A Berlin court on Friday found a former teacher guilty of murdering a man and cutting up his body as part of a cannibal fantasy after meeting him online, sentencing him to life in prison.
Presiding judge Matthias Schertz said that Stefan R. carried out the crime “to realize his cannibalistic fantasies,” describing it as “inhuman.”
In 30 years as a judge, “nothing like this has come across my desk before,” he said.
The defendant, who was also convicted of desecrating a corpse, remained silent and expressionless as the verdict was read out in court.
Prosecutors said that 42-year-old, who has been identified only as Stefan R. in keeping with German privacy rules, made contact with the victim via a dating app before luring him to his home.
Once there, the victim was sedated with drugs before his throat was slit and his genitalia cut off to be eaten, prosecutors said.
The corpse was then cut into pieces and scattered across the northeastern Pankow district of Berlin.
The case first came to light in November 2020, after human bones were found in a park in the neighborhood.
Police identified the remains as those of 43-year-old missing Berliner Stefan T.
Through the victim’s telephone records, investigators were led to Stefan R.’s address, where they found traces of blood, more remains and a set of suspicious work tools.
Stefan R.’s lawyers had said that the victim died of natural causes in his home, and he had cut up and disposed of the body because he was afraid of people finding out about his homosexuality.
However, judge Schertz said this version of events was “unbelievable from start to finish,” noting the “very careful separation of testicles and penis” as evidence of a cannibalistic ritual.
The case is reminiscent of that of Detlev Guenzel, a former German police officer convicted of murdering a willing victim he met on a Web site for cannibalism fetishists and chopping him up in an S&M chamber.
Guenzel, 58, had cut the body into small pieces in a slaughter chamber he built in his cellar before burying them in his garden. There was no evidence that he ate any part of his victim.
In another case that shocked Germany, Armin Meiwes, nicknamed the “cannibal of Rotenburg,” was sentenced to life in prison in 2006 for killing and partially consuming a willing victim.
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