I spend a lot of time on the internet and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s bad for your health. When you think about it, the internet experience is baffling paradigm. When it first came to prominence in the 90’s, it was a fairly passive experience. You pulled up a website. You looked at the pictures. You read the copy. Then interactivity became all the rage and it didn’t take intimate knowledge of web development to drill down deeper and come out of the web with something you could talk about later. You saw cool videos. You played cool games. Whatever. But the introduction of the social web and what a lot of people have since stopped calling “Web 2.0″ added a new layer of participation and twisted the notion of social interaction online. Everyone is hung up on social media these days. Without knowing a thing about how computers work or how to write web code, we can participate in this global online discussion from the privacy of our homes. Long live that joke about not wearing pants. In the solitary confines of our homes, we’re interacting with potentially thousands of people every day and if you think about that, that’s really fucking weird. We’re all at this crazy internet party and we’re sharing photos, telling jokes, spreading our particular brands of political perspective to tons of people every second but when we stop, step back and look around us, we’re in the kitchen, alone. For real. It’s kind of chilling, when you think about it. This huge illusory party that’s not actually taking place. The relative anonymity of the internet also grants us license to let our ids run wild and evolve in new and terrifying ways. Whole commnities have sprung up online in the celebration of countless brand new paradigms in sexuality. What you may think is a very weird, very personal kind of unique kink that turns you on could have and probably does have an entire internet community devoted to it. Drill down deeper, look a little harder and more specifically, look on the Deep Web for TOR sites and you’ll find some pretty sick shit hiding in plain sight. Just like the source of tonight’s entry: Cannibal. Warning: Tonight’s story is seriously fucked up.
The film Cannibal, a little seen indie produced in 2005, concerns one of criminal history’s most unfortunate moments and for the most part, it takes no creative liberties with the source material, which is pretty unique for low budget horror. Instead, it presents its story to you in plain true crime fashion and lets the truth of it all become the horror you came to see. It’s exploitative, yes, but it’s a fairly accurate portrayal as far as I can tell. So what’s it all about?
Armin Meiwes was a German software engineer with a particularly nasty kink. His fantasy was to find a willing victim who would agree to be butchered and then eaten by Meiwes. To fulfill this fantasy, he posted an ad on a website called ‘The Cannibal Cafe’, a site that is very careful to point out the obvious distinction between fantasy and reality, what is legal and what is illegal, etc. The site facilitates internet hookups for people to share their fantasies. In spite of this, Meiwes received numerous replies to his call but all of them flaked on him. All of them save for one. Bernd Jürgen Brandes replied and met Meiwes and the two of them proceeded to make this fantasy a reality. The fetishized act that seemed like foreplay to Meiwes’ skewed sexual activity was the amputation of Brandes’ penis. The original plan, suggested by Brandes, was that Meiwes bite his dick off. With his teeth. WITH HIS FUCKING TEETH, PEOPLE!! Unable to do this, Meiwes used a knife and then presented the penis for he and Brandes to eat. Raw. When this proved to be too tough and as Brandes described it, “chewy”, Meiwes tossed it in a pan with some salt, garlic and wine and then wound up burning it beyond edibility. The well-done wang was then chopped into pieces and fed to Meiwes’ dog.
How do we know this is how it went down? Meiwes and Brandes video taped it. They taped everything, actually. Members of the jury trying the case had to watch it. All of it. Need to take a break? I understand. I’ll be here when you get back.
Brandes, now ready for the final act, was left in the bath tub to bleed out while Meiwes read a book. As fucked up as this all is, know this, none of it was intended with any malice and as nasty and crazy as it is, Meiwes wasn’t interested in Brandes’ suffering. He had provided his willing victim with pain killers and booze to help ease him out of this life and after stabbing him in the neck to finish the job, he hoisted Brandes’ body on to a meat hook in a room he had made especially for this day and proceeded to butcher the dead body. Meiwes excised all edible tissues and stored them in his freezer and over the course of ten months, he ate up to 44 pounds of Brandes’ flesh. The eating of the body substituting for ordinary sexual activity. Think about this for a second. Even though a couple may dress themselves in head to toe latex, bind one partners wrists and ankles and then spank the bound party for an hour with a studded paddle, they’re going to wind up having sex in the usual mode. At least someone is going to have an orgasm in the traditional way. In Meiwes’ case, eating the flesh satisfied those same primal urges that we all get and satisfy with sex in the way you typically think of.
In December of 2002, German authorities caught up with Meiwes when another ad appeared on Cannibal Cafe and details of the previous murder and cannibalism hit the site. The police searched his place and found not only the butchered remains of Brandes but the video tape which detailed his murder, the cannibalism and the pseudo-sexual events of the pair eating Brandes’ penis. They took this to court but because of German law and the circumstances (Brandes being a willing participant) the issue of whether this was a murder at all and not some kind of elaborate assisted suicide painted the charge in terms of Manslaughter and Meiwes was found guilty on this charge. His sentence was eight and a half years. When German authorities realized that this verdict was as fucked up as two men eating a severed penis belonging to one of them, they took the case back to court (I think they lack a double jeopardy law) and managed to make a murder conviction stick. Meiwes is still in prison.
Today, Meiwes has assisted German authorities in the investigations of two cannibal murders in Germany. Meiwes claims that there are over 100 cannibals in Germany today.