A report of sex trafficking, and a chance to make a change and put a leash on crime.
by Patch O'Furr
In September 2018, the furry fandom was shocked by news about zoosadists (people into rape, torture and murder of animals for their fetish). Part 1) looks at how their ring was exposed, the threat to events, and who is implicated. A focus on ring member Tane makes a thread through a tangled story. Part 2) looks at police involvement and evasion by the ring. Part 3) is about trying to report a safety risk to an event. This part shares a new development.
In October 2017, the ringleader Snakething has hooked up Tane with someone for sex. It’s part of his practice of providing favors in return for videos, which can be leveraged for more favors. First, Snakething and Tane collaborate to push things where they want to go by sharing secrets about their target.
When secrets are valuable, they don’t easily stay secret, especially when Snakething talks about a fetish for domination by people holding his private info and threatening to expose and humiliate him. Months later, those blackmail games contributed to these chat leaks — but certain files weren’t included, and weren’t given to police either (as far as I found). Why? I think those files might implicate the leakers or push limited exposure out of control. We don’t know the extent of what hasn’t leaked, but here’s a clue.
A report of sex trafficking
After the zoosadist ring was exposed, news stopped coming and went on pause. Months later, ring member Kero briefly appeared online while a few of his followers hoped for a comeback. The renewed attention made me look more and find something new. It ties to Part 3 about frustrations of trying to report a safety risk to cons, where I asked what a rape target might face in the circumstances.
A video of Tane having sex with a minor was planned in the ring and made for trading. It wasn’t leaked, but it turned up another way. As soon as I knew it was real, the police were helped to receive it. I was briefly able to see a still without touching it (no possessing, just a glimpse to prove it’s real). I have nothing else to do with it, except verifying it exists for reporting while other details need to be withheld for security.
Tane’s trademark fursuit was on the right side on top, with another person on the left on bottom, feet in the air wearing pink and black striped socks. They were on a bed by a window. People who know this video can recognize the details. A video made in a car is also “in the wild”. There’s corroboration in the chat logs about recording dates, methods, lengths, places, “jail worthy” video, “teen”, minor, and code “RLC” (real life cub) — and hiding things from parents.
- Telegram channel: A detailed breakdown of Tane’s logs with over 650 screenshots. (Text only without illegal content.)
I learned that people get different excuses about the video depending on how much they know. It’s claimed the minor was 18, or it was OK because the minor asked for sex, or is still together with Tane. What goes unmentioned is how the video was planned in the ring and made for trading with members to gain favors. That makes new victims and feeds the demand of predators.
They’re in this community and at your events. If anyone knows more, please help the police to catch them.
Got tips? About Tane, call Detective Weigand of the East Palo Alto Police at 650-853-7250.
An opportunity to make a change, and what else can the police do?
Anyone can help bring tips forward and make progress on the community level:
- Ask cons to consider better policies and improve how they respond to safety reports.
- Support whistleblowers who face backlash, especially if con staff spread it.
- Inform the public about the ring and how it works with coercion and coverup while raising demand for abuse.
- Support legislation about content traded by this ring — make animal rape/torture as unacceptable as child porn. (It happened for animal crush videos.)
It’s tricky to talk about a police report because of risk of interference, but what’s here is connecting things already leaked. There are active safety issues (parts of the story are undisclosed) and a need for tips about those. This site has a history of being asked to raise attention by and for victims in such cases.
Saying “leave it to police” fails when crimes fall between the cracks. (Animal abuser registries could help). Tech corps don’t screen users, and when I was tipped about a Youtube channel profiting from animal cruelty there wasn’t even a place to report it. Using Craigslist ads to get dogs is already a known problem with dogfighting. It reminds me of a woman who would pretend to adopt horses but sell them for slaughter, until she was convicted of fraud. Social media helped to gather victim reports. Publicity matters.
The police won’t say more to a blog. The chat logs discuss how to evade their reach and the ring was created outside the law, so it’s hard to say if others will be busted. But attention can bring out collateral crime. (Kind of like how Al Capone was busted for tax evasion, not for being a mafia boss.) After all, people arrested for bestiality are statistically likely to tie with crimes involving kids. Sex abusers are known to have many victims before getting caught.
Snakething (Levi Simmons) went free for the time being, but there’s more hope. Animal cruelty charges had a small time limit, but charging right away may have prevented adding more serious charges. There aren’t such limits for crimes with kids. (This video explains it:)
Complicity or publicity
In a close community there are times to be direct in backchannels. That worked with Fur Con but not so well elsewhere. Now expect people to attack this for being public even though help was sought in private first. Is there a “furry wall of silence” or is it just from certain cliques? The answer can depend on what happens next.
Wikileaks shined a light on important secrets, sometimes being criticized for sourcing documents that could be salted with fakes (so they go through vetting, and the info was still considered worthy.) Expect to see this report attacked like that for damage control. So where else would it come from, was the ring going to tell on itself? Unless someone can show what exactly is faked, let the logs speak for themselves with all the ways they’re corroborated.
Silence is what the ring wants. When the crime cases of Cupid and Noodles made Seattle news (in Part 1), they talked about limiting exposure and laying low until the case resolved. In 2019, the two men were convicted. What about the rest of the ring while they melt back into furry fandom or get new faces?
See them fear the power of attention instead of dismissing “callout culture/cyber bullying/witch hunts”:
Trading victims and videos — methods of the ring
Of all the sources, the detailed breakdown of Tane’s logs took by far the most work to put together. Casual chats aren’t easy sources, but reading over and over their spontaneous talk brings out many more stories. It makes portraits between the lines.
Tane’s banality, with his social credit to get protection of a clique of friends, hides an oily kind of evil. His agreeability to anything enabled Snakething to push limits as far as he could. It was mutual. (Imagine Tane claiming to be powerless to resist taking favors from a disabled guy who lives with his mom.)
Snakething’s procuring a minor and planning with Tane looks like a tactic of coordinated grooming — a predator “tag-team”. I’ve now heard about this in multiple independent cases. The first person pushes limits to groom a target, but might not cross the line, making it easier to slither away. When they switch places, they make a pincher of coercion on the target. There are mutual favors and Snakething grows his porn collection this way. (Tane isn’t the only one he teams up with; he does it with Sangie too, targeting his nephew.) This trading is the basic mechanism of the ring.
Snakething mentions meeting the older Sangie when he was around 18. Then 5 years later he moved up to be the groomer for a teen, who you can see being prepared to gather others while keeping secrets from parents. It’s what Tane calls corrupting targets into zoophilia and rape, and eventually (they hope) raping puppies and “hardzoo”. It resembles hate groups working to “redpill” targets. It can pull pliable people in with a carrot of taboo content.
There’s also a stick of coercion, with threats of exposure, and targeting people in unstable homes (or even their pets). Coercion is part of domination-fetish and multi-level social credit. (There are pyramid-scheme sex cults that trap members with “collateral”. The documentary Tickled found blackmail behind a video making operation.) It led to extortion charges in the Cupid crime case. People who use these tactics did coercion on ring members to get the chat logs.
Favor trading in the ring involves “porn wish lists,” with hopes to get content made to order (Snakething’s list includes abuse of snakes.) There are clues that targets are manipulated to produce content when they might otherwise say no (almost rape-by-proxy). Power and corruption is a dangerous game they play for thrills on top of just collecting content. Power and risk stand out at key times like when Cupid’s arrest and plea deal may take down others, arrests “spook” Tane, or he’s upset to learn that Illone has him on video and poses a threat.
Snakething’s messages are a gift for storytelling. You can see a NEET with no other occupation grow social credit from people who want unobtainable things. It’s amazing that he can’t shut up about it in the logs. There’s a desperation in his wheedling and scheming, dangling carrots, and fetish for getting caught, but it takes a twisted slyness to get as far as he did. A marginalized loser (who can’t drive) gathered a crew of sadistic nerds with world travel and tech privileges, for an improbable snuff porn ring on the level of urban legends.
It’s not just in fandom.
The methods of trading victims and videos like Pokemon cards hits an absurd extreme with this ring, enabled by tech like a real life Black Mirror episode. It could be a focus of professional study about “filter bubbles”. Origins in the darkweb, international ties, porn made to order, and limits raised beyond imagination make fandom-level elements of the Peter Scully story (an international pay-per-view torture/rape ring). It’s a darkly fascinating case about how social credit works in internet culture, and how unmoderated social media can enable the worst in people. It’s a dystopian modern-day Lord Of The Flies.
Mean little boys used to just pull the wings off flies — now they stand in the shadow of tech giants and run rings cloaked with lies.
Active safety issues continue. Here’s a damning screenshot about “Zeta Omega”, the only other associate of the ring known to have access like Tane’s (a deal for sharing all content that came in). He was the source for a list shared by Snakething of people including Tane into “real life cub.”
Sidebar — caveats about more discussion.
Events have limited powers and Catch-22’s can stop them from helping.
- Conventions are not-for-profit and rely on volunteers and friend groups, naturally making favoritism issues.
- If they screen certain members, they might have to screen everyone, or have liability to get sued if something goes wrong. Saying they can’t screen everyone is a flipside for when they keep it simple to make new cons. I think it’s part of intrinsic deficits of an open-source subculture.
- Malicious trolls can leverage those deficits, so it helps to use calm organizing for community interest and volunteer to be part of the solution instead of just complaining.
Different cases can have different responses, but a ring is a ring.
- “Guilt by association” is an often-false complaint. If a sewing circle has a criminal it’s not their fault, but a crime ring can’t pretend to be a sewing circle. Response after finding out about ties is so important too.
- Certain critics say, why do furries fight hate speech more than sex abuse? It’s apples-and-oranges. A crime ring needs law enforcement, but it’s not illegal to be in hate groups and outsiders won’t help — it comes from inside.
Backlash is predictable. Don’t attack the messenger, and look for context.
- A ring is way more complex to report than spreading lazy attacks at a lone reporter. I’ve been lied about more times than you can count and threatened about “exposing” things I don’t even know what they’re cooking up.
- I’ve briefly had throwaway accounts in creepy groups to track them or been sympathetic to sources because I’m a narc. But I learned of the zoosadist ring when everyone else did, I don’t make deals or threaten anyone and the story is sourced from public info, voluntary tips or self-posting. No friends were protected.
- A few arrests may not stop a ring and neither do callouts. Long term goals are better than acting without a plan.
Exactly. Member of your community does something horrible, the correct response isn't smoke and fluff, it's to point and say in a loud, clear voice 'THIS PERSON IS A SACK OF SHIT'. Anything less means you really don't think what they did was a problem…
— Robin Bobcat (@BobcatRobin) November 8, 2018
They're tools. And like tools they can be used for good or bad depending on the desire of the person who wields it.
Which isn't to say you shouldn't, as a community, hold people accountable for false callouts or recognize when they are inappropriate.
— Boozy Badger (@BoozyBadger) February 5, 2019
Want to change things in your community? Volunteer and staff events, and place yourself in a position where your voice has weight behind it.
True change starts inside an organization. It doesn’t matter how shiny the outside is if the wood underneath has termites.
— Boozy Badger (@BoozyBadger) August 26, 2019
Knowledge is power [Now]
Another story comes to mind: the 2016 triple murder with furries in Fullerton CA. It had a journalist for The Atlantic assigned to write a big story. He was well qualified with past work, like a story of a community dealing with a school shooting. (Thanks to Sanjiv B. for giving me encouragement at a key point for this story.)
Sanjiv got treated terribly with backlash and a “furry code of silence” because “media is bad.” The fandom never got a good look at how the Fullerton murders came from a network of relationships made by the fandom. Everyone stays dumber and history can repeat when people attack the messenger, put image over knowledge and See No Evil.
“Media is bad” attitude is rooted in the early 2000’s and influential advice by Anthrocon’s Uncle Kage. I think it’s good advice with good intentions, but taking it as gospel can be tribalist, outdated and counterproductive. It’s amazing to hear the same words echoed by a zoophile group admin tied to the Enumclaw/”Mr. Hands” incident — not a false association with furries, but directly from the horse’s mouth.
Exploitation is real, so how do you learn more but avoid being exploited? It comes from having higher goals, and don’t just be reactionary against the media. Use the power of fandom to guide it. Be The Media. If you don’t tell the story yourself, it might just get told by someone who isn’t a friendly insider.
Friendly is relative. If someone wants you to see no evil about this story, they’re not really being your friend. Having it in furry fandom isn’t a conspiracy theory or association fallacy or just natural. We made the niche where it took root. Technology helped it to grow. Those aren’t necessarily personal choices, but now you get to choose how to respond. It’s your free speech.
What do you want — a cult, or a culture?
- Google drive: 1.5GB folder of the complete zoosadist chat logs.
- Telegram channel: A detailed breakdown of Tane’s logs. (Text only without illegal content.)
- Telegram channel: Tane’s Twitter and chat comparison (18 points corroborating the logs).
- Telegram channel: Leko’s messages about Tane.
- Telegram channel: PAWcon staffers handling the issue.
More — Part 1): Exposing the ring. Part 2): Running scared. Part 3): Investigation blocked. Part 4): A new development. Part 5): Interview with an expert.