‘Cannibal Attack’ Victims: Charming, Honest and Humble

As the media frenzy over recent gruesome attacks fades, attention turns to their victims

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Miami Beach Police Department via Getty Images

Miami Beach Police Department photo of Ronald Poppo, 65, the homeless man whose face was eaten off during Memorial Day weekend in Miami.

In the media frenzy surrounding several recent grisly attacks — from face-chewing to bath salt-fueled rage to the “zombie apocalypse” — the humanity of the victims is easily eclipsed by the gruesome inhumanity of their attackers.

But now that Miami doctors have released photos (warning: extremely graphic) of Ronald Poppo, the homeless man whose face was viciously mauled during a drug-fueled attack two weeks ago, the spotlight has shifted from the so-called zombies to their unfortunate victims.

As the photos of Poppo confirm, the homeless man lost his nose and at least one eye, but doctors say that he is recovering well and describe him as “very charming and positive.” Though he’s reportedly worried about how the media is portraying him (and understandably so, given a spate of news reports focused on his decades-long estrangement from his daughter), CBS News reports that he’s mostly preoccupied with the NBA Finals and is looking forward to eventually going swimming again.

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“I can’t even fathom how one human can do that to another human,” his brother Joseph told CBS. “It’s just beyond my comprehension.”

Meanwhile, friends of Lin Jun — the Chinese exchange student allegedly stabbed to death by Canadian porn actor Luka Rocco Magnotta before his body was dismembered, partially eaten and then shipped in pieces all over Canada — are opening up about the young man’s personality and private life. Zoya De Frias Lakhany, Lin’s friend and fellow student at Concordia University in Montreal, described him as a “nice, honest and humble” straight-A student who “never complained and smiled all the time.” Lin’s family notes that he was benevolent, a Buddhist and “the pride of our whole family clan.” Early media reports suggested that Lin had been sexually involved with the 29-year-old Magnotta, but his family and friends question that description of their relationship and ask that he be remembered simply for his “kindness, hard work and passion for life.”
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