Police officer arrested for 'chopping' up man met online
A German police officer has been arrested on suspicion of killing and chopping up a man he met on the internet who had long fantasised about being killed and eaten.
The man was arrested on Wednesday at his workplace in the eastern city of Dresden and told investigators that he fatally stabbed the victim in the throat on November 4, hours after the two met in person for the first time.
He said that he then chopped the body up into multiple pieces. The suspect pointed officers to a number of places in the yard of his property, south of Dresden, where he had buried the remains, city police chief Dieter Kroll said.
The killing happened about a month after the pair first met in an internet chatroom. The 59-year-old victim, whose name wasn't released, travelled across the country by bus from Hannover to the meeting about 400 kilometres (250 miles) away.
Police started looking into the case when the victim was reported missing on November 11 by a colleague. Two days later, witnesses told officers that "the missing man had fantasised since his youth about being killed and eaten by another person," Mr Kroll said.
There is no indication at this point that the suspect ate body parts, police said.
Investigator Maik Mainda said the victim and the suspected killer maintained "very intense contact by chat, by mail, by SMS but also by telephone" after first becoming acquainted in early October. The website they used says it deals with "exotic meat".
The men agreed to meet up in Dresden on November 4, and agreed that the killing should take place shortly afterward, Mr Mainda added.
Police are only just beginning their investigation, he said. "I can't give any conclusive information yet about the actual motivation of the suspect for killing his victim. We are investigating in all directions."
The case appears to have at least some parallels with a saga that both fascinated and appalled Germany a decade ago, when confessed cannibal Armin Meiwes was arrested for the killing of an internet acquaintance. Meiwes, who captured the killing on video, said his victim answered an internet posting seeking a young man for "slaughter and consumption".
Meiwes was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. He argued unsuccessfully to Germany's highest court that the killing should be classified as a mercy killing and maintained that his sentence was disproportionate.
The Dresden case "will show how easily people can come together with the most gruesome fantasies on the internet and exchange their perversions in increasingly crass manner," Mr Kroll said. "In 99% of cases, they get their kick out of the exchange."