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German gay cannibal "auditioned" four other victims: report

July 25, 2003

KASSEL, Germany, - A man in Germany charged with killing and eating a gay man he met in an Internet chat room had previously "auditioned" four other potential victims, according to a published report.

The report in Stern magazine, due to hit newsstands Thursday, quotes investigators as saying the four "cannibalism candidates" agreed to be subjected to a physical suitability examination by their prospective killer.

Lured by Internet ads saying "I could just gobble you up", The four men -three from Germany and one from London - travelled separately to the killer's secluded and rambling farm house near Kassel in central Germany for the interview and physical examination.

Three of the men baulked at going through with being cannibalised, saying they had assumed it was all some erotic role-playing game. The fourth man was rejected as "pudgy and unsexy" by the killer.

He allowed all four "cannibalism candidates" to go free after their "auditions", according to the Stern report.

The report comes after prosecutors in Kassel said they are broadening the investigation to include some 430 other persons believed to have been involved in the Internet gay cannibalism chat room that led to the death of a 42-year-old man in March 2001.

Prosecutors are convinced that the victim, a computer analyst from Berlin, agreed to be killed and eaten. His dismembered and partially devoured remains were found at the residence of a 41-year-old suspect.

That suspect, identified only as Armin M., has been charged with murder. Cannibalism per se is not a crime under German law.

Despite the fact that the victim willingly agreed to be killed, prosecutors said the case could not be considered "assisted suicide". So they opted for a murder indictment.

Prosecutors said the suspect has admitted videotaping himself killing the Berlin man, a computer chip developer at Siemens corporation, identified only as Bernd Juergen B.

On the morning of his disappearance from Berlin on March 9, 2001, Bernd Juergen B. completed his will. He left the bulk of his estate including a lavish penthouse apartment and 50,000 dollars worth of computer equipment to his live-in partner, a man named Rene.

According to police, the victim had several thousand dollars in cash and his passport when he travelled 300 kilometres from Berlin to the alleged murderer's house near Kassel.

Searching the rambling, 30-room, half-timbered house in the village of Rotenburg, investigators unearthed skeletal remains, some of them packaged in a freezer, along with videotapes and CD-ROMs on which the suspect allegedly recorded his actions.

Authorities were tipped off to the crime by Internet surfers who stumbled upon chat room requests allegedly posted by the suspect in which he was looking for people willing to be slaughtered and eaten by him. -Sapa-AP



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