U.S. News

02.28.13

The Cannibal Cop and the Dark, Secret World of Cannibal Porn

How much is real on erotic websites that feature questions about which part of a woman is tastiest, show photos of women hogtied or on a spit roast, or offer recipes for cooking women? Caroline Linton goes inside the world of cannibal porn.

There’s something for everyone on the Internet, even those who fantasize with cannibal porn. Key word for all those who participate: it’s just a fantasy.

“It was not terribly long ago that a site such as ours would have been shut down and many of its members who had created original content could be dragged into court on obscenity charges at the minimum. We walk a fine line,” writes one forum poster on DarkFetishNet, a death-porn website.

DarkFetishNet claims to have 38,000 members, and the site says it is for people who don’t want to “feel like an outcast because of your ‘dark’ fetish.” The site insists in its homepage that there is “absolutely NO REAL, UNDERAGE or PRIVATE content here.” There are discussion forums dedicated to death porn, “killing women wearing white blouses,” “chance for true no limit slavery for a female,” and “female meat market.” It’s the discussion about eating females that has pushed the fetish website and the whole community of cannibal porn into the spotlight as NYPD officer Gilberto Valle, New York’s so-called Cannibal Cop, stands trial this week for allegedly plotting to kidnap, kill, and eat women.

The prosecution’s case against Valle rests in his online correspondence, wherein he described in detail his plans as well as shared photos of his intended victims—and photos of his wife. One of the photos showed to potential jurors ahead of time was a photo of a woman hogtied (another favorite of cannibal-porn enthusiasts) with an apple in her mouth—to see if the jurors had bias against cannibal porn. Another photo featured a woman partially submerged in a bubbling pot of vegetables with the caption “Well Karyn you seem to be cooking up quite nicely... Your guests are going to get a very special dinner tonight.”

“I know S&M is popular with Fifty Shades of Grey, but this seemed different,” Kathleen Mangan Valle testified Monday. “The girl on the front page was dead.”

On DarkFetishNet’s discussion thread for “female meat market,” one user posts, “I really want to devour this delicious girl,” and provides a link to a YouTube video. In response, another user posts, “how to resist such a cute little bird.” In another discussion thread called “what’s your favorite part of a girl to eat?” users all heartily (no pun intended) express their love of body parts—some make sure to add “haha” or “lol” after their comments, but others seems completely serious when declaring they like to eat “slow grilled c--t.”

A member of DarkFetishNet, Gilberto Valle allegedly described his plans to a poster named Moody Blues, describing how he “really” wanted his intended victim, a college acquaintance named Kimberly Sauer, to “suffer” and how he “just can’t wait to get Kimberly cooking!”


Valle’s Conversations with Moody Blues, Aug. 24, 2012

Describing long, involved fantasies involving cannibalism is a featured part of DarkFetishNet. In fact, on Wednesday, one of the most popular term tags used was “catharsis.” Users can upload homemade or real porn videos or stick to photos, either Photoshopped or from other Internet sites. There are also the discussion boards, which is where Valle ran into trouble. In email exchanges between Valle and someone he met on the message boards, Valle said he wanted a woman who is “slim and sexy” for the “spit,” according to FBI agent Corey Walsh. The spit roast is one of the most common features of cannibal porn: it features a woman skewered from her vagina up through her mouth.

“The idea is to stop beating yourself up and feeling guilty and find a lighter release for it, and you’ll find you can have a pretty cool, normal life.”

Cannibal-porn sites on the Internet range from DarkFetishNet, which features more hard-core fantasies, to Muki’s Kitchen, a popular site run by a married couple who go by the pseudonyms Mr. and Mrs. Muki, who tell their visitors that everything on the site is “good old-fashioned, woman-eating, femme-feasting, girl-gobbing fun!” The site goes on to insist that “anyone who takes this stuff for real, or harbors thoughts of actually eating someone, should immediately seek professional help (please!).”

“It’s a fantasy, it stays in their head, and they would never want to do it in real life,” says Mr. Muki, who spoke to The Daily Beast on the condition of anonymity. Muki, an artist by trade, says he had once believed he was the only cannibal-porn enthusiast and started the site mainly for himself and to showcase his art—only to have it discovered after about seven days. He uses his own photography on the site—with willing participants, of course.


Valle’s Conversations with Moody Blues, Sept. 8, 2012

One of Muki’s former models, Zille, maintains her own site, Darkplay.net, and describes it in a review as a “mom and pop operation.” Muki uses all real images and employs Photoshop only for background—so all the women are really covered in honey, or in some cases re-created as how a woman would look on a spit.

“It’s true that if you have a fetish or a philia, it’s part of you—and it goes back so far,” Muki said. “The idea [we had] is to stop beating yourself up and feeling guilty and find a lighter release for it, and you’ll find you can have a pretty cool, normal life.”

With Muki’s good-natured intentions on one end, cannibal porn has led to some of the darkest crimes in the past year. In June 2012, Canadian former porn star Luka Magnotta became the subject of an international search after allegedly murdering his lover and sending body parts throughout the country, including to the offices of the Conservative and Liberal parties. To top it all off, Magnotta allegedly uploaded a video to cannibal-porn site called Best Gore that featured him dismembering the body and then masturbating with the body parts and anally penetrating the corpse.

Magnotta’s spree differs from what Valle is accused of, of course, since Magnotta allegedly acted on his fantasies. The Magnotta video, titled 1 Lunatic, 1 Icepick, stayed up on Best Gore, which advertises that it “strives to present graphic material tastefully,” but says material on its site includes “death, including beheadings, executions, suicides, murders, electrocution, stoning, torching, drowning,” and “weird fetishes, including needle fetish, blood fetish.” At the time, the webmaster claimed that the site did not remove Magnotta’s 1 Lunatic, 1 Icepick because “turning our heads and pretending the video doesn’t exist would only make the perpetrator feel more secure and open to further exploitations”—though the webmaster initially said the video seemed “false.”


Valle’s Criminal Complaint

That is the rallying cry of all these sites—and Valle’s defense that these dark thoughts are merely fantasies. But it may not help Valle, who faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, since he also accessed a government database to track down women. Although there hasn’t been testimony yet about that charge, the testimony about Valle’s desire for “girl meat” and his claims that “I just can’t wait to get Kimberly cooking!” as well as imagining any of his victims roasting on a spit are likely to be the ones that will stick with jurors. And what’s perhaps even more telling: the jurors were taking notes as the FBI’s Walsh testified.

It’s not just in the notes of jurors that DarkFetishNet now exists—the dark cannibal fantasies have been shoved into the spotlight. In the words of one poster on the site’s forums: “it does seem a little strange that DFN is mentioned in this news video. One thing’s for sure ... this site is not as obscure as it used to be.”