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Uncovering the horrifying online world of child predators with ‘The Murder Sheet’ podcast hosts

The dangers of the internet are preached to us from a young age, and with good reason too. Take SCREENSHOT’s previous coverage on the predators and paedophiles lurking in kidfluencers’ following lists and comment sections as one example—probably a worse prospect than any creepypasta material you could come up with, but they are very much real.

One such case involved a man by the name of Kegan Anthony Kline, a suspect to the Indiana police, and led to one of the largest Indiana investigations into a case of child sexual abuse materials (CSAM)—which is child pornography, child abuse media and the like—in one fell swoop, according to Indiana police. Kline is currently being held in Miami County, after he was charged in August 2020 with 30 counts that included child exploitation, possession of child pornography and obstruction of justice, to which the defendant entered a preliminary plea of not guilty, NBC News reported.

Kline’s story only got more terrifying when local police discovered a possible connection to another crime unrelated to the rest of his CSAM case. Two homicides that took place on 14 February 2017—of 13-year-old Abigail J. Williams and 14-year-old Liberty Rose Lynn German, referred to as “Abby” and “Libby”—in what’s known as the ‘Delphi murders’ due to the fact that they took place in Delphi, Indiana.

The Murder Sheet podcast

Following greater discussion surrounding the Delphi Murders, SCREENSHOT spoke to two individuals who have successfully drawn the internet’s attention to the case—as well as Kline’s disturbingly extensive track record of paedophilic and predatory behaviour—journalist Áine Cain and attorney Kevin Greenlee from The Murder Sheet (TMS) podcast.

The married couple, Cain, a senior journalist for Insider, and Greenlee, an Indiana lawyer, host their podcast together which began in 2020. The weekly podcast largely focuses on a myriad of true crime topics (particularly those that lack mainstream coverage) for their audience. So, “if you’re looking for thoughtful, in-depth coverage of lesser-known crimes, this is the true-crime podcast for you,” TMS’ description on ART19 reads.

In their own words, the podcast is dedicated to “in-depth research, original reporting, and thoughtful analysis,” and with their investigative and legal backgrounds, this only makes more sense. Their professional and expert insight is what, they state, differentiates them from other shows, providing new insightful takes instead of the “rehashing [of] superficial talking points.”

Due to the level of extensive research under their belts, stretching beyond the reporting of mainstream outlets, SCREENSHOT thought of none better to comment on what Kline’s case can show about the dangers of the internet, especially when it comes to children. Here is what we uncovered.

The Delphi murders

Before we begin, it’s crucial to break down the essential focal points in the Delphi murders for those who may not have heard of the brutal case. The expert duo have shared that they’ve been looking into the murders of Abby and Libby for the past “several months”—adding that the story hit close to home. “We began to cover the Delphi case because we live in Indiana and the loss of those two girls has had a tremendous and traumatic impact on the community.”

 

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Sharing details of the case with us, The Murder Sheet pair explained that earlier that afternoon, on the day of their murder, the young girls “went walking on some of Delphi’s trails and hiked along the Monon High Bridge—a tall, abandoned bridge spanning Deer Creek.” Cain and Greenlee further divulged that “police [had] released images and audio taken from Libby’s phone. Before her murder, she had captured an image of a man walking on the Monon High Bridge, along with a male voice saying the words, ‘Guys, down the hill’.”

Four years after the still-unsolved case was initially opened, there have been no homicide-related arrests to date in connection to the heartbreaking murders. But now, there might seriously be a prime suspect.

Kegan Anthony Kline

According to People magazine, Kline, aged 27, is the man “behind a fake social media account that investigators say might be connected to the 2017 murders.” On 6 December 2021, Indiana State Police announced they were looking into leads surrounding an Instagram account under the handle @anthony_shots. Detectives assigned to the case suggested that there was a “potential, unspecified connection between the account and the murders,” the publication further reported in an article from that same year.

Kline had a sordid history, evidenced by interviews with sources previously close to him, of dating barely legal girls. “That preference did not change as he grew older, according to our sources. […] Many said he was quite reclusive, and seemed keen to give off the impression that he was living for an extended period of time in Las Vegas,” the podcast pair disclosed to SCREENSHOT.

An affidavit released soon after the aforementioned announcement alleged that Kline was actually the ‘Anthony’ from @anthony_shots—using a fake name and age as well as stolen pictures from a police officer and model for the forged profile. This was also keenly tracked by redditors in the r/AbbyandLibby community thread. Though the case has, undoubtedly, had numerous leads, Kline’s connection to it busted the door wide open to an even more horrifying network of predatory social media accounts targeting the two young girls, possible links to multiple accomplices and even an online paedophile ring utilising instant messaging services.

It was Kline’s use of his fake profile that allowed him to “catfish underage girls,” Cain and Greenlee revealed with People Magazine detailing that the Instagram account would be utilised to find his victims and thus the conversation would be moved to Snapchat—where he reportedly received more than a hundred sexually explicit imagery from about 15 minors.

The TMS team was able to successfully obtain a transcript from August 2020 interview tapes between Kline and the police, which “revealed that the @anthony_shots profile had communicated with Libby shortly before her death, and that she had been ‘enthralled’ by the account.” Another troubling discovery revealed by the recordings was that numerous devices were “linked to disturbing searches around CSAM and the Delphi case.” He even “possibly interacted with other predators on Dropbox and Kik,” the pair continued.

Following such findings by investigators, Kline has since been charged with obstruction of justice, TMS shared, “For deleting evidence off the phone [which] he was allegedly predominantly using to communicate with Libby back in 2017.”

A series of terrifying tapes

As part of TMS’ reporting of the case, the pair reenacted and read off the transcripts of Kline’s interview with the police to the podcast’s audience—exploring his online practices in preying on underage girls. But, after the revelations of a disturbing linked network, it became clear that not just this criminal was using such methods. Could this predator’s use of fake social media profiles to target unsuspecting minors reveal more in regard to other similar cases? The Murder Sheet experts certainly think so.

“One thing that’s striking about this case, and other cases involving sexual predators that target children, is that these perpetrators tend to find one another,” they replied, adding on, “police are allowed to exaggerate or even lie in these interviews. But if that’s true, then that indicates that Kline’s activities were not done in isolation. That would mean that he was a small part of a wider ring of adult predators, which is a horrifying thought.”

Furthermore, Cain and Greenlee shared with SCREENSHOT that detectives were claiming Kline’s use of a secondary fake profile on Kik (known as ‘emilyanne45’) appeared to have been involved in the solicitation and distribution of child sexual abuse material with other adult predatory accounts. Unfortunately, “the advent of the internet has aided criminals who prey on children, allowing them to network by easily creating and sharing abuse materials,” the couple continued.

“The vast majority of the time, users adopt these platforms for totally innocuous reasons. But for sexual predators targeting children, these apps and sites become part of their arsenal,” The Murder Sheet duo further explained. “In this case, it appears that the problem is that predators were utilising popular online apps to prey on children and exchange child sexual abuse materials,” spanning over sites like Snapchat, Instagram, and Dropbox, the team pointed out. Furthermore, as stated by the information found in the tapes, Kline had an arsenal all by himself—operating a plethora of devices from home to pursue his predatory agenda. Not just for his own abominable atrocities but for the searching for any CSAM content available online—an issue the TMS team state needs to be smashed.

“Eradicating [CSAM] from the web and identifying and incarcerating offenders should be a priority. That means acknowledging the severity of the issue, and resolving to change it. The public must demand action from the tech giants that enrich themselves while predators exploit their platforms to abuse children.”

The Kline tapes reveal a worrying state of affairs as to how easily exposed children may be to predators online but the question remains, how can we protect them? “Families and educators should certainly speak to children about the dangers that online predators pose, and help kids foster good habits around online safety,” Cain and Greenlee emphasised—while also accurately reminding us the buck falls squarely on tech company shoulders.

Out of the pixelated shadows and into the light

Although Kline’s tapes reveal very little on the details of the progress of the case itself, it does provide vital insight into how CSAM is distributed among a wide network of predators and possibly how they operate. According to TMS, “Different online predators may have different levels of risk aversion.” In the transcripts, Kline claimed that he was only corresponding with children aged thirteen and older, and that “somebody else was using his phone” for all the other predatory activity uncovered by police. “Generally, when predators are displaying blatantly criminal behaviour without any regard for the possibility of getting caught, that speaks to a certain level of hubris,” the duo stated, highlighting the fact that Kline is definitely not the only criminal out there.

Thanks to the police interview, there may be potential evidence to prove the existence of the potential predatory network previously discussed—simply speaking, Kline may not have been acting alone in the Delphi murders. “The possibility that the Delphi case is linked to online child sexual abuse rings is sickening. […] The other individual who lived in the residence at that time was [Kline’s] father, Jerry Anthony Kline, also known as ‘Tony’. […] The possibility that a father-and-son duo could have been involved with child sexual abuse materials and the double homicide of two children is certainly shocking,” the podcast hosts went on to say.

As for Cain and Greenlee and the future of TMS’ murder investigations, the two shared that one of their main prerogatives is to “keep the public up-to-date on the latest developments in the Delphi case.” By releasing audios of the transcripts, they hope to have helped fill what they call the “information vacuum” that existed within this case.

It goes without saying that the issue of CSAM is one that society needs to take very seriously. Though it currently seems hard to decipher immediate solutions to the widespread matter, “pushing schools across the country to offer uniform and frank education on the subject” seems like a good first step.

Since their initial coverage of the Kline tapes, The Murder Sheet team have continued to share vital new updates—instilling hope that the case won’t be cold for much longer and justice can finally be served.

You can listen to The Murder Sheet podcast here or find their videos on YouTube.

‘Mommy-ran accounts’ and the dangerous paedophile rings preying on kidfluencer content

Do you ever wonder how in the world child stars on Instagram have followings of hundreds of thousands if not millions? If you can see past all your envy at the shiny brand deals and the sponsorship galore on their pages, you might notice they say ‘Account run by Mommy’ in the bio. I decided to take a closer look and what I found horrified me. Introducing the horror that is the ‘Mommy-ran account’.

In the digital age, everything is content—from teens train hopping on TikTok and participating in trash streaming abuse on YouTube to silent streams that send viewers into a serene sleep and mukbang content creators slowly killing themselves for clicks—the list of opportunities to go viral seems endless. As a result, this means that the line between what is ethical and what isn’t often gets blurry, especially when the content in question includes other people than the main creator. Today, we’re going to think of the children and investigate the bizarre and dangerous world of mommy-ran accounts.

@semicrunchicami

the legality of North West’s tiktok #greenscreen #kimkardashian #kanyewest #northwest #mommyranaccounts

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While some might argue that TikTok has an educational value that differs from formal education in a beneficial way, it’s also important to note that the platform is yet to have found a successful approach to dealing with its problem of children being exposed to harmful content. With potential predators and even paedophiles hiding behind their screens, child safety is a concern many have on their mind, especially parents. Simply speaking, it’s dangerous to have children online in any capacity, although there are known ways to safeguard their experience as much as possible.

But what happens when the very people who are supposed to protect their children are the ones putting them in danger (either knowingly or unknowingly)?

The world of mommy-ran accounts

@mom.uncharted

In this case, the parents know exactly who is following #socialmedia #fyp #influencer #parentsoftiktok #foryou #protectthechildren #momsoftiktok

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Between aesthetic moms and mommy managers that have found ways to make money out of their little darlings on Instagram and TikTok, there are also the mommy-ran accounts—profiles of kidfluencers where their parents (usually mothers) are behind the wheel.

SCREENSHOT talked to one mother and content creator to gain some insight from the community in order to understand more about the harmful circles operating around mommy-ran accounts. Speaking to Sarah Adams, otherwise known as @mom.uncharted on TikTok, I was horrified by the world she uncovered hiding in the follower lists of mommy accounts: paedophiles and predators.

As a married mother of two children, Adams shared that she is “fascinated by the evolution and state of parental public oversharing.” She described her content as “focused around parental public oversharing—think family vloggers or influencers who have turned kids into content.” I can certainly name a few, I’m side-eyeing the ACE Family here.

The content creator  also wanted to talk more openly online about the concept of ‘Sharenting’ (the practice of parents publicising content about their children on internet platforms). “I’ve also incorporated child safety, online sharing practices, and sharing stories/articles related to the topics I discuss,” she added. Asking Adams why she chose to investigate mommy-ran accounts—since it’s a very dark rabbit hole to fall into—she explained that they fell into an intersection of her content around child exploitation on social media.

@mom.uncharted

When does content feel exploitative to you? #momcontent #socialmedia #fyp #influencers #familyvlog #foryoupage

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Adams’ primary predicaments with these accounts fit into three categories: “One: the exploitation of children for fame and financial gain, two: privacy and consent—children cannot give informed consent [as well as] their right to privacy infringed upon and three: the disregard, or lack of knowledge on the dangers/potential consequences, for the child’s online safety.”

Some are uncomfortable with these accounts posting so much content. For example, one of Adam’s videos covers the epidemic of children being filmed sleeping, in the middle of breakdowns and intimate milestones or purposefully disrupting them from their routines in order to make so-called ‘entertaining’ content. Though Adams maintained that it is well within a parent’s right to post what they want of their children, she clarified that her issue lies with the “belief that children also have a right to privacy.”

“I do not think strangers on the internet should be privy to so much information and have so much access to your children. We are unaware of the long-term effects or potential consequences to having our children’s lives played out online for the public so as parents—we need to err on the side of caution and be mindful of what we post,” she continued.

Adams’ concern lies in those yet unknown long-term consequences. Years of being forced to be a fashionista, a brand rep for money and a constant vehicle of sometimes distressing content creation must impact a child negatively, right? “I think the long-term effects have yet to be seen other than the issues of privacy, consent and safety,” she first told me.

But the video creator  seemed to share the same sentiment I did, that being judged purely for physical, aesthetic or any aspects of your life that are out of your control will most definitely have an impact on a child. “Being thrown into the world of materialism and consumerism at such a young age is bound to have some effects on a child’s psyche,” Adams explained.

Are mommy-ran accounts knowingly baiting predators?

Moving on, we dived into the deep end and started to peel back the curtain on the predators: the most terrifying side of the world of mommy-ran accounts. “They aren’t hiding over on the ‘dark web’, they are active and present on all the social media platforms and currently there is no effective way to remove them from [those],” Adams divulged.

Furthermore, it’s simple for them to lay in wait undetected and manoeuvre past safety blocks. “It’s easy for anyone to create an anonymous account with a photo of a puppy or a stock model and curate a whole private account of minor accounts they follow,” she continued.

@mom.uncharted

A hashtag doesn’t seem so innocent once you know who is following it 🥺 #socialmedia #influencers #fyp #fy #parentsoftiktok #protectthechildren

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In one viral video of Adams’, she brought up the use of emojis, hashtags and words—some of the most commonly seen being ‘MAP’ (for ‘Minor Attracted Person’), ‘69’, ‘drp’, 🍕—and I asked her to expand on what they signify.

“This was a new discovery for me so I am not overly familiar, however, people in my comment section on that video have stated a variety of symbols and words they use to identify themselves. The blue swirl, which is the 🌀, is one I was informed of by a fellow TikToker that stands for ‘looking for/interested in young boys’. Cheese pizza (🍕) has the acronym ‘CP’ which is covert for ‘Child Porn’.”

Furthermore, brands should let kids be kids and move away from working with kidfluencers or individuals who are exploiting their children. “There are amazing mom accounts that don’t or seldom feature their children and the brands should focus on collaborating with those individuals,” she stated.

While it doesn’t look like mommy-ran accounts will be going away anytime soon, Adams and others online are starting to call them out. And about time too. With her content, Adams remains assured in her mission to unveil the dangers of child content on the internet for other parents to be aware of. “My main goal is to present a different perspective on public parental oversharing in an attempt to have parents pause before posting and think, ‘Do my kids really need to be here?’” Adams finished off.