Three people accused of killing at least three women in the northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco said they ate some of their victims' flesh and also used it to make the empanadas (stuffed pastry) they sold to their neighbours, police say.
The accused, a man and two women, were arrested Wednesday in Garanhuns, 234km from Recife, the state capital, and said they belonged to a sect that received orders from a "voice" to do away with women they considered evil.
The suspects confessed to the homicides, cannibalism and grisly rituals during police interrogations, some details of which were released at a press conference on Friday by the officer leading the investigation, Democrito de Oliveira.
Police found the mortal remains of the two women in the patio of the suspects' house, which was burned down on Thursday by their enraged neighbours.
Investigations of the three began last month after Jorge Beltrao Negromonte da Silveira, 51, identified himself as the author of a 2009 book, Revelations of a Schizophrenic, in which he gave details of the supposed sect's activities.
Along with Da Silveira, police arrested his wife, Isabel Cristina Oliveira da Silva, and his 25-year-old mistress Bruna Cristina Oliveira da Silva, who lived with the couple.
Also living at their house was a five-year-old girl, suspected to be the daughter of Jessica, a 17-year-old murdered in 2008 in the Recife suburb of Olinda.
Jessica's death is described in detail in Da Silveira's book.
"Looking at the now lifeless body of the evil adolescente, I feel relieved. I grab some sheet metal and begin to remove all the skin and then I divide her up...we dine on the flesh of evil as a purification ritual. We bury the remainder in the patio," one chapter in the book reads.
Besides Jessica and the two women found buried in the patio where the accused lived, police are investigating the three for their possible guilt in at least five other homicides in Pernambuco.