Armin Meiwes, Cannibal

Armin Meiwes (born 1 December 1961) is a German man who achieved international notoriety for killing and eating a voluntary victim whom 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 acts, Meiwes is also known as the Rotenburg Cannibal or Der Metzgermeister (The Master Butcher).

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 then answered the advertisement. Many other people responded to the advertisement, but backed out; Meiwes did not attempt to force them to do anything against their will.

As is known from a videotape the two made when they met on 9 March 2001 in Meiwes’s home in the small village of Rotenburg, Meiwes amputated Brandes’s 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 and ultimately, Meiwes used a knife to remove Brandes’s 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 fried the penis in a pan with salt, pepper, wine and garlic; he then fried it with some of Brandes’s fat but by then it was too burned to be consumed. He then chopped it up into chunks and fed it to his dog. 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 book for three hours, while Brandes lay bleeding in the bath. Meiwes apparently gave him large quantities of alcohol and pain killers, 20 sleeping pills and a bottle of schnapps, kissed him and finally 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 meat hook and tore chunks 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 kilograms (44 lb) of the flesh. [from Wikipedia]

For more information, I highly suggest watching the 60 minutes interview.

Also, a German film titled “Grimm Love”, was made based on the incident (above).

Should Meiwes be punished for his actions, even though his victim was a willing participant? What do you think? Answer in the comments!

7 Responses to “Armin Meiwes, Cannibal”

  1. This is very close to the assisted suicide issue, but definitely with a twist of it’s own! I’m going to say off the bat that no, Meiwes should not be punished. Ok, so he killed a guy, but the guy was obviously willing and mental enough to go through it. Whose to say that Brandes wouldn’t have found another way to kill himself if that had truly been his goal?

    It actually seemed more humane than hunting, where the animals have no say. And no, I’m not against hunting (half my family hunts), just as a comparison lol. Still, Meiwes is obviously not very well in the head either. The facts remain that he never forced anyone though, so I’d let him off the hook.

    I somehow doubt it’ll be that simple.

    • yes i agree! he should not get in trouble for “murder” or any related form of killing. his “victim” was a willing participant who went out of his way to be involved in this. both parties understood what they were doing and both committed to the act without any coercion.

      if this had happened many hundreds of years ago, society wouldnt have punished him. they would have just considered him a weirdo. today our society wants to hold up this illusion of cleanliness and anything outside of the bounds may be punishable… even if it harms no one else (as is the case with experimental personal drug use, gay/lesbianism, etc)

  2. I think more of concern here is the fact that the guy is clearly ‘not very well in the head’ (understatement much?) and poses a significant risk to the public. He was caught because he was in the process of seeking out new victims. Also, surely the families of the deceased should be considered a little? Fair enough their loved one may well have died anyway – but the whole “tried to eat my own willy, then some other guy carved me up and ate the rest/fed me to his dog” thing MIGHT make the loss a little harder to bare….

    • he wasn’t really “caught” and the participant wasn’t really a “victim.” being caught implies he was trying to hide it (he openly expressed his intention on the web) and the person he ate allowed him to do so willingly.

  3. I watched “Grimm Love” late last night and it definitely brought about a lot of questions in my mind. Does one have the right to die on their own terms? If a person consents to such horrors, should the other party be held accountable? Would Meiwes pose a danger if allowed to continue to live freely amongst the rest of society?
    Firstly, I’m in agreement with Leikashadow. This is definitely an aspect of the assisted suicide debate. Usually my stance is that it shouldn’t even be a debate (Kevorkian imo is a great and brave man). Personal choice should always be the first and foremost consideration in any society. However, at what point does mental illness and level of danger become a factor? My answer to that would be, when all evidence points to the fact that they have little to no control over their fixation and would definitely repeat their behavior. What are the chances that others would have offered themselves up as the main course? In my opinion, Meiwes would have never stopped needing to consume human flesh and at some point lack of consent would not have stopped him. Besides, he may have already eaten the only man in existence who would have went through with it. For arguments sake, let’s say that more men were willing to be the steak to Meier’s potatoes. Isn’t it our responsibility to protect those who are clearly mentally ill from those who might take advantage of them? We don’t even argue about whether children should be protected from pedophiles yet if a man is willing to be eaten, more power to him? Isn’t it common practice to shoot a dog who has a taste for human blood? Just saying.

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