High school 'cannibal' teacher arrested after he killed and allegedly ate man he met on dating website

The alleged victim was a 44-year-old power line technician, who had been reported missing by his flatmates in early September


                            High school 'cannibal' teacher arrested after he killed and allegedly ate man he met on dating website
Stefan R (Police handout)

On Wednesday, November 18, German police arrested a 41-year-old man on suspicion of cannibalism after they found human bones stripped completely of flesh in a Berlin suburb. Detectives were reportedly led to the suspect’s apartment in Berlin by sniffer dogs after fleshless human bones were found in a park. The suspect named Stefan R — it is customary under German privacy laws not to reveal surnames in police investigations — reportedly teaches maths and chemistry at a secondary school in Pankow, the most populous and the second-largest borough of Berlin.

On Friday, November 20, Berlin prosecutors said that they were "investigating at full speed to shed light on the sexual murder with suspicion of a cannibalistic background". Investigations also revealed that Stefan R had browsed cannibalism-related forums online. As per a news report, police officers, while going through the suspect's home, found a sack truck and a medical bone-saw in his cellar. They also found 25 kilograms (55 pounds) of sodium hydroxide, a highly caustic base and alkali that decomposes proteins at ordinary ambient temperatures. In fact, heated to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, a solution of this caustic base can supposedly turn a body into tan liquid with the consistency of mineral oil in just three hours. A large fridge was also found in the cellar but it was empty.

As per prosecutor Martin Steltner, traces of blood were also uncovered at the suspect's apartment. He added that the suspect has not yet commented on the accusations. The alleged victim, Stefan Trogisch, was a 44-year-old power line technician, who had been reported missing by his flatmates in early September after leaving his apartment shortly before midnight and never returning. On November 8, a passerby stumbled across the bones in a park in Buch. A policeman told local media in its aftermath that one bone was "totally devoid of flesh" and there were other indications which made them “strongly suspect” that Trogisch was the “victim of a cannibal".

Investigators have reportedly obtained messages between the alleged killer and victim on a dating website, leading police to believe that they agreed to meet. As per reports, police investigators analyzed the victim's mobile phone data, allowing them to identify a taxi driver who had driven him to the suspect's apartment.

This is not the first time German cops have seen something of this nature. In 2013, Detlev Guenzel, a former German policeman was convicted of murdering a businessman he met on a website for cannibalism fetishists. Guenzel strangled and dismembered the 59-year-old at a small bed-and-breakfast run by him in Eastern Germany. Guenzel was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in jail, although prosecutors could not confirm that he had actually eaten the victim, despite the fact that some of the body parts were never found.

In 2006, Armin Meiwes, a German former computer repair technician nicknamed the "cannibal of Rotenburg", was sentenced to life in prison. In 2001, Meiwes had lured a willing victim — he had posted an advertisement on the website called The Cannibal Cafe (a defunct forum for people with a cannibalism fetish), which was answered by Bernd Jürgen Armando Brandes. The two made a videotape showcasing Meiwes amputating Brandes' penis (with his consent) and the two men attempting to eat it together. Following this Meiwes killed the victim, dismembered him, and ate the corpse over the next ten months, storing body parts in his freezer.

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