Police in the Congo have arrested 13 individuals suspected of stealing, or shrinking, their victims' penises. It seems that the accused practitioners of black magic were nabbed for their own protection. A dozen years ago, mobs killed a group of men rumored to be penis snatchers. From Reuters:
Rumors of penis theft began circulating last week in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo's sprawling capital of some 8 million inhabitants. They quickly dominated radio call-in shows, with listeners advised to beware of fellow passengers in communal taxis wearing gold rings.Link
Purported victims, 14 of whom were also detained by police, claimed that sorcerers simply touched them to make their genitals shrink or disappear, in what some residents said was an attempt to extort cash with the promise of a cure...
"But when you try to tell the victims that their penises are still there, they tell you that it's become tiny or that they've become impotent, (said Kinshasa's police chief, Jean-Dieudonne Oleko.) To that I tell them, 'How do you know if you haven't gone home and tried it'," he said.
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.