For this account, both Deery and J were willing to speak openly and at length; transcripts of online chats and police interrogations have also been made available.The story reflects what they said about themselves and their actions, and presents two very different points of view.Moderating conversations on the net has a lot in common with certain other activities: The more you do it, the better at it you get.
As a fantasy, her come-on seemed overbaked—not one daughter, but two!It is doubtful that such a woman exists anywhere, and yet men fell for it. The bulletin board over her desk displays mug shots of her catches, very ordinary-looking men, facing the camera wide-eyed with shock, staring at the fresh ruin of their lives. One of the stunned faces in that array belongs to a man I will call “J,” who would spend a year in prison after taking Deery’s bait.She received three quick instant messages from someone using the name “parafling”: Entrapment has long been a factor in the enforcement of vice laws, which seek to punish behavior that is furtive and widespread.Such ordinances answer society’s quest for moral clarity, positing a direct parallel between right versus wrong and legal versus criminal.One of the many false identities Deery has assumed online is something truly rare, even in this polluted pond—that of a middle-aged mother of two pre-pubescent girls who is offering them up for sex.
Baiting her hook with this forbidden fruit, she would cast the line and wait to see who bit. Men began vying for her attention the minute she logged on, night or day.
Her parents sent her to Catholic schools, and her mother, a retired district judge, now jokes that she wants her money back.
Her daughter’s beat is in the vilest corners of cyberspace, in chat rooms indicating “fetish” or various subgenres of flagrant peccancy.
Deery would begin a dialogue, dangling the illicit possibility, gauging how serious her mark was.
There were “players,” those who were just horny and despicable, and there were doers, or at least potential doers, the true bad guys.
Shortly before six o’clock on the evening of Monday, September 19, 2005, Deery went to work in her cave, logging on to Yahoo and expertly navigating its public chat rooms.