On March 12, 2013, NYPD Officer Gilberto Valle, 28, was convicted by a jury of his peers on charges of conspiring to kidnap, kill, cook and eat women, not necessarily in that order. During the trial his lawyer argued that Valle’s cannibalism fetish was an online fantasy, and no more.
The jury, however did not agree, and saw his intentions as deadly serious. Evidence showed that the six-year police veteran not only discussed the abductions and murders online with a would-be accomplice, “I was thinking of tying her body to some kind of apparatus … cook her over low heat, keep her alive as long as possible,” but also targeted about 100 women, using information he got illegally from a police database of crime victims. Valle met with some of the women, texted others and regularly stalked many. In all prosecutors argued that he plotted to abduct at least five women as well as his wife to fulfill his macabre desires to “kidnap, torture, rape and commit other horrific acts on young women.”
According to Valle’s lawyer, Julia Gatto, “The jury was unable to get past the thoughts. … Obviously, the case involved thoughts that were unusual and bizarre and frankly very ugly.” His supporters believe that Valle was convicted for the equivalent of a thought crime, and that this may be a dangerous precedent.
Valle’s sentencing is scheduled for July 19. He faces life in prison.