The power of the internet community is amazing.
For the last three years, Interpol has been hunting for a man who can be seen molesting very young boys in over 200 photos that were found on the internet. The problem the authorities were having was identifying the guy in the photos – because he digitally “swirled” his face in each picture that he released.
Well, not too long ago, Interpol released some images of this guy which they had recently managed to “de-swirl” through the use of some computerized tools.
Within hours, the images had been posted all over the Internet and the publicity of the case resulted in over 350 people who supplied tips to authorities worldwide. There was so much information that poured in that agents will probably be going through the tips and evidence for some time to come.
The media blitz worked.
32-year-old Christopher Paul Neil was identified by five sources from three different continents, and with his name in hand, Interpol started the process of tracking him down.
A fortunate break happened when Christopher Neil identified on video camera as he went through an airport in Thailand. Authorities managed to track Christopher Neil down by tracing the signal on the cellphone which his 25-year-old Thai boyfriend was using to call him. Here’s his boyfriend’s MySpace page.
On the 19th of October, 2007, Christopher Neil was arrested without incident in a house he was renting in Nakhon Ratchasima – a remote province of Thailand which he undoubtedly thought would be perfect for hiding from the world for a while.
Christopher Neil will be charged with many counts of molesting underage children in Thailand and is also likely to be charged by authorities in Vietnam and Cambodia with raping young boys in those countries as well.
As pedophiles usually do, Christopher Paul Neil managed to find work that meant he would be surrounded with children. He worked from 1998 to 2000 as a chaplain and counselor for children and young adults at a cadet training center in Nova Scotia, Canada.
Apparently, Christopher Neil studied history at the Seminary of Christ the King in Mission, British Columbia for a few years in the 1990s Something about him caused his superiors to recommend that he not be allowed to progress further in the church, and certainly not be allowed to go into the priesthood.
According to an interview with the Reverend Nicholas Ruh on the subject of Christopher’s lack of personal qualifications:
I’m not saying anything further, it’s too delicate.
More investigation has turned up some of Christopher Neil’s online activities. He was a regular poster to an online forum for teachers, posting more than 300 messages under the pseudonym “Peter Jackson.”
Here are some excerpts from some of his posts:
Police checks are NOT needed to get a visa. Public schools will want one, but you should be able to stall them. Often they want teachers SO quickly that they will ‘wait’ for some things. I never gave a police check for my last public school job. I was in Vietnam at the time, and getting one wasn’t easy. I delayed and never heard about it again.
I’ve never heard of porn being a problem in Korea. On my first trip there in 2000, I remember reading the customs declaration form while on the plane. I was SO nervous for the remaining hours on the plane because I happened to have a couple Penthouse magazines in my bag. I ended up tossing them in the bin at the airport washroom, only to find out that no one would have found them anyway. In terms of computers, if you’re worried about any content, there are several ways to encrypt your drive. A friend has highly recommended Truecrypt, which you can download. If you want to get rid of old files so no one will see, then simply deleting them will not work. You’ll have to get a program like Jetico’s BC Wipe….
Christopher Neil could face up to 20 years in jail if convicted in Thailand. Thai authorities have insisted that Mr. Neil stand trial and serve time in Thailand first.
Considering the living conditions of your typical Thailand prison, I have no problem with this.