Cannibal Cop on Trial

Valle in court during his wife’s testimony (courtesy of Reuters)

Gilberto Valle was a New York City police officer until last fall, when he was arrested and charged with conspiracy to kidnap and illegally accessing a law enforcement database. All of this stems from what prosecutors say was an intricate cannibalism plot carried out primarily online.

Valle’s trial is currently underway and on Tuesday, the defense rested. After an administrative day on Wednesday, final arguments in the case will begin Thursday.

Last September, Valle’s wife discovered that her husband had been using her laptop to frequent a web site devoted to dark fetishes. On the site, she saw pictures of dead women and was immediately concerned. Then she started to dig deeper and learned that Valle had also been communicating with others about his plans to torture, rape, kill, cook and even eat women.

And one of his prospective victims was her!

“I was going to be tied up by my feet and my throat slit,” she testified earlier this week. “And they would have fun watching the blood gush out of me.”

It was her call to police that eventually led to Valle’s arrest and subsequent trial. And she also served as the prosecution’s first witness, providing testimony that many hope is enough to secure a conviction.

According to Valle’s lawyers, his dark and demented online persona is nothing more than a fantasy. Rather than acting on his evil thoughts, Valle uses fetish sites as a release and clearly understands how this might be perceived by others. However, they argue that regardless of the content of his online interactions, Valle has done nothing wrong and should not be prosecuted for what amounts to a virtual crime at best.

I tend to disagree.

One thing that I find disturbing—and believe me when I say there are a lot of disturbing things about this case—is the fact that Valle used a law enforcement database to select his potential targets. Corruption in law enforcement is bad enough. But when the people hired to protect and serve the public use private information for evil—and could potentially harm innocent people—it certainly doesn’t help establish trust. If anything, it makes us all wary of everyone with a badge and uniform.

Another thing I find very damning is some of Valle’s online communication with a Pakistani man known as Alisherkhan or, more notably, “Throat Slitter.”

In one of their emails, Valle tells his friend he is planning to bring a young woman to him so she can be slaughtered, cooked and eaten. Alisherkhan even makes him a promise: “I will make a good meal for you.” And when the Pakistani sicko asks Valle if he will participate in the process, he gets an even sicker response: “I would actually love to cook a girl alive over an open fire,” Valle wrote. “She will absolutely suffer.”

I’m no psychologist, but something seems to be seriously wrong with this guy.

An example from one fetish site (courtesy of the New York Daily News)

One person who surely agrees with me is Randall W. Jackson, a federal prosecutor who told jurors that Valle was plotting real crimes, not living out some dark fantasies. He even cited “one conversation where Mr. Valle discusses a specific real woman, a specific real woman that he knew, and discussing the logistics of fitting her into an oven.”

A paralegal for the defense named Alexandra Katz stuck up for Valle by referring to a comment he made on one of the fetish sites: “I like to push the envelope but no matter what I say it’s all fantasy.” Of course, she had to first access his account, which is listed under the name “girl meat hunter.”

I don’t know about you, but this doesn’t sound like some kind of innocent fantasy to me; it sounds like a killer building up the courage to actually act on his dark thoughts and intentions.

Fortunately for Valle, I’m not a juror and have absolutely no connection to his trial or eventual verdict. So he may stand a chance of having his “fantasy alibi” work, at least in terms of plotting to kidnap a young woman. I hope not, but it’s within the realm of possibility.

If you’re someone who enjoys bizarre court cases, then I strongly suggest you start to follow this one. Granted, behavior like the kind exhibited by Gilberto Valle is nothing new. There are sick and evil people all over the world. What sets this apart isn’t just the heinous nature of his alleged plot; it’s Valle’s position as public protector and defender.

After all, if you can’t trust the police, who can you trust?

Posted on March 6, 2013, in Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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