A long time ago, when I was a young gunslinger that needed something to do between paying gigs, I worked with a private investigator who found missing and exploited children. The only way to maintain a legal concealed weapon permit, at that time, was to be employed by an agency licensed to provide armed protection and/or investigation services. This agency was staffed by retired Minneapolis PD cops, including a few former chiefs. They were glad to bring on a guy with an eclectic skill set and proven expertise in finding people who didn’t want to be found. Missing person cases are expensive. Families with a missing child often either ran out of money or didn’t have any to start with. The earliest version of the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children had a program where they would assist with money for private investigation. Our agency offered our services pro bono.
I’m good at hunting evil people.
And there were no shortage of them involved in “missing children” back in the 80s. Just like today. Minneapolis was and remains one of the top cities for human trafficking, especially children. Why? There’s a demand for blond, fair skinned, blue eyed young children among the sick in the world. Looking for them was a harsh education in the dark underside of the world. I remember a friend I worked with back in the day, after one particularly heinous recovery.
“This shit makes me ashamed to be a man,” he said.
“Makes me ashamed of being human, bro,” I said.
We had bluffed our way into a “temporary employment agency” that fronted for prostitution with underage women and boys. I’d tracked the girl I was looking for by going through her list of likely references for a “straight job” as the word on the street was that she was trying to get out of the life — but had been dragged back into it. When we met her there, we were surrounded by a large number of “security” people and “friends” who didn’t want to let her leave. We did. With her. In the car, my partner said, “That’s the last time I carry a .44 revolver to a fight.” I got him hooked up with a “wonder nine” — at the time a Beretta 92FS I had laying around after a .gov contract.
All of it was worth it to see her reunited with her mother, who had been searching for her for over a year.
That one ended well.
Most did not.
This video discusses the desire for revenge. And how some people, courageous and moral people, are able to transcend the thirst for revenge — for justice when the system will not or cannot give it to them.
That’s what prompted me to write THE REVENGERS series.
If you have the stomach for it (warning: rape, torture and murder of 6 year olds discussed in detail) watch Anneke’s video that preceded this one:
The thing about human trafficking is that a) people don’t want to see the signs and b) people don’t know what the signs are. If you watch the TED talk at the top, you’ll learn a few things. I’ve seen it happening in plain sight in many places in the United States. And the abusers can be cops, judges, real estate agents, priests, business people, your family members. If you care, educate yourself. If you care, do something about it. Report it, donate money to ICMEC
These days I’m too old and beat up to be kicking down doors rescuing children. But I have. I’m donating a portion of THE REVENGERS sales this month to ICMEC.
In this holiday season, remember there are children out there living in hell — maybe right next door to you.
Don’t turn away. Do something about it.