Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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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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

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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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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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They used to be known as the “Amazon” or “eBay” of drugs, but modern dark web drug sales use a system more comparable to Yelp or TripAdvisor

 

Ever since Silk Road, the first mass-market point-and-click dark web drugs bazaar, made its debut in January 2011, the DNMs (darknet markets) have been invariably compared to popular e-commerce platforms. Reports would either refer to “the Amazon of drugs” or “the eBay of drugs” and point the parallels with those websites. Like Amazon, they were a one-stop shop for every drug imaginable, that could be popped into a basket and sent to the buyer with a range of shipping options. Like eBay, the sites brought buyers and sellers together and held payment in escrow until both sides were satisfied. Buyers would leave star ratings and feedback for the sellers, who would go out of their way to ensure their product and customer service would gain them a 5-star review.

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The Darkest Web

Posted: February 15, 2018 in Uncategorized

Apologies for the lack of posts for a very long time. I’ve been busy finishing my latest book, and it went on sale on 14 March! So excuse the shameless plug, but you can order:

Physical copy with FREE worldwide shipping here

On Amazon Kindle here

You may have noticed I’ve password protected a couple of posts for spoiler reasons, but you can Read about the world trip to meet the characters here

Cover

Darkest Web

Drugs, death and destroyed lives … the inside story of the internet’s evil twin

Hitmen for hire, drugs for sale. Inside the dangerous world that lurks beneath the bright, friendly light of your internet screen

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A couple of weeks ago I got back from an 8-week trip around the globe to meet with all manner of dark web types in preparation for my upcoming book, Darkest Web. Here’s a taster of what went down with each.

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THAILAND

Variety Jones – mentor to Dread Pirate Roberts

Well, at this point, still “alleged” Variety Jones, but most certainly Plural of Mongoose, aka the Megabyte Megalomaniac, aka Roger Thomas Clark.

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Today’s blog is a guest post by jesusofrave. Jesusofrave is one of the most enduring brand names of the darknet markets since the early days of the original Silk Road when they sold direct to users.

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Fast forward 4 years, and jesusofrave is a wholesale supplier of MDMA and LSD, operating across all major darknet markets, as well as supplying direct through their own dark web site, The Church. They have some major plans for the near future, including providing significant assistance and donations to organizations using psychedelics in therapy.

Here they tell how they got to where they are.

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