A woman has been accused of killing her lover, butchering his body, and then serving up his remains to people in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This bizarre story of jilted love and criminality recently came to the attention of police thanks to a human tooth found in a blender and some DNA analysis.
The National, a state-owned UAE newspaper, reports that police have arrested a 39-year-old Moroccan woman on suspicion of killing her long-term boyfriend in the city of Al Ain after he told her he planned to marry another woman, despite her financially supporting him for seven years.
Authorities didn’t comment on how he was allegedly murdered, however, they say the woman admitted to a “moment of insanity” when she cut up his remains, minced them in a blender, and cooked them in the style of machboos – a traditional dish of the Persian Gulf made from rice, spices, and meat (although typically chicken, lamb, or goat, not human).
She then reportedly fed the meal to a group of Pakistani-national construction workers who lived nearby and dogs in the neighborhood, although she has since denied this claim. According to an interview with a neighbor by the UAE newspaper Al Khaleej, people nearby noticed a strange smell of “stinking barbecue” coming from the woman's home four nights in a row in the middle of the night.
The victim's brother visited the woman’s house to ask about his missing sibling. It was here he noticed a human tooth in a blender. The Al Ain police carried out DNA tests that proved that the tooth and the rest of the blender's contents belonged to the missing man.
The woman has been undergoing mental health assessments and potentially faces charges of premeditated murder.
Aside from the fairly obvious ethical conundrums and legal problems of eating human flesh, cannibalism is not considered a good idea, scientifically speaking. For one, it’s not particularly nutritious. Compared to other animals commonly eaten across the world, whether its cow, pig, chicken, goat, or lamb, the body of a human contains notably fewer calories per gram.
It’s also potentially dangerous. Along with the risks of blood-borne diseases or pathogens associated with food poisoning, human cannibalism comes with the unusual threat of a mysterious infectious agent called a prion. These are an abnormal form of a usually harmless protein found in the brain that can trigger normal proteins to fold abnormally.
Basically, we wouldn't recommend it.