'Cannibal cop' discussed how to murder then roast wife with online chat group

Former New York police officer arrested by FBI after wife monitored his internet use; he faces life in prison

Los Angeles

The wife of the former New York police officer known as the “Cannibal Cop” has told a court how she learned her husband was planning to kill and eat her.

The trial of Gilberto Valle opened on Monday in Manhattan with the testimony of his estranged spouse, 27-year-old school teacher Kathleen Mangan-Valle. Mr Valle, 28, is charged with plotting online to kidnap, rape, kill and cannibalise scores of women, including his wife.

The couple met on a dating website and were married last year, soon after the birth of their daughter. At first, Mrs Mangan-Valle told the court, the relationship was full of “fun, laughter”, but then “weird stuff” started happening.

Mr Valle, she said, would stay up until 5am surfing the internet. He began to ask about her jogging routes, and whether they were well-lit or busy. Suspicious, she installed spyware to keep track of her husband’s web browsing habits.

In September 2012, she made a shocking discovery: Mr Valle had been visiting a fetish website that contained pictures of women being tortured. One photograph, she was convinced, showed a dead girl.

As she explored further, Mrs Mangan-Valle found her husband had been exchanging electronic messages with others, in which he detailed plans to torture and kill women, including herself and some of her friends.

“I was going to be tied up by my feet and my throat slit, and they would have fun watching the blood gush out of me,” she said. Another member of the chatroom had suggested to Mr Valle that, if his wife cried, he shouldn’t listen. “Don’t give her mercy,” he was told.

In his online conversations, Mr Valle had outlined plans to abduct one of his wife’s friends in a suitcase before murdering her. One of his alleged targets was an 18-year-old high school pupil whom he described as “the most desirable piece of meat I’ve ever met”, saying she was small enough to fit into his oven.

Two more women were to be raped simultaneously to “heighten” their fears, while others were to be roasted on a spit, with the chatroom members taking 30-minute cooking shifts. Mrs Mangan-Valle said: “The suffering was for his enjoyment and he wanted to make it last as long as possible.”

After discovering the extent of her husband’s depravity, Mrs Mangan-Valle reported him to the FBI, and then fled with the couple’s daughter to her parents’ home in Nevada. Both wept openly as Mr Valle’s defence lawyer showed the court a photograph of the defendant feeding the child.

The trial rests on whether Mr Valle was planning to carry out the crimes he discussed online, or whether, as his defence argues, they were merely fantasies. He has been charged with illegally accessing a law enforcement database to gather information on his prospective victims.

He also allegedly searched the internet for advice on chemicals to render people unconscious, ropes to tie them up, and the properties of human flesh. Yet there is no evidence that any of the women he mentioned have been harmed, let alone kidnapped.

The case throws light into the darker corners of the internet, including a website with 38,000 members, including Mr Valle, who, according to his lawyer, Julia L Gatto, discuss “suffocating women, cooking and eating them”. Ms Gatto said the case tests “bedrock principles, the freedom to think, the freedom to say, the freedom to write even  the darkest thoughts from our human imagination”.

Another man is awaiting trial for allegedly conspiring with Mr Valle to kidnap, rape and kill; he also claims he meant no real harm. Mr Valle is expected to take the stand this week, and faces a possible life sentence if convicted.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: IT Engineer

£21000 - £23600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...

Recruitment Genius: Purchase Ledger & Arrears Supervisor

£22000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are an experienced super...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Web Designer

£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion, this leading ...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion, this leading ...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss