Over a decade after a similar case shocked the world, a German daily reported that a German police officer may have seduced and murdered a man he met on a cannibalism fetish website. The suspect has been arrested.
Police on Wednesday found body parts on a property in the Ore Mountains, in the eastern German state of Saxony, that, according to German tabloid Bild, came from a murder carried out as part of a cannibal fetish act. The body parts are believed to belong to a 59-year-old man from Hanover, while the main suspect, who, according to Bild, owns the property on which the remains were found, is a 55-year-old police officer.
The spokesperson for the head prosecutor, Lorenz Haase, confirmed to German news agency DPA that "the men knew each other." According to Bild, the two men met on a website for cannibal fetishists. The suspect then allegedly invited the man to his property in Reichenau, a small town in the mountains.
According to Bild, the victim had been cut into many small pieces some time in early November and many parts of the victim have yet to be found, leading to suspicions part of his body may have been eaten.
The suspect, who, according to the newspaper, works as a handwriting analyst in the forensic science institute of the Dresden office of the State Criminal Police Office, was arrested shortly after the remains were discovered. Bild reported the man had split up with his wife several years earlier and had since been living with another man.
If the reports are true, then this would be the second known time two German men met on the Internet and engaged in a cannibal-fetish murder.
In the previous case, which occurred in 2001, 43-year-old Berlin engineer Bernd Jürgen answered an ad posted by a computer repairman named Armin Meiwes who was looking for "young, well-built men aged 18-30 to slaughter." Jürgen then traveled to Meiwe's home, in the town of Rotenburg, near Bremen, where Meiwes cut off and cooked Jürgen's penis. The two men then attempted to eat the severed appendage together, before Meiwes killed Jürgen with a knife. The event was filmed.
Meiwes was arrested over a year later, having consumed parts of Jürgen's body, a large section of which he had stored in his freezer, over several months. The ensuing trial became a German media sensation and revealed numerous shocking details about the murder, including the fact that Meiwes seasoned Jürgen's genitals with salt, pepper, wine and garlic, but then accidentally burnt them, and that he read a "Star Trek" book while Jürgen bled in a bath.
In 2007, forensic expert Manfred Risse published a book about the murders that included details from the videotape, in which Jürgen reportedly said, while bleeding to death, "If I'm still alive tomorrow morning, we'll eat my balls."
In 2003, Meiwes told the daily Welt Am Sonntag he "regretted his actions" and encouraged other people with cannibalistic interests to seek treatment. He also estimated there were 800 "cannibals" in Germany. After an initial conviction of manslaughter, Meiwes was retried and found guilty of murder in 2006, and sentenced to life in prison. He has since become a vegetarian.