From today’s Sun newspaper:
Pet spider kills its owner
A MAN who lived in his own “zoo” of lizards and insects was fatally bitten by a pet black widow spider — then eaten by the other creepy-crawlies.
Police broke in to Mark Voegel’s apartment to find spider Bettina along with 200 others, several snakes, a gecko lizard called Helmut and several thousand termites had gorged on his body.
Neighbours alerted police after becoming alarmed by the stink.
And horrified officers were met by a nightmare scene.
A police spokesman said: “It was like a horror movie. His corpse was over the sofa.
“Giant webs draped him, spiders were all over him. They were coming out of his nose and his mouth.
“There was everything there one could imagine in the world of reptiles.
“Larger pieces of flesh torn off by the lizards were scooped up and taken back to the webs of tarantulas and other bird-eating spiders.”
Loner Voegel, 30, never invited people back to his “jungle” home, a small apartment in the German city of Dortmund.
Police described it as a cross between a botanical garden and the butterfly breeding ground in the serial killer movie The Silence Of The Lambs.
One tarantula had built a nest the size of a swallow’s in a corner of the ceiling.
Voegel also had a boa constrictor and several poisonous frogs from South America.
Spider expert and animal cruelty officer Gabi Bayer said he kept creatures “that should never be allowed in a private home”.
She said: “He had spiders so aggressive they are the equivalent of a pit-bull in the animal world.”
The reptiles were allowed to roam free in the flat.
The heating elements on two tanks containing spiders and their termite snacks had exploded and dislodged the metal tops allowing them to escape.
Voegel is thought to have been dead for between seven and 14 days.
A post-mortem will be carried out in the next few days. But authorities believe Bettina alone was responsible for Voegel’s death.