German cannibal tells court he gave victim a 'nice death'
January 27, 2004
KASSEL, Germany — Promising never to kill again, self-confessed gay cannibal Armin
Meiwes nonetheless told a court in Germany Monday his victim had
begged to be "slaughtered" and that he had given him a "nice and
"I'm very sorry for what I've done," the 42-year-old defendant
told the court in Kassel as the headline-grabbing case entered its
phase of final arguments. "It is something I would never do again."
Addressing the court in one last statement, a tight-lipped but
otherwise unmoved Meiwes stressed that he had only given victim
Bernd-Juergen Brandes what he had asked for.
"I want the court to understand that I only did what I did
because he expressly wanted me to do it," Meiwes said. "And in
doing so I gave him a nice and worthy death."
As he has from the outset, Meiwes in no way disclaimed
responsibility for the March 2001 killing, clearly hoping for
imprisonment with chance of parole - as opposed to being shut away
forever in a mental institution.
Asking the court for a conviction and life imprisonment, chief
prosecution attorney Marcus Koehler said Monday the 42-year-old
defendant had wilfully and with premeditation killed, dismembered
and partially devoured his victim, Bernd-Juergen Brandes, at
Meiwes' home in March 2001.
The prosecution wrapped up its case Monday before the court in
Kassel after a psychiatrist testified Friday that Meiwes, while
criminally perverted, is legally sane - bolstering the defence's
hopes that he will one day be a free man again.
Dr. Georg Stolpmann said Meiwes suffered from a serious
psychological abnormality, but he was responsible for his actions
in the legal sense of sanity.
The psychiatrist's view concurred with that of a sexologist who
had earlier testified at the trial. Their expert evidence is likely
to mean that Meiwes will not be found insane and locked in a mental
hospital, but can be judged under the regular criminal code.
Meiwes claims Brandes, a Berlin computer engineer, requested to
be castrated, killed and eaten. He is accused of murder for sexual
His defence attorneys have avoided arguing insanity for fear
that Meiwes might be committed to a mental institution for the rest
of his life. But because Germany has no death sentence, a murder
conviction would ultimately allow Meiwes to go free one day.
Stolpmann said he thoroughly agreed with the earlier expert
witness, sexologist Klaus Beier, who said Meiwes does not need to
be committed to an institution, but instead is competent to face
conviction and incarceration.
Even so, Stolpmann challenged the defendant's credibility. He
said Meiwes suffered from delusions of megalomania. He wanted power
over people, and not just the "ultimate intimacy" of ingesting
Stolpmann said Meiwes is highly manipulative, using outward
charm to persuade others into bowing to his will. The killing of
Brandes was a conscious act by a sane though perverted mind, he
"It was a premeditated, thoroughly planned and meticulously
executed act," Stolpmann testified. "The conscious thought
processes of this man's mind were in no way impaired. Meiwes was
acutely aware of the legal ramifications of his actions, which is
why he placed such importance on getting his victim's willing
consent. Thus, his mental competency is not in question."
Stolpmann said the defendant had subsequently written to an
acquaintance: "It is an incredible feeling to have ultimate power
over another man and to slice him up into serving portions."
"For Meiwes, the goal of all this was what he called "to get the
biggest kick of my life', as he told police after his arrest,"
Stolpmann said. "He wanted absolute power over another person and
was planning from the start to commit other such crimes." –Sapa-dpa
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