A police officer with the NYPD has been arrested on federal charges in connection with a plot by which he allegedly conspired with others to kidnap, torture and cannibalize multiple women.
Officer Gilberto Valle, 28, of Forest Hills, has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, one count of intentionally accessing computer files with the National Crime Information Center to gather information on at least one potential victim.
Valle was arrested Wednesday at his home by the FBI and detectives from the NYPD's Internal Affair Bureau.
"Gilberto Valle's alleged plans to kidnap, women so they could be raped, tortured, killed, cooked and cannibalized shock the conscience," said Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York in a statement released on Thursday. “The case is more disturbing when you consider Valle's position as a New York City police officer and his sworn duty to serve and protect.”
The investigation is continuing. A spokeswoman for the NYPD said Valle works in the 26th Precinct in Northern Manhattan and has been suspended without pay. All other questions were referred to the FBI.
FBI Acting Assistant Director in Charge Mary E. Galligan said the allegations in the complaint needed no description.
"They speak for themselves," she said. "It would be an understatement merely to say Valle’s own words and actions were shocking.”
According to the allegations in the complaint filed yesterday in Manhattan federal court, the FBI learned that Valle was sending e-mail and instant messages discussing plans with multiple co-conspirators to kidnap, rape, torture, kill, cook, and cannibalize a number of women in September. A court-authorized search of the computer revealed that Valle had created files pertaining to at least 100 women and containing at least one photograph of each. The computer also contained personal information about some of these women, including relevant addresses, physical descriptions, and photographs, and electronic communications in which Valle and co-conspirators detailed their plans. Additionally, Valle used the NCIC database and other methods to locate potential victims, surveilled potential victims at their homes and places of business, drafted an “operation plan” to abduct and “cook” an identified woman, researched methods of disabling and drugging women, and agreed with at least one other individual to kidnap a woman in exchange for a sum of money.
Federal authorities said that in July Valle had a series of online communications with a co-conspirator in which they discussed how best to kidnap, murder, cook, and eat the first victim, including where to find a recipe for chloroform. During this time period, Valle also created a document entitled “Abducting and Cooking [Victim-1]: a Blueprint.” The document contains pedigree information about the first intended victim, including her name, date of birth, height, weight, and bra size. The document also contains a section called “Materials Needed” in which Valle wrote, in part, the following:
• Car (I have it)
• Chloroform (refer to website for directions)
• Rope (Strongest kind to tie her up)
In subsequent instant message conversations, the co-conspirator asked Valle, “How was your meal?” to which Valle immediately responded, “I am meeting her on Sunday.” On the following Sunday, Valle contacted the woman and said that he wanted to meet her. They met later that day at a restaurant for lunch.
Valle also allegedly had conversations with another co-conspirator in February 2012, in which they negotiated and agreed to a price at which Valle would kidnap another woman. In those conversations, Valle insisted upon a price no less than $5,000 and assured the co-sonspirator that Victim 2 would be bound, gagged and alive when he delivered her.
The FBI reviewed cell site data obtained pursuant to a court order and learned that, in March 2012, a cellphone with a telephone number belonging to Valle made and received cellular communications on the block in Manhattan on which Victim 2’s apartment building is located. When the FBI later interviewed Victim 2, she stated that she has never invited Valle to her home and does not know him well.
On May 31, 2012, Valle accessed the NCIC database and obtained information about a third intended victim whose name matched the name of one of the individual files created by Valle, and stored the information on the computer. Valle did not have authorization to perform that search or to access any information about Victim 3.