The Armin Meiwes/Bernd Brandes tape (lost death/dismemberment footage; 2001)

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This article has been tagged as NSFW and NSFL due to its pornographic and disturbing subject matter.


The confiscated tape, currently held by German authorities.

Status: Lost

On March 9th, 2001, in Rotenburg, Germany, then-39-year-old Armin Meiwes (an IT technician) and Bernd Brandes (an engineer of roughly the same age) met after organizing over the internet to have Brandes killed and eaten by Meiwes, who had developed a fetish for cannibalism over his lifetime.

Armin Meiwes.
Bernd Brandes.

The two originally corresponded through a now-defunct fantasy cannibalism forum (fantasy in that the forum expressly advised anyone "incapable of separating artistic fantasy from reality" to "leave this site") after Meiwes posted an ad seeking a willing victim to be methodically killed for the purpose of being consumed. An archive of the forum in question (i.e., The Cannibal Cafe) can still be accessed today via The Wayback Machine; several of Meiwes' posts (under the alias "Franky") are also available via said archive.[1]

After several failed attempts to bait a victim (at least one of which resulted in a potential victim meeting up with Meiwes, though later backing out), Meiwes' post eventually caught the attention of Brandes, who also had a cannibalism fetish. However, differing from Meiwes' in that rather than consuming human flesh, he desired to be consumed. Shortly after his arrival, Brandes, still consenting, requested that Meiwes bite his penis off, although this proved too difficult, and it eventually had to be cut off with a knife. Brandes then attempted to eat his penis raw but was unsuccessful due to its chewiness, prompting Meiwes to fry it in a pan with some of Brandes' fat, combined with additional spices and marinades (though Meiwes ended up burning it to the point where it was inedible, after which he diced it up and fed it to his dog).

Following this, Brandes was placed in a bathtub, where he bled out for 3 hours as Meiwes read a Star Trek novel. He gave Brandes heavy doses of painkillers, sleeping pills, and alcohol, kissed him on the forehead and then stabbed him in the throat; in a room specially prepared for the incident, Meiwes then proceeded to hang the body before slowly dismembering it. The grisly event was found recorded in its entirety on a two-hour videotape found in Meiwes' camera upon his arrest in December of 2002 (having been reported to the authorities by a fellow member of The Cannibal Cafe, where Meiwes had previously revealed, in explicit detail, the goings-on between Brandes and himself, even advertising for a follow-up victim). Over the 10 months following the killing, Meiwes stored the body parts in his freezer and is said to have eaten up to 20 kilograms of Brandes' flesh.

The tape confiscated by the police (now infamously sought-after among various gore websites/forums) has been held under lock and key by German authorities ever since; the only time it was shown to an audience was during Meiwes' trial, after which some attending journalists required therapy. 4 alleged screenshots from the video have come to light online. However, their validity has never been officially proven or disproved.

Meiwes' original charge of manslaughter (carrying an eight-year sentence) was escalated to murder in a 2005 retrial; he is currently serving a life sentence in Kassel Prison, Germany.

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