Skip

The Stolen Ones
October 25, 2013 9:21 AM   Subscribe

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune newspaper published a special project recently: The Stolen Ones investigates the local child sex trafficking industry, and documents stories from survivors and their families. (SFW, but some readers may find the content disturbing.)

Chapters
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Background
* The editors explain why they wrote the story here and here.
* The story was presented as a 44-page, ad-free magazine insert in the paper's Sunday edition. Here's an interview with Tony Elkins, who designed the print and web presentations for the story.

Accompanying Links
* Resources
* Interactive PDF (May not work in all browsers, but includes additional photos.)
posted by zarq (15 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
Made it to page four and had to stop. Very well written, but Jesus. Humans can do some deeply evil shit, and this is some of the worst of it.
posted by jbickers at 10:00 AM on October 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


I had to fight my way through it, albeit with breaks (like this one - just hit page 8 when I saw the new comment in the address bar).
posted by Samizdata at 10:12 AM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thanks, zarq.
posted by nangar at 11:10 AM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


The way the title text scrolls past the picture of the mother and daughter before the article does was very moving to me. What a powerful picture.
posted by Our Ship Of The Imagination! at 12:06 PM on October 25, 2013


Thank God they seem to take trafficking way more seriously up here in NC.

Too bad it took the rape and murder of a five year old to do it.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 12:38 PM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


All I can say is holy shit. I had no idea that sexual slavery of children was so common here in the US. I actually recognize some of the location shots from when I was working in Sarasota for short stretch many years ago, which made it all the more eye-opening for me.
posted by wierdo at 1:00 PM on October 25, 2013


When I was twelve years old, much to my utter mystification, a man in a red car asked me if I wanted to get in for a 'ride'. It was broad daylight, very close to my house. As far as my appearance, I would have been stuck somewhere between girl and woman, but, nobody who was not a fool would think I was anything other than a child.

At the time, in my innocence, I was trying to figure out why precisely someone would act like something out of a 'stranger danger!' They never explained in those educational videos what the strange people in car wanted to lure you into, and they never gave it any sort of context.

In hindsight, the poor neighbourhood I grew up in probably made it easier pickings for the victimized. It was not a good place to grow up, with multi-generational problems of the standard kind- people dropping out, successive waves of teenage pregnancies, not all of which must have had equally teenage fathers. Maybe the relatively clean cut looking middle aged man was just a delusional would be rapist with a lolita complex, but it's still creepy. How could he think what he was doing was okay?

Older now, and seeing that the social program that serviced much of the neighborhood around my school blowing up into a child exploitation scandal that saw one of the city councilors taken down in a child porn bust, it boggles my mind how much danger I wafted through, even in small town Canada.
posted by Phalene at 1:54 PM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just can't understand the mentality of agencies that refused to help these children because they were "delinquents, not victims of sexual assault". WTF?
posted by b33j at 2:01 PM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


For those lured into this trade, the average life expectancy is seven years.

oh god what
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:03 PM on October 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


b33j: "I just can't understand the mentality of agencies that refused to help these children because they were "delinquents, not victims of sexual assault". WTF?"

There is a definite 'blame the victims' mentality going on which makes no sense to me, either. I was so happy to see that FBI agent specifically say “No 14- or 15-year-old has said, ‘I want to be a prostitute.' There’s not been one case where a juvenile said to me: ‘I just wanted to give it a shot. I’ll be a prostitute.’”

One of the links above is to an editorial which talks about the main article. There's a quote at the end from an assistant state attorney who says something like, "The hardest part is to get people to give a crap." How pathetic and sad.
posted by zarq at 2:12 PM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


It feels a bit obscene drawing a comparison to a movie, but Gardens of the Night is a very well-made movie about this subject. It features a fantastic performance by Tom Arnold. Seriously.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:39 PM on October 25, 2013


There are somewhere around 27 million human beings in slavery today. By way of comparison, About 600,000 slaves were brought to the United States during the slave trade.
posted by DWRoelands at 6:15 PM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Jeez, I dunno about this article. It reads like a parody of investigative journalism. I kept waiting for the description of pimp Snidely Whiplash twisting his mustache. And the credulity of the reporters, repeating the well-rehearsed stories of the women, focusing on the photogenic Mary Sue. But I was most offended by the dilettante socialites who set up shelters and then ran away when they discovered they had to deal with actual fallible human beings. And the funding of this alleged "journalism" by The Community Foundation, which is a group run by bankers, PR flacks, insurance executives, shysters, stock swindlers and hedge fund skimmers. You know, the exact people that are profiting by turning the entire fucking state of Florida being one gigantic slave plantation.

Yeah, there was a lot of stuff in this article that really pissed me off. And almost none of it had anything to do with exploited children.
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:25 PM on October 25, 2013


When I was twelve years old, much to my utter mystification, a man in a red car asked me if I wanted to get in for a 'ride'. It was broad daylight, very close to my house. As far as my appearance, I would have been stuck somewhere between girl and woman, but, nobody who was not a fool would think I was anything other than a child.

One of the more disturbing things that I witnessed as my neighborhood got worse and worse in terms of crime (it's since gotten better again) was a guy a bit more than my age (50s) basically soliciting a "date" from what I believe were middle-school-aged girls. He was overweight, black, and grizzled; they were a mixed-race pair. Right across from my house, in broad daylight. Yes, I called in his description and plates.

The thing that was even more disturbing: these girls were cheerfully and unconcernedly parrying his advances. It wasn't anything particularly new. They were also dressed for the occasion, if you take my meaning.

That, plus gang fights in the streets and open-air drug dealing, gave me a feeling of fighting a losing battle against chaos.
posted by dhartung at 2:54 AM on October 26, 2013


omg. i just couldnt read this any more. I teach these kids for a living and just omg. nope :(
posted by askaway12 at 10:40 AM on October 26, 2013


« Older Pitchfork Review Generator: eldritch murmur of...   |   Schiano Schiano Schiano Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post