Skip to main content

German policeman arrested in alleged cannibalism case

By Stephanie Ott, CNN
updated 11:45 AM EST, Fri November 29, 2013
Forensics investigate in the garden of the suspected murderer on November 29 in Hartmannsdorf.
Forensics investigate in the garden of the suspected murderer on November 29 in Hartmannsdorf.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A German policeman is accused of murdering and dismembering a man
  • The 55-year-old policeman met the victim on a cannibalism website, police say
  • The victim, 59, reportedly "had been fantasizing about being killed and eaten since his youth"
  • The policeman is believed to have killed the man at a house and buried his body parts

(CNN) -- Police in Dresden, Germany, say they have arrested a 55-year-old police officer on suspicion of murdering and butchering a man he met on a cannibalism website.

The two men met on Zambian Meat, an Internet chat forum where people discuss their sexual and cannibalistic fantasies. Text messages and online chats revealed that the 59-year-old victim from Hanover asked to be killed, police said.

Dresden Police Chief Dieter Kroll said at a news conference: "The victim had been fantasizing about being killed and eaten since his youth."

Marko Laske, a police spokesman, said: "Our investigations have just begun, and we cannot confirm rumors yet that the suspect has eaten parts of the victim or that it was a sexually motivated act." There is no evidence that the suspect ate body parts, and he denied doing so, Laske said.

The arrested man works for Saxony's State Office of Criminal Investigation in the forensics department. He was known as an "inconspicuous and normal colleague," police said.

Police did not name the suspect. German media are identifying him as "Detlev G."

After having been in contact for months through chat, e-mail, telephone and text, the men agreed to meet on November 4. They met at Dresden's main train station, police and prosecutors said, and shortly after went to a guesthouse in the Ore Mountains that belongs to the alleged killer. The police officer is believed to then have killed, tortured and dismembered the man, and buried his body parts on the land around his guesthouse.

The victim was reported missing in November. The police officer gave a partial confession by admitting that he killed the man from Hanover. He did not reveal his motive.

The police officer was arrested two days ago while on duty. "It is an utterly extraordinary case. For an unusual case with such wide repercussions, it will take a while to find out the truth about what really happened and why he did it," Laske said.

In 2001, Armin Meiwes was arrested for killing and eating a voluntary victim he met on the Internet. Meiwes posted an advertisement on the Cannibal Cafe website, looking for a young man for "slaughter and consumption." His victim, Bernd Brandes, reportedly agreed to be butchered alive before being killed and eaten.

Meiwes, who captured the killing on video, was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 12:46 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The tragic killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a bitter public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
updated 8:27 AM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
North Korea warns the United States that U.S. "citadels" will be attacked, dwarfing the hacking attack on Sony that led to the cancellation of a comedy film's release.
updated 9:51 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it's never looked better.
updated 11:21 AM EST, Sat December 20, 2014
More than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation, Unicef has warned.
updated 8:22 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Boko Haram's latest abductions may meet a weary global reaction, Nigerian journalist Tolu Ogunlesi says.
updated 5:34 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Drops, smudges, pools of blood are everywhere -- but in the computer room CNN's Nic Robertson reels from the true horror of the Peshawar school attack.
updated 9:43 PM EST, Wed December 17, 2014
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
updated 4:48 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
updated 3:27 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
updated 9:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
updated 12:01 PM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT