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The Master Butcher

Trigger warning: cannibalism, sexual masochism, suicide/mental health

No crime scene photos or calls are used in this post.


Meiwes was born in December 1961 in West Germany. Not much is known about his background or upbringing, but he has mentioned that he had a very lonely childhood. His parents had gotten a divorce at age 8. When asked about his son in court, his father mentioned that Armin was a good child but had always been obsessed with Hansel and Gretel, specifically the chapter where Hansel is cooked and eaten. When his father left, he chased the car down the street. From then on, Mewies’ mother become the primary parent and was often overprotective of Armin. However, Armin never felt that he could share things with his mother.

Armin Meiwes

As his thoughts became more dark, he created an imaginary friend named Franky that he shared his secret desires with.

Around age 10, Armin began to have an interest in cannibalism. He has said that the famous book Robinson Crusoe (published in 1791) started his interest. He’d watch butchers cut meat for hours. The biggest motivator for the interest in cannibalism is the extreme loneliness Meiwes felt. He thought if he could consume someone, they’d never be able to leave him.

As an adult, Armin joined the West German Army. He desperately wanted to have a career in the military. It kept him busy and powerful, both of which helped him avoid/control his fantasies. Many of the friends he made in Army noticed that he never had a girlfriend as he didn’t do well in relationships. Armin spent 12 years in the West German Army before he was released. This only came because he was caught drinking and driving twice after totaling two cars on two different occasions. This also led to him losing his license.

After his time in the army, he returned home to Germany to care for his ailing mother in 1993. He even started a new career in computers. In this time, the internet was up and coming and allowed Armin to connect with other people across the world. Unfortunately, this meant he was able to create websites, create weird photos, and even share his fantasies with like-minded people. He would manipulate meat and marzipan to look like a human and used photo shop to make it seem more real and would send these photos out.

Screen grab of famous dark web site, the Cannibal Cafe

In 1999, Armin’s mother died. Since she passed, he had nothing stopping him from indulging in his fantasies. This also led to Armin indulging in a vast amount of porn, most of it violent and torture like. This led to Armin finding sites for his cannibal fantasies.

In 2000, Armin began looking for his victim and sharing more of these fantasies online with others. Meiwes begun posting ads looking for a good looking young man willing to be eaten. He requested that one not be too toned. (Human meat is stringy when toned?) He had people respond, most not realizing how serious Armin was. Much of this desire was motivated by sexual desire and part of that desire for Meiwes included consent from the victim to be killed and eaten. If a potential victim backed out, Meiwes lost interest very quickly. The ads posted were posted on known dark web site, the Cannibal Cafe, which was a forum for folks with cannibalistic sexual fetishes.

Bernd Brandes, victim of cannibal Armin Meiwes

The final person to contact Armin about his ads was Bernd Brandes. On 2/14/2001, Brandes reached out to Meiwes and offered himself as victim. The two chatted about the best way to eat his body and how to deal with any remains. Brandes was an extreme masochist, including having fantasies about his penis being cut off. On 3/9/2001, Meiwes and Brandes met.

Before the trip, Brandes removed all evidence of conversations and hid all this from his partner. Meiwes picked Brandes up and took him back to his home. In their online conversations, Brandes mentioned that he’d like to be sedated when he was killed. Brandes took half a bottle of cold medicine, instructed Meiwes to castrate him while he was sleepy. However, Brandes had a sudden change of heart 30 minutes later. Meiwes started to drive him back to his transportation, Brandes then became afraid of explaining his actions to his partner, which caused him to change his mind again.

When they drove back, Meiwas whipped out the video camera to record the entire crime. Brandes requested to be totally unconscious during the crime, taking more cough meds and sleeping pills. Not totally unconscious yet, Armin removed Brandes’ penis with a sharp knife. They both attempted to eat it but couldn’t because of the texture. Armin then fried it and ate it, but claims it didn’t taste as good as he had expected. At this time, Brandes is now slowly dying from blood loss.

The bathtub where Brandes was placed

Brandes asks to be placed in warm water to help him bleed out. Meiwes did so, then read him a Star Trek novel by the bath, waiting for him to die. After two hours of this, Brandes attempted to get out of the tub and collapsed on the floor. Meiwes then carries him to a bedroom and lays him down.

At 5am on the next morning, Brandes had died. Armin butchered his body, pulverised his bones, held onto the head, and began to eat the body over the course of a year. He stated that he found the meat to be chewy so he ground it up. Shortly after his disappearance, the police begun to look for Brandes.

The home of Armin Meiwes

Armin shared photos online of what he had done to Brandes. He was revered as a hero by those on the cannibals websites. A young medical student had found the ad for another victim and contacted Meiwes. Armin believed he was interested in being a victim, however the young man was just trying to get information about the crime Armin had committed and eventually got him to admit what he had done in detail. The student then reported the crime.

In November of 2001, there was a warrant issued for Meiwes arrest. His home was searched and in this search they found body parts of Brandes in the frozen. Since the meat had to be sent for testing and the testing takes time, Meiwes was released after “no evidence” was found.

Armin confessed to a lawyer, the lawyer took him to the police, where he confessed. He claimed he knew it wasn’t right, but he did it because Brandes had asked to killed. Then was taken through a five hour interrogation. He never denied his crimes and even took the police to his home and provide them with all the evidence they needed. The testing on the meat also said that the meat was human. Scientist found that Armin had eaten one third of the body. The shows just how much suffering Brandes was in as he died.

Armin at his trial

2004, Armin was charged with assisted suicide/manslaughter as cannibalism is not illegal in most countries. They wanted to charge Armin with murder but they’d have to prove it, especially since they had no motive. (Murder in German law, kills out of murderous lust, to satisfy sexual desires, greed, or otherwise based motives, cruelly, with stealth, w/ means dangerous to the public or to cover up another crime. Manslaughter all killing w/out these specifics.) Upon this ruling, he was sentenced to only 8.5 years in prison. Germans were not pleased with this ruling. And neither was Meiwes.

Meiwes appealed, believing he had done nothing wrong because Brandes had requested this fate. In 2005, the court of appeals reversed his judgement. Retrial begun in 2006. German authorities believed and attempted to prove that this was a sexual fantasy more for Meiwes and not entirely for Brandes like he had claimed. Because of the alcohol and drugs in Brandes’ system, the german court explained that Brandes couldn’t have been in the right mind to consent. Lab officials had seen the tapes and discovered that Brandes was still breathing as Armin butchered him. (Even though he had claimed he was already dead upon butchering) He truly believed that he had given Brandes a good death. In 2006, the court overturned his first sentence and his sentence was changed to life.

This story led to much controversy about consent. While Brandes had told Meiwes that he wanted this, was Brandes in the right mind set to make this choice? Let us know what you think!

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