In the beginning of May 2009, a woman was all over the news. That woman’s name is Connie Culp and she is the first person to undergo a near-total face transplant in the United States.
The procedure took 22 hours and was performed on December 10, 2008. 80 percent of Culp’s face was transplanted. Her entire face was replaced except for her upper eyelids, forehead, lower lip and chin.
The 46-year old mother Connie Culp was shot in the face with a shotgun by her husband Thomas G. Culp in September 2004 outside a bar in Ohio. Her husband tried to perform a murder-suicide, but he failed and both of them survived.
Connie Culp lost most of the midsection of her face and from 2004 to 2008 she got a dozens of surguries. Before her facetransplant, her disfigurement prevented her to eat and breathe on her own.
After the transplant, Connie was blind but she has learned braille and can use her other senses quite normal.
Connie Culp after her face transplant
The husband was convicted of aggrevated attempted murder and serves a 7-year prison sentence. Connie says she has forgiven him and that she is waiting when he gets out of prison.
At a young age, the German Armin Meiwes lived alone with his demanding mother and therefore created a imaginary littlebrother called Frank. He also imagined dismembering and eating other children so they could “be within him forever”.
When Meiwes controlling mother died, it threw him completely off balance.
After Meiwes had joined cannibal news groups, he renovated his old house and built a secret room specially designed for slaugher.
In March 2001, Meiwis posted an advertisement stating he was searching a “well-built 18 – 30-year old to be slaughtered and then consumed”. The ad was answered by the 42-year old computer engineer Bernd Jürgen Brandes.
Bernd Jürgen Brandes
When Brandes broke up with his girlfriend he decided to invent himself by working out excessively and shaving his head.
After visiting male prostitutes to be whipped and with the unfulfilled wish of getting his penis cut off, Brandes joined the same cannibal news groups as Meiwes and they connected.
When the to meet up at Meiwes house, Meiwes has prepared with a videocamera to film as Meiwes begin to cut Brandes penis off for them both to eat.
Brandes is still alive after bleeding for 3 hours. Meiwes decides to finish him off with a knife stab to Brandes throat.
Meiwes buried Brandes skin and innards in his garden, but kept some meat in his freezer which he made a meal of the next day. To the police he later told it tasted like pork.
People began to search for Brandes, but after weeks without a result – the case was closed.
The 10th December 2002, Meiwes was apprehended by the police and charged for “glorification of violence”.
Later, the police found the remains in Meiwes garden and the 10kg of meat in his freezer. When the police also found the video tape Meiwes tried to hide, they determined that what killed Brandes wasn’t the mutilation buth the stab to the throat, and therefore Meiwes was charged for murder.
In January 2004, the court decided that Brandes did approve to his own slaughter and they accepted Meiwes claim that the killing was not sexually motivated. However, Meiwes was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to eight and a half year in prison.
The German industrial band Rammstein’s song ”Mein teil” is inspired by this story.
A movie based on Meiwes case called ”Rothenburg” was banned in Germany because a complaint from Meiwes. Meiwe’s rights as an individual outweighed artistic freedom as he should not become the object of a horror film.