Police officer jailed for murdering and cutting up man he met on cannibal website to be retried
A police officer who was jailed for murdering and cutting up a man he met on a cannibal fetish site is to be retried.
Detlev Guenzel, 57, was recently found guilty of strangling and dismembering businessman Wojciech Stempniewicz, back in 2013.
The German police officer and the Polish-born businessman met on a website focussed at those with cannibal fantasies.
Despite no evidence of actual cannibalism, the man was sentenced to eight and a half years in jail by a Leipzig court after being found guilty of murder and of disturbing a corpse.
One week later, the German constitutional court (Bundesgerichtshofs) overturned the conviction, ordering a retrial for Guenzel.
The retrial was ordered as the chairman of the court, Gunther Sander, said: “The cards have been completely reshuffled.”
Sander said the rope used to hang Stempniewicz nor the claim made by the defence that he killed himself, were not properly examined.
Going on, the head of the court said it was not possible to know what the outcome of the new trial will be, as Guenzel could be found not guilty, or could get a harsher penalty.
Prosecutors never proved that any part of the victim was eaten, but when police arrived at the police officer’s room at an inn, he showed them where all parts of Stempniewicz had been buried.
Local media later speculated that the man’s penis may have been eaten, as it was never recovered when police dug up the garden.
Guenzel’s trial began last August, and he was accused of cutting up the victim in the town of Hartmannsdorf-Reichenau at a bed and breakfast.
Accused of recording a video of himself cutting up the body and burying it in the garden, Guenzel broke down in court, saying he had made a mistake but that he was not a murdered.
When the video was played, he said: “I never thought I would sink so low.”
His defence said the pair met online in October 2013, on a website with around three thousand members. Aimed at those with cannibalism fantasies, the site described itself as the “Number one site for exotic meat”.
Defending Guenzel, lawyers argued that the victim had wanted to die, and that he had already hanged himself before the policeman took an electric saw and a knife to his body.