Cannibal guilty of murder
Cannibal Armin Meiwes was originally convicted of manslaughter before authorities demanded a retrial. The 44-year-old, who was also found guilty of “disturbing the peace of the dead”, was sentenced to life in prison. His lawyers had said he should be convicted of “death on demand”, which carries a maximum five-year term. They argued that he was only following his victim’s wishes. The retrial of Meiwes, whose case has fascinated and appalled Germany, opened in January. Meiwes again made a full confession, including all the grisly details in his description of the killing of Bernd Juergen Brandes. It happened in March 2001 in Miewes’s home town of Rotenburg in central Germany. Meiwes said Brandes had travelled from Berlin after answering his internet posting under the pseudonym “Franky” seeking a young man for “slaughter and consumption”. At his original trial he said his lonely childhood had led him to create Franky, an imaginary brother who listened to him. He said his wish to eat someone came from his desire for “someone to be part of me”. Meiwes, described as an otherwise sensitive and kind man, said the killing was part of a sado-masochistic homosexual pact. The pair had sex before Meiwes cut off Brandes’s reproductive organ, which they then cooked and tried to eat in vain. Meiwes later stabbed his new friend to death, cut him up and froze some of his body, parts of which he later ate.