Remember "Cannibal Cop" Gilberto Valle? He's the New York City police officer who was arrested for conspiracy to kill, cook, and eat over 100 women. He illegally accessed a law enforcement database to compile personal information on women and had a computer dossier filled with pictures of women -- including his wife and her friends -- that he allegedly planned to rape, torture, and kill. But all of this is defended by some folks as being harmless "fantasy." Since, ya know, he never actually did any of this stuff. Never mind that he had made contact with at least one of his intended victims. And that he was living with and married to another. Hey, it's just all harmless kinky fun! Like, ya know, Fifty Shades of Grey. Errr, whaa?
A Daily News columnist, Denis Hamil, says, sure, Cannibal Cop is a sicko, but he's not a criminal. He writes:
In an age when the most popular books among women are part of the S&M-laced '50 Shades of Grey' series, this just sounds like the 250th shade.
Hmmm. Let me see if I've got this correct here. I have not read Fifty Shades, so forgive me if I get a few details wrong. But from what I can tell, Fifty Shades involves two consenting adults who become involved in a consenting sexual S&M fantasy that may involve sex toys, but does not, so far as I know, involve raping, torturing, cooking, eating, and killing each other.
If the fantasy world of Anastasia and Christian are the 50th shade, and Cannibal Cop is just the 250th, then a toddler hitting a friend on the playground is the 50th shade, and someone beating a person to death with a club is the 250th shade, and they're all from the same crayon box, and therefore the same thing. Uhh, no.
So let's ask some questions here: Is it illegal to fantasize about sick things, if you don't actually do any of them? I guess not, or sites like Darkfetish.net, where Cannibal Cop met his other gruesome-minded friends and exchanged his sick emails, would be shut down.
Is it, however, illegal to gather pictures of women from Facebook, to exchange those pics and personal contact information (including addresses) with other sick-minded people online, and then to begin to collect information on the women's routines? Yes. Which is why Valle is in trouble.
Valle is charged with conspiracy to kidnap. Not actual murder. Plenty of people are convicted of conspiracy charges just for talking about trying to kill someone or trying to hire someone else to do it -- even if money is never exchanged. So why should Valle be any different? He's a cop! He knew the law.
Should the authorities have waited until Valle actually killed someone before they moved in?!
Hamil and Valle's defense attorney compare Valle's actions to a horror film. NO. The actors in those films get paid. They chose to be in the film. The victims in those films know they are not really being killed. They leave the set at the end of the day. Not so with the women whose photos and contact information have been spread around online to god only knows who. They will live in terror. REAL life terror.
I wonder if Hamil would feel differently if his wife, daughter, or mother was on Valle's list -- along with their pictures, and where they lived. Then he'd just say, "Oh, this is like Fifty Shades of Grey? Haha. No biggie."
If so, that's as sick as Valle.
Do you think Cannibal Cop's fantasies are like Fifty Shades?
Image via Jeepers Media/Flickr