Well, he made a list, though he certainly should’ve checked out his co-conspirators twice. Gilberto Valle, a six-year veteran of the NYPD, was arrested on Wednesday after a three-month FBI investigation into his plan to check off a hundred female acquaintances’ names off of his hit list, reports DNAinfo. In addition to murder, he hoped to kidnap for profit, cook, and eat the women.
Fortunately, it seems that he was caught in time. According to court documents, Valle planned multiple conspiracies over the course of a few months. With one unnamed co-conspirator, he discussed homemade chloroform (used to sedate the victims), the size of his oven, and the procedures he’d use on “victim-1”. “I was thinking of tying her body onto some kind of apparatus … cook her over a low heat, keep her alive as long as possible.”
In another online conversation, he agreed to kidnap a woman (victim-2) for $5,000 and deliver her alive so that a second co-conspirator could rape her before disposing of the body.
So far, he has been charged with conspiracy to kidnap and accessing a computer without authorization. The criminal complaint refers to the co-conspirators as "uncharged," which could mean they were informants or officers.
In order to prove a conspiracy, there has to be more than online bluster, which is what his attorney argued in court. According to NBC, his counsel argued that this was simply a man discussing deviant sexual fantasies on the Internet. A conspiracy conviction requires both talk and an overt act in furtherance of the plot.
The FBI insists that he already took those steps. In addition to "the list", which had the potential victims' names, biographical information, addresses, and even in some cases, bra size, Valle also allegedly accessed national and state criminal databases without authorization in order gain additional insight into women on the list. A geotracked call from his cell phone places it right outside victim 2's home on at least one occasion as well.
The unauthorized access of the databases could suffice for both the "unauthorized access" charge, as well as the overt act in furtherance of the kidnapping conspiracy. If he is convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Perhaps the oddest thing about Valle's tale is that he is a seemingly normal individual. He is married, though recently separated, has a baby and a bulldog, and was described by everyone he knew as ordinary. Even his online dating profile (courtesy of the Gothamist) is absolutely bland, boring, and ordinary. Was this all just a vivid fantasy, or is he a secret psychopath caught early?
- Speak to a New York Criminal Defense Attorney (FindLaw)
- Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Arrest of New York City Police Officer for Kidnapping Conspiracy and Illegally Accessing Federal Law Enforcement Database (FBI.gov)
- Hudson River Park Rapist Pioneers the Four Loko Defense (FindLaw's New York Criminal Law Blog)
- Isaac Takes Plea After Burning Woman Alive Over $2k Debt (FindLaw's New York Criminal Law Blog)