It's a shocking claim: A shadowy serial-killing gang, with cells in cities nationwide, has been murdering college-age white men — for more than two decades. It’s suspected the group might have already claimed hundreds of victims. Yet police agencies are uninterested in ferreting out the truth and instead write the killings off as accidents or undetermined. So say three retired NYPD detectives and a criminal-justice professor who have been investigating the deaths.
The Daily Beast introduces the story, writing that on “the evening of Dec. 15, 2016, Dakota James called his friend Shelley in a panic.”
“He was cold, disoriented, and scared out of his mind, wandering the streets of downtown Pittsburgh, trying to find someone — anyone — who would help him,” the site continues.
“‘I don’t know where I am,’ he told her, sobbing. ‘I’m so cold. Please help me. I’m lost.’”
James said the cops wouldn’t help him. Confused, he told Shelley (her last name is kept confidential) he was on Pittsburgh’s North Side when the cellphone location services he’d enabled with her put him on the South Side. What happened next was equally odd.
Shelley drove to James’ location, at a Springhill Suites on Water Street. “As she pulled up to the hotel,” writes the Beast, “she saw a dark SUV in the wrong lane, facing the wrong direction. And Dakota was walking out of the hotel and straight toward the SUV.”
“‘I pulled up not even 10 feet away from the SUV,’ she said. ‘I said, ‘Dakota!’ He turns, looks back then comes over to me, got in my car, and we left,’” the Beast also relates.
James didn’t appear drunk, Shelley says; he was walking straight and wasn’t slurring words. Yet he didn’t know how he’d wound up on the street and had lost four hours, between heading to some bars with coworkers at 7:15 p.m. and calling Shelley at approximately 11:15. So she suspected he’d been drugged.
Yet James didn’t want to talk much about the incident and the next day dismissed it as a bad hangover. Shelley might have done the same — except that James disappeared five weeks later.
Forty days after that was found dead, floating in the Ohio River.
Nonetheless, the Beast writes, his
death was ruled an accidental drowning by the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office. But a team of retired detectives and a gang expert believe he’s one of about 100 victims of the Smiley-Face Killers, an alleged organized gang of serial killers that communicates on the dark web, with cells in dozens of cities across the United States. An additional 250 cases might be connected, but they can’t prove it, they say.
James fits the profile of the other suspected victims: smart, athletic, popular, college-age white men who went out drinking and never came home, they say. More recently, some alleged victims have been openly gay, like Dakota. Like him, weeks later, their bodies were discovered in lakes or rivers with smiley-face or other graffiti specifically connected to the group spray-painted nearby. So far they’ve connected about 70 deaths with similar graffiti nearby. About 30 of the men, including Dakota James, had the date-rape drug GHB in their system, according to the autopsy reports.
“Dakota was clearly murdered,” Kevin Gannon, a retired New York City police sergeant who has devoted his life to solving these cases, told The Daily Beast.
There were a number of indications this was so, including what appeared to be ligature marks around James’ neck, indicating strangulation (the Beast provides more detail). Moreover, it’s now theorized that the SUV occupant(s) might have been stalking James or doing a test run and that he might have disappeared Dec. 15 if Shelley hadn’t arrived when she did.
Gannon’s quest to track down what he calls “one of the most dangerous domestic terrorist groups in the United States” began in February 1997, when he was an NYPD detective investigating the death of 20-year-old white man Patrick McNeil, who was found floating in the East River. Two more men the same approximate age were found dead during the next 15 months.
Gannon retired in 2001, but continued investigating the cases after promising McNeil’s mother that he wouldn’t stop till he found her son’s killer(s). He enlisted the aid of his former partner, Anthony Duarte and, after watching a news report about similar deaths in the Midwest, also teamed with Dr. Lee Gilbertson, a criminal-justice professor and gang expert at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota.
It’s certainly a curious case. “The so-called Smiley Face murders first burst on to the public scene in April 2008 when Gannon, Duarte, and Gilbertson held a news conference in New York City about the deaths,” the Beast tells us.
Yet they know far more about the group today. “‘The level of sophistication of the group is a lot greater than we’d imagined,’ the Beast relates Gannon as saying. ‘Now we know they communicate with each other on the dark web. We know there’s surveillance and counter-surveillance.’”
Moreover, “Each city has its own cohort or cell, said Gilbertson.”
The professor emphasizes that at issue is a serial-killing gang, with perhaps 12 individuals per cell. Five will go and commit a murder; the next time it’s a different five. It’s continually evolving, too, as members age out and leave the fold. Consequently, “They’re constantly recruiting,” he says
In fact, the Beast also quotes Gilbertson as saying, “Years ago, we were on their dark-web webpage but it was asking us to turn on a video camera so they could see who was about to type in the password and there’s no way we were doing that. And we didn’t even have the password. We’d just been given their URL, so [we] went to it because we were told that’s how they communicate.”
So how can this group continue operating? Gannon and his team have evidence and suspects, but Gilbertson says that since law enforcement won’t investigate the cases as murders, there’s no pressure on gang members to snitch. They can remain on the Dark Web and in the shadows.
Of course, law enforcement states the evidence is insufficient to reopen the cases. And while it’s not politically correct to say (just correct to say), homosexuals do live a higher-risk lifestyle in general, sometimes frequenting seedy bars, attending orgies, and consorting with perhaps dangerous people. Yet it appears that many if not most victims were not homosexual.
Then there’s the elephant in the room. Is it a coincidence that every alleged victim is not only young and male, but white? Were there even the allegation that perhaps hundreds of black men were being murdered by a serial-killer gang, it would be huge national news (and likely blamed on the Trump era). Yet the closest the Beast comes to even mentioning the clear racial angle is, “The motives for the murders range from gang initiation to hate crimes, Gannon said.”
This brings something to mind. In the Rotherham child rape-gang scandal, the sexual abuse and torture of approximately 1,400 white British girls by primarily Muslim perpetrators was allowed to continue for 16 years because cowardly British authorities were afraid of “racism” accusations. They even went so far as to force a whistleblower into “diversity training,” warning her that she must never again implicate Muslim men.
So assuming Gannon’s theory is correct, could the same phenomenon be evident here? Could American authorities be turning a “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” blind eye to these killings for fear of political correctness’ bite? We already know this fear causes reluctance in many authorities to label “hate crimes” against whites just that.
Yet Gannon is undeterred. “He has mortgaged his home and maxed out his credit cards trying to solve these cases,” reports the Beast. Reflecting his dedication, victim Patrick McNeil’s mother, 73-year-old Jackie, told the Beast that Gannon “is amazing.... On the anniversaries he’ll call and say, ‘I’m thinking about you.’ I consider him a good friend.”
However valid Gannon’s theory, it will finally be getting more attention. He, Duarte, Gilbertson, and another retired NYPD detective, Mike Donovan, will now be the stars of a television show, “Oxygen’s Smiley Face Killers: The Hunt for Justice (video below), a new six-part limited series that premieres Saturday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m.,” reports the Beast.
“‘It’s been a difficult road and that’s why we had to choose TV, to go to the court of public opinion,’” the Beast quotes Gannon as saying. “‘We felt like there was no other option.’” The team hopes the publicity will inspire authorities to act.
As for the gang and its alleged victims, the Beast writes, “‘They’re targeting the best of the best,’ Gannon said. ‘These kids are the best students. They’re the best athletes and they come from the best families.’”
“Added Gilbertson: ‘These are upstanding young men. So why precisely do they hate them? Because maybe they’re succeeding. Maybe it’s the haves and the have-nots.’”
Or maybe it’s also something else. While it may seem fanciful, is it possible that in this age of continual anti-white propaganda, killing bright and promising young white men could be a twisted group’s way of striking a blow against perceived (read: mythical) “white privilege” and the future “white power structure”?
So what’s the truth here? Are these deaths merely examples of fast-lane, high-risk young men whose luck ran out or who ran into the wrong young men? Or does it reflect some anti-white animus? Is this just something that makes for titillating TV — or is it truth that’s stranger than fiction?