A cannibalistic killer caught and convicted in Idaho said he thought by killing and eating the brains of his elderly victim, he could cure his mental illness!
Authorities say that James David Russell, who has been charged with first-degree murder, “committed in perpetration of specific times or by use of certain weapons” as well as cannibalism.
As in most states in the US, Cannibalism was banned in Idaho more than 30 years ago. But that did not stop Russell. According to police, authorities received a call about a “suspicious death” on Sept. 13 in Clark Fork.
“Once on the scene, deputies found a male, David M. Flaget, age 70, of Clark Fork, unresponsive inside a vehicle,” a police press release said.
“Deputies located James ‘Jimmy’ David Russell, age 39, who at the time was living on the property. There was an indication that he had been involved in this death.”
The release adds, “The subsequent investigation by detectives established probable cause that David Flaget had died at the hands of James Russell.”
But the gruesome tale does not stop there.
As the investigation progressed, because of the grisly nature of the crime that was becoming apparent, at first, police revealed very little detail about the murder, but through leaks and independent investigation, the press began to fill in the heinous blanks. One thing that set off alarm bells among true crime journalists is the original press release had mentioned, and court records also indicated that a judge ordered a “competency hearing” for Russell.
No bond was set. The defendant was ultimately sent to the Idaho Security Medical Program for further evaluation.
The Hagadone News Network late reported, “pieces of Flaget’s body were found around Russell’s house the day after the murder.”
Among them was a “thermal artifact,” indicating someone wanted to cook or burn the body part(s). Human tissues and a “bloodied microwave and glass bowl” were seized from the accused killer’s home.
During his interview at the mental health facility, apparently, Russell told staff that he believed he could “cure” his undisclosed brain ailments by “cutting off portions of [Flaget’s] flesh.”
“There’s a lot of facets we will certainly never know,” a police spokesman said.
“It wasn’t the bloodiest crime scene, but it’s more of the psychological, ‘What the heck is going on here?’ and ‘Why am I picking up [body] pieces?’ It’s a walk down the dark path that we don’t see very often.”