The Shocking Case of the Rotenburg Cannibal

Yana Bostongirl

In 2002, the bizarre actions of Germany-based computer repairman, Arwin Meiwes, shocked the world. Over the course of a year, he had devoured 44 pounds of human flesh obtained from consensual cannibalism and stored in a freezer.

Since cannibalism wasn't a crime in Germany at that time, authorities weren't sure what to charge him with after he was caught.

Armin Meiwes was born in 1961 in Essen and was raised by his mom after his father abandoned them when he was 5 years old. He started having cannibalistic tendencies early on as this excerpt explains: "He recalled struggling as the newfound “man of the house” and first pondered eating his classmates as a schoolboy. Meiwes invented an imaginary brother named Franky to share his cannibalistic thoughts with somebody."

Things came to a head in 1999 after his mother died. He started actively looking online for someone to kill and eat. Finally, he found a candidate, engineer Bernd Jürgen Brandes, who was willing to be slaughtered for cannibalistic purposes.

In a bizarre play of events, Brandes turned up at Meiwes' house and allowed himself to be drugged while the latter went about the grisly business of cutting a piece of Brandes' private parts off for consumption. It culminated with Meiwes stabbing Brandes to death and then freezing his body parts for later consumption.

According to reports, Meiwes was apprehended by authorities when he approached another person online who then proceeded to report him to the cops: "Meiwes was only caught on Dec. 10, 2002. He had continued to seek out victims online until an Austrian student reported him to the police. When they entered his home, they found a false bottom in his freezer and pounds of flesh. While Meiwes said it was wild boar meat, the officers also found the footage of his killing."

Although diagnosed with schizoid personality disorder, Meiwes was deemed okay to stand trial and was convicted of manslaughter. Per reports, he was sentenced to eight years and six months in prison and has since become a vegetarian.

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