A man in Germany charged with killing and eating a gay man he met in an Internet chat room had previously "auditioned" four other potential victims, according to a magazine report.

The report in Thursday's Stern quotes investigators as saying the four "cannibalism candidates" agreed to be subjected to a physical suitability examination by their prospective killer.

Lured by Internet ads saying "I could just gobble you up", the four men - three from Germany and one from London - travelled separately to the killer's home near Kassel in central Germany.

Three of the men baulked at going through with being eaten, saying they had assumed it was an erotic role-playing game. The fourth man was rejected as "pudgy and unsexy" by the killer.

The partially devoured remains of the eventual victim, a computer analyst from Berlin, were found at the residence of the 41-year-old suspect.