New York City police officer Gilberto Valle has been found guilty of plotting to murder his wife, and cook and eat other women.
Gilberto Valle, 28, was arrested by the FBI in 2012 following a tip-off by his wife.
The trial heard how Gilberto Valle had taken steps to carry out his plan of abducting, torturing and eating women he knew.
Defence lawyers argued it was merely a role-playing fantasy he had concocted while browsing fetish websites.
But a Manhattan federal court heard how Gilberto Valle had contacted some of the women mentioned in his plans.
He also used a police department database to look up their personal information, emailing and texting them and meeting at least one of them.
Gilberto Valle also used the internet to research the best rope for tying up people and to learn which chemicals render a person unconscious. Search terms found on his computer included “human flesh” and “white slavery”.
During the trial, Gilberto Valle’s estranged wife, Kathleen Mangan, 27, testified against him.
She said she had found emails detailing his plans to slit her throat and kidnap and kill her friend.
Kathleen Mangan said that in the emails, Gilberto Valle discussed how two other women would be “raped in front of each other to heighten their fears”, and another would be roasted alive over a fire.
Both she and Gilberto Valle wept when the court was shown a picture of him in his police uniform, feeding their newborn daughter.
After Tuesday’s guilty verdict, Manhattan prosecutor Preet Bharara said: “Today, a unanimous jury found that Gilberto Valle’s detailed and specific plans to abduct women for the purpose of committing grotesque crimes were very real, and that he was guilty as charged.
“The internet is a forum for the free exchange of ideas, but it does not confer immunity for plotting crimes and taking steps to carry out those crimes.”