INTERNATIONAL Online Child Predators: The Lost Boy Bulletin Board
(Part 3)

Jeffrey Greenwell

The biggest Question remained: Who was producing this material ? Who were those men captured in the photos and the videos, carrying out acts of molestation over and over and over again ? Who and where ARE those children ?

Thomas F. Eagleton Federal Courthouse
The office of U.S. Attorney Carrie Costantin on the 21st floor of the Thomas F. Eagleton Federal Courthouse faces north, is giving the federal prosecutor an privileged view of the downtown St. Louis' Gateway Mall. The veteran assistant U.S. attorney, who grew up in University City and studied law at the University of Chicago, is blessed with a streak of spontaneous humor that is contradictious to compare it with the dark nature of her specialization.

Over a decade, trying cases for the Eastern District of Missouri, Costantin has prosecuted uncountable cases of child molesters. In 2006 she was lifted to the regional coordinator for the U.S. Department of Justice's new Project Safe Childhood program. (She stepped down a few years ago, in order to assume a new role as the supervisor of White Collar Crime Unit in Washington D.C.) It's not unthinkable that Costantin may tried more child-pornography cases than anyone else in the nation.

St. Louis' Gateway Mall

In 2010, the Eastern District of Missouri took on 84 child-exploitation cases. (More than any other judicial district in the United States. In each of the two years preceding, the office ranked second.)

In September 2009 Costantin received a call from federal Officers in St. Louis, indicating that a Los Angeles investigation into an Web-based network of child-porn devotees had turned up a possible connection to the Greater St. Louis.

A pedophile living overseas, had told the Los Angeles LE investigators that a man who went by the screen name "Muddyfeet" was producing extensive amounts of child pornography in Missouri. The name "Muddyfeet" also came up during the questioning of a Lost Boy suspect who attributed a large set of pornographic stills of young boys, to a photographer who operated under that alias. The third chase for Mister "Muddyfeet" was an archived chat-room exchange between a Lost Boy member and an outside acquaintance who went by the screen name Muddyfeet that was found on a computer, that the Los Angeles squad seized as evidence, brought the picture into a better focus. A specific file included an e-mail address, which was traced back to Franklin County, Missouri. The e-mail adress belonged to Jeffrey Greenwell.

Although the information outcome was enticing, it would be difficult, to secure a search warrant, prosecute anybody, with nothing more to go on but a"possible" name, an Internet screen name (Muddyfeet), two addresses and a handful of pictures of nameless boys being raped. In order to obtain a search warrant, at least ONE of those childs on those photos had to be positively identified.

At the same time, Costantin was fully judicious of the impact of urgency the case had. Her Los Angeles associates meanwhile were pursuing an ongoing child-porn enterprise and had good reason to presume that some of the men involved were actively molesting children.

Michael Osborn (left)
As Michael Osborn, the FBI agent who heads up the SAFE task force in Los Angeles, stated:  

"We knew there were hands-on victims out there that we had to ID as quickly as possible. We didn't have a six-month luxury. Every day counted."

The FBI assigned a St. Louis agent to investigate, based on the lead they had. For local assistance, the bureau received help from the Franklin County Sheriff's Department.

Lieutenant Chuck Subke, who runs the county sheriff's detective division, began by visiting the two addresses linked to Greenwell. One was a vacant lot. The other, about the size of a single-wide mobile home, was wrapped at the back end of Meramec State Park, only a few hundred yards from the river.

The size of a single-wide mobile home. Residence of
Jeffrey Greenwell
Subke traced the license plates on the two cars that were parked in front of the cottage. Both were registered to Greenwell's name. From observating it, it seemed he was living there on his own.

The next investigating step was that Subke along with the assigned FBI agent visited several Franklin County elementary schools, where they asked each principal to go through the halfdozen of pictures of fully clothed boys (they had received those photos from their colleagues in Los Angeles) to look for eventually familiar faces. On October 22nd, 2009, two weeks into the so far unsuccessful mission, they got their first hit, when a principal pointed out one of the boys in his school's hallway: a fourth grader.

Catherine Connell
Law enforcement then contacted the boy's mother. Later they flew in FBI investigator Catherine S. Connell from Detroit. She is specialized in questioning children and/or adolescents. Connell, had spent that past year flying around the country, interviewing the majority of the victims who had emerged from the Lost Boy investigation.

Speaking with children about molestation is complex, as demonstated in the McMartin preschool trial in California during the 1980s. That embarrassing debacle, which costed the U.S. taxpayer over 15 million USD, and jailed an innocent man for five years. The whole case was set up by false testimonies, spiffed up to the point of absurdity, that a therapist extracted hundreds of children into satanical rituals. After six years of criminal trials, no convictions were obtained, and all charges were dropped in 1990.

"You don't set out to upset the children you interview,", Connell says, "but you don't want them to suppress memories that by their nature are upsetting. Nor do you want to put words in their mouths." She continues "You talk about the truth, and you test whether they can tell the difference between a truth and a lie."

Connell says "When broaching potentially traumatizing subjects with kids, you need to be careful to both: reassuring but skeptical."

This is the “secret tunnel” described in the McMartin case as a place where “crimes were committed”
"I try to reduce suggestibility and authority," she says, describing a technique based on guidelines adopted by the state of Michigan designed to prevent kids from fabricating stories. "The difference between what we do and what other investigators do is that we go in unbiased, seeking to test the hypothesis rather than confirm it. We use phrases like, 'If you don't know the answer, then tell me you don't know it.'"

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