16. Armin Meiwes, the Rotenburg Cannibal, murdered and ate a man he had met online and who had given willing permission for Meiwes’ gruesome actions
Armin Meiwes, also known as the Rotenburg Cannibal, is a German who garnered international attention for killing and cannibalizing a voluntary victim he had met online. Posting on The Cannibal Cafe online forum, stating that he was “looking for a well-built 18 to 30-year-old to be slaughtered and then consumed”, Meiwes connected with Bernd Jürgen Armando Brandes, an engineer from Berlin, who accepted his proposal in March 2001. On March 9th, at Meiwes’ home in the town of Rotenburg, Meiwes and Brandes enacted their fantasy. The entire incident was filmed continuously across a four-hour period, with the video never released to the public. Brandes swallowed twenty sleeping pills and a bottle of cough syrup before Meiwes severed Brandes’ manhood with a knife. Finding the flesh too chewy to consume raw, Meiwes attempted to fry the appendage in a pan with salt, pepper, wine, and garlic, but accidentally burnt it. As a result, Meiwes chopped the remnants up and fed it to his dog.
Thereafter, Meiwes proceeded to read a Star Trek novella, whilst Brandes bled to death in his bath. After a prolonged period of agonizing death, Brandes was eventually stabbed by Meiwes in the throat before his corpse was hung on a meat hook. Freezing the body of his deceased collaborator, Meiwes consumed approximately 20 kilograms of Brandes’ flesh over the next ten months. In December 2002, after authorities were alerted to new advertisements posted online by Meiwes seeking fresh meat, a raid of his property discovered the remaining body parts and videotape. Initially convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to eight years in prison, Meiwes was retried on charges of murder in 2006 and sentenced to life imprisonment. He has subsequently expressed regret for his actions, committing to a vegetarian lifestyle, and encouraging others to “go for treatment, so it doesn’t escalate like it did with me”.