'Cannibal Cop' Trial Begins, Fetish Porn Site at Center
NEW YORK — The federal case against New York City police officer Gilbert Valle, dubbed by the media as the Cannibal Cop, got underway Monday morning in Manhattan.
Valle is charged with conspiring to abduct dozens of women for the purpose of cooking them alive and cannibalizing them. The 28-year-old is also accused of using a police database to target potential victims.
Caught at the center of the case is the adult fetish website DarkFetishNet.com, where 38,000 registered members discuss their girl-grubbing fantasies and recipes.
Valle’s now estranged wife, Kathleen Mangan, stumbled upon the website last year when she discovered her husband was downloading images from the site and participating in online conversations about cannibalism.
"It was porn. It was disturbing," Mangan testified today about DarkFetishNet.com. "I know S&M is popular with 'Shades of Grey, but this was different."
According to NBCNews.com, Mangan went on to describe the violent fantasies Valle had expressed in his online chats.
"I was going to be tied up by my feet and my throat slit, and they were going to watch the blood drain out of me," Mangan said. "The suffering was for his enjoyment, and he wanted to make it last as long as possible."
Valle was arrested in October when an FBI investigation lead to the discovery of a list of potential victims on his computer, some of whom were picked out of a law enforcement database and others who were known to Valle in some other capacity.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Random Jackson stressed to the jury during opening statements that, "Gilbert Valle was very serious about these plans."
Defense attorney Julia Gatto countered by pointing out that "You can't convict people for their thoughts, even if they're sick."
The defense will also present video testimony from DarkFetishNet.com co-founder Sergey Merenkov, who descirbes his site as, "a clone of Facebook, but it is oriented to people with fetishes that are not considered standard."
Among the site's most popular fetishes, are "asphyxiation" and "peril cannibalism," said Merenkov.