News today is reporting that bitcoin worth just shy of $1 billion, believed belonging to Silk Road and dormant since Ross Ulbricht’s arrest in 2013, has just moved address.

(As an aside, the transaction cost $12 in fees)

Several years ago, while researching The Darkest Web, I had reason to visit Roger Thomas Clark, aka “Variety Jones”, mentor and adviser to Silk Road’s founder Ross Ulbricht, in a Bangkok prison. Variety Jones, also known as “Mongoose”, had spun an incredible tale about Silk Road’s missing Bitcoin.

The pic the prison guard took with my phone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below is an extract from The Darkest Web about his story.

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Most of you would have heard of the Dnepropetrovsk Maniacs, two Ukrainian teenagers when went on a two-week killing spree in 2007. By the time they were captured, the boys had killed at least 21 people and seriously injured many more. Their weapon of choice was a yellow-handled hammer.

Their crimes were heinous enough, but made infinitely worse by the fact that they filmed themselves carrying them out. A video of one of their murders was uploaded to all of the gore sites and quickly went viral, a favorite of the “reaction video” set. It was dubbed “3 Guys, 1 Hammer”

Few people know much about the victim in 3 Guys, 1 Hammer. Below is an excerpt from my book “Psycho.com: serial killers on the internet” where you will meet gentle grandfather Sergei Yatzenko.

Sergei Yatzenko had cheated death twice. Around 1990, while working on a farm, he lost control of the tractor he was driving and it rolled into the river. He could have jumped out of the cabin before it hit the water, but instead he tried to save the expensive farm machinery for its owner, and wound up pinned under water. By the time he was freed, Sergei was clinically dead from drowning. Rescuers managed to resuscitate him and get him to hospital, where doctors declared his survival a one-in-a-million chance.

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My new book is finally available for purchase. It’s a foray into the world of serial killers who use the internet in some way to commit or promote their crimes.

 

A pair of teens go on a murderous rampage and their exploits are immortalized in the most shocking video ever to circulate the internet, “3 Guys, 1 Hammer

A serial killer with over 100 kills to his name walks free and becomes a Youtube sensation

A psychopath lures victims through online dating to use as “research” for his twisted film project

Serial killers have been with us for decades. The internet has put them in our pockets

Psycho.com is a chilling look at what happens when murderous minds meet modern technology

 

It’s at a super-affordable price right now on Amazon:

US Link

UK Link

Australia Link

Canada Link

(or search for Eileen Ormsby on your local Amazon page)

Note: although it is a simple matter to discover the true identity of “John”, the internet being what it is, I’m not going to blatantly do so here, as there is an indefinite court order prohibiting naming either of the boys.

This is another entry into my series of a behind-the-scenes look at the episodes I write for the podcast Casefile. These posts will explain how and why I choose each case and the research that goes into writing the stories.

A still from Channel 4 doco “Psycho: Kill me if you can”

 

This one is about Case 104: Mark and John. Note there are spoilers below.

I have a penchant for internet-related cases, so when I first read about the Mark and John case, it was a no-brainer that I was going to do it.

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I was blown away today to read the news that one of the Silk Road arrests, James Ellingson, aka “MarijuanaIsMyMuse” is apparently also the Silk Road user known as “redandwhite”. If my theory is right, redandwhite is one of the greatest scammers Silk Road ever encountered.

MarijuanaIsMyMuse tickled my fancy back in the SR days because of his reputation of slipping a piece of paper in each order he fulfilled which said: ‘If you are the intended recipient, please use responsibly. If you are law enforcement, go fuck yourself.’ He was a popular vendor. I never in a million years would have picked him as one of DPR’s greatest nemeses.

In late March 2013, a user going by the name FriendlyChemist contacted Dread Pirate Roberts (DPR) to tell him he was in deep shit with the Hells Angels. FriendlyChemist claimed he had been fronted $700,000 worth of LSD from the motorcycle club. He gave it to popular vendor Lucydrop to sell on Silk Road. Lucydrop took off with the proceeds and failed to supply the product, never to be seen on Silk Road again. Now the Hells Angels wanted their profits and they were coming for FriendlyChemist.

FriendlyChemist decided blackmailing the owner of Silk Road was his best course of action. He had a long list of real names and addresses of Silk Road vendors and customers that he would publish unless DPR gave him $500‚000 to pay off his suppliers. He provided a sample to DPR as proof.

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Blue Skies, Black Death

This is another entry into my series of a behind-the-scenes look at the episodes I write for the podcast Casefile. These posts will explain how and why I choose each case and the research that goes into writing the stories.

This post is about Episode 88 – Stephen Hilder.

Best to listen to it before reading on, as there will be spoilers below.

Long before I became a writer, I was a skydiver. For many years I was obsessed with the sport, even taking a year off in 2002 to travel and skydive in the USA full time.

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The 8-minute video “3 Guys, 1 Hammer” is infamous. I wanted to discover the story behind it.

This is another entry into my series of a behind-the-scenes look at the episodes I write for the podcast Casefile. These posts will explain how and why I choose each case and the research that goes into writing the stories.

This post is about Episode 92 – Dnepropetrovsk Maniacs. Best to listen to it before reading on, as there will be spoilers below.

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How I became a dark web consultant to a TV show, and my somewhat complicated relationship with the owner of the most profitable online murder-for-hire service in history

Screen Shot 2018-10-05 at 8.20.40 am

I recently worked as a consultant to CBS for their season premiere of 48 Hours: “Click for a Killer” after I met a CBS producer at the trial of Stephen Allwine for the murder of his wife, Amy. The episode was originally going to be a straightforward telling of that crime, but as they learned about the extent of the Besa Mafia dark web murder-for-hire operation, as well as my own somewhat complicated and ongoing relationship with its owner, Yura, it turned into something quite different.

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This is another entry into my series of a behind-the-scenes look at the episodes I write for the podcast Casefile. These posts will explain how and why I choose each case and the research that goes into writing the stories.

 

This post is about Episode 89 – Ella Tundra.

Best to listen to it before reading on, as there will be spoilers below.

As an author, I will always be drawn to click on any stories that have titles like “Authors behaving badly” or “Why you should never read your reviews” and a few years ago, those clicks revealed a doozy of a story.

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I have been writing episodes of the excellent true-crime podcast Casefile and as I’ve been rather slack in updating this blog lately, I thought I would write up a little about each case I contribute to the show. These posts will explain how and why I choose each case and the research that goes into writing the stories.

The first one I wrote was Case 86 – the murder of Amy Allwine

Best to listen to it before reading on, as there will be spoilers below and it may not make much sense if you don’t know the story.

I first heard of Amy Allwine before she was murdered. Her name came up as one of the targets in the original hack of the Besa Mafia dark web murder-for-hire site. I wrote briefly about the hit ordered on Amy in my first blog about Besa Mafia on 14 May 2016:

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