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Saturday, September 17, 2022

The Alexander Kinyua Cannibalism Murder Case

     Cannibalism by cold-blooded serial killers, or psychotics under the influence of mind-altering drugs, is a rare form of criminal homicide. In 1936, Albert Fish, a child molester, serial killer and cannibal, died in Sing Sing's electric chair. He was believed to have eaten 28 children. Ed Gein, a Wisconsin butcher (a really disturbing thought) robbed graves, committed serial murder and ate (and sold) human flesh. In 1968, the authorities sent Gein to a state mental institution for life. Another Wisconsin man, Jeffery Dahmer, killed and ate the parts of dozens of young homosexual men. When arrested in 1991, the police found heads and other body parts in his refrigerator. One of Dahmer's fellow inmates bludgeoned him to death in 1994.

     In May 2012, the big true crime stories in the news involved cannibalism. In Miami, a police officer killed Rudy Eugene as he ate most of a homeless man's face along a busy highway. Rudy Eugene is believed to  have been under the influence of a LSD-like drug called bath salts. His victim was in critical condition but survived the attack. In Montreal, Canada, a porn actor named Luka Magnotta stabbed and dismembered  a man on videotape. The victim's torso was found behind Magnotta's apartment building. Magnotta mailed the dismembered man's body parts to two addresses in Ottawa. 

The Alexander Kinyua Case

     Alexander Kinyua, a 21-year-old electrical engineering student at Morgan State University in Baltimore, lived with his family in Joppatowne, an unincorporated bedroom community in southwest Maryland. A top student at Morgan State, this native of Kenya was in the ROTC program at the school. Kujoe Agyie-Kodie, a 37-year-old immigrant from Ghana who attended Morgan State as a graduate student, roomed in the Kinyua family home.

     At dawn on Friday, May 25,  2012, Agyie-Kodie, wearing at T-shirt and shorts went out for a jog. He left his wallet and his cell phone at the Kinyua house. When he didn't return, Alexander Kinyua's father, Anthony Kinyua, reported him missing to the Harford County Police.

     On Tuesday, May 29, 2012, Alexander Kinyua's brother, while in the basement laundry room, discovered two tin cans hidden beneath a blanket. Inside one of the containers he found a human head, and in the other, two hands. Confronted by his brother, Alexander Kinyua said the bloody objects were not human. The sibling ran to the second floor to fetch his father. When the two of them returned to the basement, Alexander was washing out a pair of empty cans.

     Anthony Kinyua called the Hartford County detective who was looking for Kujoe Agyei-Kodie. At the Kinyua house, the detective and his partner found the head and two hands hidden on the first floor of the dwelling. The officers questioned Alexander who admitted murdering Agyei-Kodie with a knife, then dismembering his body. He also confessed to eating the dead man's heart and part of his brain. Shortly thereafter, the detectives found the headless corpse in a dumpster on the parking lot of the nearby Town Baptist Church.

     Alexander Kinyua was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. He was held without bail at the Harford County Detection Center.

      At the time of his arrest Alexander Kinyua was on bail for severely beating a fellow student three weeks earlier at Morgan State University. He had  blinded the victim's left eye and fractured his skull, arm, and shoulder. In the days leading up to this vicious assault Alexander Kinyua's behavior had been erratic and bizarre.

     Forensic psychiatrist Steven Hoge, the director of the Columbia-Cornell Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship Program in New York City, wrote in an article that cannibalism was usually the product of mind-altering drugs, psychosis, or both. As for the pathological motive behind this kind of violence, Dr. Hoge said that human flesh eaters were trying to "capture the power or the spirit of their victims."

     On August 19, 2013, Alexander Kinyua pleaded guilty but not criminally responsible due to legal insanity. As a result, he would remain incarcerated in a mental institution until psychiatrists ruled him mentally healthy enough to rejoin society. 
     Diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, Kinyua, as of this writing, remains a patient at the Clifton T. Perkins Hospital in Jessup, Maryland.

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