German Cannibal Victim′s Will Found | Current Affairs | DW | 14.12.2002
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Current Affairs

German Cannibal Victim's Will Found

The apparent willing victim in the German cannibal murder left a will that indicates that he was fully aware of the fate that awaited him, according to investigators.

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Bernd Jeurgen B's will was signed and authorized on the morning of his death

Police investigating the horrific cannibal murder case in Germany have revealed that Bernd Juergen B, the alleged willing participant and victim in the crime, wrote his will immediately before he met his murderer.

The legal document and the video tape that is rumored to show both Bernd Juergen B and the perpetrator eating the victim's flesh and the subsequent murder support suggestions that victim and killer both engaged in consensual cannibalism.

Legal document suggests victim went to death willingly

According to police reports Bernd Juergen B wrote out his will and had it officially recognized by a notary on the morning of his disappearance March 9, 2001. In the will, he left the bulk of his estate including a lavish penthouse apartment and his collection of expensive computer equipment to his live-in partner, a man named Rene.

The German daily Berliner Morgenpost reports that Rene knew nothing of the victim's plans and discovered the will only after Bernd Juergen B was reported missing. The victim reportedly sold most of his other belongings, including a sports car just before his disappearance.

Bernd Juergen B had told his boss at Siemens he was taking that Friday off "to attend to some personal matters". He was last seen at a subway station in Berlin when co-workers caught sight of him. The German police believe the victim then traveled 300 kilometers from Berlin to the alleged murderer's rambling half-timbered house near Kassel with several thousand euro in cash and his passport.

The 42-year-old victim, a computer chip developer at Siemens Corporation in Berlin, willingly allowed himself to be led to the slaughter, police said.

Evidence shows that both men consented to cannibalism

"The victim appeared to be fully aware of the situation," an investigator said. "Videotape material definitely shows both him and the suspect engaged in eating his own flesh prior to his death." Police officers who have been studying the evidence, including the video made by the suspect of the final moments of his victim's life, were said to be undergoing psychiatric counseling. An official statement on Friday said the video shows the victim willingly allowed himself to be castrated before both men engaged in eating his severed flesh.

After murdering the victim, the killer, only identified as Armin M, apparently removed body parts for consumption and buried the rest. During a search of the killer's home, police found frozen human flesh and skeletal remains, and a cellar which had been renovated into a makeshift slaughterhouse, complete with trough drains and meat hooks.

Police used diggers to unearth body parts on the grounds of Armin M's sprawling 17th Century estate in the idyllic central German town of Rotenburg an der Fulda. Police have found no indications that more than one person's remains had been disposed of on the estate.

Adverts for willing victims led police to killer

Authorities filed murder charges against the reclusive computer systems expert on Thursday. The 41-year-old suspect admitted to investigators that he had videotaped himself killing the man who he had met via a gay Internet chat room after the victim responded to one of 80 adverts that read: 'Gay male seeks hunks 18-30 to slaughter.' Both men were computer experts and were both described as 'Internet addicts' by colleagues.

It was revealed on Friday that a chat room user tipped Police off to the existence of Armin M's grisly adverts. Investigators now know of at least five respondents to the ad, in addition to the undercover officers who answered it and quickly determined it was meant literally.

Neighbors describe killer as 'a pleasant and polite man'

Neighbors describe the murder suspect as a pleasant and polite man who kept to himself. He served in the German armed forces as a non- commissioned officer in ordinance for 12 years where was described as an amiable and conscientious military man.

After leaving the military in 1991, Armin M trained as a computer technician and until recently had a job with a software firm in the Rhine Valley city of Karlsruhe, 30km south of Rotenburg. He lived with his mother in the 17th Century half-timbered manor house, staying on there after her death three years ago.

"He was a mama's boy," a neighbor told reporters. "He was totally fixated on his mother, who he said never let him date girls. After she died, he began to thaw out."

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