Kurt Eichenwald recently did an chilling article on Internet Predators for the NY Times, the investigation took four months. Below are a few excerpts from the article.
We reported last year that Internet predators who prey on children were getting savvy and getting offshore IP addresses in case law enforcement attempts to trace their IP address from their computer. Overseas IP companies do not recognize subpoena's and won't reveal the home addresses of their clients.
Eichenwald revealed in his article, pedophiles now have Internet based radio shows online and offer tips on how to get near children-at camps, through foster care and community gatherings.
A charity was founded by a pedophile to send Eastern European children to camp where they are visited by predators.
An online jewelry company markets pendants proclaiming the wearer as being sexually attracted to children, allowing anyone in the know to recognize them.
A small pedophile group in the Netherlands formed a political party.
The article also revealed that a lot of conversations take place in a virtual room in "Internet Relay Channels." This is not surprising, we did an article a few years back on IRC, which is considered the underbelly of the Internet. It was rumored that pedophiles were teaching online courses on how to seduce children.
Keep an close eye on your children, online and offline.
IN RELATED NEWS (THE ANNIVERSARY KILLER/ABDUCTER):
*The following cases seem to be related, in each case, a child was abducted from a trailer park, they all lived near construction sites and each abduction happened in the middle of August. Authorities think a child serial killer/abductor is on the loose.
Teresa Dean went missing Aug. 15, 1999
Teresa Dean (pictured above) was a very independent little girl. It was normal to see Teresa walking around the neighborhood talking to people, and visiting her neighbor's trailers for a bite to eat and a friendly chat.
At around 2:30 p.m. on August 15, 1999, 11 year-old Teresa left her trailer in Twiggs County, Ga. to go to a neighbor's trailer to play with some puppies. The neighbor told Teresa that if she could catch one of the puppies, she could take it home. Police say that Teresa told the neighbor was she going home to get her brother to help her bring a puppy home.
Teresa never made it home. She also doesn't have a brother.
Around 8:00 p.m. that night, Teresa's mom, Dorothy, began to wonder why Teresa hadn't come home yet. She walked around the neighborhood asking people if they had seen Teresa. Dorothy was hoping that her daughter had just lost track of time. But at 11:00 p.m. when there was still no sign of Teresa, Dorothy called police to report her missing.
Sheriff Darren Mitchum and Lt. Robert Rodgers of the Twiggs County Sheriff's Office organized teams to look for Teresa. They searched the construction sites near Teresa's home, questioned everyone in the neighborhood, and looked for her in nearby Macon, Ga. Unfortunately, nothing turned up.
One by one, the suspects were eliminated from the list and leads began to run cold.
Four years passed, and there was still no sign of Teresa. Sheriff Mitchum and Lt. Rodgers refused to give up, and decided to put a bulletin about Teresa's disappearance in a law enforcement magazine.
Shannon Paulk vanished Aug. 16, 2006
This past January, they got a call from Det. Sgt. Bob Furlong from the Prattville Police Department in Alabama. He was up late working on the abduction and murder case of Shannon Paulk, when he saw their bulletin in the magazine. As he described his case, the Twiggs County officers began to feel a strange sense of deja vu.
Eleven-year-old Shannon Paulk was reported missing on August 16, 2001 from her Candlestick Trailer Park neighborhood in Prattville, Ala. She was a very friendly child, who enjoyed roaming around the trailer park, and dropping in to visit her neighbors. She was the youngest daughter, and lived in the suburbs of Montgomery, Ala. near a wildlife refuge and active construction sites. Unfortunately, her body was found seven weeks later by some hunters walking through a wildlife refuge 16 miles from her home.
Heaven Ross went missing Aug. 19, 2002
Eleven year-old Heaven LaShae Ross left home after her older sister on August 19, 2003 to walk the 100 yards to the neighborhood bus stop. She never made it to the bus stop.
Heaven was a sweet little girl who loved to roam freely around the trailer park, and never knew a stranger...
According to Sheriff Mitchum, all three cases are very similar. In addition to all girls being 11 years old, "they had similar looks, they were all near cities, they were all close to wildlife management areas and the biggest thing, they all disappeared from trailer parks."
Now police are wondering if the same person is responsible for all three of the disappearances. Teresa Dean never returned home on August 15, 1999, Shannon Paulk disappeared on August 16, 2001, and Heaven Lashae Ross never made it to her bus stop on August 19, 2003.
A definite connection cannot be made because Heaven and Teresa are still missing. Police are hoping the two girls are still alive and will someday return home, but realize the implications if the three cases are connected.
If these cases are related, the detectives could be hunting a serial child killer. The concern is that he might be an anniversary killer - someone who only hunts during a certain time of year. If this is the case, this killer strikes in August every two years. While no girls went missing in August of 2005, police fear he could have changed locations and struck somewhere else, or been put in prison for another crime. While jail-time might keep him from killing now, it won't stop him from killing again when he gets out.
The Twiggs County Sheriff's Office continues to investigate this case hoping to find some answers in Teresa's disappearance.