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Let's Take a Little Bit of Cyberspace
Back for Our Kids: A Case Study of Pedophile

Misty Sanders
September 1999

As the world wide web has grown, it has opened the floodgates for pedophiles to proactively seek their prey -- children -- in a very anonymous fashion. Pedophiles are, by nature, very manipulative individuals and the internet has provided them with one of the easiest ways to trap children. They are currently doing just that in epidemic proportions

I have been an avid JonBenet Ramsey case follower, so imagine my delight when I fell upon a room in the Special Interest Rooms on AOL -- JBR Chat. I, of course, entered that room, but to my dismay the room was filled with pedophiles. At that time there were still a few trying to keep the room as a "case discussion" room; however, these folks were outnumbered. It soon became apparent to me that this room was a "nesting" ground for pedophilic activities.

I alerted AOL to the situation so many times that I lost count. I received form letters back from them and saw no action being taken. With the help of some good people, we decided to start our own sting operations. The below case is an example of one of these cases. This pedophile was caught, convicted and is currently serving a 13-year sentence in federal prison. He was from the AOL Special Interests JBR Chat Room, so don't let the "we're just into fantasy" fool ya, folks. Some of these men and women are real time players searching for children to molest. They typically begin their seduction process on kids who are having problems at home and are loners. They befriend and manipulate these innocent children until these children learn to trust the predator. Then, the predator takes advantage of the child. For those who have survived abuse, you know that healing is life long.

The following summarizes the seduction of SwetSara.

On March 13, 1998, SwetSara14 entered a Special Interests chatroom. Dozens of people were in the chatroom, but no one was chatting. There was RARELY any open chat in this room. Everyone was engaged in private chat through an (IM) instant message connection. Most were responding to information in the user's "profile" that supplied information about the user. SwetSara14's profile seem to interest many in the "Special Interest" group and SwetSara14 started receiving IMs from others in the chatroom, including a person using the "hat," CWhite8147. Below are the profiles for both SwetSara14 and CWhite8147.

SwetSara14's Profile

Member Name: if you ask I may tell you
Location: in your dreams
Birthdate: I have them
Sex: Female
Marital Status: not older enough
Hobbies: having fun with my two cats and my best friend
Computers: do you have to ask that
Occupation: Student
Personal Quote: having fun try it you may like it

CWhite8147's Profile

Member Name: CHUCK WHITE
Location: MUNCIE, IN
Birthdate: OCT. 7
Sex: Male
Marital Status: SINGLE

For the next two and one-half months, SwetSara14 and Cwhite8147 would have many online chats and exchange e-mail messages. SwetSara14 and CWhite8147 would establish an online cyber-relationship that seemed to be private conversations between a 14-year-old girl and a 49-year-old man. In reality, it was an effort on the part of two people to track and interact with a pedophile online.

There was an abundant amount of behavior to observe. Hours and hours of salacious chatting with all the sexual banter that is typical of the seduction process of a pedophile. Daily romantic e-mails came to the virtual mailbox of SwetSara14. Transcript of all the chat, copies of e-mails and anything else received from CWhite was documented. We realized that the information we gathered may become important evidence, but we really didn't realize how vital this information would become.

From Cwhite's profile, a phone/address search and reverse search was done on Charles White who was supposedly located in Muncie, Indiana. The search results showed the following:

Charles L White
1616 W White River Blvd, Muncie , IN 47303-4950
765 288 4917

The accuracy of this information was supported by the following two excerpts from the chat logs:

SwetSara14: are u married
CWhite8147: no im all yours
SwetSara14: then I can call u sometime and it would be okay
CWhite8147: oh yes *** *** **** call collect

Cwhite8147: u going to send me some panties)
SwetSara14: I lost ur address dnd't want to tell ya :-()
CWhite8147: lol its ok sweetie u can tell me anything u want it again)
SwetSara14: k)
SwetSara14: sorry)
CWhite8147: chuck white)
xxxx w. whiteriver blvd.)
muncie, in. 47304)

Other information came from White, himself, and eventually proved to be accurate.

E-Mails with attachments:
Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 11:16:17 EST
Content-ID: <>
Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII
well here it is hope u still will let me see u

Content-ID: <>
Content-type: image/jpeg;
Attachment Converted: C:\MICROSER\CHUCK.JPG name="CHUCK.JPG"

The picture of Mr. White located at the top of this article became vital to the case.

From: CWhite8147
Subject: here
Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 20:56:56 EST
Organization: AOL (
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-type: multipart/mixed;
Content-ID: <>
Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII

****this will be yours to drive when u come live with me im serious****

Content-ID: <>
Content-type: image/jpeg;

Content-disposition: inline

Attachment Converted: C:\MICROSER\MYVETTE1.JPG

The promise of gifts like the above Corvette is a classic example of the seduction methods used by predators. Below are two examples of the same behavior from the chat logs.

CWhite8147: we will go shopping and buy u lot of teddys and panties
CWhite8147: to play in
SwetSara14: oh i like that
CWhite8147: then i will video u modeling them for me
SwetSara14: ok
CWhite8147: can u take new stuff like that home with u
CWhite8147: if not i will keep them and bring them back and forth with me
SwetSara14: yeh i think i can
CWhite8147: ok cool
CWhite8147: cant wait to spend some time with u
CWhite8147: do u like corvettes

CWhite8147: i almost bought u the neatest neckless today
CWhite8147: do u like indian jewerlery
SwetSara14: yeh thats what email said thanks for thinking of me
CWhite8147: i have never stopped thinking of u
SwetSara14: i lik that makes me fel specail
CWhite8147: u are very to me
SwetSara14: very what
CWhite8147: SPECIAL !!!!
SwetSara14: :)
SwetSara14: ok
SwetSara14: u are my daddy
CWhite8147: ummmm i like that
CWhite8147: cant wait to see u in my corvette
SwetSara14: cant wait to rid in it
SwetSara14: ride oops
CWhite8147: if we can find a place to do it i want to take so pics of u and it
SwetSara14: k
CWhite8147: topless and naked
SwetSara14: k
CWhite8147: cool
SwetSara14: oh daddy i gotta go mom is yeling at me to do hw
White8147: ok baby i love u be good and hope iu talk to u tomorrow
SwetSara14: k kiss
CWhite8147: email me
SwetSara14: k
SwetSara14: byebye

Child molesters often encourage their child victims to view pornography to allow them "to break the rules" and lower inhibitions. On March 20, CWhite sent SwetSara14 this E-mail with attachment.

From: CWhite8147
Subject: xx
Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 17:42:47 EST
Organization: AOL (
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-type: multipart/mixed;

Content-ID: <>
Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII

Content-ID: <>
Content-type: image/jpeg;

Content-disposition: inline

Attachment Converted: C:\MICROSER\6SUKCUM.JPG

The act of sending the above E-Mail on March 20 at 17:42 EST was a crime. Within one hour of receiving this E-Mail , federal and local Law enforcement agencies were notified. On March 24, I was contacted by an agent from the Local FBI Office in Muncie, Indiana.

On March 25, documents were federal expressed to the FBI Muncie office. These documents and disks included transcripts of chats and E-Mails with CWhite, a picture of C White, picture of his car (corvette), three child porn pictures, home address, home phone number.

From March 25 to April 9, periodic chats were continued with C. White under the direction of the FBI. On April 9, the FBI requested that the AOL account and the SwetSara14 identity be turned over and placed under the control of the FBI. Documents were signed giving FBI the necessary passwords to access the AOL account and permission to take over and assume the role of SwetSara14. ..

The FBI needed to study the writing style of SwetSara14 to be able to take over her identity. Assuming the role and identity of the talented SwetSara14 proved very difficult even for the folks at the FBI. Matching personalities in a chatroom was apparently too risky, so the FBI continued communications the CWhite via E-Mail only. As the internet identity SwetSara14 was passed to FBI agents, they suggested we send one last E-Mail to create some down time and help the transition.

Below is the last E-Mail

From: SwetSara14
Subject: HI~~
Date: Sat, 28 Mar 1998 17:43:19 EST
Organization: AOL (
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII
Content-transfer-encoding: 7bit

I got spring break next week so mom and me are going to go away for a few days. See ya when I get back *kiss* sara

Muncie man faces child porn charges
The Star Press ...6-6-98

MUNCIE -- A Muncie man went too far on the World Wide Web when he sent an e-mail message containing child pornography, authorities said

FBI agents arrested Charles L. White, 49, 1616 W. White River Blvd., on Friday. He faces charges of traveling in interstate commerce to have sex with a minor, enticing a minor to have sex and transmitting child pornography in interstate commerce.

"This is a very disturbing offense, and we want to do everything we can to stop it," U.S. attorney Judith A. Stewart said. "It's an increasing problem that has taken a top priority by the Department of Justice."

The FBI received a tip in March from a concerned citizen who received an e-mail message from White that contained child pornography, authorities said.

FBI agents posing as a 14-year-old girl spent 2 months writing to White. Through e-mail conversations, White arranged to meet the girl in Ohio to have sex.

After the arrangement was set up by the FBI, White traveled to Ohio, where agents watched him wait for a girl who never showed up.

Friday morning, agents arrested White while he was at work.

Hours later, White appeared before a U.S. magistrate in Indianapolis, where a hearing was scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday.

The charges carry a maximum prison sentence of 35 years and a fine of up to $750,000.

"Child pornography is obviously a great concern to parents," Stewart said. "We encourage anyone who sees something like that on the Internet to call us immediately."

Indictments returned against Muncie man 6-25-98

INDIANAPOLIS -- A federal grand jury on Tuesday returned indictments against a Muncie man accused of transmitting child pornography on the Internet.

Charles L. White, 49, was indicted in U.S. District Court on four counts: possessing child pornography, possessing a computer hard-drive disk containing child pornography, and two counts of possessing unregistered sawed-off shotguns.

Each of the two child-pornography charges carries a maximum 5-year prison term, and each weapons charge carries a maximum 10-year sentence. He also faces a fine of up to $250,000 on each count.

Federal agents arrested White in Muncie on June 5 after an investigation by the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve DeBrota.

The Muncie man was released from custody last Wednesday, when he was placed on electronic home detention pending resolution of his case. He was ordered not to use computers or have contact with persons under the age of 18.

According to Tuesday's indictments, White is accused of possessing two Polaroid photographs, a videotape and a computer hard-drive disk that contained "visual depictions of minors under the age of 18 years engaging in sexually explicit conduct."

U.S. Attorney Judith Stewart said the investigation leading to White's arrest was "part of a coordinated nationwide effort to halt the making and distribution of child pornography through interstate computer networks."

After White was indicted, the FBI did receive phone calls and one call was from the mother of two children who said she knew Charles White, had always trusted him around her two girls and that he was very good with kids. Since reading about Mr White's indictment for child pornography; however, she was now very concerned because White had been babysitting her two girls.

Many pornographic pictures had been seized during the exercise of a search warrant at White's home. These pictures showed young females having sex with an unidentified adult male. One of the young girls White had been babysitting was identified in one of the pictures. The male in the pictures, however, was not identifiable due to an absence of visible facial features in the pictures. Although agents could not positively identify White directly from the pornographic pictures, the unique wristwatch worn by the unidentifiable man was the exact same watch visible in the CHUCK.JPG file that White sent to SwetSara14 in an E-Mail. Agents were thus able to identify White by the unique wristwatch visible in both pictures.

The success of this project is based on a cooperative effort of numerous people. Throughout the process of this project, many people aided in the gathering of information and offered their experience and expertise. From the time SwetSara14 first logged on throughout the sentencing of Charles White, many knowledgeable people offered their guidance and advice. Particularly, I would like to thank Donald Pugh who provided me with his experience and knowledge. He enlisted the help of both Robert Ressler and Ken Lanning and they provided us with their years of research and experience, their support and opinions. Thanks also to Mr. Pugh's friend and advisor, Greg Mengell, of the Intersrate Association for Stolen Children who provided us with his excellent insight into the behavior of pedophiles and child molesters.

The following is a letter from SwetSara14 to the victims of Charles White.

I'm SwetSara14. I knew your friend, Charles White. Do you have a computer? Well, I do and that's how I met him. He was real nice to me and talked to me all the time on AOL. They have a way where you can talk to people you wanna talk to online by typing. He gave me lots of attention.

I think Chuck liked me the way he liked you; you know kinda like a grown-up likes a grown-up. He promised to buy me lots of stuff if I let him do to me the same things he did to you. He even wanted me to come live with him after I got out of school and he would let me drive his yellow corvette. He sent me lots of pictures of kids doing grown-up stuff and he told me that it was okay to do stuff like that.

But, he also told me that I couldn't tell no matter what. He said he would get in trouble if I told and they would do bad stuff to him and to me. I guess that scared me. Did he tell you those kinds of things too? Did it scare you too?

My dad did things like that to me when I was a little girl and I really didn't like it. The problem was, I lived with him and he was my dad. I loved him and wanted to please him so I just went along with what he wanted and didn't tell anybody. It made my life pretty sad because I felt so alone all the time. I had this big secret that I didn't like, but I couldn't let anyone know about it. It was real hard. I think what I did was just forget about it for a while -- it was easier that way for me. It's just that the remembering part hurts so bad when you grow up and you think about all that stuff that happened when you were a kid. It makes it real tough to trust people and stuff like that.

My dad even did stuff with my friends when I was a little girl. It got to the point where my girlfriends wouldn't come to my house because of my dad. That even made it sadder for me. I was very much alone. My of my girlfriend's moms even called my mother to tell her, but my mother didn't believe her. She never asked me though. I'm glad because I don't know what I would have said.

The bottom line was, though, that I loved my dad. He was kind, gave me lots of attention and bought me anything I wanted. That was my prize for keeping his secret. What did Chuck give you?

When I talked to Chuck, I knew he did the same things as my dad -- bad stuff to kids. I also knew that there were kids like you who were feeling the same way as me when I was a kid. I wanted to help you so I pretended to be a kid too. I kind of tricked Chuck so he would do something bad and I could tell the police about him. That's why Chuck is not bothering you any more. He's in a place where he can't hurt kids any more and you are safe.

I know that the stuff he did to you makes you sad. I know when I was a kid it made me feel like I was really bad and even now, as a grown up when I think about the stuff my dad did to me it still makes me very sad. But, I know now that I'm not bad; he was the bad one. I hope that some day you will grow up with an understanding about the memories you have about Chuck so that you will be happy and not feel bad about yourself. It makes me feel better knowing that you are now safe and that Chuck won't hurt you or any other child ever again..

Be safe and happy.

Your friend,