SHARE
COPY LINK

CRIME

German teacher gets life for cannibal murder

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.

A judicial officer stands in front of a courtroom in Berlin.
A judicial officer stands in front of a courtroom in Berlin. The defendant remained silent and expressionless when the guilty verdict was announced. Christophe Gateau / POOL / AFP

Presiding judge Matthias Schertz said Stefan R. carried out the crime “to realise 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.

According to prosecutors, Stefan R., 42,  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.

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 neighbourhood.

Police identified the remains as those of 43-year-old missing Berliner Stefan T.

Through the victim’s phone records, investigators were led to the murderer’s address, where they found traces of blood, more remains and a set of suspicious work tools.

Stefan R.’s lawyers had argued 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.

But 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 German ex-police officer convicted of murdering a willing victim he met on a website for cannibalism fetishists and chopping him up in an S&M chamber.

READ ALSO: ‘Cannibal cop’ convicted of ‘killing victim’ in retrial

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.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

GERMANY AND ISRAEL

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

The German government says it is in talks over further compensation for victims of the attack on the Munich Olympics, as the 50th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

Ahead of the commemoration in September, relatives of the Israelis killed have indicated they are unhappy with what Germany is offering.

“Conversations based on trust are taking place with representatives of the victims’ families,” a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP when asked about the negotiations.

He did not specify who would benefit or how much money had been earmarked, saying only that any package would “again” be financed by the federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Munich.

On September 5th, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s flat at the Olympic village, shooting dead two and taking nine Israelis hostage, threatening to kill them unless 232 Palestinian prisoners were released.

West German police responded with a bungled rescue operation in which all nine hostages were killed, along with five of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists  held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Horst Ossingert

The spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Ankie Spitzer, told the German media group RND that the amount currently on the table was “insulting” and threatened a boycott of this year’s commemorations.

She said Berlin was offering a total of €10 million including around €4.5 million already provided in compensation between 1972 and 2002 — an amount she said did not correspond to international standards. 

“We are angry and disappointed,” said Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was killed in the attack. “We never wanted to talk publicly about money but now we are forced to.”

RND reported that the German and Israeli governments would like to see an accord by August 15th.

The interior ministry spokesman said that beyond compensation, Germany intended to use the anniversary for fresh “historical appraisal, remembrance and recognition”.

He said this would include the formation of a commission of German and Israeli historians to “comprehensively” establish what happened “from the perspective of the year 2022”.

This would lead to “an offer of further acts of acknowledgement of the relatives of the victims of the attack” and the “grave consequences” they suffered.

SHOW COMMENTS