Sex Trafficking

Texas Mom’s Paranoid Rant Spawns Viral Sex-Trafficking Rumor

"I've heard this is happening at Target, Walmart & Kmart; often in the mornings/before lunch."

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In a Facebook status shared by more than 139,000 people, Texas mom Amanda Cropsey Florczykowski tells of a harrowing run-in with child sex traffickers at an unnamed store in Longview. Florczykowski is "convinced" that her two-year-old daughter was the target of a brazen ring of traffickers who literally pluck children out of their mothers' arms in checkout lines. Luckily, with her wits and the Lord at her side, Florcyzkowski was able to thwart the nefarious gang, retrieve her child, and use the experience as a warning to others. 

The entire paranoid fantasy really has to be read to be believed, so I'll paste the whole thing below. But first, let's jump ahead to the truth of this encounter: Snopes contacted Longview, Texas, police about the claim yesterday. "They told us that the department reviewed surveillance video and that the interaction in question lasted approximately 'two seconds,'" Kim LaCapria writes

Police were sympathetic to the mother's fears, but said that the incident was inconsistent with genuine reports of labor or sex trafficking. The clip was passed on to state law enforcement for further review, but police in Longview did not indicate parents need worry about "stranger danger" in the area…

This isn't the first time a "strange encounter" in a chain-store checkout line has spurred rumors of roving, calculating criminals intent on abducting women and children in public. Last spring, for instance, an Oklahoma woman was convinced that she'd been the target of intended abduction at her local Hobby Lobby craft store. And like with previous stranger-danger panics, people have projected onto the evildoers a specific intent relevant to the time: sex trafficking. LaCapria points out a few more examples: 

in June [2015], Twitter users warned others of sex slavery rings targeting college kids during summer job interviews … then a harrowing tale of heroin-armed purported teenaged assailants working out of the bathroom of a Denton, Texas, Dillards department store circulated across the same channels; a Hickory, North Carolina woman claimed human trafficking rings were meancing the parking lots of Walmarts to locate new victims; and a Long Island Target was briefly cited as the locale of similar kidnappers in August 2015.

Travis Hornung/Flickr

After a relatively active period over last spring and summer, LaCapria notes, sex-trafficking panics "went dormant" until now.

Interestingly, this corresponds to the time period during and directly after the passage of the federal Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, which had lurid stories about human trafficking frequently making mainstream news, and an onslaught of January 2016 coverage and public-awareness efforts across the country for "Human Trafficking Awareness Month." 

But back to Florczykowski's story. The Longview Police Department responded in a Facebook post that both dismissed her claims that "sex traffickers" like this were common and encouraged citizens to "report any suspicious activity immediately."

"When our citizens are observant and they report suspicious activity they may be a key to deter or prevent future criminal offenses from occurring," police continued. Of course, they may also waste everyone's time with baseless suspicion rooted in the moral panic of the moment. Which brings us to Florczykowski's original post:

My name is Amanda and I'm a Longview, Texas resident. I'm convinced that our two year old daughter was the victim of a potential sex-trafficking scam yesterday.

I got in the check-out line at a local store early afternoon. I took my daughter out of the cart and the couple ahead struck up the typical conversation about how "cute your daughter is" and then asked about her age, repeatedly. I initially was understanding of what I assumed was a cultural barrier, but I quickly became uncomfortable with the woman's body language and close proximity to my cart/kids. I picked my daughter up only to have the woman ask if she could hold her. The woman was so close at this point that my toddler reached her arms around the woman before I could really respond. In an instant her proximity finally changed and she backed away. I grabbed back on to my daughter as the woman was saying, "Say bye to mommy"—what an unusual comment to provoke a child to say. The woman resisted returning her when I physically pulled my daughter from her arms.

Know their conversation began immediately with me and this all took place over only a few moments. After this couple left, I was really shaken up but still noticed the man a few feet away in my peripheral vision, continuing to stand, by himself, with no groceries, in a closed check-out lane. He faced the opposite direction, but was looking over his shoulder at me; glaring would be an understatement. His eyes did not leave my every move and I confidently matched his stare to show I was aware of his presence. I loudly conversed with the cashier about their security staff and the odd couple that seemed predatory.

I'm thankful to Jesus that He alone protected us! I was able to get out and home safely with my family.

I've since researched sex-trafficking and some details were precisely my experience. I want to recount those specifics to create awareness in hopes that you can protect your own children.

-Abductors often work in groups and position themselves throughout the store. Although it wouldn't appear that these 3 individuals were shopping together, I am certain this man and couple were a team.

-This couple were of East Indian descent and the man was white and covered in tattoos—all were mid 30's. Beware no matter the color, appearance, age or sex.

-The couple checked out with 2 items of little value. Something they could easily abandon.

-The woman had alarming proximity to me at times and twice put her hand on my basket. She created one route for me to place my groceries, thus leaving my attention divided between my kids and my task. (I did not place anything on the belt until they left…FYI

-I20 is a prominent sex-trafficking route; Longview included. In fact, the U.S. Department of Justice used the following cities to study sex-trafficking data. Notice the first three. 
Dallas,TX
San Antonio, TX
Fort Worth, TX
Salt Lake City, UT
Buffalo, NY
Baton Rouge and New Orleans, LA
Independence, MO
Las Vegas, NV
Clearwater, FL
The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (U.S. Territory) 

-Houston is a popular port where these children are sold overseas

-Abductors often follow you to your car and snatch the willing child they bonded with moments before; all while you put in groceries. 

-Abductors can follow you home. 

-The cashier remarked that she thought I knew these strangers. Their body language conveyed that to onlookers, which would make an exit convenient. 

-I've heard this is happening at Target, Walmart & Kmart; often in the mornings/before lunch. Completely true of my experience, but it could happen anywhere. 

-Moms shopping alone with kids are targeted. Also true of my experience. 

-Although rumor says blonde, fair girls/teen are targets, I've yet to find that in my research & my daughter doesn't fit that description. 

-Additionally, little girls AND boys of any age are targets.

The thought of what could have happened is sickening. I'm just like you; a mom and I hope my experience helps you to be, not fearful, but cautious!

2 Timothy 1:7 "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

My resources:
http://forthesilent.org/issue/links
http://exoduscry.com

(LPD have been contacted with this report.)

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96 responses to “Texas Mom’s Paranoid Rant Spawns Viral Sex-Trafficking Rumor

  1. I’d like an immoral panic for a change.

    1. Isn’t an immoral panic when your girl friend calls to say she is late? Or when it starts to hurt when you piss?

    2. If a moral panic is a small-c conservative response to an improbable fear for personal safety, an immoral panic should be a spontaneous episode of mass risk-taking for personal benefit. I’m thinking something like this.

      1. That debunked Brooklyn rape case this week is another example: the supposed assailants happened across two people screwing in a playground at night. The norms of civil conduct had already been violated, and then the teenagers were invited to participate. It’s the inverse of the Central Park Five case, which saw a moral panic over teenage sexual predators: this time, the teenagers engaged in consensual sex with a stranger. Opportunism prevailed over moral qualms and risk-aversion. And they nearly paid a high price for it.

  2. Americans are safer than they have ever been before, yet people think that there are murderers and child abductors literally around every corner. I don’t understand it.

    1. Maybe they read OMWC’s posts?

    2. Incidents that used to be local news are now often national news. Because of the increased news coverage, people mistakenly believe that that corresponds to an increase in actual incidents.

    3. I’ve seen bizarre studies about the difference between perceived danger and actual danger. For example: there have been polls of people in other countries asking how safe they feel walking outside at night. 8 out of 10 Chileans said they did not feel safe (despite having one of the lowest murder rates in the Western hemisphere) whereas the majority of Colombians said they felt safe (despite having a murder rate 15 times higher than Chile’s).

      I think in a country that’s safe and relatively prosperous, people just have so much time to think that they invent threats in order to occupy their time and give their lives a bit more made up adventure.

      1. Bit of fear of the unknown going on too. If you’ve never experienced something and no one you know has ever experienced it, it’s this big mass of scariness that you just don’t understand. Once something has happened near you, you can place it in some sort of context.

      2. I think in a country that’s safe and relatively prosperous, people just have so much time to think that they invent threats in order to occupy their time and give their lives a bit more made up adventure.

        I can’t wait until hordes of Muslim rapegangs are fucking your whole family in front of you. Then we’ll see what threats are real.

        1. I had a hardcore conservative tell me the other day that when Muslims convert a church into a mosque it’s a display of dominance.

          It never occurred to him that churches and mosques have similar functions so it’s easy to convert one into the other. No – the reason was because those fuckers are colonizing us.

          1. Well, look at Europe. They are raping Europe into a Filthy Brown Place. Why won’t they rape our churches too?

          2. when Muslims convert a church into a mosque it’s a display of dominance.

            It never occurred to him that churches and mosques have similar functions so it’s easy to convert one into the other.

            That having been said, there is a long history of Muslim conquerors placing mosques upon the holiest places of the subject people (e.g., Hagia Sophia, Dome of the Rock, Ground Zero, etc.)

            1. Sure, but a small Muslim community in a Texas town converting a church into a mosque is not the equivalent of a Muslim military conqueror attempting to display dominance.

              And a random, small town Baptist church is hardly a major holy place in the United States.

              1. (e.g., Hagia Sophia, Dome of the Rock, Ground Zero, etc.)

                The first rule of comedy is that it comes in threes.

            2. I’m sorry, you’re serious?

              While I acknowledge your general point, the “Ground Zero” mosque was to be located two blocks away. It was not to be located “UPON” FREAKING GROUND ZERO. It was ALSO NOT GOING TO BE PLACED THERE BY MUSLIM CONQUERORS.

              http://origin.factcheck.org/Im…..park51.jpg

              If two blocks away is “upon,” how large will the no-free-expression-of-religion zone be around Ground Zero, and what will it’s duration be? In the year 2525, should one still be prohibited from building a mosque “upon” “Ground Zero”? I mean, think of the feelings of all those people who died 500 years ago…

              It never ceases to amaze me the cosmology of imagined insult that people have about this issue because some media fucks called it a “Ground Zero” mosque. Even if the people involved have all the malign intentions ascribed them, a terrorist attack doesn’t, and shouldn’t, render the heart of the world’s most dynamic city a religious-expression free zone.

              1. Your boner pills may have diverted some necessary blood flow from your brain.

              2. ” In September 2015, it was reported that the owner of the site now plans to build a 667-foot, 70-story luxury condominium building at the site to take advantage of the booming residential real estate market in lower Manhattan. ”

                GROUND ZERO CONDOS!!@!

            3. Hagia Sophia: Legit example.

              Dome of the Rock: The construction was supported by Jerusalem’s Jewish population whom, at the time, described it as the third temple being rebuilt. Also, it was not a mosque, initially. It was intended as a shrine for pilgrims, initially open to all three religions. Around four hundred years later it became restricted to just Muslims, which was one thing that prompted the Crusades. When Jerusalem was conquered by the Christians, it was converted into a Church, and when Saladin retook the city, it was then converted into a mosque. Not really an example of what you’re talking about, since it wasn’t a mosque until four hundred years after it was placed by the original conquerers, who didn’t intend for it to be a mosque.

              1. Ground Zero: New York City was not conquered. The Twin Towers were attacked by Salafis. Proposed “mosque” construction was not a mosque, and was proposed by Sufis. Many Sufi celebrations and traditions, including saint recognition, anasheed, dhikr, tawassul, wasilah, and ziyarah, are considered blasphemies and heresies by the Salafis, who consider the aforementioned practices akin to shirk/idolatry. Basically it boils down to the Sufis having saints in a similar manner as Catholics, and the Salafis being wholly opposed to any reverence or recognition to any figure outside of God, viewing even saint veneration as idolatry. The two groups are not fond of one another.

                So your Ground Zero claim would mean, in that case, that the “Muslim Conquerors” of an unconquered city somehow convinced a heretical sect that they DESPISE to build a victory mosque FOR them. Since Sufis and Salafis do not get along, this conspiracy theory is ridiculous.

        2. This comment was a funny way to start my day, thanks. 🙂

    4. I’m not certain, but I have reason to believe that child abductions used to be a lot more common than they are now, back when having children came with economic benefits. Now that they are just money sinks, not many people are going to want to steal children. Maybe the occasional baby crazy nutcase.

  3. I’ll bet Jesus was pissed off that He had to go all the way to Longview, TX to protect this woman from this bullshit.

    1. This is Texas, so it’s likely Jesus is the guy who does her landscaping. It was nice of him to step in and break it up, considering she pays him sub-minimum wage to keep her lawn in such good shape.

  4. I have a two-year-old and she is the light of my life. I have no idea why somebody would want to steal somebody else’s two-year-old, though. That sounds awful.

    1. That has long been my refrain on this subject. “You know what people don’t want? Your toddler.” I really, really like my kid, but not everyone else’s.

      –Fellow breeder with a seven-year-old

      1. It’s true. I’ve never wanted someone else’s kid. Ever.

    2. +1 Ransom of Red Chief

    3. Yeah, who would want to take care of a 2 year old until she was old enough for whoring? I suppose there are some sick fucks in the world who would pay for a 2 year old. But I’ve never heard any plausible evidence that such baby sex trafficking exists on any kind of scale.

      1. And if there were, they wouldn’t be snatching random kids from stores with security cameras.

        1. In Texas. A good way to get shot.

    4. Where are these stores? My kid can be an asshole some days.

  5. Is Skenazy off today?

    1. Out gamboling on the range.

  6. “He faced the opposite direction, but was looking over his shoulder at me; glaring would be an understatement. His eyes did not leave my every move and I confidently matched his stare to show I was aware of his presence. I loudly conversed with the cashier about their security staff and the odd couple that seemed predatory.”

    Maybe the man glared at you because he could tell you were in the middle of a paranoid psychotic break and he was worried for the safety of your child.

    1. Perhaps the couple learned a valuable lesson about grabbing someone else’s kid when the parent clearly is opposed to the idea.

      1. Assuming this even happened as described. I can definitely imagine people doing something that discourteous, but I can also imagine a nutty, paranoid mom basically inventing the entire situation.

    2. I like this guy’s style. When I’M shadowing a potential victim I like to fix them with an angry, unblinking glare so that they know of my ill intentions towards them. That way you can catch ’em by surprise!!

  7. Bored housewife needs attention.

    1. Dammit, but yes.

  8. This sounds like a variant of Munchausen by Proxy syndrome. Mom wants attention.

  9. Reading the comments at the LPD facebook site. People seem really calm, intelligent, and can write coherently. Facebook is a great way to have thoughtful conversations about important topics.

  10. I am going to start carrying around a squirt bottle full of Thorazine to counter people like this.

    Semi on-topic: Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook is no place for hate speech.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Technolo…..k-37217309

    He speaks of Germany in particular, but watch for mission creep.

    1. Oh yeah, it’ll be coming here, a la Twitter.

    2. “I hope that more countries follow Germany’s lead* on this,” he added. “I hope the U.S. follows Germany’s lead on this.”

      *Germany’s lead being: cracking down on any comments critical of the government via bogus “hate speech” crimes.

      He’ll make a good little fascist some day.

  11. …roving, calculating criminals intent on abducting women and children in public.

    But enough about Family Services workers…

  12. Praise Jesus for allowing this brave, brave mother and good Christian woman to receive undeserved accolades and support while needlessly propagating the stranger danger panic. If Jesus was paying attention she’d be struck down with a lightning bolt for this moronic horseshit.

    1. Who knew the dark Thugee cults of Kali Maa had penetrated so deep into the heartland?

      1. Well, they’re really good at penetrating things, afterall.

    2. Lightning ain’t Jesus’ style.

      Pillar of cloud and flame maybe. Or maybe turn her into a pillar of salt. Or have two angry she bears pop out and attack.

  13. Dick Wolf is an asshole.

    Also, this is why I advocate keeping your young children (up to the age of 12) on a leash when out in public.

    1. “This leash demeans us both”

      1. +1 rope with a noose on both ends?

    2. Some kids probably need it. It’s a miracle that my brother made it to adulthood (getting lost walking home from the store and found like 5 miles away by a cop, hit by a car after running into oncoming traffic, three sets of stitches over the course of two days-all before he was 10 yo)

      1. Oh and once I had to carry him home after he broke his leg at the neighbors. That was fun

    3. I remember for a while you would see kids on leashes a lot. Seems to have become less popular. I was always terribly embarrassed for both the kids and the parents in those situations. Though there are some kids who will just wander of and are very unwary of strangers, so maybe some need it.

      1. I remember for a while you would see kids on leashes a lot. Seems to have become less popular.

        Can’t tell if serious…

        1. It’s true, I’ve seen it. They’re more like shackles than leashes, the ones I’ve seen anyway.

          1. I have never seen this but I have to admit it’s a damn good idea.

            1. I used one; my first kid was a bolter. As in she wanted to run so badly she once dislocated her elbow trying to pull away from my hand to run across a street. I used one of those backpacks with a leash on it. Made life so much easier.

        2. I do have that memory. From maybe 20 years ago. It may or may not have been as common as I recall.

  14. Oh God, comments are hilarious.

    “Thank you for sharing this. I still feel myself shaking from reading this. I am so sorry this happened to you, but so value you sharing this – I shared it myself. This encourages me to extra vigilance, and I hope it will help others too”

    “Wow! The thought of that happening is Frightening. .. if my daughter is out of my sight in public for more than a few seconds, I freak out!!! Glad your babies are safe… thanks for sharing that.. good info, even though I’m way up in illinois… could happen anywhere I suppose… scary”

    “Amanda, I am so glad to hear that you all are all safe and sound. This is so scary to read. It may not be something everyone really thinks about but it is definitely something everyone needs to be aware of. I am grateful that you are so vulnerable to share such a experience to everyone so openly.”

    There are no comments skeptical of this story.

    1. Well, of course not, Irish. They’re just thinking of the children

    2. “Yes. That has been happening at Targets near is here in Florida a few towns up. They go after young ones too and just as you stated the 3rd one is usually the one who would follow you out the door and snatch the child from the cart while you are distracted with either another child or the groceries. Out here they have even used a child to bond with a child in the store. Usually a young girl about 10-12. It’s very scary stuff. So glad your sweet little one and you are safe”

      You’d think the rash of children being kidnapped from Targets in Florida and sold into sex slavery would have made the news.

      1. Hmmmm…. new pastime: Making up absolutely hysterical bullshit on Facebook and finding out who buys into it.

        1. More like “old” pastime.

  15. I’ll care about this after we finally do something about all the Ebola zombies roaming America.

    1. But SF, anything we do about the Ebola Zombies (even nothing) would be Racist, donchaknow?

      1. Hey, Zika will be here any minute now. Ebola has decimated America, just like all the pantsfillers said it would, so buckle-up, buttercup.

        1. Substitute “Already had more cases than Ebola” for “any minute now” but it has likewise killed as many people.

  16. The mother’s description of the couple reminded me of Dot and Glen, for some reason.

  17. What an amazing co-incidence that a woman who saves her child from a pedophile ring has the name of a notorious purported pedophile as her middle name–Cropsey!

    1. Hmm…never heard of Cropsey, before. Now I believe that we could all have been trolled.

  18. I don’t know what’s scarier : the fact that this woman is so insanely, stupidly paranoid… or that she is raising a child…

  19. Girls are easy. Children are easier. The real money’s got to be in trading ablebodied young men. They got to be a lot harder to capture and transport. Plus I’m pretty sure people pay by the pound for these things, which partly explains why fat children are so more frequently took, though it may be because they run slower… I don’t know that much about it. Just what I’ve heard from unnamed sources I run into in back alleyways here and there when I’m out looking for something or other…

    1. I’m reminded of the foursquarian huxter’s (who at one point tried to convince my brother to give him money for stopping the devil from making one leg undetectably shorter than the other) cute son who wasn’t allowed outside the yard after school. He’d stand just in the yard and try to lure passing youngsters up to the verge, at which point he’d do his best to tackle them and drag them back into the yard, where he’d try to inflict pain till they agreed to stay and play with him, at which point he’d get real anxious about releasing his hold. Eventually he’d have to, at which point the potential friend ended up spurting out into the street again and fleeing. His house was also their church, and it was just between the fucking football field and the basketball field, so he was able to try this a couple times with just about everyone. He briefly tried to brutalise people into playing with him at recess at school as well, but I bounced his head off the cement one time and he let it go.

    2. Yeah, the playground was paved in cement and granite and all the playground implements were iron and yet I never knew anybody that died from it. There was also no fencing nor even a particularly clear boundary separating the playground from the void. There was piles of broken rocks and masonry here and there as well. I’m not sure why. Absurdly, one of our playground games was breaking rocks. I remember everyone seemed to think it was really fun. Another was trying to find new ways to injure ourselves on the playground equipment. If they put some of the new children bless their hearts back in that school, they would have all died out very rapidly. Selection by consequences.

  20. Look people. Ima say this one time and one time only, so listen up: NOBODY wants your crying, whining, snot-faced little poop machine. Nobody. You don’t even want the little bastard 5 hrs out of the 14 the little monster is awake. So shut up about all these abductions. It ain’t real, and you stressing over it, on Facebook to a bunch of strangers, no less, makes you look like an idiot.

  21. The sad thing is, nowadays, if you’re in a store, and you see a kid who is lost, what do you do? The smart money is on: leave the vicinity, immediately. But what of the poor kid?

    Look, idiots, you’ve far better chances of being run over while returning to your vehicle, and you don’t get your undies in a bunch over that, right?

    In another thread, we were discussing whether people ought to learn programming or foreign languages in school — well, more important than either of those, might be to try and get people a good grounding in applied probability and statistics.

    1. In a store, I’m not going to worry about it. The parent probably knows he’s in there somewhere.

      If I saw a small child out on the street wandering alone, I’d probably try to help. It fucking sucks that you even have to think about it. Which makes people who disseminate stories like this extra shitty people. I love talking to people’s kids, but as an adult male, you really do have to think.

  22. Americans are unbelievably na?ve about other cultures. This sounds like a clash between typical Asiatic behavior towards children and American pants-shitting. Koreans are ridiculously fond of kids and have no qualms about holding, grabbing, or even disciplining another’s child. It’s part of the “it takes a village” mindset that is in their culture. There’s nothing wrong with it and I experienced it frequently when I lived there. It took a little bit for my friends with kids to get used to the idea that they could leave their kids out and everyone else would keep an eye on them, but once you learned the culture a bit it was easy to see how this mentality made everyone’s lives just a little easier.

    Paranoid mommy should probably take a long trip overseas for a bit, or visit some of the more diverse parts of any city.

        1. In a video posted on Youtube by K24 television, Brian’s aunt Catherine Muthama expressed shock over the ordeal.

          “Nilishangaa sana kufika hapa kuona mama mtoto amevuruta ulimi ya mtoto kabisa na nikamuuliza kwanini anamaiza mtoto (When I arrived I was surprised to see the mother having pulled out the tongue of the baby and I screamed at her asking why she had killed him,” she said.

          Neighbours said the exorcism went on the whole night on Wednesday, adding that the commotion in the house was abnormal.

          1. The child’s mother, who spoke in Swahili, maintained that she meant no harm to him.

            “Mungu nifungwe kama kuna kitu kibaya nimetendea huyu mtoto wangu ambaye nimeombea sana kupata (God punish me if I have done anything wrong to my son who I love so much and have prayed for years to conceive and give birth to),” she said.

  23. When you link directly to facebook…

  24. My wife was spooked by a similar Facebook post, only this time the encounter took place at a food court in a Fort Worth mall.

    I don’t know if these are real, or just fabricated by some sneaky leftists trying to scare the public into supporting more “hide yo kids” legislation. Nonetheless, I am indeed watching my kids and their surroundings more closely in public.

    Hopefully, this trend won’t gain much traction. I’d hate to think what crap like this would do to Lenore Skenazy’s career.

    1. Could also be non-ideological trolling.

  25. Thats good, thanks for this story

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