A man who became known as the “Canterbury Cannibal” after plotting to rape, behead and eat a 14-year-old girl now lives in Nebraska.
Dale Bolinger, 62, was convicted in 2014 in Canterbury, England and sentenced to almost a decade in prison. But he was released ahead of schedule earlier this month, according to the Omaha World-Herald. After release, the American citizen returned to the U.S. to move into a Blair, Neb., home, northwest of Omaha.
Residents of the area were aghast upon learning of the presence of their new neighbor. Many wanted to know why they weren’t forewarned.
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The girl, whom he communicated with under the pseudonym “Meatmarketman,” was actually an FBI agent, Kent Live reported.
He also allegedly tried to suffocate a female friend with a chemical-drenched rag and possessed numerous photos depicting the dismemberment and eating of women, the World-Herald reported.
Residents in the Nebraska community were disturbed to learn Bolinger had moved into a large brick home on Todd Drive.
The World-Herald reported their reactions ranged from “white-hot fury” to “nuclear explosion.”
Sylvia Kasper, a babysitter in the area, called the situation demented.
“This neighborhood is filled with children,” she said. “There are babies right up the street. He could have walked right up to the bus stop.”
Others expressed fear for the coming springtime, when more children will be playing outside.
“I don’t know the protocol with this sort of thing — because who would? — but it really creeps me out,” one resident of the area who declined to give her name told the World-Herald. “I have grandkids who come over.”
On Monday, Bolinger was detained. He’s in custody in the Washington County Jail.
But the sheriff of the county, Mike Robinson, could not “legally” say why Bolinger was detained.
In a Facebook post, the Sheriff’s Office published a statement by County Attorney Vander Schaaf stating law enforcement officials were closely monitoring the “Bolinger situation.”
“We want to inform the citizens of Washington County that law enforcement and the county attorney’s office know the location of Mr. Bolinger and you can rest assured that he is not a threat to the community at this time,” Vander Schaaf said.
Bolinger registered as a sex offender in the Nebraska registry. His convictions include attempting to meet a child after sexual grooming, possession of child pornography and publishing an obscene article.
Local authorities were not informed of Bolinger’s past before he arrived, the Washington County Pilot-Tribune & Enterprise reported.
“We don’t know why we weren’t notified. Since they knew he was going to be living in Washington County, why they didn’t invite us to go to the airport with them to meet him?” said Washington County Sheriff Mike Robinson. “When you hear those twisted fantasies, it's absolutely a big concern. ... I don't think there is anyone here that would want somebody like that to be their neighbor, especially if they have young children.”
Before his 2014 trial, Canterbury authorities, working in conjunction with the FBI, found child pornography in Bolinger’s possession, which he admitted to owning, The Guardian reported. One showed a young girl lying on a serving platter with an apple in her mouth.
At his sentencing, Tim Smith, an investigator, said, “There is no doubt in my mind Bolinger represents a very real and great danger to the public,” according to the BBC.
Bolinger was sentenced to nine years in prison but was released years early for good behavior, Kent Live reported.
In court proceedings, more of Bolinger’s macabre desires came to light.
A prosecutor read statements given by Bolinger to the court, in which Bolinger said he first had cannibalistic fantasies in kindergarten, when he envisioned school staff taking girls to the kitchen to eat them, according to The Guardian.
“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,” Bolinger said, according to the prosecutor’s account of their interview.
He told police that he didn’t find children sexually attractive, but he found them “interesting as a food source,” the BBC reported.
Bolinger also said he felt ashamed and never discussed his desires with his wife or son.
“It was less to do with sexual gratification and more to do with anger,” he said. “The people that do it [cannibalism] are seriously deranged, and I may be many things but I am not deranged.”