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Trial Underway For Univ. Of Md. Graduate Charged In Bizarre Cannibalism Plot

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Mary Bubala joined WJZ in December 2003. She now anchors the 4-4:30...
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NEW YORK (WJZ)—Bizarre fantasy or a sinister plot?  The trial of the so-called cannibal cop is underway in New York City, and two women from Maryland were put on the stand Tuesday.

Mary Bubala has the story.

NYPD cop Gilberto Valle, a 2006 graduate of the University of Maryland, is accused of planning to kidnap, cook and eat as many as 100 women–including two classmates from the University of Maryland College Park.

They took the stand Tuesday. But both women, including Elizabeth Sauer of Germantown, Md., said they didn’t feel threatened.

On Monday, Valle’s wife told jurors her husband’s late nights on the Internet drove her to install spyware on his computer.

It revealed a history of grotesque websites, online chats and photos.

She testified, “I saw a woman covered in blood, hanging. I saw a picture of human feet cut off from the body.”

“Plans, plans,” she testified. “I was going to be tied up by my feet and my throat slit.”

Valle’s lawyers argue his online postings paint a sick fantasy–not an actual murder plot.

“Who can blame you if that scares you?” the defense attorney told jurors.”It’s the stuff of a horror movie. But like horror movies, it’s pure fiction. Pretend.”

Valle’s father says it can’t be true.

Reporter: “Is it possible?”

Valle’s Father: “I don’t think so.”

Reporter: “Have you ever heard him talk about anything like this?”

Valle’s Father: “No.”

Reporter: “There’s never been any sort of discussion about cannibalism?”

Valle’s Father: “Never.”

And a forensic psychologist says it’s possible this was all fantasy.

“Typically the individuals that I have encountered who have actually engaged in serial murder or engaged in cannibalism don’t really write about it,” the psychologist said.

But federal prosecutors tell jurors Valle was ready to act.

Presented in evidence was this conversation with a co-conspirator:

“How big is your oven?”

Valle responds, “Big enough to fit one of these girls if I folded their legs.”

The most serious charge Valle faces is conspiracy to commit kidnapping, which carries a sentence with a maximum of life in prison.

The trial is expected to last about two weeks.

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