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Cannibal tells court of early fantasies

Published on 03/12/2003

3 December 2003

KASSEL – A man who has admitted killing and eating parts of his victim before a running camera told a German court Wednesday he began to have cannibalism fantasies as young as eight.

Armin Meiwes told the court in Kassel on the first day of his murder trial he had fantasized about killing and eating fellow pupils while a schoolboy aged between eight and 12.

Meiwes said the fantasies were a way of compensating for not having the younger brother he had always wanted. During puberty he had grown up alone with his mother and felt lonely.

German newspapers have been falling over each other to arrange interviews with Meiwes, who was described by his lawyer as a “gentleman of the old school.”

Meiwes said the fantasies helped bind him to the imaginary younger brother and also provided sexual excitement, he said. Meiwes said his imagination had also been stimulated by watching horror films and the slaughtering and butchering of animals at home.

With cannibalism legally not an offence in Germany, the 42-year- old computer specialist is charged with murder “for sexual satisfaction” in March 2001 and “disturbing the peace of the dead” by butchering the corpse. He could be jailed for life.

But in a case which legal experts say is without precedent in Germany, the defence counsel for Meiwes will be seeking to prove the lesser charge of “killing on demand” which carries a maximum five- year jail sentence.

Although Meiwes has confessed to killing and eating his victim, he is expected to tell the court the 43-year-old engineer he had met via a contact ad on the internet had asked to be killed and eaten.

A huge media turnout was present for the opening of the trial which is scheduled to last 14 days and hear evidence from 38 people and three specialists. Sentencing is due in January.

The court will be viewing videos showing Meiwes cutting off his victim’s penis which both men then attempted to eat. Later Meiwes stabbed his unconscious victim to death with a kitchen knife, cut him up and gradually prepared parts of the body to be eaten.

Meiwes has been dubbed “the cannibal from Rotenburg” by the German media following his arrest last December.

Police acting on a tip-off had found human flesh packed in bags in the freezer of Meiwes’ half-timbered house in a village near Rotenburg, south of Kassel. Unused body parts were buried in the garden.

Subject: German news