Cannibal could kill again, expert tells German court
January 20, 2004
KASSEL, Germany — A self-confessed gay cannibal is "mentally sound" but could commit the same act of cannibalism again if given the opportunity, an expert witness testified before a court in Germany Monday.
Armin Meiwes at his trial in Kassel, Germany yesterday|
Photo: AFP/DDP/Pool/Uwe Zucchi
Sexual behaviouralist psychiatrist Dr Klaus Beier told the court
in Kassel that 42-year-old computer technician Armin Meiwes showed
no signs of mental incapacitation.
"The defendant is mentally sound and has an above-average
intelligence and displays no psychiatric illnesses," Beier
During examinations of Meiwes "I have never found any indication
of psychological disturbance", he said.
However, Beier said Meiwes, whose fascination with cannibalism
had developed from an early age, was a loner whose cannibalism
fantasies were a way of "being close" to men. Sexual excitement was
irrevocably linked to the idea of cutting up men.
Beier said therapy would not cure the defendant of his sexual
deviation and there was every danger he would accept the
opportunity of killing and eating another victim if a volunteer
But therapy could help Meiwes establish a close relationship
with another person without the wish to consume human flesh, he
The testimony could help the defence's contention that Meiwes
killed, dismembered and partially devoured a gay lover with the
victim's consent and as an act of "assisted suicide".
Because Germany has no law against cannibalism, Meiwes is
charged with murder "for sexual satisfaction" and "disturbing the
peace of the dead".
His defence is pressing for a lesser charge of "killing on
demand" which carries a maximum five-year jail sentence.
The defence has actively chosen not to portray Meiwes as
mentally deranged or incompetent. If found to be criminally insane,
Meiwes could be incarcerated at a mental institution the rest of
If, however, he is found guilty of murder, he would go free
after serving his sentence, since there is no death penalty in
Earlier, the court heard testimony describing the defendant as a
"cheerful" and "helpful" workmate.
A former co-worker of Meiwes said he had never displayed any
untoward or unusual behaviour at the information technologies
company where they had both worked in the 1990s.
"Armin was always a very cheerful co-worker, and very helpful,"
the witness told the court. "He always had a ready smile and an
Beier told the court Meiwes' victim, 43-year-old Berlin engineer
Bernd-Juergen Brandes, had been a sexual masochist since his youth.
Brandes had wanted Meiwes to dismember his penis and carve him
up as penance for a feeling he was partly to blame for the death of
The victim had kept his feelings a secret from friends of both
sexes and attempted to fulfil his sexual needs with male
prostitutes, he said.
On Friday a witness told the court that Brandes had had a
"castration fetish" and had begged his sex partners to mutilate his
The trial continues. A verdict is expected at the end of next
Related links stories
Meiwes is 'mentally sound', court hears [20/01/2004]
Meiwes's parents unaware 'Hansel & Gretel' obsession [19/01/2004]
German cannibal had over 200 'applicants', court told [19/01/2004]
German cannibal victim offered money for penis bite [13/01/2004]