Gil Valle is the Cannibal Cop. He used to be a member of New York Cities finest until his wife caught him messing around on a website called Dark Fetish Network, where Gil and other users used to spend their evenings fantasizing about how they wanted to kidnap and eat a whole bunch of women. This blew her mind, and she ended up going to the FBI. Gil was arrested and was eventually sentenced to 15 years in prison for conspiracy to kidnap After he served 21 months or so, a judge overturned the sentence and he was exonerated.
This interview is included in the upcoming book Subversive.
Gil wrote an excellent book about his experiences of being fucked over called Raw Deal.
How did you first come to find DarkFetish.net, and how often did you use it?
I came across DFN through one of those “related sites” kind of things around September 2009. I don’t remember what website I was looking at, it was probably something to do with BDSM porn. I began to browse DFN and found that it was sort of like a social media site for people with unusual sexual fantasies. This place runs the whole spectrum as far as fetishes go; Bondage, cannibalism/vore, torture, castration, pissing, shitting, slavery, leather, executions, mummification, and on and on. Most of the stuff did not appeal to me but it seemed that there was something there for everyone with an unusual sexual fetish.
I became intrigued when I was browsing photo albums and saw that some members of the site were posing pictures of ordinary women that they said they knew. It looked like the pictures were hijacked from Facebook pages. The consistent theme was “What Would You do With Her?” and people would leave comments tailored towards their sexual fetishes.
I had an interest in bondage porn throughout my puberty years but I became interested in cannibal-related porn sometime in college when I discovered a website called “Muki’s Kitchen.” What I would do, whether or not it was BDSM or cannibalism-related, was read stories or look at pictures and if I liked them, I would imagine women I knew in my life in those situations.
So when I saw what was going on with DFN, I decided to create an account and participate. I created a profile with the user name “Girlmeat Hunter” and indicated that I was interested in fantasies involving kidnapping, bondage, and cannibalism. My fantasies and scenarios involved non-consensual victims. Others enjoyed fantasies involving women who would consent to being tortured, hung, eaten, or whatever. The consensual scenarios didn’t appeal to me. I noticed that the website hammered home the fact that this was all fantasy only, so I echoed that in my profile just to be safe. I know I would never hurt anyone despite enjoying graphic, brutal scenarios involving women I know but I thought it was good just to put that disclaimer in my profile just to be sure.
I created my very own “What Would You Do” album. I had Facebook pictures from about 10 women I knew downloaded, and I posted them in the album. I didn’t use names at first. It was “Girl #1, Girl #2,” etc. I remember this being early on a Friday morning because I was going to travel down to Maryland for a football game at the University for the weekend. When I was finished posting the pictures, I packed up and left for Maryland.
When I came back Sunday night, I logged back into DFN and saw that I had around 50 comments from other users left regarding the photos. People were giving their ideas and their scenarios for what they would do with the women who I posted. They were mostly bondage and cannibal related comments. I came to realize that was kind of a rule of the site; You would read the user’s profile and leave comments related to that person’s sexual fetishes. I read all of the comments for each of the 10 or so women I posted and I remember thinking some of them were interesting and detailed. If I liked them, I would incorporate them into my scenarios when I masturbated.
That’s how it all started. I got a lot of positive feedback and I liked a lot of the ideas from other users, so I posted more and more women. Towards the beginning of all of this, I was still living at home with my father. I was three years into my police career. I would usually log on to DFN after I got home from work around 1 in the morning, in addition to checking my e-mail, Facebook, news, etc. When things were getting more serious with my girlfriend, who later became my wife, it was a lot less frequent.
What kind of chats were you and your buddy engaged in? Was it mostly the kidnap and eat kind of thing or was it all over the board?
In addition to the comments people left on the photos, I was starting to get direct messages from other users. They would usually pick out one of the women I posted and asked if I wanted to do a role play centering around her. Again, these messages were from people who experienced similar sexual fantasies. I wouldn’t get messages about one of the photos from someone who was into mummification, for instance. I would sometimes get messages from users who said they were women, and they wanted to do a roleplay/story where I was the captor and they were the victim but I was not into that. I enjoyed role playing the scenarios involving the women I knew. I discovered that the fact that I knew the women kind of enhanced the stories for me. As we got into the role plays, I was able to envision how the woman would sound as she was gagged, and so on.
I appreciated and enjoyed detailed role plays the most. I am well educated, and I liked when other users were able to write well. The general theme of all of the role plays was kidnapping and bondage. If I liked the way the other user wrote, sometimes we would tailor the story towards what he or she was interested in. Some of the people I chatted with were more into blood, gore, and torture which generally didn’t turn me on. Other people enjoyed a slavery scenario, where the kidnapped woman would be put up for auction and sold to the highest bidder. I started to enjoy that theme more and more so I began to incorporate it. When I created new albums, I would title them “Cook Her or Sell Her?”
As long as the role play involved some kind of kidnapping and bondage, I was generally okay with it. The good role plays I would incorporate into my masturbatory sessions. As far as the cannibalism part of it, I never got to the part where I was actually eating the person. The idea of the girl tied up and being prepared to be cooked was the peak of it. As I said before I am not turned on by the blood and gore side of things.
Did you ever think, the whole time when you were together with your wife, that you could maybe tell her the kind of thing that you were into? Or did you just assume she would freak out?
The idea of telling my girlfriend/wife about all of this never entered my mind. I thought it was way too taboo, and I thought she would run away from me! 50 Shades hadn’t come out when we started dating. I was fine with the conventional sex. I was often so caught up in the pleasure of the moment so I rarely ever thought about the fantasies. On occasion, though, I would imagine her tied to the bed but that was about it.
During the summer of 2012, I left the computer we were sharing open and she saw one of the bondage porn sites I was looking at. It wasn’t DFN, but she confronted me about it. I was really embarrassed and nervous and I fumbled to explain myself. I basically told her the truth. Sometimes I would come home from work, she and the baby were sleeping, not much to do, so I’d look at pornography and I was always into bondage websites. To my surprise, she said she was willing to try some light bondage. I was really excited about the idea. Later that day, she had texted me the location of some sex shop in Manhattan.
Out of embarrassment, I think, I never went to the sex shop. This was around August, and only two weeks later the installed the spyware and found the DFN stuff that frightened her and resulted in her wanting to get away for awhile. She didn’t just pack up and run away immediately like the FBI and the media made it seem. She woke me up and we talked about it. She said she was freaked out by what she saw and she just wanted some time away with her parents. She was in the apartment with me for about 3 hours before she left. I fed the baby and played with her while Kathleen was showering, packing, and getting ready. Law enforcement’s account was that she found the website and left with nothing but the baby and the clothes on her back. Not true.
Her initial reaction, later that day, was that we were going to get through this. She suggested that I find a couples’ therapist and we will work this out when she comes back. I have all of the text messages between us from that time period and they are very difficult for me to read and re-live that.
Did it ever occur to you, as you were engaging your fantasies, that what you were doing could have been considered illegal by anyone?
In my worst nightmare, I could have never imagined what ended up happening. Like I said, I enjoyed role plays that were detailed and sounded real, but I made clear in my DFN profile that no matter what I say it’s all just fantasies. The way the prosecution worked out, I wish I would have made that disclaimer in every set of chats I engaged in. They prosecuted me for chats where that disclaimer was never made, but nonetheless, I thought it was crystal clear that these were not real plans. There were a couple of chats where me and the other participant talked about doing it for real, but that was done to enhance the story. Constantly making the fantasy disclaimer would kind of take the air out of the balloon. Despite the “real” talk, the surrounding circumstances clearly show that these, though they sounded real, were still just stories.
For one, there was never any personal information exchanged between me and anyone I was chatting with. No names, addresses, phone numbers, etc. The only communication was through screen names and our real identities were not shared. Also, weeks and sometimes months would pass between chats with certain users. When the chats resumed, they often started over (new “victim”, new scenario).
Moreover, the details I provided about who I was and my location was all false. In my role plays, I was a character who had a van and a mountain house in the middle of nowhere. Of course, in reality, none of that existed.
For someone, like my wife, who was completely unaware what was going on to stumble on this stuff, I totally understand her and anyone else being really freaked out. The language and acts surrounding these stories were incredibly violent and being an anonymous avatar on the other side of a computer screens kind of allows you to go a little crazy. You kind of try and outdo the other person. “Ok that was pretty sick, but I can do better” kind of mindset.
I could always empathize with her wanting to talk to law enforcement about what she saw. But once the FBI got involved, it should have been pretty transparent that all of this stuff was fake. They even put a tracker on my phone and knew my exact location for 30 straight days. All they saw was me going to and from work. Their paperwork asking a judge for the warrant to track my phone indicated that they expected that tracking me would lead to evidence of the kidnapping conspiracy. I think they were looking for the mountain house that didn’t exist.
Still, it got to the point of them arresting me. I can understand the investigation, but arresting me was an absolute joke. To compound matters, the FBI and prosecutors often misrepresented facts early on in the case. A lot of it was clearly intentional. They lied about GPS tracking evidence they claimed they had, they lied about me working on days when they knew I was off, they lied about the details of my friendship with the girl from Maryland. It goes on and on. My fantasies don’t hold a candle to their fantasy of wanting to make me out to be a real criminal.
Of course, once the trial started, they abandoned many of their earlier claims. I was told by people that if you black out my name from the court transcripts and you read the bail/preliminary hearings and the trial, you would think they are two completely separate cases.
For the judge to do what he did – overturn the jury’s verdict AND dismiss the charge – (and for that ruling to be upheld), you not only know that what I did was not criminal but if you go through the case with a lens from a legal perspective, you’d easily conclude that there was rampant prosecutorial misconduct as well as perjury committed by an FBI agent. Sadly, to this point, although perjury is a crime (the only crime committed in this case), and it is clear that the perjury was proven, nobody gives a damn. Hopefully that will change.
It seems that those who have somewhat unusual fantasies in our society are often deeply ashamed of them. Do you think your situation offers people with similar fantasies hope for acceptance, or drives them further underground?
To this point, I think what happened to me would drive people further underground. I’ve read a lot of paperwork about my case, including briefings from psychologists who are familiar with sexual fantasies. It seems that many people do have sexual fantasies and taboo interests that they would never share with anyone. Most of the people, like me, are able to just live with them. Though I was engaged in fictional role plays, once the computer was off I was back to being me. I wouldn’t go driving around, seeing a hot woman and thinking to myself “wow, she’d look great tied up.”
I was living a very successful life. I had passed the NYPD sergeant’s exam, I was married with a kid, making good money and I had lived with having sexual fantasies about kidnapping and bondage since my teenage years. I never once had an impulse or an urge to act on those and I never would.
For me to do as well as I was doing and to have everything blow up in my face despite not breaking any laws, I think people who are in similar situations would be more reluctant to share any of their taboo interests with people, let alone having their deepest, darkest secrets being broadcast in front of the entire world. I would not wish what happened to me on my worst enemy.
Buy Raw Deal here.