GHOSTS IN OUR MEMORIES NEVER STOP TELLING THE STORIES
SOCIAL PREDATORS AND THE NEW WEB AGE
“I realise now that I wanted to disappear. To get so lost that nobody ever found me. To go so far away that I’d never be able to make my way home again. But I have no idea why.”
― Jessica Warman, Between
So many people disappear. That is almost the daily fact. In every hour, everywhere around the world, there are people who are simply gone. Some of them are never found. Some of them are found. Dead. Killed. Vanished for all times. Some of them, happy minority, are those who are found and brought back to home or at least their families are informed about their destiny under another name and in another country. That is the world, what is pulsing and living through the web of human actions and reactions, through the magnificent crossroad of people’s interactions and final destinations. Welcome.
A missing person is a person whose status of being alive or dead is not confirmed due the fact that they are not found as well as the traces about them haven’t given the correct information. Missing persons could be the victim of kidnapping, murder and many other different forms of crime but also could be hit by accident and death in some isolated places ( deep in the wood, somewhere in the cave or on the seaside). There are also those who voluntary decide to disappear because of the domestic violence or the financial reasons. It is concluded that there are people with high level of depression who step in into disappearing so they can commit suicide and spare their beloved one of that tragedy. The old people with serious dementia are very often among missing residents but the missing children deserve and get the highest alert in all law enforcement services around the globe.
The National Crime Information Center’s (NCIC) Missing Person File was implemented in 1975. in the USA and it precisely sorts the types of missing persons, according to the FBI file: 1.people with disability, no matter if that is physical or mentally (EMD); 2. endangered people (EME); 3. were disappeared after some catastrophe ( EMV); 4. involuntary disappearance (EMI); 5. under the age of 21 ( EMJ); 6. are 21 or older ( EMO).
This category made by professionals in FBI helps a lot during the first cases filling and introducing law officers into the further acts. But, unfortunately, there are some legal obstacles, like the common misconception that absent person is considered as a missing one only after 24 hours. However, in many laws, at least on the ground, that is not the case and police start working on it promptly, as their missing is reported. That applies especially on cases in which are children included because as far as we know, they are the most often victims of parent abuse, human trafficking with sexual purposes, runaways, torture by a third person or some other kind of deviant social behavior by committers.
The development of Internet and the virtual world which seems to become for the most of the children as the only one, also opened the big door to the army of predators among us, the mentally destroyed and distorted people who are almost hunters in our societies. In real world, maybe you could notice them and warn your own child about them:” Don’t talk to the strangers and don’t take anything from anyone on the street!” Unfortunately, in the cyber universe, parents are helpless and children expose themselves more than family is capable to protect them.
The modern online social predator is not hunting only our children but also us or someone who is the weakest link in the chain. There are many of reported cases of missing women in the US that were later found as abused or killed by sexual sadist who hunted them on Internet, for months before they have been gone. These women were self-confident adults with stable jobs and normal lives so how they turned to be black statistics? The experts in this field inform us about the shadows of the Internet, which is the easiest hunting ground for all. The internet is something like savanna. There are hunters. There are hunted. Among hunters, there are hunters who kill for pleasure. In our human world, they are psychopaths – in digital world, they could be anyone. Anyone you trust.
The Internet Safety Report comes with the devastating data for children and young:“In 82% of online sex crimes against minors, the offender used the victim’s social networking site to gain information about the victim’s likes and dislikes.65% of online sex offenders used the victim’s social networking site to gain home and school information about the victim.26% of online sex offendors used the victim’s social networking site to gain information about the victim’s whereabouts at a specific time.At least 1.8 million children are used in commercial sex, many sold into sexual slaver by poor families and others abducted and trafficked into brothels.The UN reports that 79% of human trafficking is sexual exploitation.Dr. Michael Seto estimated that 3% of the male population is aroused by pedophilic stimuli.At least 200 million girls and 100 million boys will be sexually victimized before they reach adulthood.At least 8 million children go missing each year.”
This is very much disturbing by itself. First of all, the reasons behind child missing nowadays should always search in the Internet area. The children who are using social media without the observation by older family members risk to get into the social predator trap and to be gone forever. It is enough that child or teenager is intrigued by someone from another side of the screen and to wish to meet that interesting person, without sharing with parents or even friends that decision. This part is voluntary because the child or adolescent is making decision by himself. There could be also the situation that minor is afraid of the “unknown person” and cancels all activities regarding the friendship so the hunter is angry and wants revenge. Having all information about the child preferences and the line of life, it is not difficult for him to catch the prey. The famous story about abducted American 13 years old girl Alicia Kozakiewicz is something which should be warning red light to all parents. It is not only that Alicia was abused by perverted Scott Tyree in his old and dirty home in Virginia, it is about how it started. On the Internet, when Scott Tyree pretended he is 14 years old Christine, who is searching for true friends.After a while, he revealed himself trying to be even better friend to the lonely child. They were talking for half a year after everything happened and he convinced her that he is the part of her life and when the whole madness began. This case is with good end because of the fast reaction of National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the Department of Justice as well as the police officers and investigators. Not many cases are closed in lucky manner. Sexual offenders are having very active network and it seems they are always one step forward with their deviant activities and discoveries to cover their psychopathology.
Sometimes, the children are not guilty at all for being attacked by social predator or even criminal gangs. Why? Because the parents are those who are responsible for targeting their own children in the cuber world exposing the private data about them and the most intimate photos of their beloved sons or daughters. The social networking helps a lot but when it comes to the social pathology issues, it harms without mercy. Giving information about your favorite restaurant and why the family is visiting granny on Friday and not on Saturday because Emma turns 13 and she is making a birthday party in Joshua Street number 1403 and allowing to the whole digital mankind to absorb your reality is nothing but a step into suicide. Add to that the never ending albums with photos of babies, children in kindergartens or in elementary schools or sport activities, we can see that those people come with a white flag to the battle ground where the darkness rules and everyone is just a number for satisfying the deepest sick passions.
Missing children are always victims of sexual offenders and sadists. There is a percentage of children involved in international criminal chains and who are literally used for donors of organs, which is happening mostly in poor countries in Central or South America as well as in Asia.
Regarding the missing adults, the situation is slightly different. Some women who are disappeared were also caught in the web of predators and sadly, they were killed and ended as murder statistics. It was stated that they were trapped online by killers and easily abducted because they didn’t hide their real information so anyone would find them with no problems. However, killers know all about victim preferences and the hunting was beginner level. It is not always about the confirmed crimes. The worst thing ever is not knowing what was happened with the beloved daughter, sister or wife. It is not only about female missing people.There are also male missing people. Beloved sons, brothers or husbands. If the person is not found, after so many attempts by official authorities and by informal attempts of families and friends, the sadness is almost infectious. You lost someone and you don’t know if he-she is still alive, fighting to survive, dead or simply happy somewhere else.You simply don’t have anything from that person to hold on except of old memories and empty hopes that one day you will see your lost beloved one or at least knowing the truth which will set you free. Even the common law and many jurisdictions allow to declare missing people dead in absentia after seven years – legally dead, that will never be the end for family.
There are some critics that community doesn’t work well on preventing missing people and when it happens – working on them. The old method of “knock and tell” is something which police officers should use more as well as they must rely on updated base of cases and all possible information which shouldn’t be misdiagnosed. Beside it, the importance of Amber/Silver alert is very high. There are many technical things which must be made as preconditions for solving the loads of missing persons cases. The lack of trained people who would deal with this issue is a problem for every country and that is why the missing person field is becoming more and more a serious security and safety threat all over the world we live in.
The police officers, community and families are the holy triangle in this problem. None alone is strong enough but all together can follow the traces and can see the relevant signs by the road to the unknown darkness.
We all must travel together to the hell to find them or to find what was happened with them. They are hunted. We will be haunted.
Every missing person is someone’s beloved one.