He was born 1 December 1961 is a German former computer repair technician who achieved international notoriety for killing and eating a voluntary victim whom he had found via the Internet. After Meiwes and the victim jointly attempted to eat the victim’s severed penis, Meiwes killed his victim and proceeded to eat a large amount of his flesh. Because of his acts, Meiwes is also known as the Rotenburg Cannibal or Der Metzgermeister (The Master Butcher).
Looking for a willing volunteer, Meiwes posted an advertisement on the website The Cannibal Cafe (a defunct forum for people with a cannibalism fetish). Meiwes’ post stated that he was “looking for a well-built 18- to 30-year-old to be slaughtered and then consumed.” Bernd Jürgen Armando Brandes, an engineer from Berlin, answered the advertisement in March 2001. Many other people responded to the advertisement but backed out; Meiwes did not attempt to force them to do anything against their will.
The two made a videotape when they met on 9 March 2001 in Meiwes’ home, in the small town of Rotenburg, showcasing Meiwes amputating Brandes’ penis (with his agreement) and the two men attempting to eat it together. Before doing so, Brandes swallowed twenty sleeping pills, and a bottle of cough syrup, likely causing an effect of slowed breathing and extreme tiredness. Brandes initially insisted that Meiwes attempt to bite his penis off. This did not work, and ultimately, Meiwes used a knife to remove Brandes’ appendage. Brandes apparently tried to eat some of his own penis raw but could not, because it was too tough and, as he put it, “chewy”. Meiwes then fried the penis in a pan with salt, pepper, wine, and garlic; he then fried it with some of Brandes’ fat, but by then it was too burnt to be consumed. He then chopped the penis up into chunks and fed it to his dog. According to court officials who saw the video (which has not been made public), Brandes may already have been too weakened from blood loss to eat any of his penis.
Meiwes then ran Brandes a bath, before going to read a Star Trek book, while checking back on Brandes every fifteen minutes, during which time Brandes lay bleeding in the bath. Later, Brandes got out of the bath and collapsed, falling into unconsciousness due to blood loss. Brandes continued to drift in and out of consciousness before finally collapsing again. After long hesitation and prayer, Meiwes killed Brandes by stabbing him in the throat, after which he hung the body on a meat hook. The incident was recorded on a four-hour videotape. Meiwes ate the corpse over the next ten months, storing body parts in his freezer under pizza boxes and consuming up to 20 kilograms (44 lb) of the flesh. According to prosecutors, Meiwes committed the act for sexual pleasure.
Meiwes was arrested in December 2002, when a college student alerted authorities to new advertisements for victims online. Investigators searched his home and found body parts and the videotape of the killing.
On 30 January 2004, Meiwes was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to eight years in prison. The case attracted considerable media attention.
Meiwes has admitted cannibalising Brandes and has expressed regret for his actions. He added he wanted to write a biography with the aim of deterring anyone who wants to follow his footsteps. Websites dedicated to Meiwes have appeared, with people advertising for willing victims. “They should go for treatment, so it doesn’t escalate like it did with me”, said Meiwes. While in prison, Meiwes has since become a vegetarian. He believes there are about 800 cannibals in Germany.
In April 2005, a German court ordered a retrial after prosecutors appealed Meiwes’ sentence, arguing that he should have been convicted of murder because he killed for sexual gratification, a motive proved by his having videotaped the crime.[ The court ruled that the original trial had ignored the significance of the video in disproving the argument that Meiwes only killed because he had been asked to kill.
At his retrial, a psychologist stated that Meiwes could reoffend and still “had fantasies about devouring the flesh of young people”.[ On 10 May 2006, a court in Frankfurt convicted Meiwes of murder and sentenced him to life imprisonment.