German Murder: Alleged Cannibal Ran Hotel With Grilling Area

New information about an alleged case of cannibalism in Germany suggests the suspect was immersed in the online fetish world, and had discussed a similar act with another willing potential victim. He ran a bed and breakfast which advertised its grilling facilities.

Police investigate the area around a house near Reichenau, south of Dresden, eastern Germany, where a body was discovered cut into small pieces in a suspected cannibalism case. Zoom
AP/dpa

Police investigate the area around a house near Reichenau, south of Dresden, eastern Germany, where a body was discovered cut into small pieces in a suspected cannibalism case.

In recent days, new details have emerged in a bizarre alleged cannibalism case in Germany. The murder, which recalls a notorious killing perpetrated by Armin Meiwes in 2001, was allegedly committed by a 55-year-old police officer working as a handwriting analyst in the Dresden office of the State Criminal Police. The man has admitted to killing a 59-year-old Polish-born businessman from Hanover, whom he allegedly met on a cannibalism fantasy forum and whose body he allegedly dismembered and buried on a property belonging to him in the Ore Mountains, near the Czech border. The police officer -- thus far only known by his first name and last initial, Detlef G. -- disputes consuming any part of his victim.

According to an unconfirmed report in German daily Bild, Detlef G. was immersed in the online cannibal fetish community, and the police have yet to discover several parts of the victim, raising the question of whether they had been eaten.

'Long Pigs' and 'Chefs'

According to German daily Welt, the victim, known as Wojciech S., took a bus and a train to Saxony on Nov. 4, in order to meet with the alleged murderer. They met in Dresden, and drove to the police officer's Reichenau home, which doubled as a bed and breakfast. Shortly thereafter, Detlef G. allegedly stabbed his new acquaintance in the neck in the basement of the building, cut his body into small pieces and buried it in the garden of his home. The police officers investigating the case have said that the killing "had been desired by the victim."

The two men are alleged to have met on an online forum which describes itself as the "Number 1 site for exotic meat" and is visited by men with a fetish related to the consumption of human flesh. As of Friday, it had 3,000 users. The cannibal fetish community is a small, but not insignificant subgroup in Germany. Armin Meiwes, who was found guilty of killing and eating parts of 43-year-old Berlin engineer Bernd Jürgen in 2001, claimed after his conviction that there were approximately 800 "cannibals" living in the country.

In the online cannibal fetish world, men who want to be eaten are referred to as "long pigs," a term which comes from 19th-century explorers who encountered cannibals on their voyages. Men who fantasize about eating other men, meanwhile, are referred to as "chefs." The vast majority of forum-users, criminologist Petra Klages told Die Welt, are only interested in safely playing out a fantasy. Somewhat ominously, however, users for the forum are able to check a box marked "I'm interested in more than just role play."

Another Near-Victim

The alleged murderer, it seems, was part of the latter group. Yesterday, Bild published an interview with another man, a 31-year-old sewage mechanic from Baden Württemberg, who had also met with the police officer just a few weeks ago. The man, who went by "Junjie" online, had posted that he "wanted to be grilled alive." He wrote, "whether on the grill or on a spit, I don't care."

He told Bild he chatted online with the accused murderer, and the two made an appointment for him to be eaten because he says he had had a fight with his parents and wanted to disappear without a trace. In October he spent several weeks in the police officer's bed and breakfast, where the latter cooked Asian food and former East-German dishes for them, but finally decided that the 31-year-old was too young to be consumed. The younger man, who now lives with a boyfriend, was not shocked by the murder allegations because, he told Bild, "after all, I went there to be eaten."

Bed and Breakfast 'Ideal for Grilling'

The rustic bed and breakfast, called Pension Gimmlitztal, offered lodging for as little as €13 a night, including breakfast. Its website, which has been taken down, but is still cached online, advertised "a generous outside area, surrounded by woods, which is ideal for an evening of grilling." The suspect ran the business with his husband, who apparently knew nothing of his partner's criminal interests and has since gone into hiding.

Neighbors told Bild that Detlef and his husband would invite them over in the summer for parties in their garden, where the police officer would prepare "potato salad, sausages and steaks on the grill" and acted as the "perfect host." According to Bild, authorities will begin searching the interior of the house in the next few days.

tmr -- with wires

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