Friday 9/17/21
CRIME

Teacher goes on trial in Berlin for 'sado-cannibalism'

The maths and chemistry teacher is alleged to have killed a 43-year-old powerline technician in his apartment shortly after meeting him on a dating website last year
Stefan R sits in a Berlin courtroom and holds up cardboard to cover his face. The 41-year-old teacher has to answer for alleged murder. The accused is said to have killed a 43-year-old man, whom he had met shortly before through a dating portal, in his apartment. Then he is said to have cut up the victim and deposited the body parts in different places in Berlin. The public prosecutor's office assumes a "sadistic-cannibalistic sexual motivation". Photo: Paul Zinken/dpa
Stefan R sits in a Berlin courtroom and holds up cardboard to cover his face. Photo: Paul Zinken/dpa.

A 41-year-old secondary school teacher went on trial in Germany on Tuesday accused of sado-cannibalism for sexual gratification.

The maths and chemistry teacher, identified in the German media simply as Stefan R under the nation's strict privacy laws, is alleged to have killed a 43-year-old powerline technician in his apartment shortly after meeting him on a dating website last year.

He then allegedly cut up the victim, identified as Stefan T, and dumped the body parts at various locations across Berlin.

The suspect, who has until now declined to comment on the case, sat upright and motionless in the dock as his indictment was read out in a Berlin regional court.

His legal defence team told the court he would also not be commenting on the allegations at this time.

The prosecution plans to argue there was a "sadistic-cannibalistic sexual motivation for the crime" after the suspect allegedly ate parts of the corpse.

Victim reported missing

The victim's flatmates reported him missing after he left their apartment shortly before midnight in early September and never returned.

Two months after Stefan T went missing the bone of a human leg was found by passer-by’s walking a dog in a wooded area near a ditch in a Berlin suburb.

The discovery turned a missing person case into a murder investigation after forensic tests established the remains were of the missing technician.

Further bone parts were also discovered in the city after sniffer dogs were called in to help with the investigation.

Prosecutors say there was no evidence that the victim had "consented" to his killing.

'Cannibal of Rotenburg'

Police alleged that internet searches revealed that the two men had met on a dating portal and that Stefan R had been interested in cannibalism and had browsed cannibalism-linked forums.

Prosecutors also claimed that what they described as "relevant instruments" such as saws and knives had also been discovered in a search of Stefan R's apartment along with traces of blood and several kilograms of a chemical.

The Berlin murder trial comes about two decades after another chilling case in Germany which became known as the "Cannibal of Rotenburg."

In this case, a computer technician from the western German town of Rotenburg was sentenced to life imprisonment after partially eating a man after he had advertised online for someone ready for "slaughter and consumption."

About five years later, another Berlin man who told an internet forum he was looking for someone ready to "make himself available as a feast" went on trial for murder after he dismembered, but didn't ultimately eat, his sexual partner.

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