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Convicted Murderer Who 'Cut Out Heart To Eat' Escapes Custody

by : Emily Brown on :
Convicted Murderer Who 'Cut Out Heart To Eat' Escapes Custody
Convicted Murderer Who 'Cut Out Heart To Eat' Escapes Custody (Getty/Alamy)

A French cannibal had to be chased away by members of the public after he escaped custody and attacked a woman on the street.

Former solider Jeremy Rimbaud has been held in a secure psychiatric unit in France since 2011, when he returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan and murdered a 90-year-old farmer.

Prosecution papers later described how Rimbaud 'cut out his victim’s tongue and a piece of his heart' with plans to cook them with beans, but he wasn't caught until he tried to kill a second farmer with an iron bar.

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Toulouse France (Alamy)
Toulouse France (Alamy)

Rimbaud was diagnosed with schizophrenia and post-traumatic shock 'linked to his fighting in Afghanistan', according to The Independent, and though he was sentenced to life in prison for his crimes French media reports that he was designated 'free' after it was determined that his mental health 'deprived him of all discernment and all free will'.

Instead of being held in prison, France Bleu reports, he is under the influence of an HDRE; hospitalisation on the decision of a representative of the State, and is held in closed units. Patients hospitalised against their will have their cases reviewed every six months.

On Wednesday, January 19, Rimbaud managed to briefly escape custody in Toulouse, where he grabbed an unsuspecting victim at around 10.00pm local time. Thankfully it seems he did not cause any serious damage, though an investigating source said the woman involved in the incident was 'absolutely terrified'.

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They explained that the woman was out walking her dog 'close to the centre of the city' when Rimbaud 'punched her in the back of the head and then hit her with a stick'.

Jeremy Rimbaud in custody (Getty)
Jeremy Rimbaud in custody (Getty)
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Per France Bleu, Rimbaud escaped by taking 'advantage of a brief transfer to the Marchant hospital in Toulouse and a moment of inattention from the nursing staff', but he was stopped when passersby intervened and 'chased him off'.

It wasn't until later that the woman learned she had been attacked by a 'known cannibal', the source added.

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Rimbaud was successfully caught and returned to the secure psychiatric unit, with a local police spokesperson saying the 'convicted killer has been returned to custody'.

An inquiry is now underway to try and figure out exactly how Rimbaud escaped.

The former soldier reportedly spent five years in a marine infantry tank regiment based in Poitiers, before undergoing a psychological evaluation in Cyprus. His lawyer, Maître Françoise Séles, has described Rimbaud as a victim of the Afghanistan war.

If you're experiencing distressing thoughts and feelings, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is there to support you. They're open from 5pm–midnight, 365 days a year. Their national number is 0800 58 58 58 and they also have a webchat service if you're not comfortable talking on the phone.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University before going on to contribute to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems. She joined UNILAD in 2018 and now works as Senior Journalist covering breaking news, trending stories and longer form features with a focus on human interest stories.

Topics: News, France, Crime, True crime