Accused allegedly lured victim he met online into his Berlin flat
A teacher went on trial in Germany yesterday accused of murdering a man and eating him in order to satisfy cannibalistic sexual desires.
The 41-year-old, who taught maths and chemistry at secondary school, has been named only as Stefan R under German privacy laws.
He is accused of luring Stefan Trogisch, an overhead power line technician, to his flat in the Berlin suburb of Pankow after they met on a dating website.
It is alleged that Stefan R murdered Mr Trogisch before dismembering his body with a saw, eating part of it and hiding the remains around the city.
“The accused killed the victim because he sought sexual satisfaction through the killing and wanted to eat parts of the corpse,” the prosecution claimed as the court proceedings opened yesterday.
There are no pleas in the German legal system, and Stefan R remained silent throughout the hearing.
Under German law, defendants are free to make a statement if they wish, but counsel for Stefan R said he intended to say nothing “for the moment”.
The case is reminiscent of a cannibal killing that took place in Germany in 2001.
Armin Meiwes, a computer repair man nicknamed the “Cannibal of Rotenburg” by the German press, is now serving a life sentence after he castrated, killed and ate a man he met over the internet.
A video filmed by Meiwes appeared to show that he had his victim’s consent.
Although the German press have nicknamed Stefan R the “Cannibal of Pankow”, there is no indication that his victim consented to his own killing.
Mr Trogisch is alleged to have gone unwittingly to his death, believing he was meeting Stefan R for a date.
The 44-year-old’s parents and brother were present in court yesterday as the indictment was read out against his alleged killer, and his mother is expected to testify later in the trial.
“They want to know what happened to their son,” a lawyer for the family told the court.
“They don’t expect Stefan R to justify himself or try to apologise. It is not excusable.”
Mr Trogisch disappeared last September 6 after taking a taxi to Pankow, a suburb of northern Berlin.
The last person to see him alive was the driver who dropped him near Stefan R’s flat.
It later emerged the two men had arranged to go on a date after meeting online.
Two months later, body parts began to be discovered in the area, including a torso and thigh bone. Sniffer dogs led police from the body parts to Stefan R’s apartment.
There, investigators found a bone saw, an empty freezer with traces of human blood, and 25kg of sodium hydroxide, a chemical that can be used to dissolve human remains.
Prosecutors allege that Stefan R made repeated Google searches for terms related to cannibalism and was involved in online “cannibal forums”.
Originally from a small village of just 400 people in south-west Germany, he moved to Berlin in 2011 and was a teacher at a secondary school at the time of his arrest.
Lawyers for the Trogisch family told yesterday’s hearing that Stefan R used the name ‘Masterbutcher79’ online.
A verdict is not expected until October. If found guilty, Stefan R faces life in prison.
The trial continues.
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