Ger­many’s ex-cop in can­ni­bal­ism web­site killing back in dock

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

A Ger­man ex-po­lice of­fi­cer con­victed of mur­der­ing a will­ing vic­tim he met on a web­site for can­ni­bal­ism fetishists went on trial again yes­ter­day af­ter the ver­dict against him was over­turned on ap­peal. Detlev Guen­zel, 58, was last year sen­tenced to eight years and six months in jail by a re­gional court in the eastern city of Dres­den, which found him guilty of killing Pol­ish-born Wo­j­ciech Stemp­niewicz in 2013. Guen­zel had cut the body into small pieces in a slaugh­ter cham­ber he built in his cel­lar, be­fore bury­ing them in his gar­den, the court found. There was no ev­i­dence that he ate any part of his vic­tim.

But the Fed­eral Court of Jus­tice over­turned the ver­dict, ar­gu­ing that the re­gional court had failed to suf­fi­ciently probe whether the vic­tim had ac­tu­ally killed him­self through stran­gu­la­tion-as the ac­cused had claimed. It also dis­puted the sen­tence im­posed by the Dres­den court as too le­nient for a mur­der con­vic­tion, and or­dered a re­trial. The Dres­den court had taken into ac­count the death wish of the vic­tim and im­posed a sen­tence that is just above half of the max­i­mum 15 years for mur­der. The vic­tim’s wish “did not open the pos­si­bil­ity to re­duce the penalty”, said the ap­peal court. A ver­dict of the re­trial is ex­pected in Jan­uary at the ear­li­est.

‘S&M slaugh­ter stu­dio’

Guen­zel, a three-decade vet­eran of the po­lice force, had met Stemp­niewicz in Oc­to­ber 2013 on a web­site for slaugh­ter and can­ni­bal­ism fan­tasies billed as the “#1 site for ex­otic meat” and boast­ing more than 3,000 reg­is­tered mem­bers. His de­fense team ar­gued that Stemp­niewicz had hanged him­self in Guen­zel’s cus­tom-de­signed “S&M stu­dio” be­fore Guen­zel took a knife, then an elec­tric saw, to the gagged-and-bound man.

Soon af­ter the death, Guen­zel ad­mit­ted to de­tec­tives that he killed the vic­tim by cut­ting his throat. But he later re­tracted his con­fes­sion. In­ves­ti­ga­tors had tes­ti­fied in the first trial that they could not defini­tively de­ter­mine the cause of death due to the state of the corpse. Guen­zel and Stemp­niewicz had had ex­ten­sive con­tact on­line and by tele­phone be­fore fi­nally ar­rang­ing the fa­tal date on Novem­ber 4, 2013. Their emails bore the ti­tle “Sch­lacht­fest”, the Ger­man word for a coun­try feast af­ter the slaugh­ter of a pig. Guen­zel called him­self “Caligula 31”, Stemp­niewicz logged on as “Hes­zla-Long­pig”.

A 50-minute video Guen­zel made was played dur­ing the trial and showed him at one point cov­ered in blood as he mu­ti­lated the corpse, mut­ter­ing, “I never thought I would sink so low.” The pre­sid­ing judge at the Dres­den court had said that the ex­pres­sion of faint re­gret seen in the video made it un­likely Guen­zel would re­peat such an act. She said this dif­fered from the in­fa­mous case of Ger­man can­ni­bal Ar­min Mei­wes, who ad­mit­ted to killing, mu­ti­lat­ing and eat­ing the flesh of a lover in 2001 af­ter meet­ing him on the In­ter­net via an ad­ver­tise­ment look­ing for a “slaugh­ter vic­tim”. He was sen­tenced to life im­pris­on­ment in 2006. — AFP

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