The former home of a man serving a life sentence for killing and eating an acquaintance in a case two decades ago in Germany burned down early Monday, police said.
The cause of the blaze that broke out overnight in the small central town of Rottenburg an der Fulda was not immediately clear, German news agency DPA reported, but police said they were not ruling out arson.
Mayor Christian Grunwald said he hoped the fire would put an end to repeated visits to the site by people out of curiosity and for other reasons.
“The ruins should be removed permanently; it should not become a pilgrimage site,” he said.
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The half-timbered house belonged to Armin Mewes, convicted of murder and disturbing the peace of the dead, and was the scene of the crime. It was lying vacant for years.
Meiwes was arrested in December 2002 for the death of Bernd Juergen Brandts the previous year. He has said that Brands responded to his internet postings seeking a young man for “slaughter and consumption” and wanted to stab him to death after Brands drank a bottle of cold medicine to lose consciousness. Mewes captured the murder on video.
In 2004, Mewes was convicted of murder and sentenced to 8½ years in prison, but prosecutors appealed the verdict.
Federal judges overturned that decision and ordered a retrial, arguing that the lower court, in dismissing the murder charges, failed to adequately consider the sexual motive behind the murder.
He was convicted of murder and given a life sentence in a retrial in 2006.
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