A Berlin teacher has been convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison for the killing of another man that the judge said was carried out as part of “cannibalism fantasies”.
The 42-year-old, identified only as Stefan R, in keeping with German privacy rules, was also convicted of disturbing the peace of the dead after a trial that opened in August.
The Berlin state court found that the defendant killed a 43-year-old mechanic in September 2020 “to live out his cannibalism fantasies”, the news agency dpa reported. “What you did was inhuman,” the presiding judge, Matthias Schertz, said.
The men met on a dating portal and agreed to meet for sex at the teacher’s Berlin apartment, according to investigators. The court found that the defendant killed his acquaintance there, cut up his body and then left parts of it in different neighbourhoods of the city. It said the victim had not expected “an attack on his life”.
The defendant had increasingly “developed slaughter and cannibalism ideas” and had visited online cannibalism forums, Schertz said. Investigators found a bone saw and specialist knives at his apartment.
Prosecutors said the defendant cut off the victim’s genitals with the intention of eating them, and judges agreed, dpa reported. It could not be established whether he carried out that intention.
Police spent weeks looking for the missing mechanic before walkers found bones in a Berlin forest. The court found that the defendant bore “particularly grave” responsibility, meaning he will not be entitled to the automatic parole after 15 years that is customary in Germany.
The defendant disputed the charges, saying he found his acquaintance dead on a couch after he spent the night, and did not call police or an ambulance “because it would have come out that I am homosexual”. The defence sought his acquittal.
It is not the first case in Germany involving alleged cannibalism or fantasies involving it. In 2006 a court convicted Armin Meiwes of murder and disturbing the peace of the dead for killing and eating a man he had met online. Meiwes is serving a life sentence.
A German police officer was convicted of murder in 2015 for killing a man he met in an internet chat forum devoted to cannibalism. Prosecutors said the victim had fantasised about being eaten, but there was no evidence that the killer had fulfilled that fantasy.
German killer who had ‘cannibalism fantasies’ jailed for life – The Guardian