On the Café’s forums were men looking for men, men looking for women (the ideal: short, buxom, thin redheads) and women looking for men—very few posts, if any, were for women looking for women. There were people who wanted to be eaten and people who wanted to do the eating. There were stories, artwork and users seeking advice on the best to way to cook someone. “I am ready!” announced that the poster was prepared for slaughter. Entire threads were devoted to “human meat for sale fresh frozen.” Email addresses were freely exchanged, with posters using handles like “Pigslut” and “Masochist Mr. Waye.”
Here is how one notable, but still typical, conversation at the Café ran. The creatively titled “your next meal” wrote, “if anyone wants to eat an 18 yr old gorgeous male by any means you wish, then just tell me how you would feel whilst devouring my horny flesh into ur belly and i will reply to you so we can discuss real arrangements, please eat me!” A few hours later, a response: “Hi, i am Franky from Germany, i will eat you,” followed by an e-mail address.
This is what happened: A little over ten years ago, on March 9, 2001, 39-year-old Meiwes, a computer technician living in the German village of Wüstefeld, brought home, had sex with and killed 44-year-old Brandes, a Berlin man who lived about 250 miles away. Meiwes then ate 44 pounds of his flesh over a period of ten months. While that may sound like murder, there’s something else that should be mentioned: Brandes wanted it all to happen.
Meiwes and Brandes first communicated in February 2001, when the soon-to-be cannibal responded to Brandes’ online ad looking for someone to eat him alive—“no slaughter, but eating.” Soon they were sending daily emails to one another describing explicitly what would happen when they met. Brandes, writing as “Cator,” wrote to Meiwes, a.k.a. “Antrophagus,” on Feb. 5, saying, “I hope you’re really serious about it, because I really want it and have already met enough cyber-cannibals.”