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Residents Where 'Cannibal' Cop Patrolled Fear the Worst

By Jeff Mays | October 26, 2012 8:26am
 The Rev. Vernon Williams, with Iesha Sekou (right) and Marisol Alcantara (left) want authorities to make sure NYPD officer Gilberto Valle was not hunting women while out on patrol.
The Rev. Vernon Williams, with Iesha Sekou (right) and Marisol Alcantara (left) want authorities to make sure NYPD officer Gilberto Valle was not hunting women while out on patrol.
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DNAinfo/Jeff Mays

HARLEM — Community activists called on authorities Thursday to investigate whether the NYPD cop charged with plotting to kidnap, cook and eat dozens of women targeted potential victims while patrolling their streets.

Gilberto Valle, a six-year cop, allegedly compiled a list of 100 women he knew and began plotting to kidnap them. He was charged with conspiracy to kidnap and accessing an NYPD computer without authorization.

"You wonder whether he was in our neighborhood fighting crime or more interested in finding women he could kill and eat," said Marisol Alcantara, a district leader.

Standing in front of the 26th Precinct stationhouse on West 126th Street, the activists said they also wanted police to look into whether any unsolved missing persons cases in the area are linked to Valle.

"I hope the investigation continues, and if there are missing women cases they take a closer look," said Iesha Sekou of Street Corner Resources. "People are very afraid. This is unreal that someone wanted to cook someone and eat them."

The FBI says Valle, 28, of Forest Hills, began staking out the women and illegally accessed law enforcement databases to track down more information about his would-be victims. During the course of a three-month long FBI investigation, authorities interviewed 10 potential victims who confirmed they knew Valle.

Valle had photographs of each woman, along with their home addresses and physical descriptions of each, law enforcement officials said.

"Our women are afraid. Our women are very concerned," said Rev. Vernon Williams, president of the Harlem Clergy Community Leaders Coalition and Perfect Peace Ministries.

Investigators found e-mails and instant messages between Valle and a co-conspirator describing plans to kidnap and cook women.

"I love that she is asleep right now not having the slightest clue of what we have planned," Valle allegedly told a co-conspirator in a July 9 instant message. "Her days are numbered. I'm glad you're on board. She does look tasty, doesn't she?"

U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry Pitman said he found the charges "profoundly disturbing" and ordered Valle held without bail. Valle faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Community activist Howard Crawford said officers should undergo routine psychiatric evaluations to make sure they are fit to serve.

The NYPD does not perform regular psychological screenings to locate officers who may be too mentally ill to serve, high-ranking NYPD officials told DNAinfo New York. Valle's colleagues described him as "just an average officer" and said they were shocked by the accusations.

"They go home with all that pressure boiling over. They need to be evaluated at least every five years," Crawford said.

Sekou, too, said officers should be checked out before they're allowed to put on the uniform.

"There needs to be a way to measure the health and well being of the officers and to make sure they are fit to be in the street and won't abuse their authority," she added.