1892 – Theka

Cannibalism at Sea! is a 25-part series covering the ultimate denial of civilization… the act of eating another human being.

Name: Thekla

Year: 1892

Survivors: Three

New York Times, February 2, 1892

Accused of Cannibalism: Killed and Ate their Comrade to Escape Death by Starvation

Four men were adrift at sea, their ship having sunk beneath them. Their suffering was terrible, mainly from a lack of provisions on their tiny lifeboat. They faced a simple choice—die as a foursome, or draw straws and pick one of their group to die and feed the rest.

The losing sailor was a Dutchmen, murdered by strangulation when his straw came up short. The remaining three feasted on his body.

By the time the unfortunate survivors were found by the passing Dutch bark Herman, they were described as “in a very weak condition… hardly yet be considered sane, and talk in an incoherent manner.”

While it is not known what became of these men, it is known they were arrested at Cuxhaven and charged with murder.

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