A New York City cop with a taste for human flesh was charged Thursday with plotting to kidnap, torture, “slow cook” and eat women he tracked down through law enforcement databases. Accused cannibal cop Gilberto Valle, 28, was living a double life — a married dad and civil servant who moonlighted as a secret psycho straight out of a James Patterson crime thriller, federal authorities revealed.
Like the diabolical character in Patterson’s made-for-the-big-screen “Alex Cross” novel, Valle is accused of using high-tech surveillance to track would-be victims, even worming his way into their lives while plotting to kidnap, rape and kill them. He once boasted in an instant message to a depraved ally that his oven was “big enough to fit one of these girls if I folded their legs.”
At his arraignment in Manhattan Federal Court Thursday, prosecutor Hadassa Waxman said it was only a matter of time before Valle acted on his sinister desires. “If he was not arrested, he would have carried out this plan,” Waxman said in court, adding that Valle spied on one woman while in his uniform and behind the wheel of a police cruiser.
Defense attorney Julia Gatto scoffed at the charges, describing Valle’s behavior as nothing more than “fantasy talk” and lies in online chat rooms. “Nobody has been injured. Nobody has been taken,” Gatto said. “It is, at best, someone who is living a fantasy on the Internet, a deviant fantasy. But there is no actual crossing the line from fantasy to reality.”
Assigned to the 26th Precinct in Morningside Heights, Valle allegedly kept dossiers on at least 100 potential victims, culling federal and state law-enforcement databases for names, photos, dates of birth, height, weight and even bra sizes. He illegally logged onto the encrypted National Crime Information Database to bolster his files and troll for targets, prosecutors said.
The FBI has interviewed 10 women found on Valle’s hit list, who all confirm they know the accused twisted cop and were stunned to learn he’d allegedly been staking them out to put them on a spit. One of the women told detectives she and Valle had lunch together at a Baltimore restaurant in July, unaware that he wanted to make a meal out of her.
“I was thinking of tying her body onto some kind of apparatus . . . cook her over a low heat and keep her alive as long as possible,” he wrote to an alleged co-conspirator just days before the lunch date. “I love that she is asleep right now, not having the slightest clue of what we have planned,” he wrote. “Her days are numbered. I’m glad you’re on board. She does look tasty doesn’t she?” The unidentified co-conspirator messaged back, “You do know if we don’t waste any of her, there is nearly 75 lbs of food there.”
Valle, with the NYPD for six years, was arrested at his Forest Hills, Queens, apartment Wednesday after his estranged wife, Kathleen Cooke Mangan, tipped off the FBI about “weird stuff” she found on his computer, sources told the Daily News. Mangan, who has been married to Valle less than a year, left him and bolted from the state with the couple’s year-old baby daughter after stumbling on her hubby’s fiendish computer files. She contacted the FBI in September and the bureau immediately launched a joint investigation with NYPD, sources said.
“This case is all the more disturbing when you consider Valle’s position as a New York City police officer and his sworn duty to serve and protect,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. A federal complaint accuses Valle of “drafting and revising an operation plan to abduct and cook an identified woman.” Federal agents found another document on Valle’s computer titled “Abducting and Cooking: A Blueprint” and say he downloaded a chloroform recipe in hopes of using it to subdue his victims. “I am aspiring to be a professional kidnapper,” Valle messaged a cohort in February, according to the criminal complaint.
Valle is said to have had the names and photos of dozens of women on his computer. Detectives have uncovered a trove of instant online messages showing he recruited two co-conspirators, including one from out of the country, who shared his twisted desire to cook women alive, the feds said. One of the sick pals offered to pay Valle to kidnap and deliver a woman to be raped and murdered. “Full payment due at delivery,” Valle wrote in an instant message in February to his sadistic co-conspirator.
“Just so that you know, she may be knocked out when I get her to you. I don’t know how long the solvent I am using will last but I have to knock her out to get her out of her apartment safely.” When the pal tried to haggle on the price, Valle refused to budge, writing back, “I really need the money” and added, “I’m putting my neck on the line here.” After settling on a $5,000 price, Valle’s collaborator, wrote, “Just make sure she doesn’t die before I get her.”
Valle discussed the best way to slow cook a grown woman in a series of disturbing on-line chats, the FBI charged. Valle responded, “No need to worry. She will be alive. It’s a short drive to you.” He went on to message that he’d “rather not get involved in the rape. You paid for her. She’s all yours and I don’t want to be tempted the next time I abduct a girl.” Valle’s cell phone records indicate he was on the targeted woman’s Manhattan block on March 1 when he called her. She told FBI agents she never invited Valle into her home.
Valle grew up in Forest Hills, graduated in 2002 from Archbishop Molloy High School and studied psychology at the University of Maryland. He joined the police force in 2006, and recently took the NYPD sergeant’s exam. Although Valle swore to protect the people of New York, he described the city on his Facebook page in 2011 as a “rotten scumbag-filled city.” He has been suspended without pay. Magistrate Judge Henry Pittman denied Valle bail, describing the allegations as “very, very serious, unspeakable conduct.”
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