To hear that anyone has been the victim of a violent crime is disturbing, but when the person involved is a child the horror of the situation is intensified. These most innocent and vulnerable members of our society should be protected by the adults in their life, not exploited and abused. However, in our technological age, those who wish to do harm to children are finding more ways to do so.
Twenty-six people in New York have been arrested for viewing and sharing images of child pornography, including videos of kids being raped and sexually assaulted. There are apparently thousands of children who are seen victimized in the footage that was collected by authorities, ranging in age from only one year up through teenagers. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is now working to determine the identities and parents or guardians of these kids.
The men who have been arrested are both young adults and senior citizens, and some of them even work in environments in which children are frequently around. It is frightening to face the reality of how many others continue to view this material without detection . . . at least for now.
It is difficult to understand the psychology of a person who enjoys watching the sexual abuse of anyone, but particularly young children. And, there is at least just as much mystery to someone who would engage in these acts. Forensic psychologists are so important in cases such as this one, both to locate and arrest other possible suspects and to engage the accused criminals in conversation in order to learn information that may be helpful in the case.
I have long been a student of criminal behavior and have incorporated my education into all three of my novels—Compulsion, Dead Game, and Silent Partner. While I certainly still have more questions than answers, I hope that my background lends some credibility to the characters I create and the challenges that law enforcement faces in capturing them.