We all have dark thoughts from time to time. Unless you’re Ghandi, I’m sure you’ve imagined strangling a co-worker, punching a rude customer service rep or even killing the jerk in the sports car that cut you off on the highway. Even if you’d never act on these impulses in a million years, is it a crime to think about them? Is it illegal to fantasize about committing a crime?
Gilberto Valle, a former New York City police officer, fantasized about kidnapping, raping and eating women. Although he never actually committed these crimes, he abused his privilege as an officer of the law and used a police database to stalk women he was interested in consuming. In 2013, Valle was convicted of conspiracy to kidnap until a judge overturned the conviction in 2014.
What I loved: The documentary does an excellent job with providing credible sources for interviewing purposes. Psychologists, lawyers and professors were able to give their expert opinion on Gil and thought crimes in general. Many of the legal terms are thoroughly defined such as “thought crimes” and an “overt act.” Gil’s case has absolutely opened the door for thought-provoking discussions regarding thought crimes and our society’s infatuation with violence and fantasy.
What I didn’t: Overall, I was disappointed with this case and thought many things seemed to be missing. Whether it was the director’s oversight or Gil’s lack of compassion, he made no reference to missing his wife or young daughter. I would have also liked to learn more about Gil’s childhood along with the how/why he become enamored with dark fetishes such as raping and eating women.
At times, some of the scenes were rather boring when Gil is shown on house arrest just sitting around his mother’s home. It was also somewhat disturbing when Gil was filmed cooking for his mother. I wondered if he was picturing the omelet as one of his potential victims!
*Keep watching until the end of the credits for a hilarious conclusion to this bizarre documentary*