Forensic Tour Concludes|’Cannibal Cop’ Prosecution

     MANHATTAN (CN) – The government’s case against New York City’s alleged “cannibal cop” ended Monday with a forensic computer expert’s tour of the pornographic videos, snuff images and Google search terms found on his hard drives.
     During nearly daylong testimony, FBI forensic analyst Stephen Flatley detailed what NYPD Officer Gilberto Valle had been watching and searching for online during the time that prosecutors claim he plotted to kidnap, rape, murder and eat women.
     Valle, 28, claims the government discovered his morbid sexual fantasies, not a criminal conspiracy.
     The evidence that Flatley collected could be used to support either conclusion.
     One video found in the recycling bin of Valle’s laptop depicted a naked woman bound by her wrists and ankles, with a computer-simulated fire burning at her genitals.
     Gagged with a towel, the actress manages to emit campy and blood-curdling screams, which echoed across the otherwise silent and majestic courtroom.
     Cartoons of nude women being boiled alive and impaled with a skewer and a turkey baster preceded the film.
     A staged image of a real woman on a spit was discovered in Valle’s folder which contained pictures of his college friend Kimberley Sauer, one of his alleged intended victims, Flatley said.
     Valle kept folders filled with photos of more than 70 women that he found on social media, but prosecutors do not contend that he plotted against more than three of them.
     Flatley said other still photographs on a website that Valle visited depicted dead and strangled women.
     Although most of the chats at issue in the case happened on Darkfetishnet.com, Valle also allegedly visited deadskirts.com, the Cannibal Café and the Manbeef machine.
     The latter website depicts mock food scientists in white protective clothing working at a processing plant for human flesh.
     Another section of evidence details Google searches associated with Valle’s computer account names “Gilby” and “Gilbert.”
     The searches included “what to look for in human meat,” “best rope to tie someone,” “how to tie up a girl,” “does she look good enough to eat,” “white slavery,” and “‘human meat’ recipes.”
     A Google Books search of “eat her for dinner” and cannibalism turned up the eBook, “Horror Films of the 1970s, Volume 1.”
     Lead defense attorney Julia Gatto noted during cross-examination that the search turned up a passage of a book related to the film “Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”
     She added that the searches, web history and images in evidence represented a small portion of the total data on Valle’s hard drives.
     Flatley hesitated to estimate a percentage.
     Flatley did day he left out visits to Major League Baseball, fantasy sports and the University of Maryland websites “for purposes of clarity.”
     Prosecutors want jurors to conclude that Valle sought information about Florida sex offender Mark Rounds and sex crime victim Sierra LaMar because he plotted similar crimes.
     To undermine that inference, Gatto asked, “You have no idea one way or another why a user has interest in a news story?”
     “That is correct,” Flatley acknowledged.
     Valle’s news consumption included the New York Post’s article, “Creep with hidden camera targets young women”; Slate’s piece, “Cannibalism in the news: What does human flesh taste like”; Jezebel’s post, “Why Most Mass Murderers Are Privileged White Men”; and TechDirt’s advice, “If You’re Kidnapping Someone, Maybe Don’t Search Google for Kidnapping.”
     Gatto noted that the Cannibal Café site contained multiple disclaimers stating, “We respect your right to engage in role play” between “consenting adults” and explore “whatever gets your motor running.”
     Mocking this waiver, the prosecutor asked whether Flatley had ever come across a website advertising, “We are for real criminals,” or “We are strictly for actual murderers and rapists.”
     “No,” Flatley answered.
     The defense begins its case today (Tuesday) with a video deposition from Sergey Merenkov, the Russian owner of Darkfetishnet.
     If Valle does not testify, Park Dietz, a forensic psychologist who testified against convicted cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer, is expected to testify for the defense today or Wednesday.

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