The UK's fastest-growing regional news network
°C | 11°C
15°C | 12°C
15°C | 10°C
See the full forecast for your area.
Sponsored by Britelite.
Home Canterbury News Article
A neighbour told today how police took shovels into the back garden of a Canterbury house where two men were arrested over an alleged plot to kidnap, rape and eat women.
Nurse Dale Bolinger, who is said to work at a Kent hospital, was quizzed at his home in Davidson Road together with another man after a tip-off from police in the US investigating alleged "cannibal cop" Gilberto Valle.
The 57-year-old - a father-of-two whose estranged wife is a prominent campaigner for the disabled - was held as part of an international investigation into an alleged "cannibal mentor" who claimed to have eaten two women.
Bolinger, who has been suspended by East Kent Hospitals University NHS
"the meat isn't quite like pork, but very meaty… i've eaten a black woman and a white person..." – what 'cannibal mentor' moody blues allegedly said to an american policemanFoundation Trust, spoke to reporters outside his home.
He said he denied the allegations, before saying: "I have to leave it to the police."
The other arrested man, 30, is believed to be his son who was living at the same address.
It is understood Bolinger, who is a father of two grown-up children, is suspected of using the name Moody Blues on the internet and communicating by email with police officer Valle in New York, who is on trial accused of a plot to kidnap and eat women.
In court in New York, evidence was heard that Moody Blues became a "mentor" to Valle and gave him advice on how to batter a woman with a baseball bat and tips on cannibalism.
Moody Blues is alleged to have boasted how he once ate a five-year-old boy.
It is said all of the alleged boasts were fantasy and none of the actions were carried out.
Bollinger lives in an end-of-terrace house in a leafy suburb of Canterbury.
A neighbour said today: "Police came here last week at about seven o'clock in the morning. They had police dogs and there were forensic officers and plain clothed detectives.
"They even got shovels out of their van and went into the back garden with them.
"We wondered what on earth was happening. They were there until about ten o'clock at night.
"We don't know the guy that lives there. He's very quiet and we think his son lives there with him, and apparently the son's girlfriend was living there too.
"Another neighbour told me she packed her bags and left a few days before the police came. I don't know why.
"If we see him he'll say 'hello' but you sense he doesn't ever want to talk, he just wants to keep himself to himself.
"It has freaked us out a bit. It's worrying especially as lots of kids live around here.
"We see him go to work on his bicycle early in the morning and sometimes on a weekend he will go out for a ride but that's the only time you ever see him."
Another neighbour said: "I'm absolutely shocked to hear he might have been involved in this sort of thing, it just doesn't seem like him."
James Godden, 31, of neighbouring Runcie Place, said: "We saw police here from about 7am last Thursday and they were the all day.
"They had forensics teams and sniffer dogs in the house.
"We don't know him and have never really seen him. The first I heard of what it was about was today."
Bolinger photographed himself with a pet snake around his neck for his profile on Facebook.
He and the unnamed 30-year-old man were arrested last week on suspicion of conspiracy offences, grooming and possessing images of child abuse. They are currently on police bail.
Following his arrest, Bolinger was said to have been suspended from his nursing job by East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust.
A spokesman for the trust today confirmed a man had been suspended, pending a police investigation. They would not confirm a name, occupation or where the man worked.
It is believed Bolinger's son was also living at the address with his girlfriend for a period, but she moved out before police arrived last Thursday.
Bolinger has lived at the address for about a year, moving in after he split from his wife. His son moved in a short time afterwards.
A neighbour said: "He did not have much to do with the people around here.
"They kept themselves to themselves. I don't think they had any friends around here. They do not talk to any other people.
"I never saw the father with anyone. I never saw him with a female."
The man added: "Police were here with forensics and dogs all day and late into the night.
"There were plain-clothed detectives and about six or seven police vehicles. They took the son away. I have not seen the son since last week.
"This is a very quiet area and there are a lot of families with children. You do not expect it on your doorstep."
Bolinger is reported to have qualified as a nurse in 1979 and is married to Rosemary Bolinger, who until last October was a trustee of the cerebral palsy charity Scope.
Mrs Bolinger, 55, who separated from her husband last year, has campaigned for better access for the disabled since she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy 15 years ago, lobbying Gordon Brown when he was Prime Minister and appearing on Radio 4 and in newspapers to promote the cause.
Before the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, she and Bolinger visited Weymouth, the site of the sailing events, and nearby resorts on the south coast to rate them for disability access on behalf of Scope.
The court in New York heard Valle's British contact, who used the aliases MeatMarketMan and Moody Blues, urged him to eat his victims alive, saying: "I think of it as eating her to death."
Moody Blues wrote: "The meat isn't quite like pork, but very meaty… I've eaten a black woman and a white person."
He is said to have claimed to have a recipe for "haggis" using human lungs and stomach, and said feet were "a favourite" delicacy.
New York policeman Valle, 28, who is said to have met Moody Blues through an extreme sexual fetish website, said he was "dying to taste some girl meat".
Valle's British contact allegedly communicated with him throughout last summer, when they discussed the best way to kill, cook and eat a woman.
Moody Blues talked about flying to New York to help Valle, saying he had anaesthetic gas which could be used to render the victim unconscious and a meat cleaver, though he was worried about being caught trying to enter the US with them.
During one chat Moody Blues made reference to the Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe, as he offered advice on who to kidnap and how to avoid detection.
A Kent Police spokesman said: "Two men aged 57 and 30 from the Canterbury area were arrested on Feb 21 for conspiracy offences, grooming and the possession of child abuse images. The two men are currently on police bail while inquiries continue.
"Kent Police have been in touch with law enforcement authorities in the United States in relation to this investigation."
It is thought police arrived at about 6.45am on Thursday and left at about 5.45pm.
Valle, who discussed killing his wife and other female acquaintances, did not kidnap or injure any women, and he claims he was only fantasising on the internet and had no intention of going ahead with the things he was discussing.
He denies charges of conspiracy to kidnap and improper use of a federal database system, after he allegedly used a police computer to research potential "victims".
Click here for more news from Canterbury.
Click here for more news from around the county.