By Jenifer McKim
|When agents in the Homeland Security Investigations office in Boston sent a picture of an abused boy with a toy bunny into an international database, it was a Dutch detective who identified the rabbit as a well known character in a Dutch children's book. Courtesy of Tamir Kalifa for The Boston Globe
As soon as they saw the terrified boy’s photo three years ago, federal agents Peter Manning and Gregory Squire had the same thought: we have to save him. The blue-eyed child, about 18 months old, was naked from the waist down and clutching a stuffed rabbit for comfort. There was no doubt he had been sexually abused. But that doesn’t begin to describe his suffering.
“He looked like he had been crying for three days,” Squire recalled in a recent interview.
It’s not as if Manning and Squire hadn’t been faced with this kind of image — and worse — before. Assigned to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations office in Boston, their job is to track down child pornographers and victims. Over the years, they’ve become painfully familiar with some of the hundreds of thousands of child pornography pictures and videos online. Many depict almost unimaginably grotesque attacks on infants and toddlers and are traded like baseball cards by men using obscure Internet outposts to revel in their depravity.
Source: The Boston Globe