When Marybeth Tinning’s infant daughter Jennifer died, friends, neighbors and medical personnel felt sorry for the grieving mother. A few weeks later, Marybeth’s young son died, too. People couldn’t believe it. How many losses could one person withstand? Then another child died. And another. And another. In total, nine of Marybeth’s children died over the course of 14 years. In that time, people’s reactions evolved from sympathetic to suspicious.
Then Kristin tells us the story of Gilberto Valle, a.k.a., the cannibal cop. Kathleen Valle knew her marriage wasn’t going great. But when Kathleen figured out exactly what her husband Gilberto was doing online, her blood ran cold. Her NYPD policeman husband had been chatting online about torturing, raping, killing and eating her. But the horror didn’t end there. He talked about carrying out these plans on many women. Authorities took action, but Gilberto’s defense was strong. He hadn’t actually carried out any of these plans. He claimed he was just fantasizing — with no intention of ever harming anyone. This case had people everywhere trying to draw the line between fantasies and criminal intent.
And now for a note about our process. For each episode, Kristin reads a bunch of articles, then spits them back out in her very limited vocabulary. Brandi copies and pastes from the best sources on the web. And sometimes Wikipedia. (No shade, Wikipedia. We love you.) We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the real experts who covered these cases.
In this episode, Kristin pulled from:
“A Dangerous Mind” by: Robert Kolker for New York Magazine
“Gilberto Valle, ex-New York police officer, talks about his cannibalism fantasies in film,” New York Times
HBO Documentary, “Thought Crimes: The case of the cannibal cop”
“Ex-officer’s conviction in cannibal case shouldn’t be reinstated, appeals court rules,” New York Times
“Cannibal Cop’s wife takes the stand as horrific details of former NYPD officer’s twisted bondage fetish emerge in first day of trial,” New York Daily News
In this episode, Brandi pulled from:
“14 years and nine tiny corpses later, authorities finally took action on murderous mother” by Mara Bovsun, New York Daily News
“Baby Killer” by Mark Gado, crimelibrary.com
“Baby killer Marybeth Tinning leaves prison” Albany Times Union