Cannibal turned vegetarian

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Armin Meiwes placed an ad on “The Cannibal Cafe” website asking for someone to eat, and shockingly, someone answered.

++Before you read on you might want to put down your sandwich first++

To the family next door, Armin Meiwes seemed the perfect neighbour. He mowed their lawn, repaired their car and even invited them round for dinner.

Other residents in the small German town of Rotenburg also believed there was nothing odd about the 42-year-old computer expert, whose light burned late into the night inside his creaking mansion. Yesterday, however, Meiwes appeared in court charged with killing – and then frying and eating – another man.

In one of the most extraordinary trials in German criminal history, the self-confessed cannibal admitted that he had met a 43-year-old Berlin engineer, Bernd Brandes, after advertising on the internet, and had chopped him up and eaten him.

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It all began in March of 2001.

Meiwes, who admitted that he had had an obsession with cannibalism from an early age, posted an ad in a forum on a website called The Cannibal Cafe, a blog for people with a cannibal fetish.

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His post using the alias Franky stated that he was “looking for a well-built 18 to 30-year-old to be slaughtered and then consumed.”

Originally, Meiwes got many replies, though in the end they all ultimately backed out. Then, finally, he got a message from Bernd Jurgen Armando Brandes, an engineer from Berlin. It turned out that as much as Meiwes wanted to eat someone, Brandes really wanted to be eaten.

On March 9, the two met at Armin Meiwes home, in the small town of Rotenburg. Brandes began his evening by swallowing twenty sleeping pills, and half a bottle of schnapps. He then laid down in Meiwes bathtub, while Meiwes set up a video camera to showcase the event.

Meiwes first amputated Brandes penis with a knife, after unsuccessfully attempting to bite it off. Meiwes took the severed appendage and fried it in a pan with salt, pepper, wine, garlic and some of Brandes’ own fat. Unfortunately he burned the penis and was unable to eat it, so instead, he fed it to his dog.

Brandes had initially planned to join Meiwes in the cannibalism, however, he managed to only eat a single bite of his own flesh before the blood-loss made him too weak to continue.

Meiwes then drew Brandes a bath and took a break to read a Star Trek book, checking on Brandes every 15 minutes while he bled out. After the bath, Brandes collapsed into unconsciousness due to blood loss. After long hesitation and prayer, Meiwes killed Brandes by stabbing him in the throat.

He then hung the body on a meat hook. The entire ordeal took four hours, the entirety of which was caught on tape.

Over the next ten months, Meiwes devoured Brandes’ body, storing parts of his body in his freezer, hidden behind pizza boxes. Authorities say he consumed over 44 pounds of flesh.

In December of 2001, Meiwes was finally arrested. A college student had found a new advertisement for a victim online, as well as details about Brandes’ murder.

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He called the police, who searched Meiwes home and found the body parts and videotape.

Meiwes admitted to the murder and the cannibalism, claiming it was an act of sexual pleasure, but added that he regrets his actions. He also plans to write a book in the hopes of deterring anyone who feels the need to follow in his footsteps.

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 cannibalizing Brandes and has expressed regret for his actions. He added he wanted to write a book of his life story 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

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The Dating Game killer

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In 1978, Rodney Alcala appeared on The Dating Game — the popular game show in which three eligible bachelors vied for a date with a bachelorette.

The show was heavy on innuendo. The host introduced Alcala as a “successful photographer who got his start when his father found him in the darkroom at the age of 13, fully developed.”

Throughout the show, Alcala enthusiastically responded to the bachelorette’s suggestive questions: likening himself to a banana, saying that nighttime is when he “really gets good” and acting out the part of a dirty old man.

He was charming enough that the woman, Cheryl Bradshaw, chose him for a date.

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But what Bradshaw — and the viewing audience — didn’t know was that Alcala was a serial killer who was in the midst of a rampage. He had already murdered at least two women in Southern California. Previously, he had served 34 months in prison for the brutal rape and beating of an 8-year-old girl. He had briefly been put on the FBI’s Most Wanted list.

Bradshaw was selected by the show because he was tall, handsome and charming. Producers did not conduct a background check.

Bradshaw, if not for a healthy jolt of women’s intuition, would almost certainly be remembered today as one of Alcala’s victims. Instead, after the show ended, she conversed with Alcala backstage. He offered her a date she’d never forget, but Bradshaw got the feeling that her handsome potential suitor was a little off.

“I started to feel ill,” Bradshaw told the Sydney Telegraph in 2012. “He was acting really creepy. I turned down his offer. I didn’t want to see him again.”

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Rodney Alcala was born in San Antonio, Texas in 1943. His father moved the family to Mexico when Alcala was eight years old, only to abandoned them there three years later. His mother then moved Alcala and his sister to suburban Los Angeles.

At age 17, Alcala entered the Army as a clerk, but after a nervous breakdown, he was medically discharged due to mental health issues. Then, the intelligent young man with an IQ of 135 went on to attend UCLA. But he wouldn’t stay on the straight and narrow for long.

Alcala committed his first known crime in 1968: A motorist in Los Angeles called police after watching him lure an eight-year-old girl named Tali Shapiro into his Hollywood apartment. The girl was found alive, raped and beaten with a steel bar, but Alcala had fled.To evade the resulting arrest warrant he left the state and enrolled in the NYU film school, under the famous film director and producer Roman Polanski. using the name “John Berger”.

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In 1971 he also obtained a counseling job at a New Hampshire arts camp for children using a slightly different alias, “John Burger”.

Later that summer, two children at the same camp where Alcala worked noticed an FBI most-wanted poster at the post office and notified the camp directors. The FBI made a quick arrest, but Shapiro’s family had already relocated across the border to Mexico to forget the horror they had to live through. Without the testimony, prosecutors were not able to convict Alcala of rape and attempted murder. Alcala pled guilty to a lesser charge of assault and was paroled after 34 months.

 In June 1971, Cornelia Michel Crilley, a 23-year-old Trans World Airlines flight attendant, was found raped and strangled in her Manhattan apartment. Her murder went unsolved until it was connected to Alcala in 2011.

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Decades after Alcala’s horrific crimes, the victims’ families are still grappling with the pain that he inflicted. Robin Samsoe was just 12 years old when Alcala saw her riding her bike to ballet class in 1979. Her mother, Marianne Connelly, recalls what happened when Robin didn’t return home from ballet class that evening.

“I called the police and said my daughter’s missing,” Connelly tells the show. “They told me they couldn’t take a report for 24 hours. By the next morning, they declared it a kidnapping.”

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About 12 days later, her decomposed remains had been found, scavenged by animals.

Connelly recalls what happened when the authorities arrived at her house. “The sergeant says, ‘We found Robin,’ ” she recalls “I grabbed my purse and said ‘OK, let’s go.’ He said, ‘where do you think you’re going?’ I said ‘to go see Robin.’ ”

The sergeant told Connelly that she couldn’t identify the body because it took three days to identify her remains.

“I got so mad,” recalls Connelly. “I said ‘three days? How many little girls with long blonde hair disappear in California?’ And he said, ‘there was no hair.’ ”

This was the case that would finally break Acala’s killing spree

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Alcala had three trials and numerous appeals. At the first two trials, Alcala was charged with the murder of Robin Samsoe, a 12-year-old who disappeared between the beach and her ballet class on June 20, 1979. 12 days later her remains, and subsequently her earrings, were discovered in a Seattle locker rented by Alcala. Despite the fact Alcala was convicted and sentenced to death, the verdict was overturned by the supreme court because the jurors were informed of Alcala’s sex crimes prior to the trial.

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While preparing for the third trial, advances in DNA science helped match semen left at the crime scenes of two women in Los Angeles. Again, a pair of earrings belonging to a victim were found in the locker rented by Alcala. DNA matches led to Alcala’s indictment for the murders of four additional women: Jill Barcomb (18), Georgia Wixted (27), Charlotte Lamb (31), Jill Parenteau (21).

At the final trial, Alcala decided to act as his own attorney, just like Ted Bundy and many other narcissistic psychopaths. The star and surprise witness was Tali Shapiro, Alcala’s first victim who survived the brutal rape and beating, finally ready to face the devil. For five long hours, Alcala played the roles of both interrogator and witness. He addressed himself as Mr. Alacala, asking questions in a deeper voice than when answering them. The theatrics of “The Dating Game Killer” didn’t work. The charm that entrapped so many girls didn’t convince the jurors or the judge and Alcala was found guilty on all five counts of first-degree murder. When it was time for the closing argument, he decided to play the Arlo Guthrie song “Alice’s Restaurant”.

In March 2010, Alcala was sentenced to death for the third time. The death penalty has not been carried out as of yet

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If that is so, then I suppose I’m a murderer.

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On March 29, 1945, some 60 Jewish slave labourers were shot in Deutsch Schützen, Austria, a town in what is now the Austrian province of Burgenland. One of the suspected murderers is former SS Junior Squad Leader Adolf Storms.

Though Storms’ identity was known in 1946 – he was listed in the German telephone book – Austrian authorities never apprehended him. Adolf Storms died in 2010 shortly before the trial against him was opened.

Adolf Storms was born in 1919. During World War II, he was a sergeant of the 5th SS Division “Wiking”, a division of the Waffen SS, which had participated in the war of aggression against the Soviet Union between 1941 and 1944. The division’s fallback led it from Hungary to the Czech Republic and finally to Austria.

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Storms, died age 90 on June 28 2010, he had been  on the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s list of most-wanted Nazi suspects.He was accused of the massacre of at least 57 Jewish forced labourers in Austria at the end of World War II.

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In 2009 prosecutors in Germany were investigating the accusations against him and preparing a trial.The prosecutor in the city of Dortmund, Andreas Brendel, said investigators had recently been checking if Storms was fit for trial.

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Mr Brendel said he had had strong evidence against Storms.

The former SS officer and unidentified accomplices forced the labourers to hand over their valuables and kneel by a grave before shooting them.

Witnesses

Storms was also accused of having shot another man on the day after the massacre.He was alleged to have shot the man because he was too weak to take part in a forced march.

Several former members of the Hitler Youth, who had helped the SS guards during the march, gave witness statements against Storms.

 

The accused worked as a railway station manager for decades until a student at the University of Vienna found his name in documents alleging his involvement in war crimes.

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The student and his professor, Walter Manoschek, tracked him down and Manoschek then visited Storms several times. The professor conducted about 12 hours of interviews in which Storms repeatedly said that he does not remember the killings.He said it was war and I was a young lad. When he was told that the massacre did happen, his reply was “Well if that is so I suppose I am a murderer”

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