TV Show Review – Thought Crimes: The Case of the Cannibal Cop

TV Show Review – Thought Crimes: The Case of the Cannibal Cop


Rating:  4 (out of 5).  On Monday night HBO airs Thought Crimes: The Case of the Cannibal Cop, a documentary about a court case involving a former New York City police officer who was accused of planning to kidnap, cook, and eat women.  The interesting (if not sobering) aspect of the case is that the officer was charged based on what he wrote in online chat rooms and that a jury convicted him (though a judge threw out the conviction but the prosecutor is appealing that decision), he didn’t actually commit any of the acts for which he was accused.  The critics found the documentary chilling and provocative.

The New York Times describes the documentary as “a trip down the rabbit hole if ever there was one.” They write “The film, though, is no knee-jerk defense of Mr. Valle’s right to talk about trussing up women like livestock and making centerpieces out of their heads. Ms. Carr sprinkles the film with excerpts from Mr. Valle’s chats, which are appalling even if they are merely fantasies. She also gives voice to all sides in the debate over the implications of the case, not just the free-speech one.”

Newsday says “The scariest thing about “Thought Crimes” isn’t Valle. It’s the unseen (for good reason) prosecutors who think mind control is a valuable target of their time and government resources. That, and the lone juror interviewed who tries to rationalize why she voted to convict Valle.”

The Boston Herald thinks “HBO’s provocative documentary “Thought Crimes: The Case of the Cannibal Cop” might challenge even the most committed civil libertarians.”

The Hollywood Reporter tells us “this compelling film addresses the provocative issues raised by a bizarre real life case.”

The Washington Post writes “The film features intimate interviews with Valle and his family, as well as insights from lawyers and psychological professionals, and asks whether someone can be found guilty for his or her most dangerous thoughts.”

The San Francisco Chronicle describes the documentary as “obviously weird in a number of ways, including Valle’s motivation for cooperating with the filmmaker.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer calls “Thought Crimes” a “chilling documentary about a former New York police officer arrested in March 2013 for planning to abduct and cannibalize women.”
The New Republic says “The film seems slyly self-aware of its stomach-turning capabilities: In one scene, Valle fries up thick slices of bacon and stirs tomato-laden pasta while talking about his case. “Nobody’s alarmed I have a fork in my hand with people around?” he awkwardly jokes to an off-screen Carr.”

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