Thought Crimes: The Case of the Cannibal Cop (2015) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Dubbed "The Cannibal Cop," Gilberto Valle was convicted in March 2013 of conspiring to kidnap and eat young women. Valle argued it was all a fantasy; the prosecution's narrative convinced jurors otherwise. Valle was facing a possible life sentence when filmmaker Erin Lee Carr began visiting him in prison. After 22 months behind bars, his conviction was overturned in a stunning reversal. The film was there for his release and subsequent house arrest to examine a life arrested. But the question remains: given the chance, would he, could he, have done it? "Thought Crimes" unravels the conflicting stories of a potentially dangerous young man and the unexpected consequences of our online activity.

  • Young, handsome and married, New York City police officer Gil Valle had a secret double life. He liked to chat online about kidnapping, raping and eating young women. A lot. When his dark side was discovered, tabloids dubbed him "The Cannibal Cop" and a scandalous criminal trial ensued. While he never physically touched any person named in his charges, he now faced a surprising life sentence. Filmmaker Erin Lee Carr began visiting Valle, who maintained that it was all just fantasy, when the unexpected happened: Valle's conviction was overturned. While awaiting news of either a re-trial or freedom, cameras enter his cloistered life and begin uncovering conflicting stories of what really happened in the wake of all those internet posts. Thought Crimes presses not only the unsettling question of whether he would have actually done any of it, but expertly maps one of the most prescient debates of the online age: when do our virtual thoughts become a crime?


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