Mexican author killed, then ate girlfriend

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MEXICO CITY, Oct 16 (Reuters) A Mexican writer who practiced witchcraft and was working on a book called ''Cannibal Instincts'' fried and ate parts of his ex-girlfriend after strangling her, government prosecutors said.

Police burst into Jose Luis Calva's apartment last week to find a plate of fried human flesh on a dining table set with cutlery. They found more flesh in the refrigerator and a cereal box contained human bones.

The mutilated body of Alejandra Galeana, 32, was in a bedroom closet, Mexico City's chief homicide prosecutor Gustavo Salas told reporters yesterday.

''It is totally justified to assume he ate human meat,'' Salas told a packed news conference.

Calva was injured falling from his balcony trying to escape police who forced their way into his Mexico City apartment.

Galeana's mother had reported her missing for two weeks and said she suspected her daughter's former lover was involved.

Prosecutors also suspect Calva of strangling and mutilating two other women in the last two years, Salas said.

One victim, Veronica Martinez, had lived with Calva before her death.

Calva, who is in hospital being treated for injuries from his fall, wrote volumes of poetry and apparently earned a living selling his work on the streets. One unfinished book found in the apartment was titled ''Cannibal Instincts.'' The cover carried a photo of a man who looks like Calva wearing a mask similar to the one worn by Anthony Hopkins in the 'Hannibal Lecter' films, starting with the 1991 Oscar winner ''Silence of the Lambs''.

In the apartment, police found books on black magic and copies of the Hannibal Lecter films, which tell the tale of a genius serial killer who eats his victims.

A former girlfriend told police Salas was a jealous, possessive lover who believed in witchcraft and practiced rituals, including hammering a cow's tongue to a board.

REUTERS CS BST0458

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