José Luis Calva Zepeda


A.K.A.: "The Cannibal"

Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Cannibal - Dismemberment
Number of victims: 3 +
Date of murders: 2004 - 2007
Date of arrest: October 8, 2007
Date of birth: June 20, 1979
Victims profile: Alejandra Galeana, 30 (his girlfriend) / Veronica Consuelo Martinez Casarrubias (his former girlfriend) / A prostitute known only as La Jarocha
Method of murder: Strangulation
Location: Mexico D. C., Mexico
Status: Hanging from his belt in his Mexico City jail cell on December 11, 2007

Police Capture Alleged Cannibalistic Serial Killer

Friday, October 12, 2007

MEXICO CITY — On the stove, a frying pan with chunks of flesh. In the refrigerator, a leg and part of an arm, both de-boned. 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 mutilated 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.

Neighbors mostly called Calva quiet and reserved, although the manager of a nearby pizza shop told El Universal newspaper, "He gave the impression of being a hypocrite, someone very concerned with being accepted."

Mexico's previous brush with cannibalism was equally as gruesome.

Authorities say Gumaro de Dios Arias gutted and ate another man who refused his sexual advances in 2005 near Cancun. Arias, who cooked his victim's heart on a grill, told interrogators his victim tasted like barbacoa, a slow-roasted Mexican meat dish.

And while Mexico City may not have seen much cannibalism, it has had several other high profile serial killers in recent years.

In 2006, Juana Barraza was accused of being the "little old lady killer" and murdering at least 30 elderly women over nearly a decade. Raul Osiel Marroquin was arrested the same week and accused of killing four gay men.

Mexican experts say flesh was human

MEXICO CITY — Forensics experts said Monday that flesh found on a plate, fork and frying pan in the apartment of an aspiring horror novelist was human, and that DNA tests were planned to confirm whether it came from the body of his girlfriend.

Dr. Rodolfo Rojo, chief medical examiner for Mexico City's prosecutor's office, said muscle found on the plate and frying pan in suspect Jose Luis Calva's apartment corresponded to parts missing from the corpse of his 32-year-old girlfriend, Alejandra Galeana.

Police found Galeana's body in a closet in the suspect's apartment last week after her family lead police to the building.

When asked if Calva had eaten the woman, prosecutor Octavio Romulo Salas said: "That is the assumption that exists."

Authorities found pieces of lime beside chunks of flesh in the apartment, leading them to believe that Calva seasoned Galeana's forearm with the fruit after he allegedly strangled, hacked, and then fried up parts of her body, Rojo said.

Two or three days passed between Galeana's death and her grisly discovery -- too much time to test Calva's digestive system for traces of her flesh, Salas said.

Police discovered the lower part of a leg presumed to be Galeana's in the refrigerator of the apartment. They also found knives, a box cutter, blood stains and a pair of shoelaces that may have been used to strangle her, prosecutors said.

Their search uncovered an unfinished novel by Calva entitled "Cannibalistic Instincts." On the cover page, a masked image of "Silence of the Lambs" killer Hannibal Lecter had been altered to resemble Calva's face, Salas said.

One witness, whose name was withheld, told prosecutors that Calva was fascinated by animal porn, witchcraft, and the explicit and sadistic novel "120 Days of Sodom."

Calva supported his cocaine and alcohol habits by forcing another girlfriend to sell handmade copies of his novels and poems for about a dollar a piece on city streets, prosecutors said.

The surviving girlfriend, whose name was also withheld for her protection, told police that Calva was initially charming, winning her trust with poetry. But he soon turned jealous, controlling and obsessive, and once attempted suicide, the woman said.

Prosecutors said Calva may have killed two other women whose dismembered bodies were found crammed in cardboard boxes and suitcases in Mexico City in 2004 and 2007. Like Galeana, both were strangled.

One of those cadavers, found in April, was missing its hands and feet, prosecutors said.

The other body, found in 2004, was that of Calva's former girlfriend, Veronica Martinez.

Calva, arrested last week, is being treated at a local hospital for head injuries he suffered while trying to escape police by swinging down balconies from his upper-floor apartment.

He will likely be charged with homicide counts that carry a maximum sentence of 50 years in prison, Salas said.

Suspected cannibal refuses to make plea

MEXICO CITY (AP) — An aspiring writer who left a horror scene of body parts in his apartment was arraigned on Thursday on charges of murder and desecrating a corpse after he allegedly cut up and ate part of his girlfriend's body.

Jose Luis Calva — better known in tabloids as Mexico City's "cannibal" — refused to make a formal plea, saying "I can't get my thoughts together right now."

Police say he had previously acknowledged killing 32-year-old girlfriend Alejandra Galeana, and prosecutors believe he killed and dismembered two other girlfriends, but have not charged him for those crimes.

"He killed her because he was high on cocaine," said defense attorney Humberto Guerrero Plata. "He didn't eat her, he just cut her body up."

Calva told police he cooked the flesh in order to feed it to neighborhood dogs, as a way to get rid of the body.

But city coroner Rodolfo Rojo has described how Calva carefully separated and de-boned Galeana's arm, sliced away the skin and fat, fried the flesh and seasoned it with lime juice — not pains one usually takes with dogs.

With graying good looks and a dark, penetrating stare, Calva made his first public appearance since his arrest on Oct. 8, when police discovered Galeana's rotting, mutilated torso stuffed into a closet, a leg in the freezer and bits of arm meat on a fork and plate.

Calva, 38, met his girlfriends — several were single mothers and drugstore attendants — while passing himself off as a playwright, television personality, reporter, novelist, actor and poet.

"He must have had a super personality, to charm me the way he did," recalled Veronica R., 40, a drugstore employee who said he read his poetry to her when they dated in August. The woman asked that her full last name not be used to protect her family.

Soledad Garavito, Alejandra's mother, described him as "a very vain person ... everything was me, me, me."

"I am going to imagine myself as a balloon the size of the sun, and I'm going to roll around in the cosmos that is me," he wrote in one a short work, "The Night Before," a strange mix of introspection and self-help exhortations.

Experts said he may have courted drugstore workers — including Veronica Martinez, who was killed and dismembered in 2004 — to get access to clonazepam, an anti-seizure medication also used to treat anxiety.

But prosecutors say he focused on drugstores because he was looking for working women who were relatively poor, vulnerable or easier to impress — and dominate.

"The way in which he treated his girlfriend, it seemed like a classic dominant-submissive relationship," said an acquaintance who co-signed Calva's apartment lease. "He would say things like 'Who told you you could talk?'" said the man, who asked not to be identified because the lease is now a court matter.

Police say sadomasochistic literature and films found in his apartment, and Calva also had a lengthy affair with his alleged accomplice in the Martinez killing — a man named Juan Carlos Monroy, who described their relationship after he was arrested this month for his alleged role in the murder.

Calva purportedly bought drugs and alcohol with the money one surviving girlfriend made selling his poetry and crudely bound, photocopied "books" on the street.

Police said Calva described a traumatic childhood — that he was practically abandoned by his mother, his father died when he was 2, and around age 7 he was raped by a male friend of his brother.

Mexican office: Alleged cannibal kills self

MEXICO CITY — A murder suspect dubbed "The Cannibal" was found dead in his prison cell of an apparent suicide Tuesday, two months after police found cooked and seasoned bits of his girlfriend's corpse on a fork and plate in his apartment.

Jose Luis Calva, a self-proclaimed poet and dramatist suspected in at least three murders, was found hanging from his belt in his Mexico City jail cell Tuesday morning, the city department of corrections said in a statement.

The man routinely referred to as "The Cannibal" by Mexican news media had been working on a book about himself in prison, tentatively titled "The Cannibal Poet." Those close to him said he did not appear suicidal.

"He didn't seem to have suicidal tendencies," said lawyer Moises Humberto Guerrero Calderon, a member of his defense team. "He was very enthused about (the book) idea. That was sort of what gave him a reason to live."

Relatives told local news media that Calva had reported receiving threats from other inmates, who were allegedly attempting to extort money from him. Calva had a cell to himself, but still apparently had some contact with other inmates.

However, the corrections department denied Calva had been threatened or beaten by other inmates. It said he could not have been murdered because he had reenforced his locked cell door with wire and shoelaces tied from the inside.

Mexico City officials said they were investigating how he got the belt and apparently was able to commit suicide when he was supposed to be under round-the-clock observation.

"Everything indicates it was suicide, but it is better to conduct a good investigation," Juan Garcia Ochoa, the city's assistant interior secretary whose agency oversees prisons, told radio station Formato 21.

Calva told prosecutors after his arrest on Oct. 8 that he was practically abandoned by his mother, his father died when he was 2, and that at about age 7 he was raped by a male friend of his brother.

In interviews before his death, Calva had expressed remorse for the death of girlfriend Alejandra Galeana, 32.

He acknowledged killing her and cutting up her body after a violent drug-and-alcohol-fueled argument, but denied he ate her flesh. He claimed he cooked the flesh to feed it to dogs as a means of getting rid of the corpse. But authorities said they doubt that story, noting he carefully cleaned, cooked and seasoned the flesh.

There was no immediate explanation for why Calva included "cannibal" in the title of his apparently autobiographical book, but those who knew him described Calva as a charismatic, pathological liar who sometimes posed as a playwright, television personality, reporter, novelist and actor. He had mentioned cannibalism in his writing before the crime.

Soledad Garavito, the mother of Galeana, described his death as divine retribution.

"I don't wish death on anybody, but I feel this was divine justice," Garavito told The Associated Press. "I do not take pleasure in this man's death, but I have seen there is a God and that He is with me."

Calva was charged with Galeana's murder and abusing a corpse. Prosecutors said they also had evidence linking him to the death of another girlfriend whose dismembered body was found in cardboard boxes in 2004, as well as a female acquaintance whose chopped-up remains were found in a suitcase earlier this year. All the victims had been strangled.

Mexican 'Cannibal' Hangs Himself

Tuesday December 11, 2007

A Mexican man dubbed "the cannibal" after his girlfriend's mutilated corpse was found in his apartment has reportedly committed suicide.

Jose Luis Calva was found hanging from his belt in his Mexico City jail cell.

Details about the death came from a prisons spokesman who could not be identified because of departmental rules.

It was not immediately clear how Calva had gotten hold of a belt or whether he had left a suicide note, the official said.

The Mexican, said to be a horror writer, was first arrested when police discovered bits of human arm meat on a fork and plate during a raid at his flat in the capital.

Reports at the time said officers also found a woman's torso in a cupboard, a leg in a fridge and bones in a cereal carton.

Calva, 38, was injured as he fled the property.

Prosecutors said he later admitted killing his girlfriend Alejandra Galeana, 32, but insisted that he did not eat her.

Calva claimed to have cut up the pharmacy worker's corpse and cooked it so he could hide evidence of the killing by feeding it to dogs, prosecutors added.

El 8 de octubre fue capturado el poeta y escritor de novelas de terror José Luis Calva,
conocido ahora como ‘El poeta caníbal’, tras descubrirse que descuartizó el cuerpo de su novia
Alejandra Garavito y presuntamente se lo comió.

El 31 de octubre el juez 21 ordenó la formal prisión de José Luís Calva, que de ser encontrado culpable
podría ser sentenciado hasta por 50 años de prisión.

En el interior de la vivienda, ubicada en la colonia Guerrero de la Ciudad de México, la Policía encontró
parte del tórax en el clóset, un brazo cocinándose en una olla, una pierna en el refrigerador
y huesos en una caja de cereal.

La mujer mutilada tenía como nombre Alejandra Galeana Garavito, de 32 años, quien era madre de dos hijos.
Calva afirmó que mutiló su cuerpo para desaparecerlo, no porque pensara comerlo. Declaró que pensaba
dárselo a los perros.

Cuando el homicida se percató de la presencia de la Policía, intentó escapar pero fue arrollado por un automóvil,
lo que le provocó lesiones graves y por lo que fue hospitalizado.

El ‘Caníbal’ acepta que asesinó a Alejandra porque ya no quería mantener la relación con él. Este hombre
estuvo preso por asalto, violación y portación de arma. Ingresó en dos ocasiones al reclusorio.

La Procuraduría Capitalina acusa a Calva Zepeda de tres asesinatos más, por el modus operandi:
Alejandra Garavito, Verónica Consuelo, también su ex novia, y una sexo servidora llamada ‘La Jarocha’,
a quien tiraron en Tlatelolco.

José Luis Calva dice ser poeta, dramaturgo y escritor de novelas de terror. Le gustaba la pornografía,
la zoofilia y es alcohólico y adicto a la cocaína, según declaró su ex novia.

El 24 de octubre Jopsé Luis Zepeda fue ingresado al Reclusorio Oriente por los delitos de homicidio
y profanación de cadáver.

31 0CTUBRE 2007
El Juez 21 de lo Penal, dicta auto de formal prisión a José Luís Calva Zepeda por el homicidio de Alejandra
Galeana Garabito, así como profanación de cadáveres.



25 OCTUBRE 2007
José Luis Calva Zepeda alias el Canibal se negó a rendir su declaración preparatoria en el juzgado 21 de lo
Penal, del Reclusorio Preventivo Oriente. En la imagen el abogado Humberto Guerrero Plata
FOTO: Edgar López/EIKON

"La Jarocha", la segunda víctima de José Luís Calva Zepeda