Internet Gay Cannibalism
Net Widens


KASSEL (DPA) -- Prosecutors Thursday said they have filed a murder indictment against one of two gay men who met in an Internet chat room, where it allegedly was agreed that one of them would kill and devour the other.
And in a stunning new development, 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 Thursday 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 EUR 50,000 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.
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