MANHATTAN (CN) - Neither rope, chloroform chemicals nor duct tape - all of which Gilberto Valle listed as necessities in his alleged plots to kidnap and eat women - were found in his Queens apartment, an FBI agent testified.
The testimony lends credence to claims from the 28-year-old New York City police officer that his disturbing chats with other users of Darkfetishnet.com were pure fantasy, qualifying for protection under the First Amendment.
Special Agent Cory Walsh maintained in his testimony Wednesday, however, that his team identified Valle's chats with three different partners as real plans. Many of Valle's chats involving cannibalism are marked as fantasy role play, Walsh said.
Under cross-examination, Walsh conceded that Valle played loose with the facts in alleged plots that otherwise used photos of real women and often their real first names.
Such inconsistencies emerge in a message Valle sent to one of the three targeted chat partners, Moody Blues. In "Abducting and Cooking Kimberly: A Blueprint," Valle used a photo of his friend Kimberly Sauer, smiling and reclining with her head propped on her hands. But the rest of the document misidentifies Sauer's last name, age, place of birth, degree and former university. As a longtime friend and former classmate of Sauer, who testified in the trial earlier this week, these are all details that Valle would know.
In his chats on this alleged plot, Moody Blues, who was arrested in Great Britain this week, mentioned that they needed a place that was "VERY SECLUDED."
Valle responded: "I have a place in the mountains. Nobody's around for three quarters of a mile," adding that there would be no one to "hear her screams."
When Valle's attorney Robert Baum asked Walsh if the FBI had located such a cabin, Walsh said that they "are not aware of a place he had in the mountains."
"No," said Baum, whose pugnacious cross-examination of Walsh led the judge to sustain several objections for speaking over the witness.
"In fact Mr. Valle lives in Queens in an apartment building and has thousands or tens of thousands of people in the three quarters of a mile around where he lives," Baum added.
In chats that the bureau has deemed fantasy, Valle usually made a statement along the lines of "If you were wondering, it's all fantasy. I just enjoy pushing the envelope a bit."
In another such chat, asked if he would ever actually kidnap and eat a woman, Valle, said, "If I were absolutely 100% sure to get away with it, I think I would think about it."
Walsh said he read this line as an accurate reflection of Valle's "state of mind."
All the chats, fantasy and reality, included similarly detailed descriptions of ways to cook and "get girl meat," and one specific scenario in which Valle sent chat partners photos of women so they could pick their favorite. The two would then plot for Valle to kidnap and deliver the victim for $4,000 to $5,000 dollars, having not touched her himself. In others, mostly those deemed real, Valle hatched plans "to hunt" his own first victim to eat. Walsh provided no details, however, of concrete follow-ups to the plans Valle made online, in terms of hotel reservations or trips, such as traveling to Ohio where one target he claimed to be "hunting" lived.
Valle made detailed plans to kidnap up to three different women, including his wife, over the weekend of Feb. 20, 2012, with different chat partners. When asked if any of the women were kidnapped or harmed, Walsh responded, "thankfully, no."
Valle offered to sell Michael Vanhise, one the three FBI-flagged chat partners, a woman named Alyssa for $4,000. Baum asked Walsh if he had investigated Vanhise's finances. Walsh conceded that Vanhise is 22, lives with his grandmother and has "not a lot" of money in the bank. After the date passed, the chats resumed again and new, though similar, plots were hatched.
While Valle never made the fantasy disclaimer in chats the three targeted partners, Walsh conceded that there was also no evidence Valle had ever passed along his own phone number, or address, or bank account information for a wire transfer of his fee. There is also no evidence that he conversed with the co-conspirators outside of the email chats, nor was there ever a mention of real addresses or concrete location details for his victims.
Walsh said these communications may have occurred on Darkfetishnet, where Valle met all of his chat partners, but that the FBI could not access them because Valle shut down his account, which would have caused all those messages to be deleted.
Valle faces a life sentence if convicted on the charges of conspiracy to kidnap and improper use of a federal database, which he allegedly used to profile women.