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Manslaughter verdict for cannibal

Galactic Phantom

TRIBE Member
A German court has convicted self-confessed cannibal Armin Meiwes of manslaughter and sentenced him to eight years and six months in prison.

Meiwes, 42, admitted killing and eating Bernd Juergen Brandes after sex and hours of sado-masochism but insisted his victim had volunteered.

It has been Germany's most sensational trial for decades.

The verdict falls well short of the prosecution's demand for a 15-year sentence for sexual murder.

The defence had sought a verdict of illegal euthanasia, carrying a far shorter sentence of six months to five years, on the grounds that it had been a "killing on request".

But while rejecting the defence's argument, the court also ruled that Meiwes had had no "base motives" for the crime and settled on a manslaughter verdict, as Judge Volker Muetze told the packed courtroom.

Meiwes had not, he said, committed a murder in the legal sense "but a behaviour which is condemned in our society - namely the killing and butchering of a human being".

"Seen legally, this is manslaughter, killing a person without being a murderer," he said.

The judge described the killer and his victim as "two deeply psychologically disturbed people who both wanted something from the other".

The case could make legal history in a country which has no laws against cannibalism.

Video killing

Dressed in a dark suit and tie, Meiwes sat impassively as the verdict was read out in court. The BBC's Ray Furlong says that for Meiwes, the verdict was a good result.


The well-spoken computer technician killed and ate Brandes three years ago, after placing an advert on the internet.

It was, he told the court in Kassel, the realisation of a dream he had nurtured ever since having schoolboy fantasies about consuming his classmates.

Despite this, psychologists said he was mentally fit to stand trial.

His victim, also in his 40s, bought a one-way ticket to the defendant's home village and spent an evening with him, before volunteering to be killed.

The court also saw a grisly home video of Brandes being stabbed to death.

Memoirs

The defence had argued that the crime was a form of mercy killing but the prosecution said this did not apply because the victim had been mentally disturbed.


A psychiatrist who testified at the trial said Meiwes had a "schizoid personality" but was not mentally ill.

Investigators found he had been in internet contact with more than 200 people who shared his fantasies.

Meiwes, who may be eligible for early release for good behaviour, has said he plans to write his memoirs in order to persuade other people with similar fantasies to seek help in time.

The internet cannibal, who ate the flesh of Brandes over a period of several months, defrosting cuts from his freezer, may now be the most notorious cannibal in modern German history.

However, his record pales in comparison with the crimes of his countryman Fritz Haarmann, the "Monster of Hanover".

Haarmann, a butcher, murdered at least 24 boys and youths between 1918 and 1924 and sold their flesh to customers seeking cheap meat.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/europe/3443293.stm
 

Galactic Phantom

TRIBE Member
From the Guardian:

German cannibal gets eight-and-a-half years
Staff and agencies
Friday January 30, 2004
The Guardian

A self-confessed cannibal who killed and ate a man he had met over the internet was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in prison by a German court today, after being cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter.

The court, in the central German town of Kassel, ruled that Armin Meiwes, a 42-year-old computer expert, had no "base motives" in the crime, a decision that spared him a murder conviction.

Meiwes, from the nearby town of Rotenburg, had confessed in detail to the March 2001 killing of 43-year-old Bernd Jürgen Brandes and to eating his flesh when his trial opened last month.

Prosecutors branded Meiwes a "human butcher" who acted simply to "satisfy a sexual impulse", and had sought a life sentence for murder.

But his lawyer, Harald Ermel, successfully argued that the death was "homicide on demand" - a form of mercy killing - because the victim had given his consent to be killed and eaten.

He said that Mr Brandes, who had travelled from Berlin after answering Meiwes's internet postings, wanted to be stabbed to death after drinking a bottle of cold medicine to lose consciousness.

A grisly video Meiwes made of the act was shown to the court in a closed session earlier in the trial. A doctor testified that Brandes died from loss of blood and that the medication, along with a half-bottle of liquor and 20 sleeping pills he took beforehand, could not have lessened his pain.

Several experts testified that Meiwes was fit to stand trial and was not mentally ill.

Police tracked him down and arrested him in December 2002 after a student in Austria alerted them to a message he had posted on the internet seeking a man willing to be killed and eaten.

"I had my big kick and I don't need to do it again," Meiwes told the court at the close of his trial last month.

His victim "came to me of his own free will to end his life. For him, it was a nice death", he said, adding that he now regrets the killing.

"I regret it all very much, but I can't undo it," he said.

Meiwes's willing cooperation during the trial had helped shed light on the murky world of online cannibals, and his case was not an isolated one, police disclosed last month. He estimated that there are at least 800 active participants in cannibal forums, and said he was in contact with at least 400 of them.

Experts said the real number is probably much higher, though only a tiny proportion of those entering cannibal chat-rooms were willing to follow through and meet in real life. Meiwes met only four men.

It was revealed in court that he had been questioned as part of the investigation of two more deaths, in Frankfurt, Germany, and in Austria, but he was not charged in relation to those cases.

Meiwes was in regular contact with people in Switzerland, Austria and America, including Dirk Moeller, a British-based hotel worker who travelled to Germany to meet him and spent an evening at his house playing sexually charged role games, but left unharmed.
 
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PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
Originally posted by Galactic Phantom
Investigators found he had been in internet contact with more than 200 people who shared his fantasies.
We must ban the internet, and then these people will just.... disappear.
 
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