The “Canterbury Cannibal,” whose real name is Dale Bolinger, had a serious following in the world of extreme fetish, and was idolized by many for his desire to kill and eat a teenager.
The 57-year-old, by his own admission, fantasized about consuming human flesh since the age of six. He has been found guilty of grooming a young girl on the internet and arranging to meet her at a train station.
During his trial, Bolinger explained to the court that his cannibalistic tendencies came from an over-domineering mother who made sexual advances on him when he was a teenager. He also shared the fact that his son, Martin, died when he was only one year old, which he claims also have affected him.
As is common with cases such as this, the perpetrator often leads a double life and Bolinger is no exception. The father-of-four was happily married for 30 years, but online he went by the username of “meatmarketman” on the Dark Fetish Network website, and other sites.
The “Canterbury cannibal” confided in his closest friend, surprisingly a U.S. police officer named Gilberto Valle. Valle was also convicted of plotting to kidnap, murder, and eat women, although this verdict was later overturned. The pair plotted to kidnap a “slut” schoolgirl in America and have “their way” with her.
On the Dark Fetish Network, Bolinger had bragged often that he has once eaten a child’s flesh, and that of a black woman, but following his arrest he claimed that he was “just joking” and that those stories were nothing but fantasies.
During his case, Bolinger made some disturbing revelations to the court about his state of mind:
“By the time I got to 14, I turned into the villain of the piece and I wondered what it would be like to eat a girl. I think it was more to do with disliking my mother more than hating women.”
Surprisingly, Bolinger trained as a nurse at The Princess Alexandra School of Nursing in 1979, and later worked on the cardiac ward in Margate.
He told the jury that at first he was just experimenting in the virtual world and didn’t intend to act upon his impulses. He said, “Initially, I was looking to find people with like minds and to see where they came from, but it soon spiralled down into trying to shock people.”
The suspect and his accomplice formed a strong friendship and chatted about their fantasies of cutting the feet off of living victims’ feet, and barbecuing them before their eyes; Bolinger claimed that “feet meat” was a delicacy.
And when Valle suggested a specific victim to Bolinger, he replied that he would enjoy her liver “lightly cooked to keep it sweet and tender.” To which Valle replied, “I’m dying to taste some girl meat.”
Bolinger also spoke about his eating habits, even posting the recipe for “human haggis” — made from lungs and stomach — and how to use the fat from woman’s breasts to make Yorkshire puddings and roast potatoes.
The “Canterbury cannibal” will receive his sentence from the court in a few months.