Armin Meiwes placed an unusual ad on the internet. He was looking for someone who wanted to be eaten. Amazingly, another man agreed.
If you believe Hannibal Lecter was a charming man you may be forgiven for that, blame it on the wonderful Anthony Hopkins.
And, yet, in a perfect example of how life beats fiction, a totally unassuming German man, managed to charm another man into becoming his dinner, and, as it turned out, his main meat supply for months to come.
In 2001, a 40-year-old computer technician from the German town of Wüstefeld, near Rotenburg, put out an ad, not on a lonely hearts board, but on Canibal Cafe, a website dedicated to people like him, people with a cannibalism fetish.
He was “looking for a well-built 18 to 30-year-old to be slaughtered and then consumed.”
As odd as it may seem, he got dozens of answers, but most of them backed out when they realized Meiwes wasn’t joking.
One of them, however, proved to be seriously interested in Meiwes’ proposition.
The man’s name was Bernd Jurgen Armando Brandes, an engineer from Berlin. He was willing to be eaten and also wanted to get a taste of his own flesh.
Brandes was 43-year-old bis*xual man, a bit older than what Meiwes was looking for, but since there were no other candidates the cannibal settled for what he could get.
The feast was carefully planned through an exchange of stomach-churning messages.
They discussed in what ways should Brandes be eaten and how was Meiwes to dispose of the body. It was Brandes who suggested the cannibal should keep his skull and use it as an ashtray.
The date was set for March 9, 2001, when Brandes went to Meiwes’ home in Wüstefeld. What happened next was easy to put together as Meiwes filmed most of the murder.
After they had s*x, the pair started making diner preparations. Brandes swallowed 20 sleeping pills, washing them down with some schnapps.