. That was in the central prison, which is more like the “tough” prison. I actually liked the guy, he had killed a girl he was buying dope from and, he had strangled her cat. I felt sorry for the cat, but yeah. But this guy was totally insane. He was the tough guy of the prison, the “main guy”. He was scaring all the other guys and he was completely insane, totally psychotic, but for some kind of reason he befriended me and we became good friends. But after a while I understood that he was more or less using my reputation to be even scarier to the other inmates. “See! I’m friends with the cannibal-guy and he is gonna eat you if you don’t give me your money!” I was kind of using that reputation myself, too.
How long did you end up spending inside?
I spent eight years in prison, in total. I was officially condemned to 12 years, which in Paris is a mild sentence.
The fact that I got my sentence was because of psychology. I was – according to them – not able to fully understand the full measure of what I was doing. So the verdict was not totally abolished, but it was enough for me to go to jail and not to go to a psychiatric ward. But they were still following me. Since I was writing to serial killers, they thought that as soon as I would get out, I would continue.
The last day I spent in jail, I was due to get out, I was packing my shit up. I was trying to decide what I would give to other inmates that I liked. And I got called by the lawyers to the visiting room. It was my last day, there was no reason for me to see a lawyer.
And I go in there and there is this psychiatrist guy waiting for me. And I was like “okay, this is exceptional”, but the judge who decides over the inmates who are going to get out has decided that the psychiatrist would review me before I get out because if they would determine that I am not fit to enter society again, they would have to send me to a secure psychiatric ward. It was at the very end of my sentence! So, imagine how pissed I was. And I was truly pissed. They didn’t say anything to me, they didn’t tell me anything, they just watched me doing my thing. And they thought they would fuck me hard over this. But I played it cool. I decided if I would be angry at this guy, I would be sent to the psychiatric ward. And I would still be there because they decide when you get out. And if they decide you are not fit to get out… It’s not like jail, in jail you have a certain time, but in the psychiatric ward it’s the shrinks that decide, and I know that absolutely no shrinks would let me out.
I should have won an Oscar that day. I found all the reasons I could think of to actually sound like I was fit to enter society again. I don’t know how I did it, maybe I’m protected by Lord Pazuzu but I did it.
It was a tough 5 hours. It was a 5 hour long interview. But when I got out the guy told me “Okay there is not a psychiatric term to say that you are clinically dangerous. You do not suffer from psychosis. Just be caseous you do not enter graveyards again and try to do that profession again. We cannot oblige you to see a psychiatrist when you get out but we strongly advise to go to one. And between you and me, you will certainly be followed by the police after you get out…” – which actually happened – “…but otherwise I cannot say as a professional that you suffer from a strong form of psychosis that would indicate that you cannot enter society again.”
I was like “Thank you sir.” And I got out.
And of course I was followed by cops so I couldn’t do much, so this is why I moved to Sweden.
When you were in prison, did you receive letters from females around the world? It’s fairly common for male prisoners who are in prison for those kinds of reasons, like murder or some other violent crimes, to get “fan mail”.
Yeah when I was in prison there were lots of tabloids talking about the case and stuff like that. I began to do interviews.
At first it was Black Metal fanzines because I was more or less known in that community. They would print my address so I would get lots of fan mail from BM girls from Sweden. This is why I actually went to Sweden when I got out, because I became involved with a Swedish girl who was writing to me back then.
But I also started to get letters from American collectors who were collecting serial killer letters, etc.
I actually got – I remember really well because I was answering to all that mail – mail from an American prison! And I’m like “wow“. And I read the name on the envelope and it says “Patrick Kearney”. And I’m like “Patrick Kearney, Patrick Kearney, does that sound familiar?” And I remembered having seen that name in an encyclopedia of serial killers. I was curious. And I read the letter and it says “My name is Patrick Kearney, and I’m doing time – (and in French! Perfect French) – I’m doing time for et cetera.. I got your name from a collector and I would like to start a correspondence with you. I write to inmates around the world bla bla bla”. And we started the correspondence and I found out the guy was actually called the “Trash Bag Killer”, and had killed 35 people in California.
This is when I myself started myself to contact other serial killers. This is how it all started. I wrote to Richard Ramirez, Ed Kemper. I wrote to Doug Clark and he was one of my favorite pen pals. He was the “Sunset Strip Slayer”. Some of the correspondence was really short, like with David Berkowitz – the most boring guy on Earth. But I also established some really long correspondences.
It is just an example, I didn’t think I was going to show you this *lifts up a light brown envelope* but this is from Keith Hunter Jesperson, the “Happy Face Killer”. He was driving a truck and killing those people. And I have been corresponding with this guy now for 25 years! I got a letter from him like 2 months ago. I had stopped for a while and he was like “hey what’s up, what’s going on?” And you know, those people, some of them I really spent a lot of time writing to.
In terms of girls I wrote to Christa Pike, and I still write to her. At the time she was the youngest death row inmate. She had killed one of her friends with a box cutter. She drew a pentagram on her chest.
I used to write a lot to convicted satanic killers; that was my thing back in the day. Some kind of circle of inmates of satanic crimes.
I wrote to one of the lords of chaos kids in Norway. I wrote to numerous American satanic killers, Richard Ramirez of course, and others too.
So yeah it was these and serial killers, cannibals. I started to write to Issei Sagawa. I found out his address from Ian Brady, the Moors murderer, who actually found the address for me. That was cool. I corresponded with Sagawa for at least ten years. He now has, not Alzheimer’s, but some kind of neurological disease, he cannot write anymore, but we had a long correspondence.
Do you find these relationships meaningful?
Oh yes. To me it was a big fuck you to the establishment and to the prison system. A major fuck you.
There was a guy in the prison mail room who was supposed to read English but he didn’t understand shit. He didn’t understand that they were serial killers I was writing to. They just saw the letters coming in and thought that “wow he writes to a lot of foreigners, that’s weird but okay“. They didn’t know who Richard Ramirez was! Otherwise they would have gone batshit, you know. But it was funny for me because I was getting those emails and letters from serial killers, writing back etc., and for me it was the biggest fuck you I could give to the prison system. *smiles widely*
And for me, as a true crime fan, it was the ultimate “quest” for me writing to those people because I could feel more or less on the same level. Not like I’m on the same level, it’s not like who has the biggest dick, but the actual persona. You could kill like 50 people, you can kill like 2. The one killing two people is more fascinating to me than the ones who have killed more. They are the most boring people in the world. Gary Ridgway, for example, is the lamest guy on Earth.
But these guys like Ed Gein, who has a sense of decoration, [are more interesting].
When you got out, what was the “reception” like? You moved to Sweden – did people there know who you are?
My girlfriend at the time made sure that everybody knew who I was, so yes. It got me in trouble and it got HER in trouble with her parents and, she didn’t expect that. So yeah, it was eventful.
I met some interesting people in Sweden, I love the country. I kid you not, I would have loved to stay there, except things turned sour with that ex and she was completely fucked up at that time. She didn’t actually tell me she was only seventeen when I met her. I thought she was like 25. So I felt kinda stupid. She seemed and looked more experienced and older than that.
But other than that, I love the country, I love the atmosphere, I would have loved to stay there but it was too hard. So I went to the UK after that.
And there, there was a life changing experience there. I dated a girl with a young daughter, a ten year old girl. We had the weirdest life together. I was protective of the kid. The kid was in her own fantasy-world, not even aware of who I am. We would never expose her to the weird shit we were doing, you know our universe. She lived a normal life.
But of course that lady was involved in the goth scene, and one of her friends or acquaintances of a friend called the social services. The social services came, it was a Christian town. The mayor was a hardcore Christian, found out about me and did a campaign to kick me out of the town. They took the child away from her mother because of that, so I had no other choice. For her to get her child back, I had to go back to France.
It was a major thing for me because I understood that whatever I would do, I’d still be a monster to people. And whatever role I was playing for them, being nice, being “Mr. Nice Guy”, because of my past they would always fuck me up. They consider me as an enemy. Okay, consider me an enemy, consider me an animal – I’ll fight back!
And this is why it was a life changing experience, and I found a job in the morgue again. And I worked under a new identity, fake papers, for 15 years. 10 of those years in a morgue.
I can tell the name of the morgue, it’s the institution Jeanne Garnier in Paris, a Catholic institute. They kicked me out two years ago when they found out who I was. Not because of my work, my work was impeccable, I was the best morgue worker ever, but because of who I was for them. It wasn’t good for their image, it wasn’t good for their ideology, so they kicked me out.
I applied for another job with another identity, and after a year, someone from another morgue , St. Gallen Institute, worked at the same hospital, saw me, went to the human resources and told them who I was. I got kicked out.
I feel a bit bitter because of those experiences. I know, of course, it’s a part of the game. I work in morgues, but for them, I shouldn’t be working in morgues. But it’s the reason why they kicked me out, they kicked me out because I’m a satanic worshipper. It’s clearly on the terms of the letters they sent me when they kicked me out. “Your beliefs are contrary to the beliefs of our institute.”
That shouldn’t even pass because they can’t technically kick me out because of my past – it would be against the law. But the thing I’m doing to them now is giving them bad publicity because I want to fuck them hard for what they did to me.
As a Satanist I believe that might is right. And I believe in never turning the other cheek, never forgiving. If they fuck you up, fuck them up ten times harder. I have the power to do that. I’m putting out my biography in French and I have anecdotes of that Catholic institute. It’s a kind of a sweet revenge for me to fuck them because of the way they treated me.
This is why right now I’m focusing on my products. I’m focusing on my writing, I have a publishing company. I’m focusing on true crime, this is my element. I am respected and I have a place in that field and community. It is the only actual family that I have. The true crime community, the murderabilia community – except for a few exceptions – as a whole has always been nice to me, I have been respected. I always respect them, like if somebody asks me to do a painting, he has the painting in his hands in less than two weeks. I never fuck somebody over, it’s my major rule, and it’s because I respect them, I respect these kids that collect crime art and I want to give them the best.
I think that in that entire community, my paintings compared to other paintings from serial killers that you can see, in all honesty mine are amongst the best from a purely technical point of view. I want to make sure that I respect that community.
Speaking of that community, I announced that I was doing an interview with you. And I immediately got a lot of questions. Many of them were the same question being asked over and over again. But we actually got a variety of them. The number one question as you can probably expect, is “what does human meat taste like?”
It’s a cool question, and it’s the question of my life. Here’s little story related to that question.
When I was on trial, there were police always with me. They escort you from the cage to the actual trial room, court room, all that. One time one of the cops in the end of the trials turned to me – they never speak to inmates because they are not supposed to – and he was looking at me sideways and he goes “I have a question.”. I was like “yeah?” And he goes: “How does it taste like?”
I started laughing! *laughs*
Ok the answer is: horse meat. If you have ever tasted it, that’s what it tastes like – horse meat.
It’s sweet. It has a metallic taste to it. You have to keep in mind that most of the meat I tasted was from old people. They died in hospitals. It wasn’t tender. I suppose Albert Fish, who killed kids, killed an 8 year old girl, said that the flesh was sweet and tender. I think it depends on age.
AND! *holds up his Cannibal Cookbook in a celebratory manner* I can tell you how to answer that question – see? I’m an opportunist! But I have written the absolute best book of the subject, which is called the Cannibal Cookbook!
I will read you a short recipe. For example: “The Carpaccio of the Andes”. You remember that case in the Andes? The plain that crashed in the mountains?
So it’s a carpaccio, very thin meat.
One pound of human steak – buttocks are the best. Partially frozen, of course, it’s from the Andes. 2 teaspoons of mustard, dijon is the best. One tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Two tablespoons of olive oil. Salt and pepper of course. One cup of baby arugula leaves, they are typically from the Andes. One ounce of parmigiano, because I love parmigiano.
By the way, all those recipes were made in conjunction with a chef I know, so they are all legit.
And the recipe for “Ottis Toole’s BBQ Sauce” is actually written by Ottis Toole, it’s the same sauce, same ingredients.
Some are directly inspired by what the killers did, for example there’s an “ArminWurst” sausage. *laughs*
Cannibal Cookbook is available through www.serialpleasures.com. There’s a special edition signed with a bloody thumbprint of mine; it’s a little bit more expensive. But it’s personalized, and I write your name in the book, and you can go: “Ha! Cool! Actual blood from the Vampire!”
Do you know how big the “cannibal community” is? I know about Cannibal Cafe and such because of Armin Meiwes, but is there a real cannibal community?
The thing is, being who I am, I’m like a shit magnet to this. I get all these people who write to me, and some of these people who write to me actually commit crimes.
There was a guy in Sweden who asked me for advice one day, in a forum. I usually don’t spend much time with people but that day I talked to him for half an hour.
Two days later somebody from Sweden called me: “Okay they arrested this guy and took the stuff that they found in his place and they said he was chatting with you just two days before the crime.”
He had killed two people. He was working in a social service community or I don’t know. And he killed two girls there with a knife. He was called Daniel Kihl, an appropriate name.
There was another guy in Wales who carved the heart out from an old woman and ate it. He saw an interview that I did for Bizarre Magazine back then and it “influenced” him.
People will ask me if I feel any responsibility for these actions, and I will gladly say “the fuck I don’t!” I believe everybody is responsible for their own actions. I’m responsible for my own actions, I won’t tell Ed Gein told me to dig graves. No, fuck, no. I did it myself.
If that guy wanted to kill those two girls with a knife, he did. So he talked with me – so what? Take responsibility. We are in a generation who doesn’t assume its own responsibilities anymore. It’s always other people’s fault. Grow a pair of balls. Whether you are a girl or a boy, grow a pair of balls. Take responsibility as an adult. If you want to kill people, don’t say “I did this because of him or her or whatever!”. Or parents, or society. No. You are an adult, you know right from wrong. I always took the blame and I can’t stand people who put the blame on others.
And, finally: what are your top 3 movies, books and albums?
Ah, 3 movies.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre on top. Two, The Exorcist. And the third would be… It’s a tough one. Alright, Phantasm because of the influence it had on me. But I have a preference for the Phantasm sequel, Phantasm 2 because of the morgue activity in that movie.
First, American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis.
Second, Killer Fiction by Gerard John Schaefer. Schaefer was a cop who actually killed 30 people in Florida and wrote about it. And he wrote brilliantly about it, the best descriptions of murders ever. He said it’s only fiction but you know it’s reality when you read the details and you’ve done it yourself. His description of decomposition, descriptions of murder, sexual murders, how people react when they are scared for their lives. Everything is extremely realistic because, of course, it’s what he did.
And third, an extremely rare book to get and I only read it recently, but wow what a ride. It’s called Final Truth by Pee Wee Gaskins. One of America’s most notorious and prolific serial killers. It’s an extremely brutal book. It’s written by a guy who cannot align words correctly, which gives it a charm. You can actually feel the guy’s accent by reading the book. It’s so damn evil, this guy is absolutely remorseless. He tells how he would torture and put molten lead in his victims wounds. Completely remorseless. There’s also good descriptions of prison-life, how tough it is.
And I’ll put a fourth one here, Carl Panzram’s book, it’s his confessions. It’s a brilliant book, full of hate. I love that.
Of course, I forgot to talk about Cannibal Holocaust as a movie. But it’s too obvious maybe. *grins*
Music, I’m not so much of a music person. How weird is that? It’s hard for me to pick but it’s more bands for me than music.
For me my first personal favorites would be Type 0 Negative and Carnivore. Peter Steele, the front man, I actually met him in Sweden when I was living there. He was quite a character.
Other than that I like old school death metal from the Tampa-area (?) like old Morbid Angel, old Cannibal Corpse, music from the late 80’s and early 90’s. I really don’t like the stuff after the early 2000´s. I don’t even listen to new music anymore.
And I came to appreciate a guy who I met a few times, Edwin. And I worked with Eva O, of Christian Death. When I’m in Sweden I hang out with the guys of Swedish Black Metal scene like the Shining.
It’s more the people that I meet and the connection I feel, rather than the music.
I’m often invited to gigs. I don’t like the French people when they go to gigs. That’s why I don’t like to go to gigs. I don’t like the French Black Metal scene, the french goth scene or… I don’t like the French in general. This is why most of my girlfriends are not French.
Anything you’d like to add to this interview?
Go check out the products I have for sale in my shop – your audience will love the stuff there!
I sell, for example, the world-famous “Bundyldo”, and I have a new “Ramirez Cruci-dildo” available. And I have all kinds condoms for sale with different dark themes to them.
Thanks, Teemu! Good interview.