NEW YORK (AP) — The trial of a New York police officer accused of conspiring to kill and eat women featured grisly testimony Tuesday as an FBI agent described the Internet correspondence between the officer and a man in Great Britain who spoke as if he were mentoring the officer on the art of cannibalism.
Agent Corey Walsh read passage after passage from emails and text messages between Officer Gilberto Valle and a man the government said used Moody Blues as a screen name and MeatMarketMan as an email address.
"I'm dying to taste some girl meat," the agent said Valle wrote.
Some of the passages went into sickening descriptions about cooking and eating women. Others sounded so absurd they bordered on cartoonish, feeding the defense argument that Valle and friends he met on extreme sexual fetish websites were merely engaging in fantasies.
In describing one potential victim, Moody Blues suggested "cutting off her feet and barbecuing them in front of her" while she was still alive.
Throughout, jurors remained stone-faced as they followed the words on screens before them while Walsh read them aloud in a federal courthouse in Manhattan, where the charges of conspiracy to kidnap and improper use of a federal database system could bring Valle, 28, a life sentence if he's convicted.
The government called several women who were the subjects of some of the Internet correspondence to testify how they knew Valle just before Walsh took the witness stand.
Kimberly Sauer, of Germantown, Md., went to the University of Maryland with Valle and had nothing bad to say about her former classmate. Like the other women, including one who had never met him, she knew nothing about the Internet desires of Valle and the others. On cross-examination, Sauer told defense attorney Julia Gatto that she never felt threatened by Valle.
Sauer learned of the case only after she received from Valle's wife last year in the middle of the night a disturbing Facebook message that sounded so crazy that she texted him to warn that the account must have been hacked. Either that "or you're trying to sell me into white slavery," she recalled joking in the text.
Walsh said Sauer was a central subject for Valle and Moody Blues, who claimed he had fantasized about cannibalism since he was 6 years old but did not fulfill the desire until 35 years later.
In one correspondence, Valle suggests a woman named Kimberly — prosecutors say Sauer — would be easy prey because she lived alone.
"I can knock her out, wait until dark and kidnap her right out of her house," he wrote, according to prosecutors.
The agent said Moody Blues suggested eating their victim alive but Valle responded: "I'm not really into raw meat."
Walsh said they also discussed cooking Sauer, basted in olive oil, over an open fire and using her severed head as a centerpiece for a sit-down meal.
"I just can't wait to get Kimberly cooking," the agent quoted Valle as saying.
The agent said Valle's computer had a file titled "Abducting and Cooking Kimberly: A Blueprint," which included a photo of Sauer.
Walsh testified that the federal probe began after Valle's wife, Kathleen Mangan-Valle, in September gave the FBI in Reno, Nev., a computer Valle had used.
Walsh described communications between Valle and his co-defendant, Michael Vanhise, of Trenton, N.J. He said the two negotiated the price to be paid for a Manhattan teacher to be taken to New Jersey in a suitcase for Vanhise to rape and kill.
The agent said Valle asked Vanhise whether he wanted the woman clothed or naked and Vanhise said he wanted her clothed.
"Excellent. I'll leave her clothes on. I'll give you the pleasure of unwrapping your gift," Valle was quoted as saying.
Vanhise, like Valle, has pleaded not guilty. His lawyers also say he engaged only in Internet fantasy chats.
The government hasn't said what role Moody Blues, who has been portrayed as a co-conspirator, played in the investigation.