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Crime News

‘Inhuman’ German Teacher Sentenced In Cannibal Murder Case

The man referred to as Stefan R. lured Stefan Trogisch through an internet dating website to "live out his cannibalistic fantasies," said the judge. 

By Jax Miller

A former math and chemistry teacher accused of killing a man he met online before eating his body parts has been convicted in Germany.

The 42-year-old Berlin man, referred to only as Stefan R., was sentenced to life on Friday for the September 2020 murder of a 43-year-old mechanic, according to The Guardian. Stefan R. reportedly met his victim, named by The Telegraph as Stefan Trogisch, on a dating website before inviting him to his Pankow, Germany apartment.

During the trial, which began in August 2021, it was revealed that Stefan R. murdered his victim at his suburban home before dismembering him and scattering the remains around the city. Judge Matthias Schertz told the defendant, “What you did was inhuman.”

Schertz accused Stefan R. of trawling through the internet and visiting cannibal-related forums, where he “developed slaughter and cannibalism ideas.”

Trogisch was last seen on Sept. 6, 2020, by the cab driver who drove him to the defendant’s apartment, according to The Telegraph.

Stefan R Cannibalism Germany G

Stefan R. sedated Trogisch and killed him before removing the victim’s genitals and consuming them, according to CNN.

Stefan R. initially denied the brutal attack, claiming he found Trogisch dead on his couch after he’d spent the night, according to the Guardian. The defendant said he didn’t call authorities to report the death for fears that others would learn of his homosexuality.

It took weeks before authorities and search teams found the victim’s bones in a Berlin forest, according to the Guardian. Police canines were used to track the scent from the remains, which included a torso and a thigh, back to Stefan R.’s apartment, according to the NY Post. There, authorities found a saw and an empty freezer that contained trace evidence of blood and sodium hydroxide, a chemical that can be used to help disintegrate human remains.   

German prosecutors stated Stefan R. wanted to “live out his cannibalistic fantasies,” CNN reported. They said Stefan R. “lured the man into a trap.”

Dubbed by the media as the “Cannibal of Pankow,” Stefan R.’s case drew many similarities to German cannibal Armin Meiwes of Rothenberg. Meiwes was convicted for the 2001 murder of Bernd-Jurgen Brandes after Meiwes met him on an internet dating site and sedated him.

The gruesome murder was filmed on videotape.

When luring Trogisch on the internet, Stefan R. used the handle “Masterbutcher79,” which prosecutors claimed was a reference to Meiwes, who was dubbed the “Master Butcher of Rotenberg,” according to the NY Post.

Friday’s verdict, which can be appealed, will prevent the defendant from getting paroled on default after serving 15 years, as provided by German law, due to the heinous nature of the crime.