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An argument Wednesday morning in China over a bowl of noodles with a value of $1.00 resulted in an alarming attack in which a man was stabbed. After the stabbing, which took place in a noodle shop at approximately 7:20 a.m., the attacker sliced the victim’s chest open, plunged his hand inside and removed his heart. Bystanders claim the heart was still beating when it was removed and that the assailant, who was acting insane, became cannibalistic, taking bites out of it before he was detained.
The brutal slaying, which occurred in Suizhou, located in the Chinese province of Hubei, began when 29-year-old Bo Tuan asked Yul Liao, 48, if he would share his bowl of noodles with him. After Yul refused, the two began arguing. Bo then produced a knife and slashed Yul’s throat with it before opening Yul’s chest and removing his heart. According to one witness, Bo walked aimlessly around the dead body with Yul’s heart in his hand and bit into it on several occasions. He surrendered to police without incident when they arrived on the scene.
Although there is speculation among the residents of the area that Bo and Yul had been involved in a long-running dispute, there has been no confirmation from authorities that the attack resulted from anything more than a simple argument over noodles.
Bystanders claim that police arrived some 40 minutes after the attack was reported to arrest Bo, leaving witnesses fearful for over half of an hour that he may attack them or others. In the wake of this gruesome scene in Hubei province, residents of the area are requesting a larger police presence in order to prevent other violent attacks. A recent incident involving a man with a meat cleaver who rushed onto a school playground in Macheng led to multiple laceration injuries, but no fatalities.
In modern times, most acts of cannibalism occur either as the end result of a plan or as a result of dire conditions such as wartime, accidents and starvation. Even when serial killers with a taste for human flesh are discovered, such as Jeffrey Dahmer, Albert Fish and Issei Sagawa, the flesh is generally obtained thoughtfully for the sole purpose of preparing it for human consumption, either through murder or the desecration of corpses. Although rare, spontaneous attacks of cannibalism such as that committed by Bo do occur, most notably in Miami, Fla., in 2012 when a man was shot and killed by police as he attacked a homeless man, chewing off and eating parts of his face. Although initially blamed on synthetic drugs, the attacker was found to have only consumed marijuana, a drug not likely to result in violent, aggressive behavior.
After Wednesday’s assault in China over a bowl of unshared noodles, authorities must now attempt to find a reason as to why the brutal attack developed into cannibalism, becoming so horrific that witnesses fainted and fled the scene. Police have reportedly described Bo as a psychopath, but cannibalism in and of itself is not considered a mental disorder according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Therefore, labeling Bo as insane based on his cannibalistic action would be faulty until further proof that he is mentally ill or psychotic is available from medical professionals.
By Jennifer Pfalz