What you talkin’ bout Willis? It’s true. Cannibalism is NOT illegal in the state of Georgia. After my last post on Dylan Quick, (See Cannibalism, Necrophilia, Serial Killers) I became curious about whether this deed was in fact a crime. I had never prosecuted a cannibal case and had never heard of anyone else prosecuting such a case. So I took a drive by through the pages of the Georgia Code and this is what I found:
Homicide, of course, is against the law. And necrophilia notwithstanding — the only crimes against the dearly departed are removing a body from the scene of death and dismembering a body. Even so, these crimes are only misdemeanors.
I then recalled the case of German born Armin Meiwes. Meiwes trolled the internet looking for a willing subject to be slaughtered and consumed. (Seriously, you cannot make this stuff up.) And as crazy bizarre as this sounds, he got responses from people interested in being eaten.
On March 9, 2001, Bernd Jürgen Brandes, an engineer from Berlin, answered Meiwes’ ad. The two agreed they would share a supper together before the slaughter. Brandes’ penis would be the main course. He insisted Meiwes bite his penis off but when that didn’t work, Meiwes used a knife and sliced it off. Brandes tried to eat the penis raw but complained that it was too tough, “chewy,” he said. Meiwes fried the penis in a pan adding a pinch of salt, pepper, wine and a dash of garlic. There being no recipe for how long a penis should be cooked, he overcooked it and later fed it to his dog.
Meanwhile, as Brandes bled for three hours in a bathtub Meiwes, apparently a Star Trek enthusiast, read a Star Trek novel before slitting Brandes’ throat and butchering him. (Did I mention that Miewes videotaped this?)
Over the next ten months, Meiwes ate approximately 44 pounds of Brandes’ flesh.
Germany, like the state of Georgia, had no law against cannibalism. Most cannibals are convicted of murder and not cannibalism. But could Meiwes be convicted of anything at all given that Brandes was a willing victim who consented to and participated in his own homicide. (That pesky loophole in the law raised its ugly head again.) The court relied on the law of common sense and Meiwes was ultimately convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.
Serving up human head (or penis) for supper may not be a delicacy on your menu tonight, but if you didn’t commit the homicide or dismember the head, it may not be against the law to consume it. Bon appetit!
Disclaimer: The content of this post is not intended to encourage anyone to engage in the act of cannibalism or to encourage the commission of any other crime.