Interview With a Cannibal

by

In 2002, German cannibal Armin Meiwes was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to over eight years in prison for killing, dismembering and eating another man.

Most of us have heard of this fellow and what he did with Bernd Brandes, so watching ‘Interview With A Cannibal’ on Channel Five was, on the face of it, no more than one’s own voyeurism taking advantage of the channel’s tendency to sensationalise events.

As the programme trundled inevitably towards the ‘good bits’ I was surprised that Five had made some effort to explain why on earth the man might have a vibrant fetish for the consumption of human flesh. Putting it bluntly, his dad left the homestead when he was nipper, his domineering mum remarried three times to rotten types, all of whom nicked her money before nicking off and when the last one left Meiwes obsessively cared for her until death.

In short Meiwes wanted something permanent for himself – what he described as a ‘brother’. He concluded that, by consuming a lover, the digested flesh would physically transgress into his being for evermore. We learned that aside from a spell in the army, the desire to eat human flesh had been an all-consuming urge (excuse the pun) since he hit puberty.

Whilst his character was being dissected (if you’ll excuse the pun, again) much less was made of the victim. We got a miniscule amount on his background. It wasn’t dissimilar to Meiwes, but there was nothing to explain why he wanted some random fellow to eat him – in particular, his winkle.

I’m not saying I can understand why anyone would want to eat another person, though I can project my sympathies sufficiently to inform you that I’d much rather be the diner than the meal. Incidentally Brandes wasn’t the only person offering himself for consumption; apparently Meiwes had a pick of over 400 individuals that wanted to be his tea…

After meeting online and discussing plans, Miewes arranged to meet Brandt at the station near to his late mother’s 44 bedroom mansion and drove him home. After showing him around, lobby, winter lounge, kitchen, ‘slaughter room,’ as he openly referred to it, they had sex because, according to Miewes, Brandes wanted to. After the latter dosed up on sleeping pills and cough syrup, and following one failed attempt, Miewes cut off his lover’s manhood, as discussed of course.

At this point I started to feel a bit peculiar. Far from a barrel of laughs, Miewes came across as quite affable. He was almost affectionate when discussing his lover, but the manner in which nonchalantly described some of the events had a tendency to suddenly chill the blood like liquid nitrogen. In two or three instances it was impossible not to feel physically sick. One period of nausea arrived when Miewes recalled how Brandes screamed for no more than 30 seconds before expressing his disappointment that it didn’t hurt more, casually acknowledging the spurting wound.

As Brandes ‘relaxed’ upstairs, Miewes popped down into the kitchen, split and broiled the winkle, fried it with some garlic and took it back upstairs for a spot of post-penectomy dining. Apparently Brandes was very upset that it was inedible, which is a disappointment to say the least, especially as he was, by that point, bleeding heavily from the hole where his penis / sausage was.

I have to say I found the next part the hardest bit of all to comprehend, which may come as some surprise with regard to what has happened so far. Miewes ran his pal a hot bath and, whilst he went downstairs to read a Star Trek book, left him there for a few hours to ‘bleed out.’

I don’t think this translates as well in writing as it does when spoken by Miewes, and this was the programme’s strength. The interviews were inter cut with footage of the actual locations within the house – kitchen, slaughter room, bed, hook in the ceiling etc… This gave the variously unpleasant stages an insidious quality which occasionally convulsed into unmitigated horror.

Brandes was still alive after his bath – by now more blood than water (‘as he was still spurting’) – and after getting out and collapsing a few times, eventually he passed out for good.

Miewes made it clear he wasn’t interested in killing anyone (weirdly I sort of believed him, killing was a means to an end in the same way as carnivores buy meat at the supermarket) nonetheless, after a small struggle with himself he slit his lover’s throat, removed his head and hung him on the meat hook where he was disembowelled and dismembered in accordance with instructions attained online. The body parts were packed as choice cuts (65lbs worth) and placed in the large chest freezer in the kitchen. For the next 10 months he ritually cooked and ate Brandes daily (describing its taste as ‘rich Pork’) with his best dinner service by candlelight.

Incredibly none of these facts are remotely contentious. From the outset Miewes and Brandes agreed to film the whole evening, particularly as Brandes was keen to watch himself having his penis cut off. When 20 minutes of the more grisly ‘highlights’ were shown to the jury all but two vomited in their seats as Miewes stood by watching calmly.

This will probably be the part of the programme that will stick in my brain. Miewes’ calmness, his matter-of-factness, made the events he described seem virtually normal, like he was talking about two mates on a Saturday night eating pizza, getting drunk and one of them passing out from over-indulgence…

But there was something else in this interview that concerned me and it took me a while to work out what it was. Initially I thought he was a little arrogant, almost smug – but it wasn’t just that. As the credits rolled I got it. Miewes appetite had been sated. He was full.

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72 Responses to “Interview With a Cannibal”

  1. vones Says:

    Is it just me or is ‘a Star Trek book’ the weirdest bit?

  2. breeks Says:

    i realised this was piqued’s work once i read ‘winkle’.

    morning all.

    i didn’t watch this, but i can imagine that penis isn’t the tenderest of meats. i would be interested to know more of the victim’s motivations, for sure. seems, almost, the more intriguing story. if given the choice am sure we’d all rather be the eater than the eaten.

    right?

    RIGHT?

  3. ugeine Says:

    Depends if you’re been eaten while still alive, surely?

  4. Swineshead Says:

    It’s ‘being’, Ugeine.

    I watched this over the weekend – think all the material was recycled.
    I also watched the Fritzl doc on Sky1 – it was a gloomy couple of days.

  5. Nick T Says:

    He feasted on him by candle light, how romantic…

  6. Swineshead Says:

    Apparently he burned the willy so it was inedible.

    Waste of good food, that. Would’ve been good to have got a Come Dine With Me style ‘mishap in the kitchen’ shot of that from the home video, with some You’ve Been Framed sound effects.

  7. Swineshead Says:

    I just used the word ‘willy’ in all seriousness.

    *shame*

  8. Nick T Says:

    *wonders if Chanel 5 will link to WWM once again*

    *gets out podcasts*

  9. ugeine Says:

    To be honest, once I’m dead, fill your boots. I wouldn’t like to see somebody snacking on my intestines though.

  10. Swineshead Says:

    *is amazed Napoleon isn’t here seizing on the cannibal’s country of origin*

  11. Mel Says:

    Ugeine, the intestines need careful washing, and then are useful for things like tripe, and sausage casings. How could you deny your potential consumers lovely Ugeine sausages?

    On a more serious note, should we not watch such things? Isn’t this fuelling the fire of wrong with the oxygen of publicity? By giving these people notoriety and documentaries, are we not participants?

  12. Swineshead Says:

    Maybe that applies to school shootings, Mel – like the good bit of Newswipe covered. But I think cannibalism isn’t the same sort of case… people tend to do it out of serious mental illness rather than attention seeking.

  13. Swineshead Says:

    *eats balls*

  14. ugeine Says:

    Good point Mel. They had a shrink on Newswipe last week saying something to the same effect about high school shootings.

  15. breeks Says:

    mel – that is well too philosophically asked for this early on a monday.

    i gotta say that i love all those ‘extraordinary people’ docos. for some reason i always feel like i had a lucky escape from being ‘tree-girl’ or ‘woman with massive legs’. you know.

  16. Mel Says:

    Well, i saw neither, but i don’t watch this kind of programme because, whether mentall illness was the cause, or teenage depression or whatever, i think that the replaying of theses cases in the media only gives the perpetrator attention that they would not have got otherwise, and thus gives them some kind of sense of importance/ reinforces that theydid something good. Obviously, this doesn’t apply if the perp subsequently died at his own/ the police’s hand…

  17. Mel Says:

    I often think these docos are actually very sensitive (like the tree man, or those children with progeria) Breeks. I am continually saddened by the sesational titles that they are given though, because it can give the impression that people want to tune in for the freak show element. I had to get these recommended by a friend, for that reason, as i have no desire to point and laugh at those less fortunate than myself.

    It is nearly lunchtime here though, Breeks. I find that nearly lunch time on a monday is the perfect time to be philosophical.

  18. breeks Says:

    kudos to your philosophicality. i must admit to some kind of voyeuristic interest alongside empathetic and also relief-driven (ie: thank god it’s not me) motivations for watching such shows.

    lunch, eh. seems so far away right now.

  19. Mel Says:

    Yes, lunch breeks, canteen opens in minutes, not that I am counting.

    Only hippy muck for me, strictly veggie here, so no worries about the odd cut of meat turning up…

  20. Mel Says:

    Grr, that should read 13 minutes (12 now) but I had number lock on.

  21. breeks Says:

    it still read ok, mel. don’t sweat it.

    apple?

  22. Mel Says:

    Thanks, can you detect that I am a bit hypoglycaemic?

  23. piqued Says:

    ‘Well, i saw neither, but i don’t watch this kind of programme because, whether mentall illness was the cause, or teenage depression or whatever, i think that the replaying of theses cases in the media only gives the perpetrator attention that they would not have got otherwise, and thus gives them some kind of sense of importance/ reinforces that theydid something good. Obviously, this doesn’t apply if the perp subsequently died at his own/ the police’s hand…’

    whatever, Mel. HE 8 A COK

  24. breeks Says:

    yeah, a bit.

    banana?

  25. Mel Says:

    That is as may be, piqued. But you mention being chilled by the realisation that he is full. What happens when his dinner has gone down, and he gets hungry again? Will he think that what he did was somehow OK because of all the media interest?

  26. breeks Says:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7967982.stm

  27. Mel Says:

    No bananas for me thanks, not ever. Kind of you to offer though.

  28. breeks Says:

    mel – no. i don’t think he thought it was ok in the first place, but what is clear, and not only in this case, is that if you’ve willing participants in anything obsessive media interest isn’t the motivating factor.

  29. piqued Says:

    ‘That is as may be, piqued. But you mention being chilled by the realisation that he is full. What happens when his dinner has gone down, and he gets hungry again? Will he think that what he did was somehow OK because of all the media interest?’

    No. This wasn’t to seek attention, as outlined, this was a sexual fetish. These things can’t be helped…

    Hey, I should know

    *eats plate of plop with a woody*

  30. Mel Says:

    No I agree. But coverage of this nature (see also the charles bronson biopic – which is a lot better illustration of my point, i think) makes me very uneasy.

    I have just read the other link Breeks. How bizarre. foor the sake of $70, and a few points, he has bbrought down a glittering career. What kkind of mindset would he have had to be in?

  31. Mel Says:

    my keyboard is stuttering today. Apologies for terrible spelling. I will try and read back comments, but sometimes i just get too excited.

  32. Swineshead Says:

    Apology accepted. Everyone busy today?

  33. breeks Says:

    busy saving lives.

  34. Excelsior! Says:

    Glad i didnt watch this. Just reading the review made me feel abit perculiar. Im delicate like that.

  35. Nick T Says:

    My work clock, that gets regular updates from the atomic clock (?) is reading 10.17.
    I’ve taken out the battery to reset it but the bugger won’t change.
    Yes am busy

  36. Excelsior! Says:

    Meant the ultra violence, not the gay stuff…. god i hope you didnt think…i would never…Hey some of my best friends….

  37. Swineshead Says:

    I’ve just been reminded – does anyone here use Spotify?

  38. breeks Says:

    aye.

  39. Excelsior! Says:

    Sure do

    Still waiting for the catch though. I suspect some serious men will come round to my house and take all my possessions soon.

    Is that the right number of ss’s in possessions. Seems like an awful lot.

  40. piqued Says:

    I use Soul Seek, SH. It’s pretty good but a bit naughty

    *eats leg*

  41. Nick T Says:

    I lurve the spotify

  42. Swineshead Says:

    Good. FANKS.

    Spotify is a totally different thing to Soulseek, Piqued.
    You should get it on your work PC, now I think of it.

  43. Nick T Says:

    I don’t think folk can get the free version anymore. I could be wrong…

  44. Mel Says:

    Are you doing some weird kind of market research Swines?

    After last week, i would have thought you would have concluded asking us lot was possibly not the most helpful thing in the world.

  45. piqued Says:

    I’ll try SH, though I think you need ‘administrator’ credentials to download anything like that

    Testicle? It’s been fried in spinal fluid

  46. Swineshead Says:

    I’m surprised you bothered to read my comment, Mel.

  47. Swineshead Says:

    Lunchtime – huzzah!

  48. Mel Says:

    I always read the comments SH, how else am i to know what will make my piss boil that day?

  49. Excelsior! Says:

    The times on the posts are still an hour behind. Is that just me?

  50. Swineshead Says:

    WWM – One pint of boiled piss per day.

    Exelsior – It’s not just you.

  51. Mel Says:

    The avaerage bladder is capable of holding up to 4 pints at any one time, although it would be qute painful if you had 4 pints of liquid in it, it is possible.

    I will, however, ration myself to a pint a day. It is also better for my health, i suppose. No-one should carry that much anger, not even Nappers. Is he having virgin issues again today?

  52. breeks Says:

    i listened to a choir and orchestra sing classical music last night. live. i watched it happen and stuff. i am Well Cultured and don’t have time for tv.

  53. Swineshead Says:

    I was rude about Napoleon’s mother yesterday, by mistake. I hope he’s not too upset.

  54. ugeine Says:

    You dreadful cad, SH.

  55. Mel Says:

    Well, between that and the fact that no-one can tell one of his reviews from one of his thoughts, i bet he has been inconsolable ever since!

  56. Excelsior! Says:

    Who controls time on the internet? Or is it just a WWM/Wordpress thing.

    Not that i am in any way concerned about internet clocks you understand, i won’t be writing to my MP or anything, just curious about how these thing work.

  57. ugeine Says:

    I think it’s the politically correct labour government, Excel. Apparently they took this hour we lost and gave it to penniless muslim immigrants.

  58. Excelsior! Says:

    That was my intial thought Ugeine. That or it’s all controled by the Jews.

  59. ugeine Says:

    Jews, Nazis, politically correct Big Brother KGB Communists, they’re all the same people.

    Lizard People.

  60. Nick T Says:

    You may have done SH or piqued may have put him off sausages

  61. Mel Says:

    I actually know a man that is into all of this conspiracy nonsense – you name the conspiray, he knows about it and can opine at length about the illuminati, area 51 etc. It took a long while to decide whether he was joking about his belief in all this shit. I concluded that he really did. I have now written him off as a nutter, albeit one that is widely read, and quite erudite.

    It amazes me, some of the stuff people believe in.

  62. Excelsior! Says:

    Stick your head in the sand if you want to yeah mel.

    We’ll see whos laughing when the rapture comes.

    Yeah?

  63. Nick T Says:

    I found out that Sainsburys deliberately use dull in attractive packaging for their “Basics” free range eggs as they don’t want evryone to buy them. They (sainsburys) have a poicy ONLY to use free range chicken in their stores. they would prefer everyone to use the more expensive free range eggs but have also commited to the “basics” range. Therefore they have to stock “basics” eggs AND they have to be free range. They ar every cheap at £150 for 15 eggs (cheep cheep)

  64. Nick T Says:

    ~That should be UNattractive

  65. Excelsior! Says:

    Really Nick?

    Is the basics stuff all free range?

  66. Nick T Says:

    Just the chicken products. It’s that Jamie Oliver init.

  67. ugeine Says:

    150 quid for fifteen eggs? Very Cheap? Where the shit do you shop?

  68. Excelsior! Says:

    Smashing. Chicken omelette it is then.

    I read a thing the other week that sez you shouldnt eat large eggs, cos they hurt the chickens bums when they come out. Medium eggs are apparently nicer as well.

    *has smaller chicken omelette*

  69. Nick T Says:

    . ug ……………..

  70. Nick T Says:

    I was told that egg laying chicks have smaller breast than “eating” chicks

  71. How to Get Six Pack Fast Says:

    If you want to see a reader’s feedback 🙂 , I rate this post for 4/5. Decent info, but I just have to go to that damn google to find the missed pieces. Thanks, anyway!

  72. Adria Says:

    does anyone know where I can get a copy of the full TV documentary of” Internview with a Canibbal”????????? Amrin Meiwes? Thank you.

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