NASA to attempt to play Asteroids at scale

Tonight at 7:14 p.m. ET officials at NASA will insert an inflation adjusted three quarters into their specially designed gaming console and attempt to play the popular 80’s video game Asteroids at scale.

Guiding their DART spacecraft perilously through a field of randomly moving asteroids, NASA officials will specifically target the Dimorphos asteroid moonlet.  NASA officials expect a number of engineers to take turns guiding the spacecraft to its target. 

This is believed to be NASA’s first attempt to recreate video games at scale.  In 2006, NASA made plans to develop a live action video game after detecting columns of space invaders slowly advancing towards earth.  However, the strange space creatures mysteriously disbanded before NASA had a chance to zap them.

If the mission is successful, NASA plans to deploy the technology to repel space objects that have the potential to collide with earth.

The private sector also appears to be getting in on the action.  According to reports, Elon Musk’s Boring Company is currently in the process of developing a large, yellow, disembodied mouth capable of munching and swallowing nearly everything in its path.  However, the mouth seems particularly vulnerable to ghostly apparitions.  Boring Company engineers are currently working on developing a power pellet capable of rendering the ghosts vulnerable to the large, disembodied snapper.

Predator in the park Part 1

Hidden behind working-class homes on the eastside of Indianapolis, Porter Park isn’t visible from the city streets that surround it.  If you’re driving on English Avenue by the Greater Shepherd Baptist Church, you might catch a glimpse of the park behind the church’s parking lot.  Otherwise, you could pass it everyday and never know it exists.  Maybe the city prefers it that way, because the park looks more like a municipal afterthought than a destination for fun and excitement.  Surrounded by a crooked chain link fence, the park boasts some swings, a basketball court, a jungle gym and a large open field.  The only way to access Porter Park is via the aforementioned church parking lot or the nearly hidden alleyways that split off of Hamilton Avenue or St. Paul Street.  Undoubtedly, it is a source of amusement for the neighborhood children, but it lacks a parking area, and there is little chance any area family loads up the minivan and heads out for an afternoon of laughter and thrills at Porter Park.   

But Porter Park is where 11-year-old Margaret “Peggy Sue” Altes found herself on the afternoon of Monday, November 12, 1984.  It was Veterans Day and a school holiday.  Peggy Sue had left her home at 442 St. Peter Street around 1:00 p.m. to meet a friend at a neighboring residence where the friend’s grandmother resided, while Peggy Sue’s mother and sister attended a church revival.  However, when no one answered the door at the residence, Peggy Sue did what a lot of kids did in those days, she went to the local playground to pass the time and connect with neighborhood friends.  Around 2:30 that afternoon, Peggy Sue was seen playing in the park with a couple of neighborhood boys.  Peggy Sue was a fifth-grader at School 48.  She was five foot tall with blondish brown hair.  She wore a white furry jacket, burgundy corduroys and blue tennis shoes.  A witness saw her playing on the swings.  By all accounts she was taking full advantage of time away from teachers and parents to have a carefree day of play and fun.

However, there were others in this neighborhood who were also taking the day off.  Not because they were honoring those who had nobly served their country, but because for these men of low character most days were an exercise in scoring dope and getting high, or swigging whisky and getting wasted on a weekday afternoon.  And if that is all they did and they confined their activities to the dark places, the seedy bars and grubby apartments that concealed their shabby and disordered lives, then maybe their weakness of character could be forgiven.  But men like these are not content to stay in the shadows.  They are jackals hunting the weakest prey, stalking innocent lives for their own vile and twisted pleasure.

One of these jackals was creeping through the streets surrounding Porter Park in a black Chevy Camaro.  A witness described seeing Peggy Sue enter the passenger side of the vehicle.  The witness, a delivery driver whose schedule routinely brought him to the area, said Peggy Sue was forced to get into the car.  He told authorities, “she didn’t want to get in, he grabbed her by the sleeve.”  The witness described the black Camaro as having gray stripes that ran the length of the car along the door handles.  The car had rust over the rear wheel well, a blue interior, and a piece missing from a wing on the back of the car.  The witness described the driver of the Camaro as having a mustache and black curly hair that puffed out in the back.

The parents of Peggy Sue Altes did not realize their daughter was missing until 7:00 p.m. when they received a phone call from the family of the friend she was supposed to have met that afternoon.  Peggy Sue’s family immediately began searching the area and reported Peggy Sue missing to police around 11:15 that night.  In the days that followed, the search continued with family, friends and church members joining in to search neighborhood streets and abandoned buildings.  A flier bearing Peggy Sue’s name, age and description was distributed to neighborhood businesses imploring anyone who had seen her to contact “missing persons.”  However, family members charged that the police response was nearly non-existent with Peggy’s brother James telling the Indianapolis Star, “they haven’t done all they could do.”  IPD detectives didn’t exactly dispute James’ claim, responding that they had entered Peggy Sue’s name and description into a state and a national database, which apparently constituted the extent of investigative effort for locating missing eleven-year-olds at the time.   

Peggy Sue’s nude body was discovered by hunters in a Hancock County field around 10:00 a.m. the following Saturday, November 17, 1984.  Although reports initially claimed she had been shot, it was later confirmed that she had been stabbed in the neck.  Her body was located about 100 yards off Jacobi Road just north of County Road 300S in Hancock County.  A group of hunters had parked their truck just off the road and we’re following a path on foot back to a wooded area.  About a hundred yards in they discovered the body of Peggy Sue lying face up along the path.  The four men quickly returned to their truck and drove to a nearby house where the owner immediately contacted Hancock County Sheriff’s Deputy Jim Bradbury who was a resident of the area.  

Hancock County investigators were on the scene by 11:00 a.m.  There they discovered that the path leading back to the scene was deeply rutted with tire tracks.  In some places, the ruts were more than 12 inches deep, indicating a vehicle may have become stuck in the mud at some point.  Investigators made plaster casts of the tire tracks.  They also photographed the scene extensively and recovered several items, including a thin gold bracelet.  Present at the scene were Hancock County Prosecutor Larry Gossett and Deputy Coroner Fred Counter.  Sheriff Detective Technician Bill Applegate and Captain Malcolm Grass supervised the evidence gathering.  Around 3:00 that afternoon, Counter and Applegate assisted as Peggy Sue’s body was carefully sealed in sterile wrappings and transported to Wishard Hospital in Indianapolis for autopsy.  Investigators concluded that Peggy Sue had been murdered at the scene because her hand was found to be clutching grass and weeds, and initially they thought her death had been quite recent.  While awaiting autopsy results, Hancock County Sheriff Nick Gulling told reporters, “Until we get those results, we’re operating under the assumption that we had Saturday, and that is that she died sometime Friday night or Saturday morning.”

That she may have been killed the morning of her body’s discovery seems like a pretty startling assertion.  Based on their assessment of the crime scene and the condition of the body, homicide investigators, a crime scene tech and the county coroner were of the opinion that she likely died within the previous 24 hours, maybe even a mere few hours prior to discovery.  That would mean that she had to have been held somewhere in the intervening days since her abduction Monday afternoon.  

The autopsy report would tell a different story, although it would fail to nail down conclusively when Peggy Sue Altes was slain.  Forensic pathologist Dr. John Pless would conclude that she died of knife wounds to the left side of her neck that severed a jugular vein and carotid artery.  No other wounds were indicated other than some superficial cuts.  There was evidence of rape which included the presence of semen in her vagina and a tear caused by penetration.  The time of death was estimated to be at least 48 hours prior to the discovery of her body.  

Perhaps investigators could be forgiven for being a few days off on the time of death.  After all, it was November, so cold temperatures probably made it difficult to determine with any degree of certainty.  But, in retrospect, crime scene investigators’ failure to distinguish a stab wound from a gunshot wound may have revealed a lack of experience, if not a lack of competence, and that misstep may have proven to be a rather ominous sign of investigative failures to come.  Because this is a case where poor decisions on the part of investigators and prosecutors sent an innocent man to jail and allowed guilty men to walk free, all while two grieving parents eventually went to their graves having never seen justice for their slain daughter.

Sources:

The Indianapolis Star

The Indianapolis News

The Daily Reporter (Greenfield, Indiana)

Watkins v. Miller, Southern District of Indiana (2000)

When your brain has taken too many wrong turns: Raised with the wrong politics edition

Occasionally a piece of journalism emerges that really puts in perspective the hidden challenges and private struggles facing a wildly successful Hollywood movie star.  Those of us in the general public often take it for granted that celebrities have fairy-tale lives, and seldom pause to realize that the fact that big stars want for nothing sometimes means they’re susceptible to torment by just about anything.  Things most of us might casually brush aside as a minor annoyance often account for a great deal of distress in the life of an insanely popular and fabulously rich Hollywood movie star.  

One such Hollywood starlet this week laid bare her struggles with being raised by parents with the wrong politics.  As someone who was raised in a working-class, earth-people-inhabited den of cannabis, it never occurred to me that being raised in a Republican household could inflict so much trauma on a person’s life.  Haunted by nightmares of Tucker Carlson relentlessly tormenting her, this starlet just can’t bring herself to forgive her parents for her Republican childhood:

“I just worked so hard in the last five years to forgive my dad and my family and try to understand: It’s different. The information they are getting is different. Their life is different. I’ve tried to get over it and I really can’t. I can’t. I’m sorry I’m just unleashing, but I can’t f— with people who aren’t political anymore. You live in the United States of America. You have to be political. It’s too dire. Politics are killing people….I don’t want to disparage my family, but I know that a lot of people are in a similar position with their families.  How could you raise a daughter from birth and believe that she doesn’t deserve equality? How?”

Somehow, though, against all odds she managed to break free of her Republican programming, and despite her parent’s insistence that she just meet some nice young boy and give them lots of grandchildren, she managed to carve out a career for herself in Hollywood, rising to become one of the most celebrated celebrities and highly paid actors in all of tinsel town.  If only her parents had supported her and given her a proper upbringing, perhaps her star could have risen even higher than Leonardo DiCaprio.    

Those of us not on the red carpet or the silver screen, who are just trying to put food on our laminate table top, don’t appreciate how important it is to be political.  It’s true: politics are killing people.  So, by all means, let’s all become more political.  It appears to be doing wonders for the mental health of those who have discarded their marbles and jumped headlong into the fray.

Local man figures he better do something about all those beers in the fridge

Momentarily setting aside his wife’s “honey-do” list, Ed Walker opted instead to take on a project he’d been putting off for quite some time: taking care of all those beers that had accumulated in the couple’s refrigerator.

“Well, I figured it was time,” said Walker.  “Those frosty cold beverages were taking up valuable space and they weren’t going to empty themselves into my gullet, so I took it upon myself to get the ball rolling.  Sure, the old-lady objected a little bit, but once she gets a look at how much more room she’ll have for leftovers and the like, she’ll be glad I moved this project to the top of my list.” 

Walker also addressed the mystery regarding how the surplus beers came to occupy so much real estate in his fridge.

“They’re mostly the remnants of fishing trips, or left by friends dropping by, that I never got around to finishing.  I really felt sorry for the little fellers.  They’re kind of like cast-offs, orphans, if you will,” said Walker, getting a little emotional. 

So what was it about the present moment that made it right for taking on such an ambitious project? 

“Well, it was a combination of factors that sort of all came together in a perfect storm,” Walker said.  “But mostly it’s because there’s a pretty important game on this afternoon.”

Are Delphi investigators closing in?

During the past week, a great deal of new information has emerged regarding the Delphi murder investigation.  We learned that the Indiana State Police briefly took custody of Kegan Kline, for what purpose we do not know.  However, around the time this was occurring, a search of the Wabash River ensued in an area of Peru near where Kegan Kline lived with his father at the time of the murders.  We also found out that Kline is currently in negotiations with prosecutors regarding the numerous charges that are currently leveled against him.  All of this leads many to speculate that he may be cooperating with authorities in the Delphi investigation.  

However, the first piece of information to drop, the big steaming matzah ball served up for public consumption by the Murder Sheet podcast that kicked off this latest round of discussion, revealed that “Kegan Kline had searched for the location of the Marathon Gas station in Delphi on the day of the murders.”  This information set off a frenzy of speculation regarding what significance the Marathon Gas station might hold in the investigation.  Of course, it is impossible to know and any guess is bound to be way off base, but there are a few things we can deduce.  We know that Kegan Kline’s phone was in Peru at a location on Country Club Road around the time of the murders.  In the interrogation transcript, investigators indicate that they do not believe that Kline committed the murders.  Sure, they could have been blowing smoke up his fat, lying ass, but it is generally assumed that, while he possesses some knowledge of the crime, he is not the perpetrator.  

It seems reasonable to speculate that someone planning to commit an act like this would probably not carry with him a device that could potentially be tracked at a later date.  A cellphone with Google Maps would likely be left behind by the perpetrator.  He probably wouldn’t even want to drive a newer vehicle with some sophisticated onboard computer.  The perp has knowledge that the girls are going to be at the bridge, because he has obtained the information through either Kegan Kline or Kegan Kline’s device.  The predator drives to Delphi without a smart device.  It’s easy to find, he knows how to get there.  Maybe he’s been there before.  However, once in Delphi, he is unsure of the location of the Monon High Bridge, or he has questions.  Obviously, he’s not going to ask any locals for information or directions, because he knows what he is about to do, and he doesn’t want to present himself to a local resident as the stranger in town looking for what is about to become the site of a heinous crime.  He needs to talk to Kegan.  He looks for a payphone.  He finds one at a gas station nearby.  He places a call to Kegan and gives his location, prompting Kegan’s search for the Marathon Gas station.  Kegan then gives him directions to the Monon High Bridge.   

Obviously, there are countless possibilities why Kegan Kline searched for the location of the Marathon Gas station on the day of the murders.  The one just presented, while plausible, is almost certainly not the correct one.  Additionally, the news that the FBI failed to obtain security footage from the gas station is extremely disappointing, but seems about right for this case.  An unseen predator walks in and out of the crime scene area and no reliable description or likeness can be obtained.  The monster is caught on video, but the image is so grainy that still very little can be known for sure about his appearance.  And now it’s possible he may have been at a location where he could have been captured on security video, but instead he again eludes investigators.  At times this predator seems like a shifting spirit of evil formed in the darkest corners of the internet, manifesting as a figure of terror on a bridge.  However, the picture seems to be getting clearer and investigators appear to be closing in.  Hopefully soon, there will be resolution and justice for the families of those two innocent children of Delphi.

People are talking about all the times they were “quiet baked” at work, and the internet is abuzz

Quiet quitting, quiet firing, quiet hiring, it seems you can’t pick up the internet these days without reading about how the workplace is being transformed in very subtle ways by Millenials and Gen Z.  

Sensing a change in attitudes about how we think and talk about work, Gen Xers are also beginning to unburden themselves regarding the unspoken practices they’ve brought to their working routine.  

“I’ve been ‘quiet baked’ at work for decades,” said Roger Ambrose, a line cook at a very upscale Chicago eatery.  “I used to wait until my shift was over to fire up a bowl, but eventually I just said, ‘fuck that.’  I need to establish a more healthy work/life balance.” 

So Roger started getting baked before work, at break and sometimes even in the restroom.  But rather than ask his supervisor for permission, Roger took it upon himself to quietly carve out a little time for himself to attend to his mental health. 

“Well, the truth is, my boss was getting super stoned as well.  I mean, he was so bloodshot and pie-eyed, I just figured he’d never notice if I snuck a toke or two,” Roger said.

“‘Quiet baking’ is a rejection of extreme ‘hustle culture,’” said leadership expert and Tik Tok guru Emily Armstrong.  “These workers are turning their back on the notion that if they go above and beyond their regular duties, then they will be rewarded with raises, bonuses and promotions.”     

“That sounds about right,” said Roger.  “Often I make sure I get a little ‘quiet compensation.’  As long as I get the waitstaff ‘quiet baked,’ they don’t notice if a few bucks go silently missing from the tip jar.”

Murder Sheet podcast throws pretty big matzah ball out there regarding Delphi investigation

This week’s Murder Sheet podcast details the FBI’s gross mishandling of allegations against Larry Nassar and USA Gymnastics by agents working out of its Indianapolis field office.  These are some of the same agents who were on the scene in Delphi at the very earliest stages of the investigation into the murder of Abigail Williams and Liberty German.  According to details released in the podcast, a law enforcement source revealed that “the FBI was in charge of obtaining relevant surveillance from local establishments.”  These establishments included a Marathon gas station.  At the 31:16 mark, podcasters drop this large, steaming matzah ball into the proceedings:  “As it turned out, our sources tell us, Kegan Kline had searched for the location of the Marathon Gas station in Delphi on the day of the murders.”  The Murder Sheet podcasters go on to detail how the FBI failed to obtain the surveillance footage from the Marathon Gas station, thus eliminating any opportunity to discover whether or not it contained any footage relevant to the investigation.  Could someone resembling Kline or bridge guy have appeared on that footage?

As if Kegan Kline didn’t have enough explaining to do regarding the stack of “coincidences” linking him to Liberty German, or his strange and incriminating online behavior around the time of the murders, now we find out that he or his device is searching a Delphi location the day of the murders.  Of course, there could be a perfectly reasonable explanation involving Kegan falling asleep super stoned and his Las Vegas buddy commandeering his device.  It isn’t hard to imagine Kline spinning some improbable sequence of events.  However, it would be interesting to know when on that day the search took place.  Is the search done around the time of communication with Liberty German?  Is the search done around the time of the murders?  Could the search have been involved in the planning of the crime, or could it have been connected to the commission of the crime?  Maybe it’s just a big nothing matzah ball.        

It is still hard to imagine Kegan Kline as the perpetrator of these murders.  He doesn’t resemble bridge guy and he appears incapable of the physicality required to carry out the attack.  It seems more likely someone else is accessing his device, or he is conducting these incriminating communications and searches at the behest of another.  Regardless, the more details that come out, the more it appears Kegan Kline is the key to unraveling this case and identifying bridge guy once and for all.

500 health experts sign letter urging public to eat more doughnuts

“A doughnut a day keeps the doctor away,” or at least that’s what hundreds of members of the American Public Health Association are saying in a letter aimed at preventing their colleague Dr. Leana Wen from speaking at their annual meeting.  The health officials level a number of charges at Dr. Wen, but perhaps none so serious as being fatphobic, obeseaverse and chubby opposed.  

The accusations refer to a tweet Wen wrote in March of 2021 thanking Krispy Kreme for promoting Covid vaccination, but questioning the health benefits of daily doughnut eating.  Apparently, as transgressions go, doughnut shaming ranks right alongside not being enough of an anti-racist or anti-eugenicst, two other baseless charges leveled against Wen.  

To reinforce their criticisms of Wen, the health experts went on to make a number of startling claims regarding the health benefits of daily doughnut eating.  They claim that doughnut binging provides a comforting refuge from the harmful statements made by the likes of Wen and other hurtful word weaponizers like Joe Rogan.  Also, a glazed yeast doughnut stuffed inside a properly fitted N-95 mask can provide additional protection against the BA.5 variant.  

The signers of the letter are urging Wen to stay away from the conference and to use the time to undergo doughnut sensitivity training and to educate herself regarding the untold health benefits of daily doughnut consumption.  “We’re recommending Dr. Wen do the work at obtaining a more “holistic” understanding of the rich, flaky and frosted benefits to be gained from a proper relationship to eating a doughnut everyday,” read the statement.

Elevated elsewhere

Last Sunday our church congregation honored two of its recent high school graduates as they prepared to embark this fall on their college careers.  As the worship service opened, one of the college-bound duo, along with her younger sister, performed a selection on piano.  Although I am by no means a connoisseur of classical music, I recognized the piece to be a Chopin composition.  The young woman performed it expertly.  The piece itself is quite beautiful and moving just to sit and listen to a recorded version, but I have to admit to being even more transported by the music upon hearing it performed live in the church sanctuary.  In addition to the undeniable beauty of the piece, something about the proximity of hearing the notes and chords struck and feeling the vibrations emanating from that wooden box elevated the experience considerably.  It would not be an exaggeration to say that as the notes filled the sanctuary, I could feel some part of myself lifted upward, taking its place among the sounds reverberating in the space.

I can’t speak for others in the congregation.  Their experience may have been quite different from mine.  However, the round of applause that followed the performance, a rarity at these gatherings, indicated that others were quite taken by the music as well. For much of the pandemic, these services were conducted via Zoom.  Trying to simulate a church service over the internet imposes a number of limitations.  People gather together to worship, pray, fellowship, make music and sing.  Much of that cannot be accomplished via a video/audio link with each person or family stuck inside their box, set apart from the whole.  The whole is important.  It is vital that individuals gather together to create the body that is offering worship, song and praise.  Anyone who has ever been to a large sporting event, and given their attention to cheering and supporting their team, has felt the energy or spirit that is generated by being among the body of supporters.  As fun as it is to watch a game on tv or gather with a group of people on the internet, none of it can approximate the experience of gathering together in the same physical location with the collective attention focused on a singular goal or purpose.       

Which is why It strikes me as something of a fool’s errand that these tech developers are working so earnestly at creating virtual spaces to simulate physical reality or provide a “better” alternative to it.  In the process of duplication, some part of what is being copied is always lost.  In the music example, a digital recording is always going to fail to capture the fullness and completeness of the sound.  No doubt they will try to simulate a concert experience where you or your avatar can be present at the performance of a famous band or a symphony orchestra.  Duplicating the immense complexity of that kind of live performance would be impossible.  Both the physics and the previously mentioned nonphysical qualities would preclude it.  But, of course, that is not the intention of the techsters.  Their aim is to get users to expect less, to be satisfied with a dumbed-down version of reality.  They reduce people to an avatar with a flag or a couple of symbols next to their name and then corral them into a virtual space lacking in richness and complexity, a realm they control where the outcomes are predictable.  Far from embracing human potential and possibility, the technobrats are engaged in a kind of reductionism.  I’ll stick with being elevated elsewhere.

Snapchat attacks continue unabated

Anyone who has followed the Delphi murder case and is familiar with the Kegan Kline police interview transcript might understandably wonder what the hell is going on with these social media messaging apps.  According to media outlets, Snapchat and Kik were the preferred avenues for Kegan Kline to connect with underage victims and solicit illegal images.  Well, it turns out Kline is not the only predator who has had success utilizing these platforms to victimize children.  In fact, the modus operandi is so common in the State of Indiana alone, that one wonders if there isn’t a playbook these criminal deviants follow.

A June press release from the Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana offers up two such graduates of the Snapchat and Kik school of child exploitation and victimization.  The June 17, 2022 release titled Two Predators Sentenced to Federal Prison for Sexually Exploiting Four Children They met on Social Media Platforms reads in part:

“INDIANAPOLIS – Thomas James Israel, 46, of Ft. Wayne, and Max Schafer, 31, of Brownsburg, were each sentenced to federal prison for their role in exploiting four children between October 2019 and August 2020. One of the victims was exploited by both Israel and Schafer during separate incidents. Israel previously pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a child and distribution of child sexual abuse material. On November 15, 2021, Chief Judge Tanya Walton Pratt sentenced Israel to twenty-five years in federal prison. Late yesterday, Schafer pleaded guilty to receipt of visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct and possession of child sexual abuse material. District Judge James R. Sweeney II sentenced Schafer to over fourteen years (175 months) in federal prison.

“According to court documents, between April 2020 and June 2020, Israel met his first minor victim, who was 14, using online applications such as Omegle and Meetme. Using Snapchat and Kik, Israel persuaded this victim to meet with him in person, then forced the victim into sadomasochistic sexual abuse, including forceful oral sex and assault. Israel recorded the sexual abuse on his mobile phone and later sent the video to the victim.

“Israel met a second minor victim using Snapchat and persuaded the victim to send him explicit videos and photos of herself. When this victim was between 14 and 16 years old, she sent her minor boyfriend sexually explicit images and videos of herself. Without her consent, the boyfriend disseminated the images and videos over the internet. Israel downloaded those images and videos onto his online storage account and viewed them for a sexual purpose. 

“Israel met his third minor victim, who was between 14 and 16 years’ old, over Omegle. Knowing that the victim suffered from mental health issues, Israel induced her to produce child sex abuse material, and to sell the images and videos to others online. Israel took a percentage of the fees and paid the victim by sending her gift cards from Victoria’s Secret.

“According to court documents, Schafer also met Israel’s first minor victim using Omegle. Knowing that the minor victim was only fourteen years old, Schafer met and engaged in sexually explicit conduct with the victim. Schafer also persuaded the victim to send him the video that Israel produced, depicting Israel’s violent sexual abuse of the child.

“Schafer also met his second minor victim, who was 16, using Omegle and Snapchat. Schafer persuaded this girl to send him sexually explicit images and videos of herself for his sexual purpose.

“Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana and Herbert J. Stapleton, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Indianapolis Field Office made the announcement.

“The FBI Violent Crime Task Force investigated the case. The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department also provided valuable assistance. As part of Israel’s sentence, Judge Pratt ordered that he be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for life following his release from prison and pay $16,000 in restitution to the victims. As part of Schafer’s sentence, Judge Sweeney ordered that he be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for 40 years following his release from prison and pay $6,000 in restitution to the victims. Both Israel and Schafer must also register as sex offenders wherever they live, work, or go to school, as required by law.”

Here again, we have yet another example of the social media apps Snapchat and Kik facilitating a connection between predators and their victims for the purpose of exploitation and abuse.  As we saw with Kegan Kline, who quite openly and brazenly attempted to victimize children using the online profile Emily Anne 45, often the profile ruse is dropped while the predator looks for a reaction to suggestions of sexual activity between the minor and a much older adult.  In one interaction, Kline solicits images and information on behalf of his middle-aged father, which eventually leads to a Skype call taking place.  How is it that these messaging apps, for all their sophistication, allow these clearly illegal conversations to slip by without any red flags going up?

The cases of Israel and Schafer provide a further glimpse into the despicable world these predators inhabit and may even indicate a level of coordination between them.  Israel is using the social media apps Snapchat and Kik to solicit sexual abuse material and arrange meetings to inflict violent abuse and produce CSAM.  He appears to possess an extensive knowledge of ways to choose the most vulnerable and inflict his sadistic abuse on them for pleasure and profit.  For his part, Schafer is abusing at least one of the same victims as Israel, and he’s aware of the video Israel produced with that victim.  

It is difficult to discern with certainty from the press release, but is it the case that these predators are communicating and coordinating with one another on some level?  Are they “sharing” victims?  Israel targets a teen who has already been victimized by her boyfriend.  Schafer targets one of Israel’s victims.  It certainly appears that, at least at some level, these predators are loosely associated.  It is more than just the case that they are swimming in the same waters, but that they are exchanging victims and probably even exchanging information on how to exploit the vulnerabilities of these victims.  Israel produced a video that was in demand.  He also coerced one of his victims to make videos to sell for his monetary benefit.  Obviously, there is a market for these videos.  We know these predators exchange videos, but are they also exchanging information with designs on inflicting abuse?  Could Kegan Kline, as seemingly “a member in good standing” in one of these pedophile circles, have passed on information to a member with extremely violent intentions, who turned around and used that knowledge to carry out his twisted fantasies on two innocent children of Delphi.  It appears increasingly likely.