'Cannibal frat boy' who killed couple, ate husband's face thought he was 'half-man, half-dog'
Austin Harrouff, now 22, murdered Michelle Mishcon and John Stevens, and was trying to eat Stevens' face when police arrived at the couple's home on August 15, 2016
A 22-year-old former college student in Florida, who fatally attacked a couple at their home and was found eating one of their faces, believed he was "half-dog, half-man", according to a forensic psychologist.
"Cannibal frat boy" Austin Harrouff, 22, murdered Michelle Mishcon and John Stevens, and was trying to eat Stevens' face when police arrived at the couple's home on August 15, 2016, according to investigators. Harrouff's attorneys, however, are preparing an insanity defense for him and have enlisted Dr Phillip Resnick to conduct a full psychiatric assessment to support their cases. Harrouff's trial is scheduled on November 4.
The Martin County State Attorney's Office released a 39-page mental health report this week which appears to support the defense' case. The report has stated that Harrouff suffered from multiple issues including "manic episodes with psychotic features," according to the Daily Mail.
The report released by Dr Resnick said that the fact that he continued to bite his victim "in the presence of police officers, in spite of threats of being shot, being tased and receiving multiple kicks to the head, suggests that Mr. Harrouff was actively psychotic."
The report concluded that Harrouff, at the time, was suffering from severe bipolar disorder and an "acute manic episode with psychotic features." Dr Resnick, as part of his research, held a six-hour interview with the suspect at the Matin County jail. The doctor also reviewed Harrouff's journal, his online searches and videos, and studied an interview with Dr Phil. He also interviewed multiple family members and friends of Harrouff before reaching his conclusion.
Dr Resnick said that Harrouff, in the lead up to the attack, researched words like "mania" and "hallucinations" and searched whether he was going crazy. Harrouff's increasing paranoia is also detailed in the report, which states that he thought there were evil forces in his home and he began sleeping near his sister in an attempt to protect her.
The report added that in the days up to the attack, he bought a knife for protection and that, just a day before the attack, he began to think he was half-man, half-dog and could run "super fast." Harrouff's sister said that he began wandering through bushes to be "one with the animals" and often sat in the back seat of the car where dogs sit, according to reports.
The couple's neighbor Jeffrey Fisher witnessed the attack in 2016 and confronted Harrouff the night he heard screams coming from the house. When Martin County Deputy Wayne Trocan came to the scene, he saw a trail of blood in the driveway and Harrouff straddling Steven.
"He was growling," Trocan told investigators at the time, adding that Harrouff had his fingers in Steven's mouth and was pulling it to one side "like a fish hook." Harrouff did not stop even after being kicked and tased and continued to chew on Steven's cheek after stabbing him multiple times. The cuts were so bad that the victim's rib could be seen.
The 22-year-old was eventually subdued after one of the 10 kicks to his head sent his arm swinging back, and that is when the officer handcuffed him.
Previous reports state that when he was arrested, he told officials that he had been "eating humans" and begged them to kill him.
Harrouff's lawyers have said that he should not be convicted of murder and, during a tearful interview to Dr. Phil, the former college student claimed that he did not mean to carry out the killings and that he was not a bad person.