A 41-year-old secondary school teacher identified in the German media simply as Stefan R under the nation’s strict privacy laws, went on trial on Tuesday accused of sado-cannibalism for sexual gratification.
The maths and chemistry teacher is alleged to have killed a 43-year-old powerline technician in his apartment shortly after meeting him on a dating website last year.
He then allegedly cut up the victim, identified as Stefan T, and dumped the body parts at various locations across Berlin.
The suspect, who has until now declined to comment on the case, sat upright and motionless in the dock as his indictment was read out in a Berlin regional court.
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His legal defence team told the court that he would also not be commenting on the allegations at this time.
The prosecution planned to argue if there was a “sadistic-cannibalistic sexual motivation for the crime” after the suspect allegedly ate parts of the corpse.
The victim’s flatmates reported him missing after he left their apartment shortly before midnight in early September and never returned.
Two months after Stefan T went missing the bone of a human leg was found by a passer-by walking a dog in a wooded area near a ditch in a Berlin suburb. The discovery turned a missing person case into a murder investigation after forensic tests established the remains were of the missing technician.
Further bone parts were also discovered in the city after sniffer dogs were called in to help with the investigation.
The prosecutors said there was no evidence that the victim had “consented” to his killing.
Police alleged that internet searches revealed that the two men had met on a dating portal and that Stefan R had been interested in cannibalism and had browsed cannibalism-linked forums. According to Bild, he had also previously searched whether or not a person could survive after having their penis cut off.
Prosecutors also claimed that what they described as “relevant instruments” such as saws and knives had also been discovered in a search of Stefan R’s apartment along with traces of blood and several kilogrammes of a chemical.
The Berlin murder trial came about two decades after another chilling case in Germany which became known as the “Cannibal of Rotenburg.”
In this case, a computer technician from the western German town of Rotenburg was sentenced to life imprisonment after partially eating a man after he had advertised online for someone ready for “slaughter and consumption.”
About five years later, another Berlin man who told an internet forum he was looking for someone ready to “make himself available as a feast” went on trial for murder after he dismembered but didn’t ultimately eat his sexual partner.