The case of Armin Meiwes, the smiling, smartly dressed computer technician who killed and ate someone he met through the internet has shocked and fascinated Germany.
The court heard grisly revelations of Mr Meiwes life-long cannibal fantasies
The case turned the spotlight on the murky world of cannibalism and extreme fetishism, particularly in a macabre corner of cyberspace.
The detective investigating the case told the court that he had stumbled upon a vast cannibal scene in Germany involving a number of professionals.
"We are talking about dentists, teachers, cooks, government officials and handymen," federal investigator Wilfried Fehl told the court. "These are people who come from the middle reaches of society."
Among the most startling revelations of the trial was Meiwes' revelation that he had been in internet contact with dozens of people who answered his ad seeking a young man who wanted to be eaten.
Bernd-Juergen Brandes "asked to be stabbed to death," according to Meiwes
Using the pseudonym "Franky", he inserted internet advertisements which read: "If you are 18-25 you are my boy, Franky from Germany" and "come to me, I'll eat your delicious flesh".
But, clearly, not all of those who replied wanted to die. Some would have been hoaxers, others would have wanted to play out their sexual fantasies.
Only four men - other than the one who was eventually eaten - were interested enough, the court heard, to travel to Meiwes' farm in central Germany to meet him.
None of them went through with the act.
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