October 26, 2012 11:40:48 AM
NEW YORK -- A city police officer was charged Thursday with leading a ghoulish double life by using a law enforcement database and fetish chat rooms to dream up a plot to torture women and then cook and eat their body parts.
Gilberto Valle left a trail of emails, instant messages and computer files detailing the bizarre cannibalism scheme, according to a criminal complaint, which identified two women as Victim 1 and Victim 2.
He catalogued at least 100 women on his computer, federal investigators said, but there was no information that anyone was harmed.
One document found on his computer was titled "Abducting and Cooking (Victim 1): A Blueprint," according to the complaint. The file also had the woman's birth date and other personal information and a list of "materials needed" -- a car, chloroform and rope.
"I was thinking of tying her body onto some kind of apparatus ... cook her over low heat, keep her alive as long as possible," Valle allegedly wrote in one exchange in July, the complaint says.
In other online conversations, investigators said, Valle talked about the mechanics of fitting the woman's body into an oven (her legs would have to be bent), said he could make chloroform at home to knock a woman out and discussed how "tasty" one woman looked.
"Her days are numbered," he wrote, according to the complaint.
The woman told the FBI she knew Valle and met him for lunch in July, but that's as far as it went.
The officer's estranged wife had alerted New York authorities to his chilling online activity, triggering the investigation that led to his arrest by the FBI on Wednesday, a law enforcement official said. The official was not authorized to speak publicly about an ongoing case and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Valle, 28, was to appear in federal court in Manhattan on Thursday afternoon to face charges of kidnapping conspiracy and unauthorized use of law enforcement records. The name of his attorney was not immediately available, and no one answered the door to his home in a quiet, middle-class Queens neighborhood.
A search of Valle's computer found he had created records of at least 100 women with their names, addresses and photos, the complaint says. Some of the information came from his unauthorized use of a law enforcement database, authorities said. He claimed, according to the complaint, that he knew many of them.
"The allegations in the complaint really need no description from us," said Mary E. Galligan, acting head of the FBI's New York office. "They speak for themselves. It would be an understatement merely to say Valle's own words and actions were shocking."
There was no immediate response to a message left with the NYPD on Thursday.
The complaint alleges that in February, Valle negotiated to kidnap another woman -- Victim 2 -- for someone else, writing, "$5,000 and she's all yours."
He told the buyer he was aspiring to be a professional kidnapper, authorities said.
"I think I would rather not get involved in the rape," according to the complaint. "You paid for her. She is all yours, and I don't want to be tempted the next time I abduct a girl."
It says he added: "I will really get off on knocking her out, tying up her hands and bare feet and gagging her. Then she will be stuffed into a large piece of luggage and wheeled out to my van."
Cellphone data revealed that Valle made calls on the block where the woman lives, the complaint says. An FBI agent interviewed the woman, who told them that she didn't know him well and was never in her home.
Valle had been assigned to a Manhattan precinct before his suspension on Wednesday.
His Facebook page cultivated the image of a very different man. Postings were filled with photos of a smiling wife, a baby girl and an English bulldog puppy named Dudley. A Yankees fan, Valle had more than 600 Facebook friends, including dozens of young women.
Valle respected his colleagues on the force, took the sergeant's exam and spoke out against Occupy Wall Street, cop killers and others who broke the law, according to the page. His current photo was a blue line, a sign of mourning for when an officer is killed, and expressed condolences for the family of a Nassau County officer who was shot to death this week.
"Keep Nassau County police in your prayers what a brutal week," he wrote earlier this week.
The page was taken down Thursday afternoon.
Valle lived in a six-story apartment building with white pillars on a quiet residential street in Queens with a playground on the corner. No one answered his door Thursday.
Raphael Castillo, the superintendent of the building, said he was surprised by the arrest.
"I think it's a normal person and a very good person," he said. "When I talk to him, I never see nothing wrong. I don't think this is the person that I know."