Oh Look: Police Can Use Backpage.com To Track Down, Arrest & Convict Pimps & Prostitutes

from the why-didn't-anyone-think-of-that-before... dept

A few years ago, there was a ton of political grandstanding against Craigslist, because there was some prostitution on the site. As we noted at the time, it was pretty misguided. Craigslist cooperated with law enforcement and many law enforcement officials realized that Craigslist was an excellent tool to help them find and arrest law breakers. We pointed out that going after Craigslist instead of the actual law breakers would mean that the activity would just move somewhere else. Indeed, Craigslist finally caved to tons of public pressure and blocked any ad that might be related to prostitution… and it did nothing to stop prostitution or human trafficking. It just moved elsewhere. The same crowd that wrongfully targeted Craigslist then shifted all of their attention to Backpage.com. Even though the law has made it clear that Backpage, as a third party service provider is not liable, the grandstanding continues against Backpage. The whole thing has gotten to be so much, that Backpage’s owners, Village Voice Media, have sold off the newspapers to separate them out from the site, and to avoid having the two properties connected.

The crusading against Backpage.com has become increasingly intense and increasingly misguided lately. We get press releases all the time, full of emotional, but legally false, language, all attacking Backpage.com. No one seems to even want to recognize that attacking Backpage instead of those actually responsible only makes it that much more difficult to track down the real criminals. Some law enforcement officials are not quite as misguided. As with Craigslist, we’re seeing cases where Backpage.com is instrumental in putting together the case — in this case, against someone who had set up a brothel.

And yet, the attacks on Backpage.com continue. The whole thing is stunning to me. Here’s a tool that is a goldmine for the police to collect evidence against those actually responsible for prostitution and human trafficking… and the response is to try to shut it down and drive those efforts further underground, rather than actually going after and arresting those responsible. It’s shocking.

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Companies: backpage.com, village voice media

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Comments on “Oh Look: Police Can Use Backpage.com To Track Down, Arrest & Convict Pimps & Prostitutes”

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Anonymous Coward says:

The two biggest supporters of probation were bootleggers (suppliers) and preachers (religion).

The two biggest opponents of prostitution are brothels and preachers.

Prostitution is legal to some extent in some form in almost all countries of the world except the US. (Muslin by 24 hour marriage.)

Where do the wacko movements, probation, illegal to own gold, drug war, running around the world beating the hell out of the natives just for the fun, prostitution et., of it, we experience in the US come from? What is it in the US national character which makes us an nutty as the British were in the 19th century?

MrWilson says:

I’ve never understood the “if I can’t see it, it must not be happening,” philosophy of legalistic moralism.

God forbid anyone accept what actions will inevitably be perpetrated regardless of their legality and move to adapt by using evidence-based actions and what are determined to be effective methods of dealing with such issues.

Anonymous Coward says:

Not all of the attention shifted.
This guy here blogs a story about how the police used craigslist to catch a predator before insisting that to protect children craigslist should be destroyed.


And then goes on to deny that using craigslist can be helpful to law enforcement.

That One Guy (profile) says:


Short term, yeah, that could and probably would happen.

However, if the site makes it easier to catch those involved, then long term it would be an enormous boost to the ability to shut such things down, decreasing such activity, which I’d say more than makes up for the short term problems, especially given that shutting the site down does nothing to actually stop such activity.

Anonymous Coward says:


Ahh, you are creating the ultimate false trade off argument (one Mike seems good at).

If you catch one predator, but 100 more are working CL every day, did you really accomplish anything? Are you not allowing 99 to do as they please with a tool that makes it easier for them?

Backpage is the same thing. Unless police can address the vast majority of ads in a timely manner, leaving them up probably causes more harm than good. Whatever the police stop through arrests is nothing, compared to what they don’t deal with.

Anonymous Coward says:


Not true.

The argument is that the hardcore people will do it anyway – you can’t avoid that. The point of getting the ads out of public places is to stop (or make it harder) for those people who are casual users of the system to stop casually using it.

It’s misleading to think you can cure the problem, you cannot get rid of it. However, you can make it harder for someone to obtain the services, you can make it less desirable to obtain the services, and so on.

There is also the problem of the justice system. Just busting people for pimping, example, doesn’t really work out well. Most of those charged get off with light sentences or even just fines, and they can go right back to work. The girls, unless they are illegal aliens, generally get a night in the slammer, bailed out, plead the case, pay a fine, and walk right back out to start over.

So if the legal system won’t work on supply, you have to work on demand.

I remember a study a ways back (tried to find it online, can’t seem to… but the keywords are hard to work out for Google without hitting tons of pr0n) that said that most customers for hookers either don’t know the girls have a pimp, laugh about it, or treat it like a non-issue. Those people are casual users, and if it’s harder to get what they are looking for, they may give up or not do it as often.

Moreover, removing at least some of the easy money from the process may also change the behavior of pimps. They may have to take more risky strategies to make money, making them even easier pickings for law enforcement. Meanwhile, the casual user is unlikely to pick up a streetwalker, so you have solved the supply issue.

Making it easy to break the law means more people break the law. Most people won’t cut a hole in a fence to sneak through a yard, but most of them will go through an existing hole in a fence to take the shortcut. Stop the fence cutting, you stop most casual short cut takers.

Rekrul says:


I think the idea is that even though sites like that make it easier to track down bad guys, it also makes it easier for weak-willed folks to satisfy their vices.

Consensual prostitution shouldn’t even be a crime in the first place. People use the claims that prostitutes are abused, forced to take drugs, etc, to justify keeping prostitution illegal. This ignores the fact that all of those problems would be greatly reduced if it were legalized.

Anonymous Coward says:


they are abused, they are forced onto drugs, they are forced into prostitution, making it legal, will not magically make all those go away, a prostitute will not now stand up to her pimp, she knows what will happen to her if she does that

“”This ignores the fact that all of those problems would be greatly reduced if it were legalized.“”

Let me fix this sentence for you, and see if it makes sense, since women way back in the day [ushed for prohibition because of the dangers of something

This ignores the fact that all of those problems would be greatly reduced if alcohol were made illegal.

did it work?? no it didn’t it made things worse

What I would like to see is them decriminalize women and men who turn themselves in as prostitutes and seek help to get away from it and thier pimps etc..

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:


“they are abused, they are forced onto drugs, they are forced into prostitution, making it legal, will not magically make all those go away, a prostitute will not now stand up to her pimp, she knows what will happen to her if she does that”

Legalizing it would help fix those problems. Right now what are the options if a prostitute is abused by a pimp? Nothing, she can’t go to the cops because she’s a prostitute. She can’t go it alone because what are her options if some customer doesn’t pay or is abusive? Ether get someone who can defend her (AKA a pimp) or try to fight it on her own. Legalizing it would allow her to go to the cops.

You know who really, really wants prostitution to remain illegal? Pimps. It being illegal allows the pimps to abuse the living hell out of their “hos” and not get into trouble.

Anonymous Coward says:

say something is bad often enough and loud enough and eventually everyone thinks it is. complaining about new services and/or new technology has worked well for the entertainment industries for the last 100 years. look how politicians fight to do whatever they can to preserve an outdated industry, rather than looking at the advantages for everyone if progress were to be allowed to happen

Zakida Paul says:


This is true. I don’t get why people put so much faith in IP addresses as a means of identifying criminals. It is the same thing in using them to identify illegal downloaders. Very often IP addresses are assigned dynamically from a pool so they change quite often and even when you do trace one, you only get the account holder and not the person doing the downloading (or whatever the case may be).

Anonymous Coward says:

I think most government officials feel that leaving certain web sites up is a kind of acknowledgement. If a web site is left up it means that it has “official sanction,” that it has in a certain sense been approved. This ties back to the idea of holding sites responsible for what individual users have uploaded. This kind of thinking is hard to change.

Just because it is on the internet doesn’t mean I agree with it, but for some people it means we as a society agree with it, that we think it is a good idea.

Ninja (profile) says:

I think there’s more misguided grandstanding here. I’m not against prostitution itself as a profession. This should not only be legal (and recognized as a profession) but the people in the business should get full support as any other worker.

That said, I am against brothels and human trafficking and those should be punished. The issue here is how to differentiate willful prostitution from induced or forced.

And in the end it’s just a rehearsal of the infamous child porn filters. They do nothing to solve the problem much like blocking such content on backpages will do nothing to get the abusers.

Rob says:

You’re kidding yourself if you think that shutting down backpage will in any way cut down on or make it more difficult for people to obtain the services of an escort or prostitute. There are hundreds of private web sites where these girls can advertise. While I don’t know anyone that is involved in human trafficking or pimping I do know several girls that are independently involved in the escort business and they do so of their own free will. Most have full time jobs and some are in school but they all do it for the money. Either to pay for tuition or to help with extra bills.
I asked them about advertising in craigslist and backpage and what would happen if that was taken away. One replied “You’d have to take away the entire internet for us not to be able to advertise on it”. Another said “I don’t advertise. I get clients from word of mouth and other people in the business. Both clients and other girls pass my name around. It’s like pot. You don’t need to go to craigslist to pick some up. It’s just there.”

Anonymous Coward says:


Wow, just wow.
If prostitution and pimps and child abuse could be solved by not having personal ads on web sites, then they must only have come into existence after 1991.
Was that the case in the universe you live in?

In the universe I inhabit, these things all existed long before the internet and were made worse for lengthy periods of time by polite society pretending that they didn’t exist and didn’t happen, especially in the case of child abuse whilst having all kinds of laws against prostitution (there’s a clue about it’s longevity when it’s called the oldest profession) often with harsh sentences that mostly got applied to the people who most needed protection.
In this universe, these things aren’t new, aren’t a product of the internet, weren’t a product of television, movies, videos, rock and roll, jazz, penny dreadfuls, gin shops or any other trend, fad or popular new thing.

It’d make more sense to ban the catholic church, the boy scouts, girl guides and sports coaches of all types in an effort to combat prostitution and child abuse than to go after craigslist and backpage.
But banning cars and public transport would certainly have the kind of impact you seem to suggest is the way to get rid of those who’ll only want to use people sexually if it’s convenient and doesn’t take much effort.

Anonymous Coward says:


The fuck? Your metaphor is an utter failure, and actually makes the opposite point you’re trying to make. Not to mention that the point you’re trying to make is unsupported by existing evidence. Look, I think it’s great that they let you people on the internet now. When my aunt was in the psychiatric ward years ago, they barely let her use a phone. But maybe you should wait until you’re better before trying to argue about things that require more than a few neurons firing properly to grasp.

Anonymous Coward says:


“That said, I am against brothels…and those should be punished.”

Left out the part about human trafficking, since you’d have to be a very sick individual to support it. But are you suggesting imprisoning the operators of the Moonlight Bunny Ranch and such? Legal prostitutes in Nevada actually operate out of brothels of their own free will.

Anonymous Coward says:


“If prostitution and pimps and child abuse could be solved by not having personal ads on web sites, then they must only have come into existence after 1991.
Was that the case in the universe you live in?”

It’s nice to know that you don’t read. Nobody, nobody, NOBODY is suggesting that it would SOLVE the issue. It’s the world’s oldest profession for a reason, it’s not going away.

Now, the rest of your rant seems so meaningless. You can’t read, so you are talking to yourself.

Laroquod (profile) says:

The anti-sex and anti-pornography crowd can’t suppress their hated material legally, so they use anti-prostitution to try to stomp on the services with sex-based classifieds. Once you realise this, it all makes perfect sense. The crusaders *simply don’t care* about stopping prostitution. That is just a stalking horse. Just like the censors *don’t really care* about child pornography — that’s not their issue. Censorship is their issue.

weneedhelp (profile) says:


“they are abused, they are forced onto drugs, they are forced into prostitution”

Um Amsterdam.

A beautiful little 23 year old I spent some time with told me she would retire in 5 years and not have to work for the rest of her life. It was her decision to do so. The people who run certain parts of the red light district keep close tabs on the people walking through the district and it is a very controlled environment. Just look up. You dont fuck around.

There are no pimps. The girls and brothel owners have a very close relationship and those men protect their girls with their lives. Like any job, you go to work high and you get fired. It has been that way for many many years.

All Americans should travel out of our little bubble once in their lives.

Europeans treat each other very very different and is an eye opener as to how hateful we treat each other here in the states.

Anonymous Coward says:

Their typically for each city is a message board or two that serves up information about the prostitution community. The guys and girls would rate each other and almost self regulate saying this girl has drug issues or this girl has a pimp. But since the prevalence of BP these sites have lost a lot of traffic as the girls have found that they can post on BP not get rated or called out for being flakes or robbing etc….

It’s also made law enforcements job a bit harder as they always knew about these sites and the girls would have very blatant ads now everything is much more coded etc as BP does enforce what’s said or promised a bit more.

Franklin G Ryzzo (profile) says:


I was going to say the same thing. A proper brothel is the safest location for a prostitute because you bring the client into a safe and controlled environment. It’s the back alleys and shady motels that are much more dangerous. As long as the employment is voluntary, brothels provide a distinct advantage in securing the safety of the sex workers and should be used the standard model.

Jimbo (profile) says:

Stop trying to regulate, ban, criminalize and tax every freaking thing in this country! Reading the comments, most of you people have your heads up your tightly clenched assholes. If prostitution were a little less criminalized, perhaps I wouldn’t have the need to screw as many married women as I do. They’re starved for attention, most likely because their husbands are busy typing and complaining about meaningless shit on the internet. Get off this page and go jump on your wife, before I do. Assholes.

Anonymous Coward says:

its a fucking joke go catch somebody going to work thats just great viet nam but worse human slavery is crimnal but the bs thats going on these days is just pathatic i feel terrized going to store for milk im ashamed of my country and any cop that has the adasity to write a ticket to a poor bastard going to work has got no hair on his or asshole u must really feel proud the alienation your creating in this country is just shameful am scared to death for my children and grand children way to take whats left of protect and serve and sell yourselfs out

Dale says:

All this Bs

The only comments I will make are these…
Prohibition = massive failure – hello? Al Capone and all the other bootleg bosses that made millions and killed as many.
War on drugs = massive failure – hundreds of thousands incarcerated for non violent offenses, drug addiction rates increase, 85% of violent crimes are drug related(why not? If you have an ounce of coke it’s a mandatory sentence why not shoot the bitch)
Prostitution illegal = some poor girl being at the behest of some nitwit asshole taking all the money and exploiting her and beating the shit out of her. Sex is not BAD, money is not BAD, consenting adults fucking for money is not BAD. It may be an unsavory choice for some, but hey, they are the ones that have to get up every morning and look themselves in the mirror.
We all make bad choices with alcohol, sex, drugs, driving, affairs, smoking, driving too fast, eating, and anything else under the sun. The end point is this, whatever you CHOOSE to do with your time and life is your own(provided you do not violate the rights of others) and no one has a right cause or need to tell you otherwise regardless of their “moral” hang ups.

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Maria Arora says:

funny--- joke

its a funny joke go catch somebody going to work thats just great viet nam but worse human slavery is crimnal but the bs thats going on these days is just pathatic i feel terrized going to store for milk im ashamed of my country and any cop that has the adasity to write a ticket to a poor bastard going to work has got no hair on his or asshole u must really feel proud the alienation your creating in this country is just shameful am scared to death for my children and grand children way to take whats left of protect and serve and sell yourselfs out

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Anonymous Coward says:

The evidence you were looking for

No shutting down napster an limewire did not stop the piracy at all. It got a little harder an further underground but never truely stopped. Its just like a drug dealer on the street as soon as police take him down there is someone else lined up to take the risk for reward option so it never stops. Drug dealers/prostitution/music downloads someone will always pick up the slack when a vacancy arrives an theres a hole to be filled!

Scottie Biker says:

The Police Are Wasting Their Time And Our Money.

The Police are wasting their time and our tax money. Prostitution has been in existence since the beginning of time. As long as there are men and women on planet earth, there will be prostitution. The US government should do us all a favor and make it legal in every state. It’s all about money and political votes anyway. Busting prostitutes, johns and pimps is solely for money and to gain political advantage in the polls. 97 percent of johns are white men, half of which are city, state and government officials. Many policemen are regular clients. So who do they think they are fooling? Give me a break! Prostitutes on Backpage refuse to see Black men or Hispanic men. This means, that the reason there are tens of thousands of prostitutes is because there are millions of customers – white male customers. The White man does not want prostitution to be made legal, because everything legal is on the books, even his name and how much he paid. There would be millions of suburban divorces every minute across the USA. White suburban housewives would cash in like crazy, and white men could no longer maintain their image as good suburban husbands, fathers and employees. Blue collar workers like Policemen and Firemen would no longer be viewed as heroic. So cut the BS and get real. Either leave those women alone or make them pay taxes. Stop using the prostitution ring to make yourselves look like good, wholesome, All American citizens. The All American way today is for the men to get laid, and the women to get paid!

Nicole says:

How to find/take down an ad placed by someone else portarying themselves as me in an ad on the internet.

My phone number has been placed on some kind of website, stating who knows what, by who knows who for some kind of sick prank, pure hate or jealousy. How do I find where it is located? Or who placed the ad, which device, place it was uploaded or made. The only reason I know is I received a message from some man, stating he saw my ad & was interested. I want the person who did this to me prosecuted & I want to sue for whatever I can. I am so upset, angry, disgusted! Please help me find the ad & remove it or help me trace it and the person who placed it. I don’t know how to proceed in protecting my name & phone number & who Knows what else from crazy men. I could be stalked or hurt or raped or kidnapped now. If a picture of me was placed on it or my address even. I am scared!

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Sloan (user link) says:

A different perspective

Has it occured to anyone that not all service providers are victims of pimps or are sex trafficked young girls ? That in fact there are many independent mature service providers who use sites like this to run their own businesses. These women choose to be service providers of their own free will. They are not victims, or drug addicts or living on the street. They are independent women running their own businesses who use sites such as backpage to advertise. Although I agree that there are many women and children who are victims it is a huge misconception to assume that is the case for all sex trade workers. I am the first one to wave the flag for child predators being taken off the street..but it seems that the governments recent efforts to “help” are aimed at eradicating the business completely by frightening clients and making it impossible for independents to avertise and communicate with clients.
Sloan, independent massage provider.

Jay says:

ex user

As an 3x time BP user, when I was new in town, and had cash to blow.. 2x times were pleasurable, in one case, occasional thing.. even got discounts, cus I was “cute” oh believe me, I don’t have to pay for sex. there was smthng about the risqué element that drove me to incredible lengths for random sex..(leave it to an ex smack addict to find thrill in that huh ;)) in one case, being swindled and robbed (non violently).. all times it WAS the actual person who was pictured.. age was never correct, as once they got comfortable w you, they told you their real age, most were supporting drug habits.. the expensive SEXY, non-drug user ones are there, but u gotta PAYY.. best off going to a bar and finding a pretty slut.. lol. I’m 26 and slim, so that option is fruitful if I wanna put in the work.. as a co-workerand fellow BP user once said.. “by the time you buy her dinner, drinks, etc. your spening LESS with the working girl” iv since abandoned most all illegal vices.. 6 yrs clean off heroin.. smoked weed since 14 though.. in my 26 years I experienced more than most average 45 year olds have. Jail, homelessness, addiction, the OD death of the only girl I EVER loved, etc.. the list goes on, and on.. today I’m proud of who I am, I contribute to society.. and I tell you what, I wouldn’t do it any different, I learned so many lessons, I gained “knowledge well beyond my years..” as my late grandmother, and biggest supporter put it 🙂

Sophia (user link) says:


Women selling sex is the oldest and most consistent business there is. It will never be shut down , no matter how much you hate it and no matter how much your husbands pretend to hate it it is here to stay. Making it illegal just forces it further underground. That is when all of the criminals and human traffickers get involved. The only way to keep victims out of it is to keep it above board, make the girls get licenses and get tested, and do there taxes . And police should be checking up on backpage and giving girls suprise visits to make sure pimps are not involved .
If you make it a criminal activity guess who gets involved? Criminals ! Because pristitution is here to stay , you choose who you want running it; 1. Clean licensed girls or 2. Criminals, and human traffickers ?

Leslie J says:

Whore / Escorts

Why the fuck does BackPage even have a section for prostitution. I just found out that my husband has been calling these whores and fucking them on Hanover Ave and Economy Inn behind Country Cooking on Melrose Ave and one of them is spreading Hep C all over Roanoke. The stupid son of a bitch is nasty as fuck just like these whores. And Yes I blame 90% of it on Back Page because it’s easy access for whores and pervs. If there weren’t an escort section motherfuckers would have to go to the streets to find it and more than likely get caught. So Fuck Back Page!!!!! I yes we had a perfect sex life however I didn’t know he would be doing this shit behind my back. I’ve done my part for 10 years. So save the rude comments. Ladies watch your man and trust no one. I wouldve never ever known this had I not put GPS on this motherfucker. I thought he was working but no he’s out fucking some Hep C Heroin shooting crack whore while I’m at work and than coming home just normal as can be like nothing ever happen. What the fuck is this world coming too. So sad people

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Jody Williams (user link) says:


I created the first hotline in this country for adults to call for help to leave the sex industry back in 1987. I didn’t want to just take calls for help without providing help so I created the 12 step program “Prostitutes Anonymous” as part of trying to make help more available than it was back then. Realize in Los Angeles in the 1980’s, we had a record number of serial killers high on cocaine who were kidnapping, raping, beating, torturing, and then raping us without anyone lifting one finger to stop them.

Why? Because the legal system viewed us as “criminals” that’s why. Literally. I took a woman who had been stabbed 51 times into the Hillside Strangler Task Force while her stitches were still fresh to file a report against the two cousins, actually two pimps, about what they’d just done to her. They threw us out of their offices saying they “couldn’t get a warrant based on the world of a whore”?

When I asked why this was the case, he explained to obtain a warrant there has to be “credible” evidence. Our testimony as criminals is therefore considered worthless. He explained this would mean any evidence they’re then find would actually be in danger of being ruled as “inadmissible” for that reason. The courts viewed the word of a prostitute back then on the same level as that of a murderer, rapist, or even bank robber in that we were considered then 100 % “criminals”.

This bugged me because I knew lots of women who were being literally forced into prostitution. One woman I knew had a pimp who would threatened to cut off her six year old daughter’s arm if she didn’t return home each evening. One night this woman got caught in a raid and the police detained her all day. She kept trying to tell the police he was threatening to harm her baby if she didn”t get back home by a certain hour. They weren’t listening and when she finally returned home – he had in fact cut off her daughter’s arm. Now I ask you – how is that woman a “criminal” in the eyes of the law?

We didn’t have the term “sex trafficking” back then. All we had was the terms for “white slavery”, “forced” and “pimping”. So when I launched our hotline and program for people like her to get some help because clearly the system wasn’t going to help us. Because of the HIV/AIDS epidemic at that time, we couldn’t even get admitted into a homeless shelter, detox or domestic violence shelter for fear of either contracting the virus, or worse still having our i

Jody Williams (user link) says:


Oops! I hit the wrong button! To continue – worse still being afraid our pimp would show up with guns threatening to kill someone if we didn’t come back to working for him and give him all our money. So on one hand, we’re being completely targeted by pimps, bandits, rapists and murderers, while the system is refusing to provide us with anything other than treating us like we’re the criminals! Well something had to give and I set out to provide us with some help ourselves since no one else would back then. The attitude was "you’re over 18 so you should be able to take care of yourself". Meaning it was our fault we needed help was the message.

Now when I started our program in 1987 – we had to do outreach by foot and word of mouth. I’d run PSA’s on TV at 2:00 a.m. with our hotline phone number. I took out ads in the hooker papers with our hotline #. I went on local news shows and gave out our hotline phone #. We’d hit the streets where the hookers were targeting and pass out our business cards.

Back then if someone went missing, we had to go out on foot and look. If we heard of a teen missing in the LA area for example – then there were certain spots where teenagers would be generally hooking. We’d have to go there and look for that kid on foot in other words. We’d ask the local pimps if they’d seen this kid. If I got a call about someone missing in say San Francisco – then I’d call up the members of our program in SF and ask them to go out pounding the pavement and talking to the local pimps to see if we could find this person.

The sex industry is a small world. Pimps know that and it’s easy to find someone if they’re hooking with a few phone calls. Their "convention" was the "Pimp N Ho Ball" which used to be held to celebrate Bishop Don Juan’s birthday. Pimps would get together and exchange phone numbers and this way there was a network spanning the globe which could pretty find anyone in a short time.

Which is why when we got a call from a mom in Canada back in the early 1990’s asking for help to find her daughter, I suggested she try to first go to the red light districts and look around. Now no one from the industry would talk to her as that would get them harmed by the pimp for talking to someone without being paid. I told her if that failed, then she could consider a trick I’ve used before (no pun intended). Which is to dress herself up like a hooker herself and go out there pretending she was one of them. I told her with time, they’d trust her and then they’d tell her where her daughter was.

Well that worked. Her and her daughter went onto a Sally Jesse Raphael talk show and told the world how we helped her find her daughter with our hotline and advice. After the show, producers came up and offered to make a movie about the whole thing. We agreed on the condition they promote our hotline at the end of the film. It came out in 1995 and had Lindsey Wagner playing the mom.

Now you’d think we’d get a lot of attention over the fact we’d helped her find her daughter right? WRONG.

Anyway, the internet was then born. I loved it. If a mom called me up with her daughter missing, I was able to take her photo and usually after a few hours of searching to find an ad which matched on Craigslist – I’d find the kid. We started finding a LOT of kids that way. We’d then get some guy to pretend to be a "john" or customer and set up an appointment to see the girl. Then we’d have the mom or parents there to make sure it was her when the girl arrived and that was it. Let’s face it – if a kid is running away to be a prostitute then the parents usually don’t have money to hire a private detective. They were calling us and usually by bedtime we’d have the kid back home.

But you know this upsets a lot of people. Private investigators who aren’t getting their retainers are upset for one thing. But whatever the reason, you’d think people would be happy we were helping parents to find their kids and get them back home safe and sound right?

I remember the phone call. A guy called me up asking me to join him in "shutting down Craigslist". I said "why"? and he said "because they’re promoting sex trafficking. I explained to him case after case where just as it was – this site was helping a lot of people find their kids. No matter what I said about how many kids we were finding on this site and to leave it be just as it was – he just kept trying to convince me we had to "shut down Craigslist".

I was mortified. I tried everything I could think of to fight these people from they were doing and they weren’t listening. The more I said this was helping us find these kids and to leave it alone – the more they kept insisting it had to go. Of course I’d see them shut down the sections for a time and the only thing which happened as they moved their ads to various other sites. You don’t change one damn thing by attacking the ads for God’s sake. You just make it go farther underground.

Which is exactly what they did. Once the real true traffickers found out cops were obtaining their IP address, getting their location, payment information, phone number, photos, etc., off ads on Craigslist – guess what? THEY STOPPED USING IT.

Organized sex trafficking criminal organizations stopped using them. Sure independent sex workers kept using their ads. Drug addicts used their ads. Desperate single mothers who needed money to buy diapers would use their ads. But the organized trafficking operations in this country just took everything off the internet and went back to "old school" ways. Meaning strip clubs, massage parlors, sex clubs, etc.

Meaning places you couldn’t get into without paying a cover charge. Now how am I going to get into a massage parlor in Florida when I’m in Los Angeles now with what these idiots just did? I can’t. I can call up a few pimps I know of in the area, and ask them if they’ve seen this kid – but pretty much the only way to find one of them now if they’re actually being trafficked is to go into these clubs, massage parlors, parties, etc. Now that’s IF you can even get in. Some of these places aren’t going to let anyone in who doesn’t look like a "john". We don’t have that kind of time either. I’m not a private investigator. It’s one thing to go look online for a few hours at ads. It’s another to go into a massage parlor and try and get a look at all of the girls there to see if you recognize them from a picture.

And then what? Operation Dollhouse Las Vegas 2007. These women were being kept in a private home. The only ones allowed into the house were Mandarin speaking Chinese men coming out of the Las Vegas airport with tickets showing they’d just flown in from China. The cab drivers were able to speak Mandarin and identify these men at the airport. Only they were allowed into the houses to keep out any cops, or even "rescuers" like us. So getting access to help these victims is much harder when they’re not advertising on sites like Craigslist.

Now remember Hitler gained control over the media for his propaganda by coming out against the pornographers first. He claimed he was "saving the children" by shutting down or controlling media. It was all a smoke screen to get control over independent media.

I have watched this whole Craigslist and Backpage war and it has NOTHING to do with "fighting sex trafficking". The people behind this fight refuse to speak to me about the fact what they’re doing makes it harder to get help to victims. In fact, I started noticing they REALLY didn’t care about helping trafficking victims.

Which got me wondering WTF? Could this be a smoke screen like what Hitler did?

There are two sides to the sex industry – the legal side that’s connected to sex trafficking and organized crime and the illegal independent side. Now if you operate a legal brothel out of Nevada then who is your competitor? The illegal prostitute. Why would a guy drive an hour up to the Bunny Ranch and pay a sizable amount to see a woman there when there’s a woman sitting right at the bar right then and there he can invite up to his hotel room instead? People aren’t realizing the sex industry IS an "industry".

So you’re Dennis Hof or Lance Gilman and you are losing business behind those girls sitting at the bar picking off your customers like flies. What do you do? Go after them and arrest them to stop your competition?

Okay, how do you get the police to give a damn about your competitors? Do you really think Metro is going to go busting prostitutes sitting at bars when they have murderers and rapists and bank robbers to pursue? Most people consider arresting prostitutes as a waste of police resources. They will tell you "why are you chasing prostitutes when there’s rapists out there you need to be catching?"

So the police look stupid chasing after prostitutes when there’s so many bad guys out there the public wants you to put your police resources on.

Meaning how do you get the police force to go out there and arrest your competition? By saying it’s your competition? Oh hell no that won’t fly. But what if you put it in the guise of you’re trying to "save these women from sex traffickers" and then everyone gets a hero award and applause.

I have sat back and "followed the money" and seen what’s really going on here. Katherine Chon and Derek Ellerman cowrote a report which shut down Rhode Island’s legal prostitution. They framed shutting down the legal prostitution there as "saving sex trafficking victims".

BUT Rhode Island was the only competition in this country to the Nevada legal brothels. Yet they were the first thing Katherine Chon went after. Derek Ellerman "got his start from Ron Paul". Ron Paul has Dennis Hof donating him money all the time. Chon is married to Bradley Myles, and they are the founders of Polaris who runs the National Trafficking Hotline. Chon oversees all of the federal grant money for sex trafficking operations, and her husband gets a lion’s share of that money out of every grant because they use their hotline for each trafficking project – not Sex Workers Anonymous".

So think about this – why was it the FIRST thing Chon and Ellerman did was to shut down Nevada’s competition in the name of "saving trafficking victims"? There are direct financial links right down the line to show what’s going on here.

Including the fact Polaris won’t do a thing to promote our hotline which takes calls not just from trafficking victims as they’re called now, but from anyone who wants to quit any part of prostitution for any reason.

Meaning they don’t take calls from someone at the legal brothels who wants help to leave. But we do and we’re being completely shut out of the very movement we founded. We are the reason the Trafficking Act of 2000 was passed – two years before Polaris was even founded.

How else would the Nevada brothels have shut down their competition in Rhode Island if not for what Polaris did to make it appear to be about "fighting sex trafficking"?

The men who own Backpage right now also own legal brothels in Amsterdam. Their competition is the independent sex worker. So a year ago Black Walnut Holdings buys out the Village Voice and thus Backpage. In other words, they bought the advertising site for their competitors.

And then they shut them down and blamed the courts for "censoring" them. Further asking for donations to "fight the good fight against censorship". They’ve also changed the law to where someone can now set up an account and send legal prostitutes on "out dates". Meaning all those women who now can’t advertise their illegal prostitution services on Backpage, can now come to work for the legal brothels and give them 1/2.


But not a damn thing to do with helping child sex trafficking victims.

Ritu Rana (user link) says:

Jody is Right

I agree with JOdy Williams as I have also seen a case here in India just in the recent week where a so called”client” called a girl to his hotel room and then thrashed her and beaten her and did not pay a single penny and enjoyed her body the whole night and when she approached the police they said we do not have any concern with it and you are on your own. Means there must be some laws to protect the workers of the sexual industry as well

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