A German police officer was found guilty of murder Wednesday for killing a man he met in an Internet chat forum devoted to cannibalism.
The German news agency dpa reported that the regional court in the eastern city of Dresden sentenced Detlev Guenzel to eight years and six months in prison. Judges concluded that Guenzel killed 59-year-old businessman Wojciech Stempniewicz from Hannover in November 2013.
The pair met at Guenzel’s home, a bed-and-breakfast inn in the town of Hartmannsdorf-Reichenau near the border with the Czech Republic.
Prosecutors say the Polish-born victim had fantasized about being eaten, but there was no evidence the suspect actually did so. Some body parts were found, but investigators have been unable to determine the cause of death because of the poor condition of the corpse, the BBC reports.
Guenzel was accused of cutting Stempniewicz’s body into small pieces and burying them in his garden, all while making a home video of the gruesome scene.
During the trial, the video was played, at one point showing Guenzel covered in blood while mutilating the corpse and murmuring “I never thought I would sink so low,” the BBC reports.
The defendant, who worked as a police handwriting expert for 30 years, denied the murder and said the victim killed himself.
Guenzel’s lawyers argued that Stempniewicz hanged himself in Guenzel’s basement “S&M studio” before he took a knife and electric saw to the gagged-and-bound man.
Guenzel had retracted a confession he initially made to investigators shortly after the killing in which he said he had cut Stempniewicz’s throat.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.