Looking for a willing volunteer, Meiwes posted an advertisement on the website The Cannibal Cafe (a defunct forum for people with a cannibalism fetish). Meiwes' post stated that he was "looking for a well-built 18 to 30-year-old to be slaughtered and then consumed." Bernd Jürgen Armando Brandes, an engineer from Berlin, answered the advertisement in March 2001. Many other people responded to the advertisement but backed out; Meiwes did not attempt to force them to do anything against their will.
The two made a videotape when they met on 9 March 2001 in Meiwes' home, in the small town of Rotenburg, showcasing Meiwes amputating Brandes' penis (with his agreement) and the two men attempting to eat it together, before Brandes' death. Before doing so, Brandes swallowed twenty sleeping pills, and a bottle of cough syrup, likely causing an effect of slowed breathing and extreme tiredness. Brandes initially insisted that Meiwes attempt to bite his penis off. This did not work, and ultimately, Meiwes used a knife to remove Brandes' appendage. Brandes apparently tried to eat some of his own penis raw but could not, because it was too tough and, as he put it, "chewy". Meiwes then fried the penis in a pan with salt, pepper, wine, and garlic; he then fried it with some of Brandes' fat, but by then it was too burnt to be consumed. He then chopped the penis up into chunks and fed it to his dog. According to court officials who saw the video (which has not been made public), Brandes may already have been too weakened from blood loss to eat any of his penis.
Meiwes then ran Brandes a bath, before going to read a Star Trek book, while checking back on Brandes every fifteen minutes, during which time Brandes lay bleeding in the bath. Later, Brandes got out of the bath and collapsed, falling into unconsciousness due to blood loss. Meiwes then claims to have dragged him upstairs. Brandes continued to drift in and out of consciousness before finally collapsing again. After long hesitation and prayer, Meiwes killed Brandes by stabbing him in the throat, after which he hung the body on a meat hook. The incident was recorded on a four-hour videotape. Meiwes ate the corpse over the next ten months, storing body parts in his freezer under pizza boxes and consuming up to 20 kilograms (44 lb) of the flesh. According to prosecutors, Meiwes committed the act for sexual pleasure.