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"He's as hard-core as a baby"
February 6, 2013 4:57 PM   Subscribe

Free the Cannibal Cop: His fantasies are sick. His prosecution is even sicker.
[No pictures, text has graphic content around sex and violence.]
posted by andoatnp (70 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is a very well-argued article, and I'm inclined to agree with it.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:15 PM on February 6, 2013



The charges were a tabloid bonanza—"here's something for jurors to sink their teeth into," wrote the New York Post, and then "he's stewing behind bars," "he's hungry for some help from his fellow freaks," and "bring on the second course," among other classic ledes.
...
The feds' caution proved appropriate when Valle appeared to abandon that plot altogether. He did have something else cooking...


ORLY?
posted by juv3nal at 5:20 PM on February 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


It is a well argued article, but I find its dismissal of the real world actions a bit cavalier. By the time you're illegally obtaining information about specific targets and scouting locations you are definitely on the border of leaving fantasy behind. There's a pattern of needs progressing from a movie he saw once to an online fantasy to the real world that I find disturbing.

I think there's a plausible argument to be made that his escalation had crossed some line in this case and that he actually was conspiring to do someone harm.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 5:21 PM on February 6, 2013 [35 favorites]


I don't know if he intended to kill anyone, but I think this article minimizes what the guy actually did. I mean, it briefly mentions the fact that he was actively stalking the people on his grocery list, but it really downplays the seriousness of that, and the headline isn't helping.

I don't care if your kink is to kill and eat women, or to snuggle them and give them expensive presents- using your powers as a policeman to look up information about them and then stalk them =/= "free this man immediately."
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:22 PM on February 6, 2013 [49 favorites]


Well, he does say "If he's guilty of that charge, he should be punished appropriately. (It looks like that could mean up to five years in prison.)"

The headline is a little simplified, which is pretty normal, but I don't think he's saying the stalking charges are illegitimate. The question is over the conspiracy to commit murder charges, which from the details here do seem pretty sketchy, but it is just one article.
posted by wildcrdj at 5:25 PM on February 6, 2013


"Free the Cannibal Cop" sounds like a bad explotation film, one that you'd find in the bottom of the VHS bargin bin in some below-street-level porn shop in a pre-broken-window-theory New York.
posted by hellojed at 5:25 PM on February 6, 2013 [13 favorites]


using your powers as a policeman to look up information about them and then stalk them =/= "free this man immediately."

Article says he should be charged for that crime separately and speculates that he'd get five years in prison for it; and clearly approves of that.
posted by yoink at 5:26 PM on February 6, 2013


Article says he should be charged for that crime separately and speculates that he'd get five years in prison for it; and clearly approves of that.

Yes, sandwiched between a dozen paragraphs saying he did nothing wrong and the headline 'free the cannibal cop'. Tossing in a sentence about how he, oh yeah, did actually stalk these women doesn't negate that. It's misleadingly framed.
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:27 PM on February 6, 2013 [15 favorites]


"Free the Cannibal Cop" sounds like a bad explotation film, one that you'd find in the bottom of the VHS bargin bin in some below-street-level porn shop in a pre-broken-window-theory New York.

I was thinking the same thing. Or another Bad Lieutenant sequel.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:29 PM on February 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


Jesus Tap Dancing Christ. This man needs professional help in a secure facility; not to have the shit beaten out of him in the general population.
posted by Talez at 5:32 PM on February 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


Jesus Tap Dancing Christ. This man needs professional help in a secure facility; not to have the shit beaten out of him in the general population.

No one needs to have the shit beaten out of them in the general population.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:42 PM on February 6, 2013 [51 favorites]


It's misleadingly framed.

Yeah, it's a stupid headline (because he doesn't want him "freed" in that sense). But the article is pretty clear on what it thinks he should and shouldn't be prosecuted for.
posted by yoink at 5:43 PM on February 6, 2013


Yup, once you leave the world of make-believe and start stalking real world women, all kinds of alarm can and should be raised. Recruiting an accomplice who promised easy access to real-life victims is also a Very Bad Thing - the prosecution is warranted because his fantasies were veering across the dividing line and into reality at pace. It's not in any way equivalent to role-playing a sexy Hannibal Lecter with someone you met on Fetlife.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:44 PM on February 6, 2013 [9 favorites]


.
posted by zouhair at 5:44 PM on February 6, 2013


Bullshit. Had Valle plotted with an accomplice at that level of detail to shoot someone he'd be easily convicted of conspiracy to commit a a hit, for money, hence attempted murder. That violence was also sexual for him doesn't exempt him from accountability from planning to harm someone. How do we know it is fantasy? The next mobster who gets nailed for discussing a hit on a wiretap could say he was just getting off on pretending to be a hit man. Or that he was mentally ill but not dangerous. Come on.

Valle should never see daylight. Police officers should be held to the highest standard. This is horrific abuse of power on top of prima facie planned violence against a specific person.

In my perfect world the dude would fry, literally.
posted by spitbull at 5:51 PM on February 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


When I first read about this story, I figured both of them were just masturbating too much about their shared fantasies to tell the other one that they were going too far.
posted by Curious Artificer at 5:52 PM on February 6, 2013


"It's disturbing, yeah. But you have to accept your partner's flaws in a marriage." Was he serious about raping and killing multiple children—including members of Bolice's own family? She doesn't think so. "He's as hard-core as a baby," she said.

That is a hell of a flaw.I think askme would consider fantasies about cooking and eating your nieces a red flag.

Makes me feel my own flaws, like the fact that I sometimes wait a few days to change a lightbulb, are really not so bad.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:54 PM on February 6, 2013 [12 favorites]


After a very recent experience with the NYPD, I just have a hard time sympathizing with the "beyond a shadow of a doubt" / free speech bla bla view in this guy's case. I mean, if this is the evidence that the public has actually seen...
posted by gagglezoomer at 5:59 PM on February 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


If I didn't make myself clear: the NYPD is a corrupt, dirty organization that I hate.
posted by gagglezoomer at 6:00 PM on February 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think the author chose pedophilia as his outlandish-but-plausible paraphilia instead of regular old violent woman-rape because if you say, "Okay, the guy is planning the violent rape of a woman he knows" suddenly the "Oh, but it's just fantasy" argument collapses.

Also, Mr Muki's disingenuous contention that breasts are inedible because they're just glandy fat is just wrong - pork belly roast is very trendy right now, and some pork bellies come with nipples. And, really, if the realities of dressing game meat for the table aren't enough to crush a hunter's appetite for dinner, why would they crush the lust of a vore fetishist? "Oh, but that's different because it's a person"? But isn't that the whole point?
posted by gingerest at 6:05 PM on February 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


In preparation for his testimony in that trial more than 20 years ago, Park Dietz got to know the serial killer pretty well, and in the end he concluded that Dahmer's sexual paraphilias—which included both cannibalism and a desire to have sex with dead bodies—could be clearly distinguished from his drive to kill

Yeah, I'm not buying that. Is there any shred of evidence that psychology is a precise enough...science...that such judgments can be reliably made? And on the basis of judgments by one investigator?

And as for the cannibal cop:

I do find it terribly difficult to be dispassionate about this. He seems to have been plotting to torture, kill, and eat someone. He made a plan, and used illegal means of collecting information on people. At the very best, he did a bunch of stuff that we cannot, with any certainty, distinguish from plotting to torture, kill, and eat someone.

So...we're supposed to bend over backwards to be merciful...y'know...just in case he didn't mean it?

I dunno, man...
posted by Fists O'Fury at 6:33 PM on February 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah... I dunno. I'm with you Fists... Didn't really find the argument of his relative innocence very convincing. At all. Certainly don't want that dude back on the streets stalking people.
posted by ph00dz at 6:35 PM on February 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


I guess this is where I stand up for Impossible Kinks. It is quite possible for people to enjoy bizarre fantasy kinks that are impossible to do safely in real life, or even at all, and be fairly well-adjusted people. Vore isn't my thing but I know some very sweet, sensible people who are into it, and have a decent amount of real-world sex that does not involve eating anyone. I had a period where I was roleplaying some pretty dark and bloody things. Sex is weird and complicated, and it can get tied up with all sorts of things. Some of them are just kinda cute and harmless no matter what. Some of them are not.

On the other hand I am definitely down with condemning him for conspiring to kidnap a person, regardless of what kind of fantasies he may have had. There's a line. And if you have fantasies that push up hard against taboos, you need to know damn well not to cross it.
posted by egypturnash at 6:45 PM on February 6, 2013 [8 favorites]


Creating elaborate sexual fantasies around cannibalism, looking at cannibalistic porn, etc= okay

Stalking people to feed those fantasies, whether or not you actually intend to rape, kill and/or eat them= not okay

this is not difficult math
posted by NoraReed at 6:49 PM on February 6, 2013 [17 favorites]


This here? This is a very, very good example of a distinct and pressing need our society has. We distinctly need an infrastructure and a system which is capable of handling those with pressing psychiatric needs. This distinct and pressing need is very clear when we look at the fringe cases which society loves to ignore: pedophiles whose only crime has been to download some child porn; people who have shown some violent tendencies but who have only committed minor crimes thus far; and – people who fall into the subset of having the sexual predilections described in this article and who have taken concrete steps to actualize those fantasies.

It's absolutely clear that people should not and must not be prosecuted for crimes they haven't committed. But at this point I think it's equally clear that there are simply some people who will not be able to straighten their lives and become functional members of society if they aren't given very real help.

As it is, we have a very silly set of defaults; we either (a) toss people in prison indefinitely, without even having a pretense toward rehabilitation; or (b) we set people out on their own, without guidance, without help, and without any structured solutions to the problems that might be brewing under the surface for them.

I mean – in this case, we've got a guy who is clearly guilty of misusing his resources as a police officer and of stalking several women. A judge really needs to be able to say "I'm sentencing you to five years in prison; and also I'm going to require you to enter this program where they'll watch you and make sure you're on track, and help you sort out how to live your life without violating the law or the lives of others." But judges really can't do that right now.

egypturnash: “I guess this is where I stand up for Impossible Kinks. It is quite possible for people to enjoy bizarre fantasy kinks that are impossible to do safely in real life, or even at all, and be fairly well-adjusted people. Vore isn't my thing but I know some very sweet, sensible people who are into it, and have a decent amount of real-world sex that does not involve eating anyone. I had a period where I was roleplaying some pretty dark and bloody things. Sex is weird and complicated, and it can get tied up with all sorts of things. Some of them are just kinda cute and harmless no matter what. Some of them are not.”

Exactly. This is why our society really needs to be able to do more than just toss people in prison whenever we're remotely frightened of what they might be doing. People who are responsible and capable should be able to indulge their vore fantasies online with no troubles; and the only way to allow that to happen is by putting in place a system whereby we can deal with those who try to do so irresponsibly by giving them help and making sure they don't do anything harmful to anyone else.
posted by koeselitz at 6:53 PM on February 6, 2013 [20 favorites]


I'm curious to hear more about how this...

Van Hise, the auto mechanic, apparently distributed photos of his nieces to Internet pals, offering them as sex slaves and naming the neighborhood in which they live. Even while he was in discussions with the FBI to testify against Valle, Van Hise allegedly went online to discuss raping his 3-year-old stepdaughter.

Is negated because of this...

"It's disturbing, yeah. But you have to accept your partner's flaws in a marriage." Was he serious about raping and killing multiple children—including members of Bolice's own family? She doesn't think so. "He's as hard-core as a baby,"

I mean.. if he ever more than "apparently" distributed photos and addresses of his nieces to ANYONE with the offer to sell them as sex slaves, he's by no means harmless. One can have their own dark fantasies all they'd like, but once you're involving the privacy and (most importantly) safety of others - you're going too far. What are the odds that NO ONE who might see those photos and sex slavery offers took him even the least bit seriously? Surely, amongst people just innocently discussing dark fantasies, there lurks people who are definitely, perhaps desperately, trying to realize said fantasies.

I'll allow the possibility that these two (and many more like them) are just getting off on the taboo of pretending its real, but we'd want the FBI/NYPD/etc on a pike if anyone ever acted on those fantasies and it came out that "yeah, we've been watching these dudes for awhile, but we figured they were just kidding".

Anyway, koeselitz's comment has it right. But I don't think this investigation is without merit.
posted by revmitcz at 7:10 PM on February 6, 2013 [7 favorites]


Had he not chosen a specific victim, performed extensive recon and planning (even going so far as to violate professional responsibilities in doing so which indicates he's willing to break at least some laws and take some significant risks in pursuing his fantasy) and hired a third party as part of his "fantasy" I'd be perfectly OK saying YKINMK but because he did do all those things his actions perfectly match my comprehension of conspiracy to commit murder! Fuck the FBI with their egregious prosecutions for sure, but this guy sounds like he's dangerous and needs some serious legal feedback.
posted by Matt Oneiros at 7:16 PM on February 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


this is not difficult math

No, but the only two choices aren't "let him go without punishment" or "lock him up forever". The question is whether to charge him with stalking people and misuse of access to private information or to charge him with conspiracy to murder and eat people.

I don't know what the answer should be but it's a much more difficult question that doesn't merit being dismissed as okay/not okay amirite?
posted by Justinian at 8:09 PM on February 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


This distinct and pressing need is very clear when we look at the fringe cases which society loves to ignore: pedophiles whose only crime has been to download some child porn

Downloading child porn (assuming photographs and videos, not drawings or writings) makes you an accessory to a crime, a witness to a crime, and by providing demand for the creation of more child porn, a criminal period. You can't download porn of actual rapes and actual abuse and then claim you "did nothing wrong".

And this is nightmarish:

Van Hise, the auto mechanic, apparently distributed photos of his nieces to Internet pals, offering them as sex slaves and naming the neighborhood in which they live. Even while he was in discussions with the FBI to testify against Valle, Van Hise allegedly went online to discuss raping his 3-year-old stepdaughter.

This is very real harm done to his nieces, and probably harm to his stepdaughter. It's a long way to go from fantasy to kidnapping and killing, but pedophiles who go online to talk about their young stepchildren and are simultaneously abusing them, or who are encouraged to go on to abuse them? Happens all the time.
posted by jokeefe at 8:29 PM on February 6, 2013 [8 favorites]


No, but the only two choices aren't "let him go without punishment" or "lock him up forever". The question is whether to charge him with stalking people and misuse of access to private information or to charge him with conspiracy to murder and eat people.

You're totally right, of course-- the article just presented the stalking and invasion of privacy and misuse of information stuff as a one off in a couple sentences and then seemed to blame the entire thing of kink-shaming, which was just a shitty approach. My response was more to the article than the other comments.
posted by NoraReed at 8:43 PM on February 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yet another example where a writer for Slate attempts to meet the editorial goals of the publication and ends up with steaming crap pile of an article. I'd love to see the emails and IM's as this story made its way through the process. I imagine the editor of Slate coming back from lunch / racket ball with Nick Denton at Gawker and screaming at the writers, "Nick says Gawker added 10 servers just to handled the load from this Cannibal Cop thing. We gotta get some of that traffic to Slate. Who can give me 500 words by 5pm."
posted by humanfont at 8:44 PM on February 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


but because he did do all those things his actions perfectly match my comprehension of conspiracy to commit murder!

That's because there's no reason for most people to go through all that effort without intending to follow through. Attempted murder is intent + action. If you have gigabytes of evidence that somebody enjoys the action for its own sake, (plus he's done it a few times without killing anybody) then you need independent evidence of intent.

people who fall into the subset of having the sexual predilections described in this article and who have taken concrete steps to actualize those fantasies.

I think this is the wrong way to look at it. The Canadian Air Force serial killer guy liked women's underwear. He wasn't actualizing his lingerie fetish really hard when he started stabbing people. This cop is a stalker. If you therapy away all his weird fetishes is he going to be "normal" or is he just going to be spying on women so he can fantasize about missionary-position sex?
posted by queen zixi at 8:58 PM on February 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd also like to point out that, if I were a mother whose husband was making even a SINGLE remark (no matter how in jest it may attempt to be) about raping my child, he'd get thrown out of the house so fast he'd have permanent scars from hitting the pavement.

I don't mean to harp on those remarks, but it's just so strange to me. My sister has two girls (now in their teens) from her first husband and an 18-month-old son from her current one. If I found out he was making comments even remotely close to the ones Van Hise had made, I literally don't know what I'd do. And I'd be aghast if her response was "well, you've gotta accept your partner's flaws". I'm not sure that means he should get jail time, but he's definitely not someone that a well-adjusted person should be defending.
posted by revmitcz at 9:03 PM on February 6, 2013 [7 favorites]


queen zixi: "That's because there's no reason for most people to go through all that effort without intending to follow through. Attempted murder is intent + action."

Conspiracy to commit murder is different from attempting murder. Material steps in would be things like enlisting help, choosing a victim and stalking them. I'm fine with that aggregation of behaviors being criminalized, throw the fellow in jail forever? No, probably not.

I also cannot quite work with the notion that the increasing frequency with which one composes and takes pleasure in detailed plans/fantasies to commit murder somehow lessens the risk of the person to society.
posted by Matt Oneiros at 9:11 PM on February 6, 2013


Conspiracy to commit murder is different from attempting murder.

This is why they are different crimes... and criminology has told us that conspiracy to commit murder is really damn serious. It's different than fantasizing about killing and eating people, it's actually making real world actions that will lead to harm.

I understand and appreciate the stranger and more violent kinks out there.* None of them involve a real-life cop negotiating with your brother over how to kill and eat your kids.

*This is a story some friends of mine love to tell - dal.net, in the early '90s, had a cannibal channel. It was split between the "same size vore" and the "kill and eat" vore. This then split between the "happy, cheerful" vore, where the victim helped you pick the seasonings and hopped into the pot, and the "violent vore" where you selected and killed your unwilling prey. (Which is to say, submissives who liked to pretend they were unwilling in an IRC roleplay). This then split between those who wanted to cook their prey alive, and those who wanted to kill them first. This then split between the "kill them first" stranglers, and their eternal foes, the stabbers/shooters. This then split between the stabbers and the shooters. Then it split between those who liked to slit a throat, and the belly-stabbers. The submissive men and women then ran out of ways they could isolate their favorite sadists in IRC, and joined ICQ or YIM, laughing at them all. None of those involved were in any way, shape or form invested in actually stalking people in real life, or in recruiting creepy uncles. Some fantasy sadists felt really silly about arguing with strangers on the internet because someone pretty told them to, and that was it.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:36 PM on February 6, 2013


I generally agree with Koeselitz's position, except for this bit:
People who are responsible and capable should be able to indulge their vore fantasies online with no troubles; and the only way to allow that to happen is by putting in place a system whereby we can deal with those who try to do so irresponsibly by giving them help and making sure they don't do anything harmful to anyone else.
His fetish scares the hell out of me, even without the possibly-illegal acts that he allegedly engaged in. By its very nature it will repeatedly trigger law enforcement investigations; even if they come up with nothing (I hope they do!) this will be a burden on society generally.

Our social duty to tolerate people must bow to the pragmatic need to protect ourselves from repeated false - or real - alarms. I want law enforcement to investigate substantial evidence of plans or conspiracies to commit murder, whether the alleged fetishist has committed other recognisable crimes or not. If there is substantial evidence that the fetishist is not a danger to society then they should be able to take a plea bargain that involves registering their address and being regularly monitored by social workers or police. Otherwise, let them plead their case before a jury; let them be the ones to distinguish between an alleged fantasy and a conspiracy to commit murder.
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:38 PM on February 6, 2013


I think his wife is in some serious denial.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 10:04 PM on February 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


*shrug*

If people see you plotting out how to murder and eat specific people, to the point where the cops have no way of knowing if you're just fantasizing or are actually going to do it, then it seems reasonable to throw people in jail. Simple solution is to not plot to murder and eat people.
People who are responsible and capable should be able to indulge their vore fantasies online with no trouble
If you're plotting to eat specific people, and on top of that engaging in reconnaissance on those targets, well, I don't know if I really feel like that's harmless. I doubt the people on the list think it's just harmless fun.

I think you could argue that simply finding out that someone has been planning to murder and eat you is itself an "injury". So if someone is reading stories about murdering and eating people online, that doesn't harm anyone.

But, on the other hand if someone finds out that another person, someone they know in real life has been plotting to murder and eat them and has been stalking them and working out the details of how to do this with someone else - well, I mean how would you feel? I imagine it could be pretty terrifying for most people.

It's illegal to threaten to kill someone. How is this any different?
It's absolutely clear that people should not and must not be prosecuted for crimes they haven't committed. But at this point I think it's equally clear that there are simply some people who will not be able to straighten their lives and become functional members of society if they aren't given very real help.
Well, I'm not a lawyer but it would seem to me that if the crime is "conspiracy to commit murder" then you're doing it as soon as you conspire to kill someone. I mean, if you try to hire a hitman off craigslist and it turns out to be a sting operation, seems reasonable to prosecute someone for conspiracy to commit murder, even thought no one ended up getting killed because it was just a sting operation.
posted by delmoi at 10:08 PM on February 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


Well. I guess it was worth five bucks for me to address this. I have some personal perspective with these sorts of fantasies that I don't want linked to my main account.

One aspect of having a kink like this is that I am utterly paranoid about incriminating myself. I have chats with friends with similar interests, and yes, there is discussion of details, and there is roleplay. I worry, all the time, that some law enforcement agency will mine the IM logs and find something to try to convict me of. I mean, it's not like I'd ever, ever, do anything even coming close to actually acting on any of this, but, y'know, it's the sort of thing that creeps people out enough that I wouldn't be very surprised by laws against even talking about it.

I guess I'm kind of fortunate that I'm a hard-line furry on top of that, which means that, aside from the fact that I would never, ever do these things, the "people" that I fantasize about doing them to, not only don't exist, but can't exist.

My opinion, of the people involved in this particular case, is that they took things way the hell too far, by getting real people involved. Even if they never planned to touch them. Even as someone who has this kink, I pretty much agree with everything delmoi just said.

Anyway, I wanted to respond to a thing or two.

And, really, if the realities of dressing game meat for the table aren't enough to crush a hunter's appetite for dinner, why would they crush the lust of a vore fetishist? "Oh, but that's different because it's a person"? But isn't that the whole point?

Let me say first, it is different because it's a person. We are not machines of perversion. It's actually quite possible to have deep and elaborate sexual fantasies about doing something, and be utterly horrified by the idea of actually doing that thing.

But that wasn't the point of Muki's comment. The point there is that it's also different because the fantasy-sexualized act of cooking only vaguely resembles what's involved in actually, in reality, cooking an animal. If some monster actually tried to follow one of those cannibal-porn recipes, the results wouldn't just be horrific and utterly immoral, but also completely inedible.

Or to put it another way, even to those of us with cooking-vore fantasies, a real roast just ain't that sexy. That's my perspective, anyway.

I don't really think it's a good argument, though. Because of, oh, say, this guy. The real physicality of preparing and cooking someone proved daunting to him, but it only stopped him after he killed a ten-year-old.

If there is substantial evidence that the fetishist is not a danger to society then they should be able to take a plea bargain that involves registering their address and being regularly monitored by social workers or police. Otherwise, let them plead their case before a jury; let them be the ones to distinguish between an alleged fantasy and a conspiracy to commit murder.

Yeah, I probably don't even need to say this, but I am very much against the idea of becoming a registered sex offender just for roleplaying over IM. And even if I'm found innocent in court, my sexual fantasies would be a matter of public record. My name is unique enough that I don't think I'd ever be able to travel far enough to escape that reputation. And all without ever having hurt anyone at all.
posted by crazy socks for mister crazypants at 10:14 PM on February 6, 2013 [10 favorites]


Okay, if I'm being honest, I can't say "I have no problem with any kink!" because I'm prone to prejudices and blind spots like anybody else, and I have made furry jokes, which, yes, is not okay. So, yeah, I have to think a little about The Line. And you are super-brave for doing this even with a sockpuppet.

That said, I really do think something is different between vore and just about every other kink - vore is about doing something many of us do every day, namely eating meat, but with the sexual dimension coming from the fact it's a person and it's delicious. For some, presumably, the realer the person, the better. (And I just don't buy that it's impossible or even challenging to make human meat edible. Taste is such a complex and highly socialized sense. I don't think I could *enjoy* raw whole seabirds that have fermented underground in a sealskin for months, but it is a pleasurable traditional foodstuff of some indigenous people of the Arctic. I can't imagine most Jain vegetarians would be anything but revolted to nausea by my tasty bacon cheeseburger. And that's before you bring sex into it at all.)

I think that pretty much all kinksters but especially vore folk needs to be scrambling to differentiate that these guys are way beyond anything reasonable: once you are identifying a real non-consenting person of your acquaintance as the focus of your fantasy, you are way over EVERY Line. It is one thing - probably an unhealthy thing but it's open to debate - to let that happen in the safety of your own head. But sharing it? No.
posted by gingerest at 11:53 PM on February 6, 2013


Look at it like this: Even if his kink was cleaning your house and paying your bills, being involved requires consent. Once you start involving real people, from the real world, without them being aware of what they're doing with you, you've crossed a pretty big line.

Did those women consent to being stalked via illegally obtained police information? No. Did the lady the mechanic have lunch with know she was actually doing a bit of wish fulfillment? Nope. Those nieces and that stepdaughter are too young and couldn't consent.

You want to have a kink, no matter how mundane or how morbid, always make sure everyone involved is consenting. On top of the issues of violating police confidentiality, that's where the squick starts for me as someone with some weird fetishes of my own.
posted by Jilder at 12:11 AM on February 7, 2013 [8 favorites]


He's very clearly not right in the head, and any kind of time away from society makes the rest of us safer. Given the numerous lines he's crossed, it's scary that a writer at Slate thinks he can somehow make this a matter for debate.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:31 AM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


And you are super-brave for doing this even with a sockpuppet.

Thank you. I'm honestly terrified to be doing this.

For some, presumably, the realer the person, the better.

That's very much not me, but yeah, you're very probably right about that.

And I just don't buy that it's impossible or even challenging to make human meat edible.

Oh, I agree. I'm just saying that the methods put forth in the stories and the fantasy-recipes wouldn't work. In particular - I really don't want to get into detail here - there tends to be a far greater emphasis on parts of the body that, well, you typically throw away when you cook an animal.

I mean. As far as I know. I have to admit I don't actually know much about real cooking.

once you are identifying a real non-consenting person of your acquaintance as the focus of your fantasy, you are way over EVERY Line.

Absolutely agreed. Even without the "of your acquaintance" part it bothers me. Even celebrity porn stories freak me out, but I may be an outlier there.
posted by crazy socks for mister crazypants at 12:35 AM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


If someone is negotiating arrangements and price for the kidnapping and delivery of a real person for the purposes of torture and murder, I'm perfectly okay with the arrest and trial of that person, and the fact that there's a sexual fetish, obssession or kink involved is not mitigating to me. If these guys were negotiating to kidnap, torture and murder a political figure, they would be arrested. There's a difference between saying "Senator Jones is an asshole, and should die in a fire," and negotiating to kidnap him and burn him alive for $5,000. Lots of people have angry, violent thoughts, ideas, and perhaps fantasies about politicians (and others), but that doesn't mean that it's unwise to arrest someone who is explicitly planning with another person to carry out such an act, just because maybe they're all talk and no chloroform. The fact that they have a list of 100 politicians with names, addresses and personal info that they would like to murder doesn't mean it's harmless. The fact that they have been discussing it for months but haven't done it yet doesn't mean it's harmless.

The fact that the planned crimes were sexually bizarre doesn't make it less likely or less dangerous to ignore to me; women and kids are kidnapped, raped, tortured and murdered every day because it makes someone feel tingly. Fantasy roleplayers into kinky stuff have every bit as much responsibility as anyone else to toe the line regarding solicitation and conspiracy to commit crimes. Don't conspire to murder real people.
posted by taz at 3:00 AM on February 7, 2013 [9 favorites]


It bothers me a lot that this man is a cop. A police officer has the power to issue you orders and put you in handcuffs, and I'd prefer that people who do that as part of their job are doing it because it's necessary and appropriate, and not as an expression of a kink.

Therefore I would expect that a kinky police officer have absolutely strict boundaries between his work and play. Valle did not. He's facing a charge related to improper use of his law enforcement privileges.

That tells me that he doesn't have boundaries. His whole involvement with law enforcement looks like it's part of a game. Someone is that position is way way past the point where he can claim it was just fantasy.
posted by cotterpin at 3:24 AM on February 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


These details suggest that Van Hise is a pedophile and into heavy S&M and that both men were enthusiastic members of an online fetish community known as "vore" (as in carnivore, from the same root as devour). Vore fetishists may be men who imagine eating women, but the interest includes those (men and women) who would rather be eaten themselves, as well as others who prefer to watch people eating animals or animals eating people.

Holy crap.
posted by angrycat at 3:36 AM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Holy crap.

Yeah, we're pretty surprising.

And that's actually a pretty narrow subset of what "vore" encompasses.
posted by crazy socks for mister crazypants at 3:44 AM on February 7, 2013


Seeing an uncharacteristic amount of support for the Thought Police in this thread, as well as endorsements of government surveillance in the name of catching what would truly be a one-in-a-billion quarry (namely, a cannibal killer).

Not only that, even a few with the idea that it's up to Valle to prove it was just a fantasy!

Kinda surprising to see Metafilter this "tough on crime," frankly.
posted by ShutterBun at 3:57 AM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


In my perfect world the dude would fry, literally.

Ugh. Would you just stop to listen to yourself once in a while?
posted by to sir with millipedes at 4:26 AM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


If you say or type something it's no longer a thought, hence this would be more like the "typing police" or the "saying things to other people that indicate a conspiracy to murder someone police" and they're not really bad folks as far as police go.
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:12 AM on February 7, 2013 [9 favorites]


Seeing an uncharacteristic amount of support for the Thought Police in this thread, as well as endorsements of government surveillance in the name of catching what would truly be a one-in-a-billion quarry (namely, a cannibal killer).

Did you miss the part with the stalking tho
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:03 AM on February 7, 2013 [8 favorites]


And honestly: there is basically no kink that really freaks me out. There are plenty I'd never participate in, but like... you want to each shit? Go nuts man. You want to wear a diaper? Have fun. You like to hammer nails through your nuts? See you at the Home Depot! You want to fantasize about cooking and eating ladies? That's your biz, do whatever. I knew all about vore long before this story hit the papers and I always thought of it as a bizarre but essentially harmless fetish.

But once you have actual names and personal details of actual ladies, who you are following around, then that is no longer a harmless kink. It is, at the VERY least, stalking.
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:07 AM on February 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


...a real roast just ain't that sexy...

As opposed, y'know, to an ideal, fantasy shank of human, with soft, artful lighting...
posted by Fists O'Fury at 6:12 AM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Seeing an uncharacteristic amount of support for the Thought Police in this thread, as well as endorsements of government surveillance in the name of catching what would truly be a one-in-a-billion quarry (namely, a cannibal killer) ... Kinda surprising to see Metafilter this "tough on crime," frankly.
It's not inconsistent to not want to lock people up for harmless drug possession, downloading academic papers, and other crimes where the harm is abstract while at while at the same time thinking it's totally reasonable to send someone to jail for plotting to murder and eat someone.

One of the things that's important to keep in mind is that it's illegal to plot to murder someone with another person even if you never get around to actually carrying out your plot.

At least that's my understanding of the law.
posted by delmoi at 6:32 AM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


This reminds me of the advocacy for the freedom of Wayne Dumond. If you read between the lines, Wayne Dumond was a convicted rapist who got off for a conviction of murder because he testified that his partner did the murder. Then he went on to be convicted again for rape (for which they were advocating for release) because of marginal connection of the victim to Bill Clinton (third cousin, referred to the article as cousin), because of a genuinely corrupt/disturbed sheriff and the fact that Dumond had been castrated. The sheriff said he castrated himself, he claimed he was attacked by others and castrated. The sheriff kept the testicles in a jar on his desk.
So, those were the basic elements. A free Dumond campaign went underway. The above article appeared in The Village Voice.

Some basic inaccuracies in the reports advocating for his freedom (via Wikipedia):

DuMond was a "Vietnam veteran with no record" despite arrests for violent crime and previous rape charges going back to 1972;
the rape victim "failed to identify DuMond in two lineups", although she had in fact identified him in the only lineup where he was present:
the victim had "identified two other suspects, one an ex-boyfriend", although she had never in fact identified anyone but DuMond;
DNA evidence had exonerated DuMond, although no such definitive evidence existed;
Bill Clinton had personally intervened to keep DuMond in prison, despite the then-Governor's explicitly recusing himself from the case due to his distant blood-ties to the 17-year-old victim.

Because Clinton bashing was important, Dumond's sentence was reduced and he was made eligible for parole.

He died after being arrested for another murder. At the time of his death charges were being prepared for yet another murder.

You want to advocate for someone being wrongly treated and in prison, there's a lot of them out there. Considering that long line I can't get my dander up for those who appear to be real menaces.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:12 AM on February 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


dances_with_sneetches, I remember reading that VV article after DuMond died. Utterly grotesque.
posted by leopard at 7:49 AM on February 7, 2013


Incidentally, 'sneetches, Mike Huckabee and Clinton Derangement Syndrome played a big part in getting Dumond out of jail and back to raping and killing.
posted by Fists O'Fury at 8:08 AM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


me: “People who are responsible and capable should be able to indulge their vore fantasies online with no trouble”

delmoi: “If you're plotting to eat specific people, and on top of that engaging in reconnaissance on those targets, well, I don't know if I really feel like that's harmless. I doubt the people on the list think it's just harmless fun.”

Look, let's be clear about this. The "responsible and capable" people we're talking about are generally into cartoons and such. So are you really saying people that are into a specific type of cartoon (albeit one that most of us probably wouldn't be so interested in) should be subject to criminal prosecution?

That's why I made this distinction. Because there's a very real difference between a person who downloads a comic book and a person who writes up actual plans to eat someone and discusses methods and payment with another person.

me: “This distinct and pressing need is very clear when we look at the fringe cases which society loves to ignore: pedophiles whose only crime has been to download some child porn...”

jokeefe: “Downloading child porn (assuming photographs and videos, not drawings or writings) makes you an accessory to a crime, a witness to a crime, and by providing demand for the creation of more child porn, a criminal period. You can't download porn of actual rapes and actual abuse and then claim you 'did nothing wrong'.”

Absolutely; that's why downloading child porn is and should be a crime. But people who download child porn are technically pedophiles. They ought to be punished for having done so, yes, but much more than that they need treatment to make sure that they never bring themselves to act on their fantasies. We recently had a post that discussed the case of a guy who gradually brought himself closer to acting on pedophilic urges; he was in and out of prison now and then for downloading the wrong stuff, and eventually it led up to trying to meet a kid who turned out to be an undercover agent. That is not how the system should work. The system needs to identify pedophiles and treat them, not lock them up for a little while and hope that sorts out their very real problem.

Again, to be clear: I am not saying that downloading child porn is a victimless crime; it is very serious. On the contrary, I'm saying that it's serious enough that we really need to be doing much more than just locking these people away for a little while and hoping for the best.
posted by koeselitz at 8:14 AM on February 7, 2013


So after reading crazy sock's post and following the link and, against my better judgment, reading the Underwood transcript, the thing that jumps out most to me is that it all comes down to a single moment of making a snap decision and being committed.

Underwood quite believably makes the case that he was sure he didn't have it in him to actually kill someone. He never thought he would got through with the fantasy. But he prepared everything nonetheless, kept the murder weapon at hand, and invited Bolin into his apartment. Once the moment was at hand, he describes a psychological state of near paralysis between doing it and not doing it that lasted for ten minutes. If you asked him right then if he was going to go through with it, I get he wouldn't have have been better at chance at giving you the right answer until the moment he struck her.

I think all of us can empathize with that feeling. I certainly can. It's just that when I'm in that situation, the act at hand is dropping into a ski slope I'm not sure I can handle, or buying some stocks on a hunch, not murdering a ten-year old girl.

My point is that no one can know if these two would have actually killed this woman. Not even them, I'm almost certain. But by going to the lengths they went to, they were certainly setting themselves to find out. Maybe Valle honestly believed that he was going to just sit in a van and watch her go by and get off on the fact that he could have grabbed her just then. But that's also the moment when he himself is going to find out if he does grab her.

I have a huge problem with the idea of prosecuting people for fetishes and thoughtcrime, but these guys were loading the gun and pointing it. At that point, we need to be comfortable taking them out without worrying about whether or not they were going to pull the trigger.
posted by 256 at 9:19 AM on February 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Downloading child porn (assuming photographs and videos, not drawings or writings) makes you an accessory to a crime, a witness to a crime, and by providing demand for the creation of more child porn, a criminal period. You can't download porn of actual rapes and actual abuse and then claim you "did nothing wrong".

How does downloading child porn make you an accessory to a crime and a witness to a crime? The downloading itself is usually a crime, but I don't think you are generally considered an accessory to the crime you committed yourself. But I don't think looking at a video of a crime doesn't make you a witness to it, whether the crime is assault, sexual assault, murder or robbery, and I don't think it makes you an accessory to one either.

And I don't know if you can download video of an actual rape because you find it sexually arousing and then claim that you did nothing wrong, but you certainly could do so and claim you did nothing illegal.
posted by layceepee at 1:22 PM on February 7, 2013


Well i will read it fully when i'm not filling in a job application (i know), but the main argument, that stalking does not equal murder or planning to murder ignores why stalking laws were introduced in the late nineties (date?) - i'm 40 and i remember the debate and change: they were introduced because a lot of stalkers tracked, spied on and eventually killed or tried to kill victims, but could not be prosecuted because the law said you had to have actually attempted the serious crime of murder: all the lesser ones of hanging around someone's house, phoning them when they didn't want you to etc were minor misdemeanours (normal english sense, i believe it's a legal word in usa) not things you could prosecute, so they got away with this behaviour. But the minor, scaring tactics were symptoms which were part of a syndrome of - crime? mental illness? both? - which the law had to comprehend as a crime as a whole, so that the victim could be defended and the prosecutor caught before it got serious. It escalates. In the same way, a lot of changes in dealing with domestic violence now are about intervening effectively early: instead of waiting until the children have had their childhood ruined (domestic violence does seem to run with not bothering with condoms, sadly) the idea is to identify the future situation in its potential stages, bar the offender from coming within x yards of his/her house and keep the victim + kids at home, not rely on the victim to prosecute but the police (Crown, here!) to prosecute, etc.

Do you remember Dostoyefsky saying in Crime and Punishment, 'people think criminals spend a lot of time working themselves up to commit the crime, but perhaps they spend a lot of time trying to stop themselves from doing it'? At the time it seemed silly to me, maybe not.
posted by maiamaia at 2:46 PM on February 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


Layceepee asked: How does downloading child porn make you an accessory to a crime and a witness to a crime?

The subjects of these depictions are traumatised by the knowledge that they're being circulated. Sometimes they actually meet people who have seen the photos or films, and are recognised. So the action of downloading (to say nothing of uploading) is harmful, and it's part of the ongoing harm caused by the initial abuse.

This argument doesn't apply to "vore" pornography, of course.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:06 PM on February 7, 2013


How does downloading child porn make you an accessory to a crime and a witness to a crime?

Quickly, as I'm just leaving work: films of child sexual abuse (child porn) are evidence of the commission of crimes. Rape is illegal; the sexual abuse of children is illegal. If you are in possession of this evidence, you are morally and though IANAL I believe legally obliged to act on this evidence by reporting it as documentation of a crime. By keeping this evidence for reasons of personal satisfaction and entertainment, you become an accessory, morally if not (perhaps) technically. Someone with a law degree will have to supply the correct term, if accessory doesn't fit. But think of this: every time somebody downloads and watches a record of sexual abuse in some sense that abuse happens all over again. The experience of that assault is recreated, even if it's removed in time from the actual event. And the knowledge that these photographs and videos are still being viewed, still being played, still circulating, causes related pain to the victims: their abuse never stops as long as there are hard drives and servers.
posted by jokeefe at 5:17 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


The question is whether to charge him with stalking people and misuse of access to private information or to charge him with conspiracy to murder and eat people.

Conspiracy isn't just chatting with someone online about how much you'd like to eat someone's armpit. For something to be conspiracy, there needs to be an act in furtherance. You have to do something beyond just talking. This guy did, and it seems perfectly justified to put him on trial for this.
posted by gjc at 8:00 PM on February 7, 2013


...a real roast just ain't that sexy...
As opposed, y'know, to an ideal, fantasy shank of human, with soft, artful lighting...


Well yes, actually. I have (I think) zero vore tendencies but I definitely see echoes in Nyotaimori which is totally on my list of things to try.

And let's not even get into "Eat of my flesh, drink of my blood." I wonder if there's a vore correlation with religions that take communion.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:40 PM on February 8, 2013


But your Honor, just look at how this woman was dressed. She was asking for it!
http://img2.targetimg2.com/wcsstore/TargetSAS//img/p/13/66/13669545.jpg
posted by breadbox at 1:54 PM on February 8, 2013


I think I've served my purpose here, to the best of my ability.

Thank you all for reaffirming my faith in this community.

I'm going to wander back into the woodwork now. I'll log in occasionally to check my memail, if anyone has any questions for me.
posted by crazy socks for mister crazypants at 4:50 PM on February 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Thanks for showing up. It's always weird to talk about your fetishes in public, even anonymously. I'm not sure I could do it.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 8:15 PM on February 8, 2013


Look, let's be clear about this. The "responsible and capable" people we're talking about are generally into cartoons and such. So are you really saying people that are into a specific type of cartoon (albeit one that most of us probably wouldn't be so interested in) should be subject to criminal prosecution?
Here is what I said (which you quoted), I'll add some emphasis here:
“If you're plotting to eat specific people, and on top of that engaging in reconnaissance on those targets, well, I don't know if I really feel like that's harmless. I doubt the people on the list think it's just harmless fun.”
Also, I was replying to a comment of ShutterBun's, comment about the "Thought Police".
posted by delmoi at 9:00 AM on February 11, 2013


delmoi: "Also, I was replying to a comment of ShutterBun's, comment about the 'Thought Police'."

No, you actually weren't; ShutterBun hadn't even made the "Thought Police" comment yet when you made your comment here, which is pretty clearly a response to me, since it quotes me twice. I was just confused, because the weird details you gave (to which you've "added emphasis" here) are not at all what I was talking about. The way you misread my argument made it seem like I'm okay with people plotting to eat and kill each other, so I was naturally a bit taken aback. You even lopped off the second half of the sentence you quoted, the half of the sentence that I thought made it pretty clear that I agree with you that plotting cannibalism and taking concrete steps toward it is absolutely not "harmless fun," and should be dealt with by the proper authorities.

So, to be clear, one more time, since I'd rather nobody misunderstood me here:

Actively plotting to kill and eat people is a bad thing. In some (if not all) instances, it's a crime; and invariably it's something I'd rather the police intercepted and dealt with. People who are into vore fantasy stuff hardly ever plot to actually kill and eat people - as we've seen, it's a fantasy thing - but if and when they do, it's crossed a line and needs to be dealt with.

As I said above, in the sentence that started this mess:

"People who are responsible and capable should be able to indulge their vore fantasies online with no troubles; and the only way to allow that to happen is by putting in place a system whereby we can deal with those who try to do so irresponsibly by giving them help and making sure they don't do anything harmful to anyone else."
posted by koeselitz at 10:43 AM on February 11, 2013


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