Randi Kreiss

Should we go to jail for our evil thoughts?


My question is: Doesn’t the NYPD require a psychiatric screening for prospective police officers?

I mean, how did this so-called “cannibal cop” slip through? He looks like a nice boy, but he was found guilty last week of conspiring to kidnap his wife, along with several other women, then do bad things to them and eventually cook and eat them. He could get life in prison.

The guy worked as a policeman. A law-enforcement person. A peace officer. A neighborhood cop. A symbol of sanity in a chaotic world. Officer Krupke. Yet he was convicted of planning sadistic crimes, the thought of which, the presiding judge said, “degrade the human spirit.” Something about the 28-year-old’s behavior (we can only imagine) prompted his young wife to investigate the websites he was visiting. When she discovered the disturbing emails he was exchanging with other enthusiasts of torture and cannibalism, she tipped off the FBI.

In his emails, Gilberto Valle, the felon in question, wrote in a breezy way about carrying out ghastly crimes. As one blogger wrote, the details are so grisly, so extreme, that they almost seem like a send-up, something out of Monty Python.

Despite his marriage, Valle was active on a dating website, and in one profile he listed his favorite meals as “Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese … I’ll try anything and am not picky at all.” Following his conviction, one blogger commended him for his cultural diversity.

I cannot imagine a sicker, more troubled individual wearing a badge or living next door. The thought of him as somebody’s husband and father chills the heart. That said, if I were on the jury, I would have voted “not guilty.”

The fact is, nobody got hurt. The government’s complaint says that Valle did research for his prospective crimes. He looked up recipes for chloroform and kept files of his intended victims, including their photos. At one point he contacted an old high school friend, went to visit her and shared a meal. But nothing bad happened. He had even brought along his wife and baby.

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