Everybody loves a good horror story, even if it’s about cannibals. If Udre Udre doesn’t enjoy the same popularity as Issei Sagawa, the Japanese man who, while living in Paris in 1981, killed and cannibalized a Dutch woman, or the American serial killer, child rapist and cannibal Albert Fish, he still enjoys a very strange record: he’s the most prolific cannibal of all time, or at least the best documented one.
Ratu Udre Udre was a tribal chief in northern Viti Levu, a province of Fiji Island, part of the formerly nicknamed “Cannibal Isles.”
Udre Udre was not different from the other Fijian chiefs, who were eating the flesh of their dead enemies. However, during the 19th century, he allegedly ate between 872 and 999 of them and, for a record, kept a stone from each time one was on his grill. Stones that now surround his grave in Rakiraki.
According to Udre Udre’s son, the vicious leader would eat every part of his victims, preserving what he couldn’t eat in one sitting for consumption later.
Cannibalism, the eating of human flesh by other humans, has fascinated society for years.
There are many different types of cannibalism, but history suggests it originally occurred in ancient societies primarily as a ritual practice, and less commonly because of starvation and war. In western society, however, the practice usually falls within the larger charge of murder.
The only person in US history ever to be convicted of cannibalism was a man called Alferd Packer who, in 1874 ate the flesh of five mining friends. He was sentenced to death in 1883, but after lengthy legal appeals he was released on parole in 1901.