From Brussels ...
By David McGowan
(McGowan is the author of Derailing Democracy and Understanding the F-Word,and is also the administrator of the website The Center for an Informed America)
Ralph Underwager, 'expert' witness for the defense in scores of child abuse cases and former vocal member of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, in an interview in Paidika (a pro-pedophilia publication), conducted in June 1991
To the vast majority of Americans, the name Marc Dutroux doesn't mean much. Drop that name in Belgium though and you're likely to elicit some very visceral reactions. Dutroux - convicted along with his wife in 1989 for the rape and violent abuse of five young girls, the youngest of whom was just eleven - now stands accused of being a key player in an international child prostitution and pornography ring whose practices included kidnapping, rape, sadistic torture, and murder.
Dutroux was sentenced in 1989 to thirteen years for his crimes,but was freed after having served just three. This was in spite of the fact that, as prison governor Yvan Stuaert would later tell a parliamentary commission: A medical report described him as a perverse psychopath, an explosive mix. He was an evident danger to society.
The man who turned Dutroux loose on society, Justice Minister Melchior Wathelet, soon after received a prestigious appointment to serve as a judge at the European Court of Justice at the Hague. Shortly after Dutrouxs release, young girls began to disappear in the vicinity of some of his homes. Though technically unemployed and drawing welfare from the state, he nevertheless owned at least six houses and lived quite lavishly.
His rather lucrative income appears to have been derived from trading in child sex-slaves, child prostitution, and child pornography. Many of his houses appeared to stand vacant, though at least some of them were in fact used as torture and imprisonment centers where kidnapped girls were taken and held in underground dungeons.
Some of Dutrouxs homes were used in this way for several years following his early release, with a growing body of evidence to indicate that fact to the police. True to form though, authorities failed to act on the information, or acted on it in a way that showed either complete incompetence (according to most press reports), or police complicity in the operation (according to any sort of logic).
Police seem to have routinely ignored tips that later proved to be accurate, including a report from Dutroux's own mother that her son was holding girls prisoner in one of his houses. In addition, key facts were withheld from investigators working on the disappearances and lines of communication were unaccountably broken, inexcusably hindering the investigation.
Police did search one of Dutroux's homes on no less than three separate occasions over the course of the investigation. On at least two of those occasions, two of the missing girls were being held in heinous conditions imprisoned in a custom-built dungeon in the basement. Nevertheless, the police searches came up empty, despite the fact that the investigating officers reported hearing childrens voices on one occasion, according to the Guardian.
It was not until August 13, 1996, four years after the disappearances began, that authorities arrested Dutroux, along with his wife (an elementary school teacher), a lodger, a policeman, and a man the Guardian described as an associate with political connections elsewhere identified as Michel Lelievre.
Two days later, police again searched Dutroux's home and discovered the soundproof dungeon/torture center. As CNN reported, three years earlier police ignored tips from an informant who said Dutroux was building secret cellars to hold girls before selling them abroad. And in 1995, the same informant had told police that Dutroux had offered an unidentified third man the equivalent of $3,000 to $5,000 to kidnap girls.
Incredibly, it was later reported by the Guardian that police actually had in their possession a videotape of the dungeon being constructed: Belgian police could have saved the lives of two children allegedly murdered by the paedophile Marc Dutroux if they had watched a video seized from his home which showed him building their hidden cell.
The tape had been seized in one of the earlier searches.
At the time of the final search, two fourteen-year-old girls were found imprisoned in the dungeon, chained and starving. They described to police being used as child prostitutes and in the production of child pornography videos. More than 300 such videos were taken into custody by the police.
On August 17, the story got grimmer as police dug up the bodies of two eight-year-old girls at another of Dutroux's homes. It would later be learned that the girls had been kept in one of Dutrouxs dungeons for nine months after their abductions, during which time they were repeatedly tortured and sexually assaulted, all captured on videotape. The girls were then left to slowly starve to death. Alongside of their decimated corpses was the body of Bernard Weinstein, a former accomplice of Dutroux who had occupied one of the houses for several years. Weinstein had been buried alive.
A few weeks later, two more girls were found buried under concrete at yet another of the Dutroux properties. By that time, ten people were reportedly in custody in connection to the case. Elsewhere in Belgium, the News Telegraph reported that: The corpses of two women and parts of a third body have been discovered in a freezer at a Lebanese restaurant in Brussels.
As the body count mounted, the outrage of the Belgian people grew. They demanded to know why this man, dubbed the 'Belgian Beast,' had been released after having served such an absurdly short sentence. And to know why, as evidence had continued to mount and girls had continued to disappear, the police had chosen to do nothing. How many girls, they demanded to know, had been killed as a result of this inaction?
Adding further fuel to the fire, as a Los Angeles Times report revealed, was that: a highly regarded childrens activist, Marie-France Botte, claims that the Justice Ministry is sitting on a politically sensitive list of customers of pedophile videotapes.
The same report noted that: The affair has become further clouded by the discovery of a motorcycle that reportedly matches the description of one used in the 1991 assassination of prominent Belgian businessman and politician Andre Cools. Michel Bourlet, the head prosecutor on the pedophile case, meanwhile, has publicly declared that the investigation can be thoroughly pursued only without political interference. Several years ago, Bourlet was removed from the highly charged Cools case, which remains unsolved.
A report in Time magazine alluded to murky links between the Dutroux operation and organized crime figures. Much later, Marc Verwilghen - the chief investigating magistrate on the case - would bluntly state: For me, the Dutroux affair is a question of organised crime. Also mentioned in the Time article was the use of secret underground tunnels, not unlike those described by children a decade earlier at the infamous McMartin Preschool.
Outrage continued to grow as more arrests were made and evidence of high-level government and police complicity continued to emerge. One of Dutroux's accomplices, businessman Jean-Michel Nihoul, confessed to organizing an orgy at a Belgian chateau that had been attended by government officials, a former European Commissioner, and a number of law enforcement officers. A Belgian senator would note, quite accurately, that such parties were part of a system which operates to this day and is used to blackmail the highly placed people who take part.
In September, twenty-three suspects - at least nine of whom were police officers - were detained and questioned about their possible complicity in the crimes and/or their negligence in investigating the case. As the Los Angeles Times noted in a very brief, two-sentence report, the detainments were the latest indication that police in the southern city of Charleroi may have helped cover up the alleged crimes of Marc Dutroux.
The arrests followed raids on the police officers homes and on the headquarters of the Charleroi police force and were based on information supplied by police inspector Georges Zicot, who had already been charged as an accomplice. Three magistrates had also reportedly been interrogated by police investigators.
Just days before the arrests, police had also arrested five suspects in the Cools assassination, including a former regional government minister named Alain VanderBiest. Strangely enough, the News Telegraph reported that: Police investigating the Cools murder in 1991 have been given helpful leads by some of those arrested in the Dutroux case. The Telegraph also noted that Cools had promised shocking revelations before his death.
On October 14 came the straw that broke the camel's back: Jean-Marc Connerotte, who had been serving as the investigating judge on the case, was dismissed by the Belgian Supreme Court. Connerotte was viewed by the people as something of a rarity: a public official/law enforcement officer who actually appeared to be pursuing a prosecution, rather than a cover-up. The News Telegraph described him as: the only figure in the judiciary who enjoys the nations confidence.
As the New York Times reported, Connerotte became a national hero in August after saving two children from a secret dungeon kept by a convicted child rapist and ordering the inquiry that led to the discovery of the bodies of four girls kidnapped by a child pornography network. He had also, in 1994, arrested three men as suspects in the Cools assassination just before the case was transferred to the jurisdiction of another magistrate.
His removal from the Dutroux case fanned the smoldering flames of public outrage; the Times report noted that: Hundreds of thousands of people had petitioned the high court to retain the judge. Adding yet more fuel to the fire, prosecutor Michel Bourlet was claiming that evidence suggested that a pedophile ring composed of the wealthy and powerful had been protected for twenty-five years.
With the families of Dutroux's victims calling for a general strike, men and women all across the country walked away from their jobs in protest as railway workers and bus drivers shut down public transportation, bringing some cities to a virtual standstill. The Telegraph reported that: In Liege, firemen turned their hoses on the citys court building to symbolize the massive clean-up that was in order.
On October 20, 350,000 citizens of the tiny nation took to the streets of Brussels dressed all in white, demanding the reform of a system so corrupt that it would protect the abusers, rapists, torturers, and killers of children. The political fallout from the case would ultimately bring about the resignation of Belgium's State Police Chief, Interior Minister, and Justice Minister likely sacrificial lambs tossed to the outraged masses to avoid what could easily have exploded into a full-scale insurrection by the people, particularly after police incompetence allowed Dutroux to escape and remain at large for a brief time in April of 1998.
There were in fact calls from the people for the entire coalition government to step down. Months later, an opinion survey by Brussels Le Soir newspaper found that only one-in-five Belgians still had confidence in the federal government and the nations justice system. As the Los Angeles Times reported in January of 1998, the conviction remains stubbornly widespread that members of the upper crust - government ministers, the Roman Catholic Church, the court of King Albert II - belonged to child sex rings, or protected them.
The lingering distrust of the people was not alleviated by the fact that a parliamentary inquiry had, in April of 1997, identified thirty officials who had, as the Times tactfully put it, failed to uncover Dutrouxs misdeeds. Nearly a year later, none of them had yet suffered any repercussions. Additionally, at least ten missing children suspected of having fallen prey to Dutrouxs operation have never been found.
The commissions report was, in many peoples eyes, a shameless cover-up. As the News Telegraph summarized, the report said competition between rival forces had prevented vital information from being exchanged and obvious evidence from being followed up rather than acknowledge the obvious, which was that rampant police corruption and complicity were to blame.
Just a few months before the commission issued its report, the Telegraph was reporting that: Grim rumors have been circulating that a second paedophile network at least as appalling may have been operating in parallel to that said to involve Dutroux. The bodies of seven children were believed to have been hidden by the ring, which was thought could be linked to Dutroux through Michel Nihoul.
Two months after that, a man named Patrick Derochette and three of his family members were arrested following the discovery of the body of a nine-year-old girl. Rumors quickly began circulating linking this crime to Dutroux as well. Like Dutroux, Derochette had previously been convicted on multiple counts of child rape. He had been committed to a psychiatric institution from which he was released after just six weeks.
Authorities quickly denied that there was any connection between the two cases. In January of 1998, however, the Telegraph reported that: new evidence from a lawyer involved in the investigations blows a hole in previous police claims that there was no link between the cases involving the alleged child murderers Marc Dutroux and Patrick Derochette. Once again, the connection was said to be through Nihoul.
In April of 1999, the Guardian reported that: the highly respected chairman of a parliamentary inquiry into the case claims that his commissions findings were muzzled by political and judicial leaders to prevent details emerging of complicity in the crimes Mr. Verwilghen claims that senior political and legal figures refused to cooperate with the inquiry. He says magistrates and police were officially told to refuse to answer certain questions, in what he describes as a characteristic smothering operation.
As of August of 2001, fully five years after Dutroux was taken into custody, his trial had yet to begin. Parents of victims continued to shout of a cover-up, and the Telegraph was reporting that: It was recently learnt that scientific tests on 6,000 hairs found in the [underground dungeon] began only this year. These tests could, of course, reveal how many victims passed through Dutrouxs chamber of horrors.
If the Marc Dutroux case were some kind of aberration, it would still be a disturbing story for the level of unspeakable corruption and depravity of the Belgian political and law enforcement establishment of which it speaks. Far more disturbing is the fact that it doesn't appear to be an isolated case at all.
As 1999 drew to a close, the nation of Latvia was rocked by a child prostitution/child pornography scandal that reached to the very top of the political power structure. The case first broke in August, when police uncovered a massive operation involving as many as 2,000 severely abused children. When media reports began linking top Latvian officials to the case, a special parliamentary commission was formed to investigate.
In February 2000, the chairman of the commission delivered a report to Parliament linking the country's Prime Minister, Justice Minister, director of the State Revenue Service, and a number of army and law enforcement officers to the case. Efforts were immediately begun to discredit the commission chairman, including allegations that he is tied to the former KGB a classic case of red-baiting, enabling the allegations to be dismissed as Communist propaganda.
The BBC reported in June of 1999 that two unnamed German men had gone on trial, accused of running a child pornography ring in Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic. The pair, along with at least eleven identified but unindicted accomplices, made video recordings of the gang sexually abusing children between the ages of three and 14 since 1993.
A large but unspecified quantity of videos, photography, magazines and CD-ROMs containing child pornography were confiscated. Also noted was a possible connection to the Dutroux case: There have been cases of Slovak children being taken to Vienna to make pornographic films. The Belgian paedophile Marc Dutroux was a regular visitor to one Slovak town.
The BBC also filed a brief report on a 1996 case that went almost completely unreported in the English language press: Mexican police broke up an international child pornography ring based in the resort of Acapulco which they said had at least four thousand clients in the United States, (emphasis added). A UN envoy investigating the case said that the child pornography sometimes involved babies of less than one month old.
On September 29 of 2000, The Irish Times reported that: Eight people were arrested in Italy and three in Russia, and police said 1,700 people were being investigated in Italy, as yet another pedophile network surfaced. The images traded by this ring were divided into several categories The most gruesome, police said, was coded Necros Pedo, in which children were raped and tortured to death.
And so it is that we first confront that most disturbing of topics snuff films, which we all know dont really exist. As recently as February of 1999, the New York Post assured readers that: Snuff films are the stuff of urban legend how did this legend get started?
No one knows. The unfortunate truth though is that they do, as it turns out, actually exist, and they likely have existed for as long as film has existed, though they weren't always known by that name.
According to the Post: The term snuff was actually coined during the Charles Manson case, when press reports repeated a rumor that the Manson family had filmed home movies of the brutal slayings.
Other reports hold that the term was coined in 1976 by a writer for the New York Times who was in need of a phrase to describe reports of murders following sexual activity being captured on film.
Not long after that, as Carl Raschke wrote: The Texas House Select Committee on Child Pornography disclosed in the late 1970s that investigators probing leads to organized crime in Houston, Dallas, and other major cities found that slave auctions for sixteen- and seventeen-year-old boys were routinely held in Mexico. Some of the boys were featured in brutal snuff or slasher movies.
Raschke also quotes from a study by U.S. mental health professionals that claimed that a child from Mexico can be packaged, delivered, and sold deep within this country in a short time, and that many are purchased solely for the purpose of killing. In Enslaved, Gordon Thomas reported that: At the start of the year  Britain's Scotland Yard was continuing to investigate reports that up to twenty children in London had been murdered last year in [snuff films] and the video tapes sold on the Continent.
An account of the Italian case carried by the Guardian affirmed the existence of snuff films: police have discovered a massive international paedophile network selling violent child-pornography videos to clients in Italy, the US and Germany (authorities are) trying to identify 5,000 people who are suspected of attempting to purchase the videos, some of which appear to contain images of children being tortured and murdered.
The UKs Independent, in a follow-up published in November of 2000, also confirmed that the seized materials did in fact include child snuff films: Horrified investigators gathered images of more than 2,000 children who were filmed while being abused, raped, and killed. By that time, close to 1,500 people had been charged in the case, but not - as the Guardian noted - those in high places who are believed to form a paedophile lobby.
As in the Belgian and Latvian cases, there were clear indications of high-level complicity and a strong belief among the Italian people that the facts of the case were being covered up. And as with the other cases, the magistrate heading up the inquiry provoked a furor by denouncing a paedophile lobby supported by politicians which he said openly obstructed the investigators and worked to prevent tougher sanctions for the consumers of child pornography, according to the Independent.
The New York Times reported in March of 1997 that there is growing public indignation in France and elsewhere about the recurrent reports of kidnapping, rape or incest involving the very young. The same Times report noted that: police across France have detained more than 250 people and confiscated some 5,000 videocassettes in conjunction with an investigation into a massive child pornography ring. Those detained by police were described as mainly married professionals. A dozen of them would soon turn up dead, allegedly suicide victims.
In June, the News Telegraph spoke of over 800 French homes being raided and 204 suspects being taken into custody the week before. Among those detained were: More than 30 teachers and a number of priests, as well as the deputy mayor of the town of Saint Mihiel. By the end of the week, four had committed suicide, including a school headmaster.
Three years later, the BBC filed a very brief report noting that a verdict was due in the trial of more than sixty people accused of possessing child pornography. One of the judges hearing the case said examining the video evidence made him feel physically sick. In a familiar refrain, it was reported that: the French courts have been accused of attacking the easy targets -- porn consumers -- rather than producers and distributors. And one childrens rights group has alleged that senior public figures were among those investigated -- but their cases were dropped before coming to court.
In 1998, another large-scale international ring was discovered operating out of the Netherlands and Berlin, Germany. The New York Times reported that investigators called the case nauseating, in that images of abuse of even babies and infants were peddled via the Internet and other media. Police discovered voluminous records of what appear to be clients and suppliers from countries including Israel, Ukraine, Britain, Russia and the United States.
The ring was first uncovered when a key member was found dead in Italy. According to The Irish Times, he was murdered by another member of the ring. His apartment in the Dutch town of Zandvoort was found to contain thousands of digital images stored on computer disks, as well as hundreds of addresses of suspected suppliers and clients, according to the New York Times. The images shocked even veteran sex-crimes investigators, one of whom stated that the seized evidence left [him] speechless It looks like the perpetrators are not dealing with human beings but with objects.
In September 1998, another ring was raided what the BBC described as a larger and more sinister paedophile network called Wonderland. The network was so named in honor of Lewis Carrolls revered children's book, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Carroll was widely known to have a predilection for underage girls and boys, and is now something of a patron saint of pedophiles around the globe.
A concerted effort has been made over the decades to cover up Carrolls pedophilic tendencies, though the truth is evident even in the heavily whitewashed profiles of him that can be found in modern encyclopedias. Microsoft's Encarta notes that: Always a friend of children, particularly little girls, Carroll wrote thousands of letters to them, and also that he gained an additional measure of fame as an amateur photographer. Most of his camera portraits were of children in various costumes and poses, including nude studies.
The Encyclopaedia Britannica reports that Carrolls photographic hobby was abandoned in 1880, while dismissing suggestions that this sudden decision was reached because of an impurity of motive for his nude studies. Britannica also notes that Carroll - who was raised in an environment where there were few friends outside the family, and who was ordained a deacon in the Church of England on the winter solstice of 1861 (an occult holiday) - generally lost interest in his child friends when they reached the age of twelve.
Wonderland is also the name of the quarterly publication of the Lewis Carroll Collector's Guild, which bills itself as a voluntary association of persons who believe nudist materials are a constitutionally protected expression and whose collective interests include pre-teen nudes. As Gordon Thomas has noted: In Wonderland the delights of transgenerational sex pepper the pages. Such is the legacy of the men whose literary works are peddled to our children but here I digress.
The San Jose Mercury News reported that: Police in 22 states and 13 foreign countries conducted coordinated raids aimed at breaking up an Internet child-pornography ring The ring involves as many as 200 people around the world, who exchanged over the Internet thousands of sexually explicit images of children as young as 18 months. The Independent later reported that the ring shared pictures of children being abused -- in some cases live via web-cam broadcasts over the internet.
The raids included homes in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Portugal and Sweden according to the New York Times, which added that: Several dozen people were arrested, but officials said they expected more than 100 to be charged. The Independent later reported that 107 suspects were ultimately arrested. The Mercury News implied that this may be only the tip of the iceberg: The ring actually extends into 47 countries.
The case was described by a British official as stomach-churning. The Times reported that Wonderland Club members are believed to have posed their own children for pictures In other cases parents may have taken money to let their children be used. The Guardian reported that over 1,250 children were featured in the photos and videos, many of whom suffered appalling injuries and were seen sobbing uncontrollably as they were being sexually violated. The Independent added that the victimized children were mostly under [the age of] 10.
A BBC report held that the combined raids resulted in the seizure of more than 750,000 computer images of children. A Detective Superintendent with the British National Crime Squad called these images disgusting and the behavior that has been carried out is absolutely appalling. Though ignored by the American press, Wonderland originated in the United States.
Among the scores of U.S. homes raided, one yielded a database of more than 100,000 sexual photographs of naked boys and girls. Interestingly enough, the Times also noted that another raid, in Missouri, turned up a cache of weapons as well as child pornography in a heavily fortified trailer, illustrating once again - as did the Dutroux case - the close ties between organized pedophilia and other terrorist assaults against society.
As with the earlier raids in Europe, a rash of suicides soon followed. By October 24, the Mercury News was reporting that no fewer than four of the thirty-four American suspects had killed themselves. These included a retired Air Force pilot, a microbiologist at the University of Connecticut, and a computer consultant in Colorado.
In the UK, the Wonderland raids - dubbed Operation Cathedral - resulted in the indictments of eight suspects. One of the eight turned up dead four months later another alleged suicide. The other seven were given ridiculously light sentences in February of 2001 for their complicity in inflicting unfathomable abuse on countless children. Sentences ranged from 12 to 30 months.
Just a few weeks before the sentences were handed down, the Guardian was reporting that: Police today arrested 13 suspected paedophiles in the largest ever UK operation against child pornography. Once again a massive amount of appalling evidence was seized, with most of the material featuring scenes of children being raped and sexuallyabused.
The Independent reported in February of 2001 that: Detectives working on the [Wonderland] case discovered that many of the paedophiles were also members of other child pornography groups. One of the groups most closely tied to Wonderland was a ring known as the Orchid Club, which had been exposed by a 1996 investigation in San Jose, California. That investigation had led to the indictment of sixteen men on charges of conspiring to produce and exchange child pornography. Members of the club were identified in at least nine states and three foreign countries.
By the time of the Wonderland raids, the Mercury News was able to report that the purported ringleader of the Orchid Club and twelve others either have pleaded guilty or have been convicted in connection with that case. Their crimes included recruiting young relatives and friends of their own children to be molested and photographed.
The club was also, like Wonderland, involved in real-time exploitation of children on the internet. Club members were able to send in requests and have them acted-out on live feeds. The club also
held a pedophile summit, at which members traded stories about pre-teen girls they had molested and photographed in sexually explicit poses. The summit was held, appropriately enough, on April 20 the birth date of Adolf Hitler and a major satanic holiday.
In late March of 2001, yet another interlinked global network was exposed. The Independent reported that: US authorities announced the arrest of four American citizens for involvement in an international child-porn ring called Blue Orchid. The Los Angeles Times added further details the next day, reporting that the United States and Russia have shut down a Moscow-based international pornography ring that used the Internet to sell videotapes of children engaged in sexual acts.
These tapes were said to sell for between $200 and $300. An Associated Press release held that: Police seized some 600 videotapes, 200 digital video disks and many boxes of photographs. Video duplication equipment and sales and shipping records were also seized, leading to criminal inquiries in 24 nations Many of the tapes were bought by people in the United States; others went to Germany, Britain, France, Denmark, China, Kuwait, Mexico and scores of other countries.
The Times reported that nine people had been arrested and fifteen search warrants issued. The AP report noted that four of those arrested were in Russia, where two suspects had, alas, committed suicide. The ring was also said by the Times to offer what were cryptically referred to as custom-made videos for the hefty price of $5,000 each. The contents of these videos were not revealed.
What was revealed though was that the prevalence of child pornography has increased dramatically with the growth of the Internet. There are approximately 100,000 web sites worldwide associated with child pornography. This point was reinforced the very next day when the UK press reported police raids on yet another pedophile ring.
The Guardian reported that: More than 30 people, including a man working for a national youth organization, were arrested yesterday in dawn raids on the homes of suspected paedophiles. Once again being sold and traded were images which showed children being abused.
A report on the case in the Independent quoted a law enforcement spokesman as revealing that those arrested included members of some interesting professions, though demurring from revealing what those professions might be. The official also said that they had a disturbing scenario of one or two juveniles who have been caught in this way. One of them appears to be a 13-year-old boy.
The police did acknowledge that the arrested boy was also a potential victim and would be treated in that light, which seems rather obvious. Nevertheless, a follow-up to the story that the Independent ran in May reported that the boy had become one of the youngest people to be listed on the sex offenders register.
The very next month, the Guardian carried a report on Eric Franklin Rosser accused child pornographer, one of the FBI's ten most wanted criminals and a former keyboardist for John Cougar Mellencamps band. According to the report: Investigators believe Rossers material is among pornography circulated by a British paedophile ring More than 1,800 members are thought to belong to a club called Teenboys. Its website features boys aged around 12 Teenboys is considered bigger than the notorious Wonderland Club.
Meanwhile, a pedophile ring in Australia with high-level government connections was handled in a slightly different way. As The Irish Times reported on July 17, 1998:
Police suspect a series of gruesome gay hate killings in the Sydney region could be the work of a serial killer whose victims might be linked through a notorious paedophile ring. The latest mutilation murder was that of Australia's longest serving mayor, Frank Arkell, aged 68, who was bludgeoned to death in his flat and who had previously faced 29 child sex charges.
In the past few months two other men, one a convicted child sex offender, were attacked in their homes in similar circumstances and also suffered horrific injuries. Arkell, the former Lord Mayor of Wollongong, 50 miles south of Sydney, was a key witness in a royal commission into police corruption which uncovered a network of paedophiles.
Those serial killers sure come in handy sometimes.
Russ Kick: "There are a lot of people -- mainly feminists and Christian conservatives (those odd bedfellows) -- who still believe that there is a multi-billion dollar child pornography 'industry' that spans the globe. Please explain how we know that this is a myth and why it refuses to die."
Philip Jenkins: "In the late 1970s, there were claims about child porn being a billion dollar industry, and estimates just swelled over the years. In reality, the last real child porn entrepreneur was jailed in the early 1980s, and she (it was a woman, incidentally) never made more than a million or two."
Excerpted from the appropriately titled book You Are Being Lied To
1. Bates, Stephen Cover-Up Claims Revive Sex Scandal, Guardian UK, April 21, 1999
2. Bates, Stephen Police Admit Dutroux Video Bungle, Guardian UK, June 17, 1999
3. Bailey, Brandon Net-Porn Ring Traded Stories at Pedo Party, San Jose Mercury News, July 18, 1996
4. Bell, Rachael "Marc Dutroux: the Child-Killer Who Slipped Through the System, The Crime Library, www.crimelibrary.com
5. Boggan, Steve and Paul Peachey As the Net Closed on Wonderland, An Ugly Truth Was Revealed: This is Just the Tip of the Iceberg, The Independent (UK), February 14, 2001
6. Burke, Jason Most Wanted Paedophile May Be in UK, Guardian UK, June 17, 2001
7. Carroll, Rory Paedophile Scandal Boosts Cover-Up Conspiracy, Guardian UK, November 1, 2000
8. Cranford, Helen Police Warned Over Dutroux, News Telegraph, December 6, 1996
9. Dahlburg, John-Thor Grisly Crimes Undermine Belgian Unity, Los Angeles Times, January 3, 1998
10. Davies, Nick and Jeevan Vasager Global Porn Ring Broken, Guardian UK, January 11, 2001
11. Dixon, Robyn "3 Top Latvians Are Named in Investigation of Pedophilia, Los Angeles Times, February 19, 2000
12. Dolgov, Anna Russians Want Laws on Child Porn, Associated Press, March 27, 2001
13. Fritz, Mark and Solomon Moore Suicides Follow Bust of Net Child-Porn Ring, San Jose Mercury News, October 24, 1998
14. Graff, Peter Child Porn Videos Sold From Russia in National Geographic Boxes, The Independent (UK), March 26, 2001
15. Hartley, Emma and Paul Peachey Outrage Over Lenient Jail Terms for Britons in Child Porn Ring, The Independent (UK), February 14, 2001
16. Helm, Toby Paedophile Hunt Police Find Human Skull, News Telegraph, September 4, 1996
17. Helm, Toby Dutroux Urged to Name His Protectors, News Telegraph, September 5, 1996
18. Helm, Toby Belgian King Acts Over Child Sex Scandal, News Telegraph, September 11, 1996
19. Helm, Toby Belgium Fights to Shed Its Corruption-Riddled Mafia Image, News Telegraph, September 14, 1996
20. Helm, Toby and Pamela Readhead Magistrate to be Taken Off Child Sex Case, News Telegraph, October 13, 1996
21. Helm, Toby Belgians Up in Arms Over Sex Case, News Telegraph, October 16, 1996
22. Helm, Toby Plea by King as Belgians Protest Over Corruption, News Telegraph, October 19, 1996
23. Helm, Toby Belgians Shocked by New Disclosure About Child Sex, News Telegraph, November 22, 1996
24. Helm, Toby Fears Grow of New Paedophile Horror, News Telegraph, January 23, 1997
25. Helm, Toby Paedophile Arrested After Girls Body Found, News Telegraph, March 7, 1997
26. Helm, Toby Raped Children Could Have Been Found Alive, News Telegraph, April 16, 1997
27. Helm, Toby Belgian Police Under Attack Over Link Between Paedophiles, News Telegraph, January 28, 1998
28. Helm, Toby Government Crisis in Belgium Over Dutrouxs Escape, News Telegraph, April 25, 1998
29. Helm, Toby Belgium Accused of Cover-Up in Dutroux Inquiry, News Telegraph, August 17, 2001
30. Herbert, Ian Boy, 13, Arrested in Crackdown on Net Paedophiles, The Independent (UK), March 28, 2001
31. Howe, Kathleen Russia, U.S. Shut Down Child-Porn Ring on Web, Los Angeles Times, March 27, 2001
32. Kennedy, Frances Italian Politicians Obstructing Inquiry Into Child Porn on Net, The Independent (UK), November 1, 2000
33. Laurance, Jeremy British Police Discover More Child Abuse Horror on Internet, The Independent (UK), February 21, 2001
34. Murphy, Dean E. Kidnap Deaths Plunge Belgium Into Guilt, Los Angeles Times, September 2, 1996
35. Nundy, Julian French Hunt 200 More Suspected Paedophiles, News Telegraph, June 22, 1997
36. Peachey, Paul Boy of 13 Put on Sex Offenders Register for Child Porn, The Independent (UK), May 15, 2001
37. Pinon, Bertrand Inspector Questioned in Child Sex Inquiry, News Telegraph, August 26, 1996
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Kirby The Konspiracy Boy Says, "I NEED 2 KONFORM!!!"