Taking Down Backpage

Fighting the World’s Largest Sex Trafficker

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Pub Date 11 Jan 2022 | Archive Date Not set

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Description

Insider details from the takedown of Backpage, the world’s largest sex trafficker, by the prosecutor who led the charge

For almost a decade, Backpage.com was the world’s largest sex trafficking operation. Seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day, in 800 cities throughout the world, Backpage ran thousands of listings advertising the sale of vulnerable young people for sex. Reaping a cut off every transaction, the owners of the website raked in millions of dollars. But many of the people in the advertisements were children, as young as 12, and forced into the commercial sex trade through fear, violence and coercion.

In Taking Down Backpage, veteran California prosecutor Maggy Krell tells the story of how she and her team prevailed against this sex trafficking monolith. Beginning with her early career as a young DA, she shares the evolution of the anti-human trafficking movement. Through a fascinating combination of memoir and legal insight, Krell reveals how she and her team started with the prosecution of street pimps and ultimately ended with the takedown of the largest purveyor of human trafficking in the world. She shares powerful stories of interviews with victims, sting operations, court cases, and the personal struggles that were necessary to bring Backpage executives to justice. Finally, Krell examines the state of sex trafficking after Backpage and the crucial work that still remains.

Taking Down Backpage is a gripping story of tragedy, overcoming adversity, and the pursuit of justice that gives insight into the fight against sex trafficking in the digital age.

Insider details from the takedown of Backpage, the world’s largest sex trafficker, by the prosecutor who led the charge

For almost a decade, Backpage.com was the world’s largest sex trafficking...


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Featured Reviews

I've read a lot about Backpage and what it stood for and I'm still so surprised that it was able to stay open for as long as it was considering all of the shady tactics that it put up. This book was so interesting to read because while I knew that this seedy website had thankfully been taken down and removed from the internet I was never fully clear on how that happened. This book explained in great detail all of the hard work and hoops that everyone had to jump through in order to get this website closed for good. I was amazed how much of a process it really is to shut down a site, and that is one that everyone know is dealing in shady tactics. What makes this story even better was it was written by one of the prosecutors who started the take down. Backpage unfortunately was one of the largest websites in the sex trafficking circuit, and specialised in the sale of young and especially innocent victims. Lots of the ads focused on children and coheres them into prostitution, through fear and threats of violence. This was such a big undertaking, and I really liked how the author showed all of the hardships and hoops that they had to jump through in order to make sure that their plan went through properly along with making sure that no one was hurt. I also liked how it told some of the victims stories and how not all of them ended up on the positive side. There was so much going on that I'm surprised it took as long as it did for this site to be terminated. This book was very informative and I'm so glad that I got the chance to read it. If you want to know more about this heroic story than this is one book that I highly suggest that you read, you won't be disappointed. The best thing about this book was even though it was all factual and horrific, all of the information was so compelling that I just had to keep reading to see what took place. No part of this read was too dry or clinical so I got through it very easily. I'm so glad that I got the chance to read this book. This is one book you wont want to miss weather you know a lot about Backpage or you don't know anything, check it out.

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Oh my goodness, this was superb. Krell offers a compelling narrative of the legal case she was at the forefront of for so many years. It was masterfully written - understandable to those who do not work in the legal field but also so revealing for those who do. I was truly so attached to the figures in the book, I was rooting for each of the victims to seek and achieve their own justice. I can only compare the jubilation I felt when the monsters behind Backpage were shut down to how I felt the day Weinstein was sentenced. Justice achieved for those who were justice-less for so long. Maggie Krell fought for them from the very beginning, and I am honoured to have read this from her perspective. I understand the publication date is not for a while - but I cannot recommend this book enough. I couldn't put it down. Thank you to NetGalley and NYUPress for providing me with an ARC in exchange for this honest review.

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Date reviewed/posted: April 25, 2021 Publication date: January 11, 2022 When life for the entire galaxy and planet has turned on its end, you are continuing to #maskup and #lockdown to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #thirdwave ( #fourthwave #fifthwave?) is upon us, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. Insider details from the takedown of Backpage, the world’s largest sex trafficker, by the prosecutor who led the charge For almost a decade, Backpage.com was the world’s largest sex trafficking operation. Seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day, in 800 cities throughout the world, Backpage ran thousands of listings advertising the sale of vulnerable young people for sex. Reaping a cut off every transaction, the owners of the website raked in millions of dollars. But many of the people in the advertisements were children, as young as 12, and forced into the commercial sex trade through fear, violence and coercion. In Taking Down Backpage, veteran California prosecutor Maggy Krell tells the story of how she and her team prevailed against this sex trafficking monolith. Beginning with her early career as a young DA, she shares the evolution of the anti-human trafficking movement. Through a fascinating combination of memoir and legal insight, Krell reveals how she and her team started with the prosecution of street pimps and ultimately ended with the takedown of the largest purveyor of human trafficking in the world. She shares powerful stories of interviews with victims, sting operations, court cases, and the personal struggles that were necessary to bring Backpage executives to justice. Finally, Krell examines the state of sex trafficking after Backpage and the crucial work that still remains. Taking Down Backpage is a gripping story of tragedy, overcoming adversity, and the pursuit of justice that gives insight into the fight against sex trafficking in the digital age. I live in one of those cities in Canada known for human trafficking and underage prostitution due to the proximity of hotels to a major highway: there are even signs at the hospital about getting help, discreetly, if you are in that situation. And if it was not Backpage, it was Craig's List's naughty side - that, too, was taken down. The book covers a lot of information but at no time is dry nor dusty - I will highly recommend this book (when it comes out in NINE MONTHS to book clubs, patrons, friends and family. It is a book that needed to be written and needs to be read.

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It is a long time since I’ve devoured a serious documentary of this nature. It’s a beautifully, exquisitely researched account of the trauma suffered by people affected by sex traffickers all over the world. One can only hope that this book finds its way into organisations all over the world in an attempt to highlight and stop this vile action.

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Backpage was the world's largest website for human trafficking, and the attempt to shut it down took years of cooperation and dedication from former California Attorney General (and now Vice President) Kamala Harris to law enforcement professionals in Dallas. This story is told deftly and intensely by one of the lead prosecuters Maggy Krell, who devoted years and walks the reader through all the steps she and her colleagues went through in tracking down, arresting, and prosecuting the men who owned Backpage. Her vision in amending the legal loopholes that allowed them to maintain the site also came to pass, and this process is detailed in the final third of the book. Riveting and heartbreaking reading.

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Maggy Krell's "Taking Down Backpage: Fighting the World's Largest Sex Trafficker" is the true story of Krell's essential role in the dismantling of Backpage.com, a former website generally regarded as having been the world's largest sex trafficking operation. It was such a large, seemingly untouchable operation that even the FBI had previously honored it due to its seeming cooperation anytime they'd show up with individual reports of trafficking or abuse. Of course, as Krell points out, the actual cooperation was minimal at best. It was enough to allow the website to operate for almost a decade while simultaneously turning its key operatives into millionaires and having a key role in the exploitation and abuse of women, children, and others. Krell starts off the book in a way that resonates with me - she acknowledges that all of her cases to be included involve women yet also acknowledges that sex trafficking also impacts men, the transgender community, and others. Krell also acknowledges that while "Taking Down Backpage" focuses on sex trafficking there are other forms of human trafficking just as devastating and worthy of our attention. Backpage.com was, for those who don't know, a website that mostly appeared like a somewhat seedier collection of classifieds. It operated 24/7, 365 days a year. It operated in over 800 cities nationwide and the owners would receive a cut of each transaction. It would take only a few moments of browsing to realize that Backpage received a good majority of its business from those who work in the sex field, though the truth was much darker. Backpage was raking in millions while women and children were being forced into the commercial sex trade through violence, coercion, and fear. "Taking Down Backpage" is part memoir and part legal procedural/semi-thriller. The efforts to weave in the story's memoirish elements are not quite as effective here, Krell's personal elements obviously taking a backseat to the intensity of the evolving legal conflicts. While these personal elements help to humanize the story, and Krell for that matter, they're not quite as fleshed out as they could be and only one story involving Krell and a poorly timed phone call from former California Attorney General turned Vice-President Kamala Harris really clicks. "Taking Down Backpage" is at its most compelling as Krell works alongside fellow prosecutors and cross-state agencies to assemble the pieces necessary to take down a behemoth that existed largely because of a legal system that had yet to keep up with the growth of the internet and its seemingly infinite potential for illegal activities and human impact. Krell writes like a lawyer, both a strength and an occasional weakness here, because she is a lawyer. She's also a lawyer who was working in one of the most challenging areas of the legal arena and "Taking Down Backpage" possesses the matter-of-fact, procedural-based thinking that was required of Krell and her team to begin taking down the behemoth that was legally aware, well funded, well represented, and willing to exert as much influence as necessary. There's no question that "Taking Down Backpage" is a jarring book. We "know" these things exist, yet we keep them at a distance. Krell makes them up close and personal and refuses to flinch in sharing the very real human costs of it all. At the same time, we get glimpses of a woman balancing a home life with marriage and kids and family vacations. "Taking Down Backpage" practically begs to be made into a film where Krell's stories can be developed even more fully. If I had my preferences, I'd see a stronger balance between memoir and procedural here. The procedural components are absolutely necessary and shouldn't be compromised. Krell does a nice job of making them accessible and understandable though unquestionably simplified here. She explains in simple yet vivid detail how Backpage got away with what it did and the various steps that had to be taken to even make the case a legally viable one. However, it would be nice to enhance the human element of "Taking Down Backpage" and to further develop life after the website was taken down. For example, as I recall, all of those involved are nearing the end of their prison sentences. What next? While defense is a key element in due process, it's hard not to be jarred by the legal practices put on display here in defending Backpage. It's even more jarring to realize this kind of defense likely continues (as it's certainly not illegal). As Krell moves toward story's end, we sense her own shifting personally and professionally. There's practically no way to deny that working in this field day after day would be immensely challenging. This may be worthy of more exploration. I suppose it's a good thing, really, that "Taking Down Backpage" leaves you wanting more. Krell gives us, of course, the acute awareness that more is needed. As she transitioned to a new opportunity after this effort wound down, Krell also shares the current state of sex trafficking and the continuing effort needed. Shutting down Backpage.com was a huge step but hardly an absolute one. "Taking Down Backpage" is, indeed, a valuable and necessary read for both the informed and uninformed. While it tackles a difficult subject, it's very seldom graphic other than honestly acknowledging the very human cost of sex trafficking. With several months until publication, "Taking Down Backpage" may very well experience additional tweaking along its editing journey but will undeniably remain a valuable, important story as we address sex trafficking and work to ensure the internet is not used as a weapon against humanity.

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This book about a legal investigation read like a true crime thriller. Never in a million years would I have thought I'd be so enraptured by a chapter about floating through piles of emails and paperwork, but Krell's every word had me drawn back to the page. It's a little heavy on legal jargon, if that's not your wheelhouse, but by no means does it require a law degree (though I am now wondering about law school ...) Before reading this, I'd heard of BackPage only very adjacently, mentioned every so often on the national news. Krell spins a compelling, honest, uplifting, but at times gut-wrenching tale of the men at the center of it all, and how lawyers for the government fought the government tooth and nail to put a stop to the most pervasive sex trafficking website in America. The statistics at the end stymied me, as I realized just how great an impact her case had on a global scale, not just on the lives of the survivors whose stories she brought to light. It reads just like a good crime drama watches: easily followed, but unpredictable enough that I never knew what was going to be on the next page. Fair warning, there is topic-relevant discussion of rape, abuse and human trafficking, but nothing graphic or vulgar

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After reading this one, I have been seriously pondering going to law school. I want to do the work the Krell is doing, to take down the monsters who profit from the trauma and assault of others. It is absolutely disgusting and I would gladly hunt down every last one and bring them to justice. Unfortunately, as illustrated in this book, it is all too easy for said monsters to continue profiting from sex trafficking in the digital age. Prior to this book, I do not recall ever hearing about Backpage except in a few other books I have read that cover the subjects of commercial sex workers who used the site and Craig's List to find clients. Perhaps I have simply been existing in my own little bubble, though I am not sure how I have missed such an incredibly important subject, but I am so glad to have read this book. As it turns out, Backpage.com was at one time the world's largest sex trafficker. Untold numbers of victims were bought and sold on the site for ten years, forced into dangerous and violent situations where they were raped, sometimes multiple times, sometimes by multiple people. While we often think of young women and girls as the most common victims, it is important to note that transgender youth, and younger boys were bought and sold as well. Repeatedly. The site's reach was world-wide and operated in 800 cities internationally. The owners of the site could feign ignorance of what was happening, because they claimed to not be responsible for the content that others created to post on their site. Luckily some sleuthing found that the employees of Backpage were, in fact, creating content from the ads posted to Backpage. The content they created was posted to their shell sites in order to drive more business to Backpage. I suppose if you are a disgusting excuse for a human being, it would be easy to sleep at night claiming this ignorance as you grew richer and richer by the day. Enter Maggy Krell, and your days as such are numbered. I could not put this book down. I became so invested in the stories of the young women and girls who had been trafficked at various times, and worried so much for them as they worked through their trauma and had to decide whether or not they could relieve it all again at trial. My heart broke for those, especially the girls as young as 12, who Krell was never able to find, despite the fact that their photos were still being used in ads on the website. Krell writes like an attorney because that is who she is, yet the narrative was not bogged down by legal terms and boring procedure. In fact, the procedures were anything but boring, because I wanted to know what would happen and how the owners of Backpage, as well as the stree-level pimps, would finally face their day of reckoning. I had to stop myself from Googling the owners' names so many times just to know what would happen. One aspect of the case that I found interesting is the fact that for so long, the FBI knew exactly what was happening. Ads would be found on the site for girls and boys under 18 and the FBI would request those ads be removed. Backpage was all too eager to assist in this way, to try and show how cooperative they were. What a fucking joke. I found fascinating the legal workings of such a massive case like this, and one so delicate. The amount of coordination that had to occur among various agencies in different states is staggering and that it all went off without a hitch was something I honestly was not sure would happen. I appreciate the fact that Krell does not shy away from any of the horror and trauma inflicted on those who were trafficked multiple times per day. I think we all agree that human trafficker in general and sex trafficking in particular are heinous crimes that we must put an end to. However, when it does not directly impact your life, the way to help can seem rather abstract. Personally for Eleanor and I, we live practically smack-dab in the middle of the US, at the convergence of two major interstates that run across the country. We are a major hub for human-trafficking and it is especially bad during the College World Series each year. I do not take Eleanor anywhere near downtown for those couple of weeks specifically for this reason. There have been so many arrests in recent years and that gives me hope that this is something we can defeat, but the realist in me knows that it is simply not possible. Shutting down Backpage was a massive moment in this fight, but it is certainly not the only one. Sex traffickers have simply moved elsewhere online and we must continue to pursue them as Krell and her team did in order to bring the perps to justice and help victims and survivor get out and start to heal. Highly highly highly recommended.

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This one kept me on the edge of my seat, I couldn’t stop reading it and failed to do anything else in my life for the day. It was so interesting to me

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"When prevention fails and kids are caught up in the criminal justice system with cases of their own, we need to look at them through a public-health lens: they are children who have been subjected to severe forms of sexual abuse and trauma." Maggy Krell's incredible account of bringing one of the most horrendous avenues of sexual exploitation is a must read. As a current law student and an aspiring prosecutor, Krell's story is particularly amazing. You can tell when you read "Taking Down Backpage," that she has an unwavering passion for justice that cannot be compromised. She has not stopped fighting for the rights of the sexually exploited even with the demise of Backpage. Krell's writing sucked me in and made me feel all the emotions. I raged when her first case was dismissed, my heart ached when she relays the story of each abused girl with such empathy, and I celebrated every small victory. Her story only further solidifies my desire to work in the legal field. If you are looking for a light-hearted book you will forget about as soon as you finish it, this is not the book for you. Krell makes sure that you will never forget the stories of those victimized by Backpage's exploitative actions, nor does Krell allow you to believe that by taking down Backpage, sexual exploitation is a thing of the past. There is still lots of work to be done. Bringing down the giant that was Backpage is just the beginning.

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I went into this book previously unaware of backpage.com and learned so much about the legal background of human trafficking along the way. The author does a great job of emphasizing that those who are trafficked should not be prosecuted because they are the victims of the crime. This was created in a way that it will be interesting not only to people interested in legal proceedings like myself, but also anyone interested in true crime.

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Backpage was an advertisement website that sex traffickers used to promote the commercial sex trade. These ads promoted not only adult sex trafficking victims but children also. Maggy Krell was a prosecutor in California who was tired of putting victimized women in jail. Krell did everything she could to bring the owners of Backpage to just for profiting from prostitution. Although Krell had to jump through many hoops, she was eventually able to get the owners convicted of money laundering. The federal government then took the owners to federal court and seized the website in 2018. This was a very quick read (only 192 pages) but detailed enough that you understood why Maggy Krell took the stance she did and how she managed to strike a blow against a company that profited off of the trafficking of women and children. Hers was the first of many lawsuits the site faced, including one from the federal government which led to the seizure of the website which can still be seen if you go looking for the site.

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When we hear about Human Trafficking, so often it is associated with places like Thailand or India.  However, it occurs quite prevalently in the United States. In the new book Taking Down Backpage, Attorney Maggy Krell discussed the crimes and concerns that lead her to her mission to bring down a website where youth were being sold for sex. Backpage was notorious for paying lip service to authorities on taking down ads where youth were being sold, before allowing them to go right back up. Texas, Florida, and California currently have the highest numbers when it comes to reported trafficking cases.  Maggy Krell works in California, and could not sit idly by while seeing young women pay the price for this horrific business. With a lot of help, and dogged determination, Maggy helped lead the charge that put three corrupt businessmen behind bars and took down a major highway for traffickers. The book is fascinating, albeit sometimes hard to read when realizing what some of these youth had to endure at the hands of traffickers. Taking Down Backpage is available from NYU press in January 2022.

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As someone who has been involved in the anti-trafficking world for a while now, this book is a breath of fresh air. The writing style is informative while not being overpowering. I felt like I was having a conversation with the author instead of being lectured. This book is so important as it not only covers the process of taking down Backpage, but also points out areas that we need to fix in order to keep organizations and people from exploiting others. This book is a great introduction to the world of abolition and will leave readers righteously enraged and ready to step up and make a difference.

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Backpage was an online advertiser created from accepting, and creating ad’s selling people for sex online, mostly without their consent. Maggy Krell is a legal prosecutor, trailblazer and out to destroy the seemingly impregnable world of the USA’s commercial sex trade, and subsequent human trafficking which is procured by the Backpage website. We meet Maggy as a 25 year old legal crusader, all consumed with the complicated, and many pronged task of exposing. Firstly: the plight of the victims who are badged as criminals. Secondly: the investigation, exposure and prosecution of the men behind Backpage, and the way they made massive profits from their organisation. Maggy makes it plain that her book is not about consensual sex work, it is about rape, and how Backpage increased the suffering of sexual trafficking victims exponentially. She is motivated by meeting trafficking survivors, who have escaped and shared their stories. Without them, she would have no case, and no anti-human trafficking movement. The disturbing element is that many of the victims are underage, and powerless to defend themselves against violence, coercion, and organised crime. Young victims are arrested and charged with prostitution, and thrown into the penal system, which does nothing to support or free them from this cycle of exploitation. The book was engaging, but at times repetitive. Although I understand that she is crazy busy with building this twisting, turning ongoing case I did wonder who her home support people were; they get next to nix mention. This book is a great insight to the role of internet companies in our social structure, and the importance of corporate responsibility to humanity. I liked that in the final chapters of the book, Maggy highlights the need for educating and supporting America’s youth, to help make them less vulnerable to this kind of exploitation. Maggy quotes Frederick Douglas from an Atlanta based non-profit program: “It is easier to build strong children, than to repair broken men” Thanks to NetGalley and NYU Press for an advance copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review. #NetGalley #TakingDownBackpage

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Informative,interesting and easy to understand the inner workings of what it took to take down a worldwide computer site that promoted trafficking in thousands of cities all over the world,esp in USA. The author was a prosecutor in CA and wrote this also as an accomplished writer.

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"A child who is being commercially sexually exploited is a rape victim. There's no such thing as a child prostitiute." It's so easy to fall into the mindset that trafficking "doesn't happen here", and reading a book like this is really eye-opening. I love that Maggy explained the case in ways that were understandable to those unfamiliar with the law. She also gave credit to every person involved in shutting down Backpage, giving the reader a scope of how large this case really was. In closing, she helped me understand how things need to be changed moving forward, because this issue is far from solved. It was a really interesting read, and I learned a lot from it.

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TAKING DOWN BACKPAGE - Maggie Krell I received this Kindle Edition to read for review purposes. Ms. Krell has documented and thought out a very detailed book regarding the BACKPAGE website. While Backpage looked like a respectable website, Ms. Krell had been watching and paying deep attention to some cases she was seeing regarding trafficked women and even children. After much investigation she came to a startling conclusion that was more devious than she had once imagined. This book will leave you challenged to pay attention to what you see around you as it relates to children, teens and even young adults who if studied you will realize things are not as they seem. "SEE SOMETHING SAY SOMETHING" is the best word I can give you. #Goodreads #Net Galley #Taking Down Backpage This will not be available until January 2022

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Taking Down Backpage is obviously about taking down Backpage, the biggest human (mostly children) trafficking website at the time, through the eyes of the prosecutor, Maggy Krell. And what you get inside is what you see (on the cover). Apart from the mandatory Business Law class I barely paid attention to during college, I have zero clue about how the justice system actually works. As the book is written by a prosecutor, it is written with a highly legal point of view, and Krell explains from the start until the end how the process of prosecuting the owners of Backpage had been. Although I have no clue about law, it was really interesting to learn about it, how these smart lawyers navigate their way around many complications and succeed as a result. The writing is gripping, and even if you have no idea about the justice system, at the end of the book, you end up having some idea how things work. And then of course there's the whole story. What Maggy Krell and all the people that were with her on this journey of bringing this disaster of a website down, are undoubtedly brilliant. Even though, it breaks my heart to see so many children and vulnerable women are in this awful system, it is also so inspiring and encouraging to see incredible people like Krell and her friends. It also makes your job feel useless if you're not saving anyone's life like in mine! :) I skimmed through some reviews saying that it was written in a very legal way and that they didn't connect with the characters, etc. Seriously? Did you even check the title of the book? It's written by a prosecutor not a poet. Thanks to Netgalley, Maggy Krell and NYU Press for sharing this story with the world. Review will also be on my instagram account soon: https://www.instagram.com/theculture.hunter/

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This was a true crime type book; however, it was from the point of view of the prosecutors. The website Backpage had become notorious for being a place where one could buy the favors of young women and girls through the website. This is the story of how the prosecutors dug to find evidence and to find witnesses who were not intimidated. It also explained how the laws were interpreted in this new area of the law (sex trafficking). I was fascinated by the detail necessary to prosecute and even to indict these traffickers.

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An interesting look into the struggle to change the law and put those involved behind bars, the book gives an engaging account of taking down the Backpage website and those behind it. Offering a play-by-play from discovering the problem to getting the case to trial, it offers insight into the struggles prosecutors face to get the guilty, with substantial financial assets, behind bars. The reader can feel the author's frustration while navigating wall after wall to bring down the site. I read the book in one sitting, drawn in and wanting to find out how they got to the final result. For some people, maybe the legal process would be boring, but for me there is the right mix of the obstacles they faced and the people they were fighting for to keep me reading.

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“Taking Down Backpage: Fighting the World’s Largest Sex Trafficker” is masterfully written by Maggie Krell. Often legal jargon loses readers, and/or directed towards a specific audience limiting the ability to inform/educate a wider population. Krell delivers an essential read involving heinous crimes; led undisputedly by executive leaders of the organization - Backpage. Krell captures a well thought out, comprehensible narrative; any reader will be instantly enthralled in. “Taking Down Backpage” is necessary read I highly recommend, even if you are not familiar with the (fairly recent) history of the organization. Directly from the Author’s Notes, “Taking down Back page should not be conflated with voluntary sex work. This book is not about consensual sex work. It is about rape.” “This is not a case against Backpage, a website; it is a case against three individual defendants who used multiple platforms to commercially sexually exploit vulnerable women and children.” A sincere thank you to NetGalley and NYU Press for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to read this story and leave my review voluntarily.

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Put one determined woman in a position to tackle one of the worst crimes in America and around the world and don't be surprised at what she can accomplish. Hitting legal wall after legal wall and sexism along the way didn't deter Maggy Krell from her determination to do what is right. After being personally exposed to what "human trafficking" looks like, she took on a fight to take them down in a state that gives more rights to the perpetrators than to the prosecutor. Written in a way that allows the reader to understand the nuances of what she faced as the prosecutor, Maggy writes in a way where you, the reader, feel the emotions involved. You will fear excitement, anger, unbelievable idiocracy, and satisfaction as Maggy faces the largest human trafficking organization operating legally in the United States.

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My first thought was, look at this intelligent woman, taking on the world, she's an absolute f*cking powerhouse. To go out there and take on this mammoth beast, one that's been out there and thriving since 2004. Maggie Krell showed utter strength and tenacity, ready to knock them to the ground. She was basically going up against one of the biggest logistics companies in the world, except this one devastatingly was shipping people around the globe, when I can't even get away with shipping food items from my home in Canada to my family in Northern Ireland. I immediately developed a respect for Maggy Krell, wanting to kneel down at her feet and wish her every success with her future missions. The world needs more people like Maggie Krell. Towards the end of this book, I was sitting bolt upright, tense, with an increased heart rate, trying to swallow my anxiety with each line, but becoming even more supercharged, eager to know the outcomes.

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A must-read for every thinking adult. Seriously. This book covers such an important, yet often overlooked topic. Human trafficking, specifically of women and young girls/children, is happening right under our noses, often in plain sight. In "Taking Down Backpage," Maggie Krell, former California prosecutor, takes us through her years-long effort to shut down the Backpage website, which was a hub for online trafficking and the torture and abuse of countless people. Told through her eyes and in the first person, the book provides gets a firsthand look at what goes into mounting a case against a many-tentacled business like this one. While the details of this particular story are fascinating and even exciting, the look into the many ways a business such as this can hide, protect itself, and avoid legal consequences is beyond eye-opening. Krell's dogged devotion--and that of the many, many others who joined in the quest to shut down the website and its owners for good--is both inspiring and galvanizing. Human trafficking is never consensual and is always abuse.. By prosecuting the case, and now sharing this important story, Krell has shined a light on the problem and helped so many victims come in out of the shadows.

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