Germany

Volunteer willingly allows self to be killed, cannibalized

March 9, 2001
Rotenburg, Germany
Armin Meiwes (pictured) and Bernd Jürgen Armando Brandes meet, allegedly in agreement that Meiwes would kill and cannibalize the willing Brandes

Meiwes had posted an advertisement in a blog for people with cannibal fetishes, seeking a volunteer willing to be “slaughtered and consumed.” Meiwes received many responses, but all backed out and Meiwes did not attempt to change their minds. Brandes reached out to Meiwes and the two agreed to meet.

On March 9, 2001, Brandes and Meiwes met in person. A video tape was made of the incident beginning with Meiwes attempting to bite Brandes’ penis off. When he failed, Meiwes severed the penis with a knife and the two attempted to eat it, though they still had difficulty: because the appendage was raw, it was too “chewy.” Meiwes cooked the penis in some of Brandes’ fat, seasoning, and wine. However, it became burnt and was instead fed to Meiwes’ dog.

Brandes had already ingested an overdose of sleeping pills and alcohol before the attempt to sever his penis, and due to a combination of the pills, alcohol, and blood loss, Brandes was in a weakened state. Meiwes drew Brandes a bath and checked on him frequently, though Brandes eventually climbed from the tub and Meiwes dragged his semi-conscious body upstairs. After some time, Meiwes killed Brandes by stabbing him in the neck, hung his body from a meat hook, butchered Brandes’ body, and froze the meat. Over the next 10 months, Meiwes consumed parts of the body amounting to roughly 20kg (44 lbs).

Meiwes arrest came when a student alerted police to another advertisement Meiwes posted online. Police searched his home and found a 4 hour video tape of the incident with Brandes as well as body parts.

Originally, Meiwes was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to 8 years in prison, where he reportedly became a vegetarian. A year later, he was retried for murder because, prosecutors claimed, he killed and cannibalized for sexual gratification not because Brandes has asked him to as was stated during the first trial. Meiwes was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

The 4-hour tape has likely been destroyed after trial. However, several stills allegedly from the video have been posted online, though it is questionable if these photos are legitimate.

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