German Cannibal
Armin Meiwes, who killed and ate a willing victim, pauses before the start of his second trial at Frankfurt's country court, January 12, 2006. Reuter/Kai Pfaffenbach

A new documentary on notorious German cannibal Armin Meiwes provides more details on what happened when he murdered and ate his victim in 2001. The story of how the 54-year-old convict gave in to his repressed four-decade-old desire to eat human flesh is recounted in “Docs: Interview with a Cannibal.”

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According to the Barcroft TV feature, Meiwes met his victim, Bernd Brandes, online. He documented their encounter by filming their meeting, all the way to “Der Metzgermeister” or the Master Butcher murdering and eating Brandes, reports The New York Post.

In their first and last date, Meiwes, then 41, read Brandes a “Star Trek” novel and then chopped the man to pieces. “I took out my best dinner service, and fried a piece of rump steak – a piece from his back – made what I call princess potatoes, and sprouts,” Meiwes recounts in an interview inside his jail. After he prepared the meal, Meiwes ate it.

The butcher described the flesh of Brandes as tasting like pork, although it was stronger. The 43-year-old Brandes likely had an idea he would be the computer engineer’s next meal when he responded to a Craigslist ad titled “Dinner – or your dinner” in March 2001. Although he could also thought the line “young, well-built man who wanted to be eaten” was an allusion to kinky sex such as fellatio or rimming.

Brandes, after they had sex, agreed to have his penis cut off, fried and they would eat it together. He took 20 sleeping pills and drank half a bottle of Schnapps. Meiwes did as he told his victim. He then placed the mutilated Brandes in a bathtub, checked his victim every 15 minutes and read Brandes a “Star Trek” novel.

He stabbed his victim to death in the morning, chopped up Brandes’ flesh and kept the parts in his freezer which Meiwes ate over 10 months. The butcher, who shares that he spent 40 years longing and dreaming of eating human flesh, says the first bite was very strange. “I was getting the feeling that I was actually achieving this perfect inner connection through his flesh,” he explains.

After his arrest in December 2002, Meiwes was given an eight-year prison term for manslaughter, but after he was retried for murder, the Master Butcher is serving a life sentence.

Meiwes’s case is what mental experts would classify as erotophonophilia, or lust murder. It is a sexual paraphilia which often involves extreme violent fantasies and the victims are killed often during sex and their sexual organs are mutilated and eaten.

In the case of Brandes, a gay man who was one of about 200 who responded to Meiwes’s ad, he was suffering from vorarerephilia, a sexual paraphilia in which a person is sexually aroused by the idea of being physically eaten or eating another person or observing someone eat another person for sexual gratification. The Independent says that most vorarephiles’ behaviour happens in fantasy only, but Brandes and Meiwes cases were one of the few real ones.