Miami, FL

The true tale of the Miami Zombie is absolutely tragic

Evie M.

Yeah, I get it. Halloween is over. Thanksgiving is only days away and then Christmas right around the corner. There's no more room for spooky stories and mysteries that'll make you keep the lights on, right? Wrong. There are such a thing as people who love all things spooky year-round, and if you're one of them, boy do I have a story that'll keep you awake better than twenty Red Bulls.

I present to you, à la the Midnight Society from Are You Afraid of the Dark?, the Tale of the Miami Zombie.

The Miami Zombie Attack, also known as the "Miami Cannibal Attack", rocked Miami and the world back in 2012, being Florida's first glimpse of outright cannibalism right on the MacArthur Causeway in Miami, Florida.

Though family members of the Miami Zombie, or "Causeway Cannibal" Rudy Eugene, and police speculate that he had a string of prior criminal arrests dating back to 2016 and that they believed his attack was a result of "bath salts," a street drug that makes the user like one of the vicious, fast-moving zombies from 30 Days of Night, none were found in his system and scientists do not believe they were the cause.

So what caused Rudy to attack innocent Ronald Poppo, an unrelated homeless man sleeping on the Miami Causeway? It all started with a bible Rudy thought Ronald Poppo stole. To spare you from the grizzly details which can be read here, poor Ronald ended up fighting for his life in hospital (and survived!) after having 75% of his face chewed off, though no human remains were found after Rudy's autopsy.

What's saddest is this was not an isolated case around Florida at the time. Armando Aguilar, the president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police said about the attacks, which, again, was believed to be inspired by bath salts:

"The cases are similar minus a man eating another. People taking off their clothes. People suddenly have super human strength. They become violent and they are burning up from the inside. Their organs are reaching a level that most would die. By the time police approach them they are a walking dead person."

However, Rudy's girlfriend, who remained anonymous, said it wasn't bath salts that caused Rudy to lose his mind, it was a possible Voodoo spell. The quote from the original Miami Herald article, which is no longer available through the link, is both heart-breaking and disturbing.

"The man being depicted by the media as a 'face eater' or a 'monster' is not the man she knew, she said. He smoked marijuana often, though had recently said he wanted to quit, but he didn't use stronger recreational drugs and even refused to take over-the-counter medication for simple ailments like headaches, she said. He was sweet and well-mannered, she said.
"Eugene's girlfriend has her own theory on what happened that day. She believes Eugene was drugged unknowingly. The only other explanation, she said, was supernatural — that someone put a Vodou curse on him. The girlfriend, who unlike Eugene is not Haitian, said she has never believed in Vodou, until now.
" 'I don't know how else to explain this,' she said."

Honestly, at this point, with no sign of the bath salts in his system and Voodoo being a real force, I can believe anything. We'll never really know what possessed Rudy to attack, but we can take solace knowing he's free from whatever it is, and that Mr. Poppo is reportedly "living happily", and even learned to play the guitar.

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