(born 1961 in Germany) is a cannibalistic internet user who became known
as the "Rotenburg Cannibal" or "Der Metzgermeister" (The Master
Meiwes posted an advertisement on the Internet, looking
for a willing victim. Bernd Jürgen Armando Brandes, who was known
for his mutiliation ideas in the homosexual prostitution scene of his
home city, and who was employed by Siemens AG in a managerial capacity
until his death, replied to his posting, and they arranged to meet so
Meiwes could kill and eat Brandes.
As is known from a videotape the two
made when they met in March 2001 in Meiwes' home, Meiwes amputated
Brandes' penis and Meiwes and Brandes ate the penis together before
Brandes was killed. Brandes had insisted that Meiwes would bite his
penis off, but this did not work, so Meiwes used at first a knife that
turned out to be too blunt, and then a sharper knife to finally slice
the penis off. Brandes apparently tried to eat his share of his own
penis rare, but could not because it was too tough and as he put it,
"chewy". Meiwes then sautéed the penis in a pan with salt, pepper and
According to journalists who saw the
video (it has not been made public), Brandes may already have been too
weakened from blood loss to actually eat his share of the penis. Meiwes
apparently gave him large quantities of alcohol and pain killers, and
then killed him in a room that he had installed in his house for this
purpose. He ate the body over the next few months, storing parts in his
Meiwes was arrested in December 2002,
after apparently posting new advertisements for victims on the Internet.
Investigators searched his home and found body parts and the videotaped
killing. The video is apparently so disturbing that many of those who
saw it sought psychological counseling.
Meiwes was later convicted of
manslaughter and sentenced to eight and a half years in prison. The case
attracted considerable media attention and led to a debate over whether
Meiwes could be convicted at all given that Brandes had voluntarily and
knowingly participated in the act.
In April 2005, a German court ordered
a retrial after prosecutors appealed his sentence. They believed he
should have been convicted of murder, not manslaughter, and given a life
sentence. Among the questions courts answered is whether Brandes agreed
to his killing, and whether he was legally capable of doing so at the
moment of killing, taking into account his apparent mental problems as
well as his significant intake of alcohol and drugs. Other aspects of
the retrial determined whether Meiwes killed to satiate his own desires
(in particular sexual desires), and not because he was asked to, which
Meiwes has repeatedly rejected during testimony.
At his retrial a psychologist stated
that Meiwes could reoffend and still "had fantasies about devouring the
flesh of young people". On 9 May 2006, a court in Frankfurt convicted
Meiwes of murder and sentenced him to life imprisonment.
A similar Internet-mediated
consensual homicide is the 1996 case of Sharon Lopatka, who sought and
found a male (Robert Frederick Glass) who would torture and kill her by
strangling her to death.
The song "Mein Teil" by German
Tanz-Metall band Rammstein was inspired by the case. Teil meaning
part or piece, and can also be used as slang for penis,
which means the song would translate into my part or my penis.
Other songs inspired by Meiwes' story include "The Wüstenfeld Man
Eater", by American heavy metal band Macabre and "Eaten" by Swedish
death metal band Bloodbath.
Multiple films have been made about
the story, as well. Rosa von Praunheim's Dein Herz in Meinem Hirn
(Your Heart in My Brain) was first screened in 2005 at the Montréal Film Festival.
Butterfly: A Grimm Love Story was scheduled for German release in
March 2006. The American film stars Keri Russell and, in the role
inspired by Meiwes, Thomas Kretschmann. However, it was banned in
Germany after Meiwes complained that his rights were being violated. The
film has been sold for international release and will have its world
premiere at London's FrightFest Film Festival in August 2006. Also the
movie Feed has a scene involving a man cooking someone's penis,
and the main character finding the man who cooked the penis, as well as
the man to whom the penis belongs.
Armin Meiwes (born December
1, 1961) is a German man who achieved international notoriety for
killing and eating a voluntary victim that he had found via the
Internet. After Meiwes and the victim jointly attempted to eat the
victim's severed penis, Meiwes killed his victim and proceeded to eat a
large amount of his flesh.
Because of his deeds, Meiwes is also known as the "Rotenburg
Cannibal" or "Der Metzgermeister" (The Master Butcher).
Since entering prison, Meiwes has become a vegetarian
and has joined a prisoners' group favoring Green Party politics.
Killing and cannibalism
Looking for a willing victim, Meiwes posted an advertisement at a
website, The Cannibal Cafe, whose disclaimer mentions the distinction
between reality and fantasy. Meiwes's post stated that he was "looking
for a well-built 18 to 30-year-old to be slaughtered and then consumed".
Bernd Jürgen Brandes answered the
advertisement. Many other people responded to the advertisement, but
many backed out and none were forced to do anything they didn't want to
do by Meiwes. Meiwes is openly bisexual, as was
As is known from a videotape the
two made when they met on March 9, 2001 in Meiwes' home in the small
village of Rotenburg, Meiwes amputated Brandes' penis and the two men
attempted to eat the penis together before Brandes was killed. Brandes
had insisted that Meiwes attempt to bite his penis off. This did not
work, though Meiwes was able to burst both of Brandes' testicles by
biting them. Ultimately, Meiwes used a knife to remove Brandes' penis.
Brandes apparently tried to eat some of his own penis raw, but could not
because it was too tough and, as he put it, "chewy". Meiwes then sautéed
the penis in a pan with salt, pepper, and garlic, but by then it was too
burned to be consumed. He then chopped it up into chunks and fed it to
According to journalists who saw
the video (which has not been made public), Brandes may already have
been too weakened from blood loss to actually eat any of his penis.
Meiwes read a Star Trek book for three hours whilst his voluntary victim
was bleeding to death in the bath. Meiwes apparently gave him large
quantities of alcohol and pain killers, 30 sleeping pills and a bottle
of schnapps, finally, he kissed him once and killed him in a room that
he had built in his house for this purpose, The Slaughter Room.
After stabbing Brandes to death in
the throat, he hung the body on a meathook and tore hunks of flesh from
it; he even tried to grind the bones to use as flour. The whole scene
was recorded on the two-hour video tape. Meiwes ate the body over the
next 10 months, storing body parts in his freezer under pizza boxes and
consuming up to 20 kg of the flesh.
trial, and conviction of manslaughter
Meiwes was arrested in December 2002, after a
college student in Innsbruck phoned the police after seeing new
advertisements for victims and details about the killing on the
Internet. Investigators searched his home and found body parts and the
On January 30, 2004, Meiwes was convicted of
manslaughter and sentenced to eight and a half years in prison. The
case attracted considerable media attention and led to a debate over
whether Meiwes could be convicted at all, given that Bernd Jürgen
Brandes had voluntarily and knowingly participated in the act; there
were also complications as cannibalism itself was not illegal in
Germany at the time.
Meiwes has admitted what he has done, and expressed
regret for his actions. He added he wanted to write a book of his life
story with the aim of deterring anyone who wants to follow his steps.
Websites dedicated to Meiwes have appeared, with people advertising
for willing victims. "They should go for treatment, so it doesn't
escalate like it did with me," said Meiwes. He believes there are
about 800 "cannibals" in Germany.
Retrial and murder
In April 2005, a German court
ordered a retrial after prosecutors appealed his sentence. They believed
he should have been convicted of murder, not manslaughter, and given a
life sentence. Among the questions courts answered is whether Brandes
agreed to his killing, and whether he was legally capable of doing so at
the moment of killing, taking into account his apparent mental problems
as well as his significant intake of alcohol and other drugs. Other
aspects of the retrial determined whether Meiwes killed to satiate his
own desires (in particular sexual desires), and not because he was asked
to, which Meiwes has repeatedly rejected during testimony. At his
retrial a psychologist stated that Meiwes could reoffend and still "had
fantasies about devouring the flesh of young people."
On May 10th 2006, a court in Frankfurt convicted Meiwes of murder
and sentenced him to life imprisonment.
Consultant in criminal cases
According to a report by the Bild-Zeitung
from October 2007, Meiwes was reportedly helpful in the analysis of two
suspected cannibal murders from 1998 and 2000, in which two young boys
were found horribly mutilated, possibly by the same murderer, fulfilling
much the same role as the fictional cannibal murderer Hannibal Lecter.
The film "Three and Out" contains a reference to
the incident in which a German persistently calls the protagonist
asking if he would eat his penis. The protagonist, Paul, was
previously looking for a man willing to jump in front of his train
as he believed if three people did so in a month he would get 10
years of wages.
The song "Mein Teil" by German band Rammstein was
inspired by the case. "Teil" translates literally to "part" or "member,"
but is German slang for penis (much as "member" is in English). The
chorus of "Mein Teil" (My Part) includes the line, "Denn du
bist was du isst und ihr wisst was es ist." which translates to "You
are what you eat and you (plural) know what it is." with "Du bist
was du isst" being the famous catchphrase for the Swedish brand of
crisp bread Wasa. The original quote was made by Ludwig Feuerbach, a
German philosopher, expressing that everything a human consumes is
taking influence on his mind and body.
Other songs inspired by Meiwes' story include "The
Wüstenfeld Man Eater" by American death/thrash metal band Macabre, "Eaten"
by Swedish death metal band Bloodbath,
"Let me Taste your Flesh" by Spanish death metal band Avulsed, as
well as "Cannibal Anthem" by German electro-industrial project :wumpscut:,
"Cannibals of Rotenburg" by the dirge-country band Sons of Perdition,
and "Menschenfresser [Eat Me]" by electro-industrial act Suicide
Rock artist Marilyn Manson has
identified Meiwes as inspirational in the titling of his album,
Eat Me, Drink Me. Manson explained in an article what this story
meant to him: "Although I can't relate to the relationship those two
had, I found the story very compelling in a romantic way. I think a
lot of people wouldn’t look at it as romantic, but it was to them in
some sick way, and it is to me in some sick way, too."
Feature film Butterfly: A Grimm Love Story
(aka Rohtenburg which might be a pun on the name of the town
Rothenburg near Armin Meiwes' house and the German word "roh"
meaning raw, uncooked) was scheduled for German release in March
2006. However, it was banned in that country after Meiwes complained
that his "personality rights" had been violated. The American film,
which is fictionalized, stars Keri Russell and, in the role inspired
by Meiwes, Thomas Kretschmann. The film won multiple awards at the
2006 Festival de Cine de Sitges, including Best Director, Best Actor
for the two male leads, and Best Cinematography.
Other films based on the case include Rosa von
Praunheim's Dein Herz in Meinem Hirn (Your Heart in My Brain);
Marian Dora's Cannibal; and Uli Lommel's Cannibal. The
2005 Australian horror/thriller film Feed contains a short
scene depicting Meiwes and his victim sitting in a blood-filled
In 2005, the French author and actor Olivier
Lejeune penned and acted a farce entitled Dévorez-moi (Devour
me), loosely based on the case.
British comedy The IT Crowd parodied this
story as part of a plot for the third episode of series 2 wherein
the characters Roy and Moss pretended to be interested in being
eaten so they could watch a film on the cannibal's television.
Hip-hop artist Necro briefly makes reference to
the case in the song Human Consumption (from his third album The Pre-Fix
For Death) where he says : "it's legal in Germany, believe me,
cannibals are celebrities".
In 2006, the film Cannibal was released,
reconstructing the event. The film is directed by Marian Dora and
stars actors Carsten Frank, Victor Brandl and Manoush. The film was
banned in Germany.
In 2009, the book "Emergency" by Neil Strauss makes a reference to
Meiwes in regards to how easy it must be to find things using the
Self-confessed cannibal should be jailed for life
was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to eight years in 2004 after
admitting killing and eating a Berlin engineer he met on the internet.
federal judge ruled the verdict was too lenient, prompting a retrial.
insists his victim wanted to be eaten and died "a beautiful death", but
prosecutors said Meiwes had a "fetish for human flesh" and could
Prosecutor Markus Koehler told the court in Frankfurt that Meiwes should
be barred from parole after 15 years, as is usual for those serving life
sentences in Germany.
the "Rotenburg cannibal", Meiwes placed an advert on the internet before
meeting his victim, 43-year-old Bernd Juergen Brandes.
met at Meiwes's home in Rotenburg in March 2001, where they had sex
before Meiwes cut off Brandes's penis, which the men then cooked and
attempted to eat.
later stabbed and killed Brandes, before cutting him to pieces and
freezing parts of his body, some of which he later ate.
defence lawyers argue that Brandes willingly agreed to Meiwes's plans,
saying the original advert clearly stated that he was looking for a
volunteer to be "slaughtered and eaten".
not murder. His [Brandes's] goal was to be eaten and that meant being
killed," defence lawyer Joachim Bremer told the court.
Mr Koehler insisted that Meiwes killed Brandes "like a piece of
livestock" and was obsessed with power and dominance.
Meiwes has admitted that he still fantasises about killing when he sees
pictures of attractive young people, a fact prosecutors used to stress
that he remains likely to kill again.
Psychiatric assessments of Meiwes during his time in prison have
suggested his behaviour cannot be controlled by therapy, prosecutor
Annette von Schmiedeberg told the court.
this extremely worrying," she said.
is expected later this month.
sentences German cannibal to life for murder
(Reuters) - A German court on Tuesday handed down a life sentence for
murder to Armin Meiwes, the German cannibal jailed for killing a man and
feeding on his flesh, overturning a previous manslaughter conviction.
44, was on trial for the second time after Germany's top criminal court
ruled his 2004 conviction was too lenient.
severed the penis of computer engineer Bernd-Juergen Brandes in a
bizarre pact hatched over the Internet. Both men tried to eat the
severed organ, but without success. After heavy bleeding, Brandes
finally fell unconscious.
him to be dead, Meiwes laid his victim on a bench and plunged a knife
into his neck while videotaping what he was doing. He later froze parts
of the body and ate some of it.
Frankfurt court ruling means Meiwes could be eligible for parole after
serving a mandatory 15 years in jail.
week, prosecutors demanded Meiwes' original eight-year manslaughter
sentence be overturned and that he be jailed for life, arguing that he
could murder again and this time without his victim's agreement.
Prosecution lawyers argued that Meiwes had killed to satisfy his sexual
urges but his defense team said he had acted on his victim's request, a
crime similar to euthanasia which in Germany carries a maximum prison
term of five years.
the trial, the court heard how Meiwes made contact with Brandes over the
Internet and then met him at his home in the western town of Rotenburg
German cannibal sentenced to 8 1/2 years
Manslaughter conviction spares man from life sentence
KASSEL, Germany - A German who confessed to killing,
dismembering and eating another man was convicted Friday of
manslaughter and sentenced to 8 1/2 years in prison.
A state court ruled that
Armin Meiwes, a 42-year-old computer expert who met his victim on
the Internet, had no "base motives" in the crime -- sparing him a
Prosecutors called Meiwes a
"human butcher" who acted simply to "satisfy a sexual impulse" and had
sought a life sentence for murder.
His defense argued that since
the victim had volunteered to be killed and eaten, the crime should be
classified a mercy killing, which carries a five-year maximum penalty.
Before the verdict Meiwes
looked calm, chatting with his attorney and occasionally grinning for
cameras allowed inside the courtroom before the session began.
When his trial opened Dec. 3 in
the central city of Kassel, Meiwes confessed in detail to the March 2001
killing of 43-year-old Bernd Juergen Brandes at Meiwes' home in the
nearby town of Rotenburg.
Brandes traveled from Berlin in
reply to an Internet advertisement seeking a young man for "slaughter
and consumption." Meiwes testified that Brandes wanted to be stabbed to
death after drinking a bottle of cold medicine to lose consciousness.
"Bernd came to me of his own
free will to end his life," Meiwes said in his closing statement in
court Monday. "For him, it was a nice death."
Still, he said he regretted the
"I had my big kick and I don't
need to do it again," he said. "I regret it all very much, but I can't
A grisly video he made of the
act was shown to the court during a closed session.
A doctor testified that Brandes
died from loss of blood and that the medication, along with a half-bottle
of liquor and 20 sleeping pills he took beforehand, could not have
lessened his pain.
Several experts have testified
that Meiwes was fit to stand trial and was not mentally ill.
Police tracked down and
arrested Meiwes in December 2002 after a student in Austria alerted them
to a message Meiwes had posted on the Internet.
"If I hadn't been so stupid as
to keep looking on the Internet, I would have taken my secret to the
grave," Meiwes said in his closing statement.