BERLIN (AP) — A Berlin teacher was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison on Friday for the killing of another man that the court said was carried out as part of “cannibalism fantasies.”
The 42-year-old, who has been identified only as Stefan R. in keeping with German privacy rules, also was convicted of disturbing the peace of the dead after a trial that opened in August.
The Berlin state court found that the defendant killed a 43-year-old mechanic in September 2020 “to live out his cannibalism fantasies,” news agency dpa reported.
“What you did was inhuman,” Presiding Judge Matthias Schertz said.
The men met on a dating portal and agreed to meet for sex at the teacher’s apartment in the German capital, according to investigators.
The court found that the defendant killed his acquaintance there, cut up his body and then spread parts of it in different neighborhoods of the city. It said that the victim had not expected “an attack on his life.”
The defendant had increasingly “developed slaughter and cannibalism ideas” and had been in online cannibalism forums, judge Schertz said. Investigators later found a bone saw and special knives at his apartment.
Prosecutors said that he cut off the victim’s genitals with the intention of eating them, and judges agreed, dpa reported. It couldn’t be established whether he actually carried out that intention.
Police spent weeks looking for the missing mechanic before walkers found bones in a Berlin forest.
The court found that the defendant bears “particularly grave” responsibility, meaning that he won’t be entitled to the automatic parole after 15 years that is customary in Germany.
He disputed the charges, saying that he had found his acquaintance dead on a couch after he spent the night and hadn’t called police or an ambulance “because it would have come out that I am homosexual.” The defense had sought his acquittal.
The case isn’t the first in Germany involving alleged cannibalism, or fantasies involving it.
In 2006, a German court convicted Armin Meiwes of murder and disturbing the peace of the dead for killing and eating a man he had met online. Meiwes is currently serving a life sentence.
A German police officer was convicted of murder in 2015 for killing a man he met in an internet chat forum devoted to cannibalism. Prosecutors said the victim had fantasized about being eaten, but there was no evidence the suspect actually did so.