BERLIN — The defendant, a 55-year-old German police officer known only as Detlef G., admits to stabbing Wojciech S. in the neck and killing him. He, however, denies eating the man. In fact, he notes that he didn’t even taste the 59-year-old businessman after the slaughter.
And, as bizarre as that may sound as a defense in what has become a tabloid dream of a story in Germany these days, it may not be the most surprising element of this case. In fact, the most surprising aspect of the cases wouldn’t be that killer and victim met on a German “exotic meat” website for cannibals and want to be meals, or that the victim wanted to be killed and eaten, or even the tales of another, younger man who showed up at a bed and breakfast owned by the officer and waited two weeks before the officer decided that potential victim was too young to be “grilled alive.”
No, the most surprising aspect of this story might be that Germans have heard it all before, and that it is therefore not very surprising at all.
In fact, the initial eight and a half year sentence would have ended this summer in the last case in which German victim and killer met on a cannibal website (he later had a second sentence tacked on, and must serve until at least 2019). In that case, Armin Meiwes, 42, was sentenced for manslaughter ( not murder ) in the 2001 murder of Bernd-Jurgen Brandes, 43, a successful software engineer from Berlin.
But as is the case this time, the tabloid factor wasn’t in the actual murder, but in the events leading up to the murder. Before killing and eating pieces of Brandes, Meiwes had advertised online for someone interested in being killed and eaten. More than 200 volunteers responded to that ad.
In that case, Meiwes videotaped the slaughter. In that video, Brandes told the camera that being eaten would be the fulfillment of a dream for him.
During the trial, Brandes response to Meiwes' ad was reviewed. Brandes response: “I am your meat.”
During the trial, Meives described the consumption of Brandes as a merging of souls, even claiming that by eating Brandes, he’d picked up Brandes’ English language ability.
The similarities are obvious to the new case: Detlef G. – whose bed and breakfast boasts of its grilling facilities, a fact that before this case seemed unspectacular but with this case seems sinister – admits that he killed and dismembered the victim, and buried the body parts on property in the Ore Mountains near the border with the Czech Republic, but insists he did so at the request of the victim.
Detlef G. however also admits he had met his victim on a cannibal fetish website, and that he was considered a “chef” while his victim was considered a “long pig.” On the website, chef is the shorthand term for those wishing to dine on human flesh. Long pig is the traditional term for the humans cannibals consume.
German newspaper reports show the case progressed like so: Victim and killer met on a what press reports note is the “Number 1 site for exotic meat” – a euphemism for those with the desire to eat or be eaten and a website with more than 3,000 members.
On November 4, Wojciech S. took first a bus and then a train to Dresden, where he met Detlef G. and drove to the bed and breakfast in the village of Reichenau. The bed and breakfast was called Pension Gimmlitztal and rented rooms for less than $18 a night.
There doesn’t appear to have been much foreplay to the act. Shortly after arriving, Detlef G. allegedly led Wojciech S. to the basement and stabbed him in the neck.
After Wojciech S. died, Detlef G. cut the body into small pieces and buried it near the house. He told police the slaughter “had been desired by the victim.”
The German newspaper Bild published an interview with a 31-year-old sewage mechanic from Baden Württemberg, who goes by the online name “Junjie.” Junjie had met Detlef G. on the cannibal website after posting that he “wanted to be grilled alive… whether on the grill or on a spit, I don't care.”
Junjie told Bild that after a fight with his parents, he wanted to disappear without a trace and had met with Detlef, even spent two weeks at the bed and breakfast. Detlef G. cooked for him every day, preparing Asian and East German dishes, but ultimately decided against the requested grilling death because he told the volunteer victim he was too young.
Junjie told the newspaper “I went there to be eaten.”
Police are now searching the bed and breakfast.
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