You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Pair planned rapes, killings, jury told

NEW YORK — A former high school librarian and an auto mechanic who swapped ideas for abducting, raping, and killing women plotted to turn their disturbing fantasies into deadly action, prosecutors told jurors Tuesday, while defense lawyers said the men just thought up scenarios no more real than horror movies or violent pornography.

Retired librarian Christopher Asch and mechanic Michael Van Hise of Trenton, N.J., do not dispute that they discussed their ghoulish fetishes, with Van Hise even suggesting female relatives as potential targets and Asch assembling a macabre kit of apparent torture tools. When deliberations in their Manhattan federal conspiracy trial begin as soon as Wednesday, jurors will have to decide whether the men crossed a line between imagination and intention.

Continue reading below

In a prosecution that grew out of another shocking case — that of a police officer accused of plotting to kidnap and kill women and eat their flesh — Asch and Van Hise are accused of scheming to brutalize Van Hise’s wife, stepdaughter, sister-in-law, and several nieces under age 10. Asch also is charged separately with plotting to kidnap a woman who turned out to be an undercover FBI agent.

Although no kidnappings ultimately happened, prosecutors insist the men’s objectives were more than mere talk.

Loading comments...
Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
Please enter a valid email will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of