Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Cannibalism: The Ancient Taboo in Modern Times

A Dream Deferred

Law enforcement remove Schweiger's body
Law enforcement remove Schweiger's body

Police on the scene reported that Ackermann was drooling and disoriented. His mouth was smeared with blood and viscera, and his clothes damp with the mess. He'd already eaten some of Schweiger's brain, internal organs and bicep tissue. The victim's tongue and the rest of his brain were plated for the boy's perverse breakfast.

Even as derangedand ecstaticas he was at the time, the boy quickly realized he was caught. He confessed. Unsurprisingly, DNA tests later showed that the blood that drenched the teen's lips and hands did indeed belong to the corpse.

Authorities say that Robert Ackermann has since been a model patient and prisoner. Whether the attack was a severe psychotic episode or an outpouring of the young man's longstanding sadistic urges is unclear. But therapy and consistent, monitored medication have seemingly returned him to the real world, and he's able to talk about his crime. On September 4, 2008, an Austrian jury agreed that Ackermann was not fit to stand trial but would spend the rest of his life in Austria's Goellersdorf, a high-security mental hospital.

The Cannibal of Vienna now says he plans to use his time institutionalized to study medicine, so that if he's ever released he can fulfill his lifelong ambition to become a surgeon.

Vienna, Austria
Vienna, Austria

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