LEEDS, ENGLAND — On April 23, 2008, 36-year-old Anthony Morley — a muscular chef who in 1993 had won the first-ever title of Mr. Gay UK — murdered, dismembered, cooked, and partially consumed his 33-year-old lover, Bent magazine executive Damian Oldfield.
More specifically, Morley slit Oldfield’s throat, stabbed him more than 20 times, and cut off a piece of his leg. The experienced cook then fried the human meat with herbs, oil, and seeds, and took a bite. After chewing up the cannibal cutlet, Morley spit some out, and threw the rest in his kitchen trashcan.
From there, the blood-splattered Morely ambled over to a nearby kebab restaurant and announced to the staff: “I have killed someone. Call the police.”
Upon being arrested, Morley initially claimed self-defense, telling cops, “I know what I have done is wrong, he tried to rape me, at least he won’t be able to do it again.”
Morley and Oldfield had been in a stop-and-start flirty friendship for several months. Morley, who had previously identified as bisexual, apparently grappled with his orientation.
On the day leading up to the murder, Morley texted to Oldfield: “I have never been happy being properly gay.” In response, Oldfield texted back, “Try me… I’m not your average poof.”
Morley and Oldfield shared a further connection by having both been 1996 contestants on the “sexy man” game show, God’s Gift. In addition, on the episode in which Morley competed, Oldfield was in the audience. Eagle-eyed viewers have since picked out a moment when both players appear in the same TV frame.
After Morley’s rape claim quickly fell apart, he pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. His trial commenced in October. On the stand, Morley testified that he and Oldfield had been in bed watching a DVD of Brokeback Mountain when he lost control of his impulses, stating:
“I remember feeling that he was on top of me doing what he was doing. I felt numb and out of control. I felt uncomfortable and betrayed. We had talked about the whole situation. I was not comfortable with having a sexual relationship when we had only just got to know each other. I can only say at some point Damian’s body had just become something I would deal with at work; a piece of meat. That’s the only thing I can think of. That was my daily task, preparing meat.”
The prosecution called multiple psychiatrists and mental-health experts who, after examining Morley, refuted his claims. The court also brought up Morley’s past incidents of drunken violence, including one wherein he chased a male lover around his apartment with a meat cleaver, smashed everything in his room, and threatened responding EMT workers with an air rifle.
The jury took just three hours to return a guilty verdict. Several days later, Judge James Stewart sentenced Morley to life in prison, and told him:
“Before this case, I had associated cannibalism with eras long gone, with the tale of Robinson Crusoe. No longer. You have plumbed depths rarely encountered in our court.”
At present, Morley is behind bars and will be eligible for parole in 2018.
Main photo: Anthony Morley mug shot [Leeds Police Department]