Austin Harrouff was the all-American teenager. He was the star football player who took advanced placement classes in high school, only to go on to study exercise science at Florida State University. He wasn’t known to do drugs and he had no police record. Now the star athlete with a track record for excellence is facing murder charges after attacking a random couple and cannibalizing them.
Harrouff had been in his hometown with several of his frat brothers in mid-August 2016. On the evening of August 14th, Harrouff agreed to meet his father, his sister, and another friend for dinner at Duffy’s Sports Grill. According to an interview with Harrouff’s father, he was quiet that night and had eaten a bowl of chili. At some point Harrouff became upset and decided to calmly leave the restaurant.
From there the 19-year-old walked to his mother’s house. She caught him attempting to drink cooking oil and said he had eaten some Parmesan cheese. Harrouff’s mother confronted him about his odd behavior, causing him to storm off once again. Harrouff’s mother called 911 and filed a report with police.
Two hours later police received a call from an injured man on Southeast Kokomo Lane. He witnessed Harrouff go into the garage of John Stevens and Michelle Mishcon. The couple had been watching television in the garage, a nightly ritual, when Harrouff chose to attack them at random. They were stabbed and beaten with multiple objects. When their neighbor heard the scuffle he attempted to intervene, causing him to get stabbed in the process.
Police responded to the scene and found Harrouff growling like an animal and biting at John Stevens’ face and chest. Harrouff begged officers to shoot him and told them that he had “eaten something bad … humans.” It took several officers and a police dog to apprehend Harrouff, who was taken to a local hospital.
Harrouff spent two months in and out of consciousness. Initial reports claimed that the “Frat Boy Cannibal” may have been high on some kind of synthetic designer drugs or steroids, but burns to his esophagus and organ damage suggested that he may have ingested solvents or other poisons in the garage of Stevens and Mischcon.
After he was discharged from the hospital Harrouff was charged with two counts of murder, which he has since pleaded not guilty to. Drug tests have recently been able to prove that the FSU student was not under the influence of any form of drugs at the time of the attack and only had trace amounts of marijuana and alcohol in his system. Harrouff’s father believes that his son had been suffering from an undiagnosed mental illness and Harrouff’s defense believes he may have a strong case for the insanity plea.