A gang in the remote Peruvian jungle has been killing people for their fat, the police said Thursday, accusing the gang’s members of draining fat from bodies and selling it on the black market for use in cosmetics.
Three suspects have confessed to killing five people for their fat, said Col. Jorge Mejía, chief of Peru’s anti-kidnapping police. He said the suspects, two of whom were arrested carrying bottles of liquid fat, told the police it was worth $60,000 a gallon.
Mr. Castillejos told the police that the band’s fugitive leader, Hilario Cudena, had been killing people to extract fat for more than three decades.
Several medical experts acknowledged that fat had cosmetic uses, but they also said they doubted that there was an international black market for human fat. Dr. Lisa M. Donofrio, a Yale University dermatology professor, speculated that a small market might exist for “human fat extracts” to keep skin supple, though she added that scientists considered such treatments “pure baloney.”
gang would cut off its victims’ heads, arms and legs, remove the organs, and then suspend the torsos from hooks above candles that warmed the flesh as the fat dripped into tubs below.