I wanted to eat man, not kill him, says German cannibal

A self-confessed German cannibal said at his retrial on Monday that a man found cut into pieces and partially eaten at his house had asked him to kill him.

Armin Meiwes (44) told the court in Frankfurt that once he had cut off his victim’s penis, with the man’s consent, Meiwes had hoped he would die of blood loss or throw himself to his death from a window.

“I wanted to eat him, but I didn’t want to kill him,” he said.

In a case which has gripped and appalled Germany, Meiwes is facing murder charges after a federal judge dismissed the original January 2004 verdict of manslaughter and an eight-and-a-half-year prison sentence as too lenient.

The accused described in detail how he had made contact with 43-year-old Berlin engineer Bernd Juergen Brandes through the internet by entering the words “slaughter victim” in an internet search engine.

Meiwes said that before the two men had even met, Brandes had urged him to kill him.

“I hope you are really serious about it, because I really want it,” Brandes had written to Meiwes.

In March 2001, Brandes bought a one-way rail ticket to Meiwes’s hometown of Rotenburg, where his host picked him up at the station and took him to his half-timbered farmhouse.

Later that night, the two men had sex and after Brandes took sleeping pills and whiskey, Meiwes sliced off the man’s penis, which they fried and planned to eat together but found it was inedible.

After a while, Brandes fell into unconsciousness due to blood loss.

Meiwes then stabbed Brandes in the neck and hung his body from a hook on the ceiling of his kitchen.

He dissected the corpse and later ate two-thirds of it cut into steaks, often with accompaniments such as pepper sauce or a wine sauce and potatoes.

The court in Frankfurt must determine whether Meiwes committed murder, despite the victim’s purported “death wish”. - Sapa-AFP

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