Cannibal Not Mentally Ill, Psychiatrist Says | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 25.01.2004
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Cannibal Not Mentally Ill, Psychiatrist Says

A German on trial for killing and eating another man knew what he was doing and can be held criminally liable for his actions, a psychiatrist testified. The judges are expected to announce their verdict next week.


A cannibal, yes. A psychopath? Apparently not.

"There’s no evidence of a psychological disorder," Georg Stolpmann, a psychiatrist and psychologist said about defendant Armin Meiwes, confirming earlier testimony by another expert.

Stolpmann added that the 42-year-old man has a “schizoid personality” and has problems forming relationships. "What we have here is an inability to have warm and tender feelings toward others," the expert said.

Meiwes has admitted that he killed and ate the other man with the latter’s permission in March 2001.

Desires caused by childhood experiences

According to Stolpmann, Meiwes’ desire to eat another human being can be traced back to events in his childhood and youth. His father left the family when Meiwes was nine years old, causing the boy to develop a relationship disorder. His subsequent desire to slaughter consenting young men was based on the wish to get so close to another person that he could never be left again, Stolpmann said.

"He calls himself ‘a solitary wolf that’s all alone,’" the psychiatrist said, adding that Meiwes' cannibalistic urges increased after the death of his mother in 1999. He “fulfilled his dream” by killing the other man, Stolpmann testified.

The trial continues on Monday with closing statements. A verdict is expected by the end of the week. The prosecution has charged Meiwes with murder to satisfy sexual desires. The defense on the other hand argues that Meiwes “killed on demand.”

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