Formally, the Washington County Sheriff is not at liberty to disclose why Dale Bolinger, a convicted sex offender dubbed by the British media as the “Canterbury Cannibal,” is in jail.
“He’s here, but I cannot tell you why,” Washington County Sheriff Mike Robinson told Omaha World-Herald reporters. “Legally, I cannot say anything.”
But, according to the Washington County Corrections Facility online inmate list, the man who was previously sentenced to nine years for plotting to rape, decapitate, and eat a 14-year-old girl in Britain has been incarcerated in the United States since Jan. 12.
KETV7 reporters reached a man Bolinger had been living with in Blair, Nebraska, and he told them the registered sex offender was no longer a resident there and “is never coming back.”
Nebraska state law states that a registered sex offender with no place to live can be arrested after three days if that individual fails to notify the authorities.
“The sheriff and I have been closely involved with the Bolinger situation,” Washington County Attorney Scott Vander Schaaf said in a statement, ABC news reported. “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’s not a threat to the community at this time.”
Bolinger, an American citizen who worked as a nurse in the U.K., spent time in a British jail for a range of sex offenses.
British media accounts painted a terrifying picture of his crimes and his persona. Reports said Bolinger had cannibalistic fantasies and schemed in online chatrooms with the likes of Gilberto Valle, a New York police officer dubbed the “Cannibal Cop” and convicted of plotting to carry out a macabre plan involving kidnapping and cannibalism.
The judge at Bolinger’s trial described his behavior as “abhorrent, shocking and dangerous.”
Sylvia Kasper, a local area resident, told ABC she’s concerned about the safety of the neighborhood children.
“It’s making my heart race. It’s scary, considering I have a small day care, and now I really have to watch and keep doors locked,” Kasper said.
“This is just demented,” Kasper added, according to RT. “This neighborhood is filled with children.”
In exchange for agreeing to a deportation back to the United States he received a commuted sentence.
Bolinger relocated to Blair, Nebraska, at the beginning of January, much to the dismay of locals, who found out after the Omaha World-Herald broke the news that the ex-con had taken up residence in their community.
Capt. Robert Bellamy, a jail administrator at the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, reportedly confirmed to the Sun reporters that Bolinger was at the jail.
“He is here for a mental health evaluation—he has not committed any new crimes. We need to consider how best to protect this man, and also how to best protect our community,” he said.
“In all my years on this job I have never experienced anything like this. The public is concerned,” Bellamy said.
Bolinger served three years of a nine-year sentence before arriving in the Blair area and registering on Jan. 4 as a sex offender.
“It is surprising that he was released from prison in England so early,” Bellamy told reporters.
Neighbors told the Omaha World-Herald they feared for the safety of their children with Bolinger in the community.
It is unclear what’s next for Bolinger, but it is expected the county attorney will release more information about his fate in the coming days.