An Italian man allegedly cut open his Dublin landlord’s chest and tried to eat his heart following a fight over a chess match.
Saverio Bellante, 34, was charged on Monday with murder.
Police said he admitted to the charges after being arrested on Sunday at the home he shared with Tom O’Gorman, a policy researcher for a conservative Catholic think tank in Ireland.
Pathologists said the 39-year-old victim suffered dozens of severe knife wounds to his head and chest, which had been cut fully open.
Ireland’s senior pathologist determined that the heart remained, but a lung was missing.
Police offered no explanation for what happened to the lung.
Evidence suggested that O’Gorman’s prone head and body also were bludgeoned with a dumbbell.
Bellante called police to report the killing.
He claimed to officers that he had cut open O’Gorman’s chest and tried to eat his heart after a dispute over a move in a chess match the two had been playing.
He offered no plea at his arraignment on Monday in a Dublin court.
When Judge David McHugh asked him why he had no lawyers, Bellante said he wanted to represent himself and would decline state-funded legal aid.
Detective Patrick Traynor testified that, when charged with murder in police custody earlier on Monday, Bellante replied: “I am guilty.”
McHugh ordered Bellante to be held without bail in Dublin’s Cloverhill Prison and to receive a psychiatric evaluation pending his next court appearance on Friday.
Bellante, a native of Palermo on the Italian island of Sicily, had worked in Dublin for the past two years at a pharmaceutical company.
O’Gorman lived with his mother in the prosperous west Dublin suburb of Castleknock. After she died in 2012, he rented a room to Bellante, who had lived there only a few months.
O’Gorman wrote frequent papers and blog posts for the Iona Institute, which lobbies against same-sex marriage and abortion.
In his most recent article for the Iona Institute published on Friday, O’Gorman described “the homosexual lobby” and “sexual license” as major threats to religious freedom.
Iona Institute director David Quinn said O’Gorman loved history, the subject he studied to master’s level at University College Dublin, but was most passionate about the fortunes of Ireland’s rugby team.
“He had lots of opinions and liked a good argument,” Quinn wrote in a tribute published on Monday, “...he was good fun.”