Exposing Predators

Nellie Bly's article "What Becomes of Babies?" written for The New York World in 1887.

Media History

The reporting was intended for these media types: Magazine, Newspaper, Television

"INVESTIGATION: Inside Nigeria's Ruthless Human Trafficking Mafia" - Tobore Ovuorie - Premium Times (Nigeria)


"We are 10 at the boot camp: Adesuwa, Isoken, LIzzy, Mairo, Adamu, Ini, Tessy, Omai and I. We have travelled together in a 14 seater bus from Lagos, hoping to arrive in Italy soon. We are eager to get to the 'next level' as it is called: from local prostitution to hopefully earning big bucks abroad. But first, it turns out, we have to pass through 'training' in this massive secluded compound guarded by armed military men, far from any other human being, somewhere in the thick bushes outside Ikorodu, a suburb of Lagos. Our trafficker, Mama Caro, welcomes us in flawless English, telling us how lucky and special we are; then she ushers us to a roomo where we are to sleep on the floor without any dinner.  "I had not expected this. We had exercised, through a risk analysis role play, in advance: my paper, Premium Times, and our partners in the project, a colleague-Reece Adanwenon-- in the Republic of Benin, and ZAM Chronicles in Amsterdam. We had put in place contacts, emergency phone numbers, safe houses, emergency money accounts. We had made transport and extraction arrangements. Ms. Reece is waiting in Cotonou, 100 kilometers to the West in neighbouring Benin, to pick me up from an agreed meeting place. But we hadn't foreseen that there was to be another stop first: this isolated, guarded camp in the middle of nowhere. It danws on me that we could be in big trouble."

"Inside Cambodia's Hidden Child Brothels" - CNN - Mira Sorvino


" . . . On the fifth floor we are immediately led to a giant windowed 'fishbowl' where at least 20 girls sit on bleacher[s] to be observed and picked. Scott walks in front of the pane; they respond to his macho energy, rising and preening.  "I have my iPhone in hand and itching to take a picture when suddenly things go horribly sideways. A white-clad girl in the bowl suddenly jumps up and starts screaming, 'She take a picture!!' She runs into the lobby and a grim-faced Mama-san bustles up to us. The girl crowds us and accuses me; more people start to gather. My friends advise me to erase the picture - but I haven't taken any! I try and stand my ground and keep saying, 'I didn't take a picture.' But I am becoming very nervous and the situation is getting ugly. . . . " 

"The brothel worker: 'I regret not working in the sex trade as soon as I got here'" - Hsiao-Hung Pai - The Guardian

Posing as a maid, Hsiao-Hung Pai infiltrated the murky world of the UK sex trade and spoke to some of the migrant mothers desperately working to send money home to their families


". . .I detected Grace's disappointment when I said I was just a maid who offered no other services. Mia urged me to "try it out". Many housekeepers end up doing zhuangzhong, she said. 'All you need is a makeover.' She studied me with a professional air. 'You've still got the face for the job. You need to do it when you don't look like an old lady yet.' . . ."

"Alleged Prositution in Philippines" - Nightline - ABC News


"Selling Innocence" - Dave Savini - IRE Journal

Collaborative Efforts Nabs Promoters of Child Porn


". . .I soon spotted young girls in bikinis walking out of Smith's Chicago home. I noticed still and video cameras, and made a positive identification of Smith based on a mug shot we obtained through local police sources. Immediately, I called Rubenstein in our Chicago newsroom. She rushed to the scene with our photographer and undercover equipment. During our stakeout, we wrote down license plate numbers of the models old enough to drive. . ."

"Stalking the Stalkers" - Lisa Fletcher - Transcript


". . .There are powerful predators out there...looking, lurking and patiently waiting for you o turn your back on your kids and their computer just for a moment. So we turned the tables on them...for months...stalking the stalkers. . ."

"The Sport of Sheikhs" - Bernard Goldberg - HBO Sports with Bryan Gumbel


"Sex Slaves" - Ester Bienstock - PBS Frontline


"Very Young Girls" - David Schisgall, Nina Alvarez and Priya Swaminathan - Showtime Independent Films


"What Becomes of Babies?" - Nellie Bly - New York World

Hundreds and Hundreds of Little Ones Given Away Yearly; Met the Petted Darlings of the Rich, But the Infants Born to Shame; These Are the Ones That Are Given to Alien Hand; Regular Traffic in New-Born Babes; A Money-Making Trade in Humanity 'th


"What name awakens such universally tender feelings as that of "baby"? Last week some philanthropist wrote to THE WORLD to suggest that I try to find out what becomes of all the baby waifs in this great city. Not the little ones who are cordially welcomed by proud parents, happy grandparents and a large circle of loving relatives, but the many hundreds of babies whose coming is greeted with grief anf whose unhappy mothers hide their little lives in shame."