The darknet unfortunately had and still has a lot of websites and forums created by pedophiles to distribute child pornography.
The website we’ll talk about today is “The Love Zone (TLZ).”
We will also talk about one of its members; Richard Huckle, “Britain’s worst ever pedophile.”
One of the Largest Pedophile Networks
This website had well over 45,000 members. It was one of the largest and most secure pedophile networks that existed on the Dark Web. Tens of thousands of pedophiles frequently uploaded new material on the website In fact, that was how they remained members of the website.
The website first came to the authorities’ attention in 2014. By July 2014, the website had over 29,000 members. 29,000 pedophiles.
How the Admin of TLZ Got Caught
Back to Richard Huckle, here is how he got caught.
Authorities were aware of “The Love Zone” already and noticed one member who always made posts using the unusual greeting “hiyas” and had a distinctive freckle on his finger. This led to the arrest of the admin of TLZ, Shannon McCoole.
In 2014, Queensland Police’ Task Force Argos, a unit focused on combating child exploitation crimes, managed to identify the site’s administrator (pictured above). The unit quietly took over his account, and for months ran the site in undercover, posing as its owner.
This helped the authorities see what the users were viewing, and what pages they were visiting, but not where they were really connecting from.
So they hacked them.
This helped unmask the IP addresses of many members of TLZ. This includes Richard Huckle.
Few Facts About Richard Huckle
Between 2006 and 2014, Huckle had groomed and abused up to 200 Malaysian children, including babies, in Kuala Lumpur, while masquerading as an English teacher and philanthropist.
When he was arrested, over 20,000 indecent pictures and videos were found on his laptop.
He also awarded himself “pedopoints” for 15 levels of abuse rated from “basic” to “hardcore.”
He had also compiled a 60-page manual, “Paedophiles and Poverty: Child Love Guide”, which focused on selecting deprived victims without being caught, and was found on his laptop.
He’d planned to publish it online and wanted to create a paedophile wiki guide. “I’d hit the jackpot,” he wrote, “in a three-year-old girl as loyal to me as my dog, and nobody seemed to care.”
The authorities taking control over the website helped rescue 85 children from ongoing abuse and arrested hundreds. One member that stood out was Huckle. This was due to the huge amount of “new material” he distributed on the website and the number of children he had abused.
After discovering his real identity, they learned that he was due to return to the United Kingdom to spend Christmas with his family and immediately alerted the National Crime Agency.
He was arrested at Gatwick Airport on 19 December 2014.
Huckle had been granted bail under the conditions that he live at his parents’ address whilst investigations were in progress. This was because he had no criminal record. However, when out on bail, he was confronted by his mother about the allegations.
Huckle admitted to raping children aged three to thirteen, at which point his parents refused to allow him to remain in the house and called the police. He returned to police custody.
Huckle was then re-arrested and charged with 91 counts including creation and possession of child pornography, rape of a child under the age of 12, child abuse, and facilitating the commission of child sexual offenses by creating a pedophile manual. He was denied bail.
Huckle is now in jail. We all know how other inmates view pedophiles, right?
He was not treated well.
In fact, Paul Fitzgerald in specific said he wanted Huckle to feel feel what his victims had felt.
So what did Paul do?
He just strangled him with an electrical cable sheath, inserted a pen into his brain and penetrated his anus with a blunt object Then he raped him, stabbed him and strangled him to death.
He told doctors he had sexually assaulted Huckle, even though he did not find him sexually attractive.
He also said that he felt that it was “poetic justice and he wanted him to feel what all those children had felt.”
Finally, he said “I don’t have the ability to look at people and see them as human beings. I don’t value them, I don’t care about them.”