The trial against Gilberto Valle kicked off yesterday. Valle is the New York City cop who was arrested last fall on charges that he used NYPD databases to compile a list of about a hundred women he allegedly wanted to torture, cook, and eat. The would-be cannibal was turned
on in by his wife, Kathleen Mangan-Valle, who had discovered through chat logs on her husband’s computer that he apparently intended to murder and eat her too.
Gilberto Valle maintains that he was only fantasizing about these things, and had no intention of committing any actual crimes.
About one target, he wrote
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.
The Valles are practicing Catholics. Gilberto wed Kathleen only three summers ago in St. Aloysius Church in Spokane, Washington, where he swore he’d love and support her until death do the doting duo apart. (Presumably, his vows to the Almighty didn’t include anything about gutting his wife and eating her flesh.)
The couple has a child, whose image was presented in court during the wife’s testimony.
[J]urors were shown a photo of [Valle] in his NYPD uniform, beaming as he held to his chest his cherubic baby girl, who was wearing a fuzzy pink hooded jumper with bear ears. Asked to describe the image, Mangan-Valle responded, “It’s before church, before a Holy Name Society breakfast,” then sobbed uncontrollably.
The Holy Name Society “promotes reverence for the Sacred Names of God and Jesus Christ … and the personal sanctification and holiness of its members.”
Even if he’s found not guilty, the personal holiness of Gilberto Valle is, let’s say, still a few muffins short of a full breakfast.
Valle is sometimes mentioned in the same breath as a man with a similar penchant for fetishistic torture-and-cannibalism fantasies: Tampa-area puppeteer Robert Brown. Brown was arrested last July on charges of planning to kidnap, rape, murder, and eat a child. Like Valle, he’s a loyal churchgoer. He takes his religious holidays seriously, remarking about his intended victim, a young boy he knew from church:
…his thighs and butt cheeks would be fantastic for easter.
(Insert obligatory joke about fava beans and a nice chianti.)
Valle, too, felt that a church holiday calls for something extra-festive:
I’m planning on getting some girl meat… this November… for Thanksgiving.
It’s noteworthy that the Eucharist ritual of swallowing the body of Christ, in the words of this devout Catholic publication, means that
…the Holy Communion does involve eating human flesh and blood.
Their words, not mine. Maybe the forbidden apple doesn’t fall that far from the tree.
[image via MailOnline]