How a Blogger Blocked a Sex Slavery Ring

Back on May 19, of 2010, a thread on Metafilter captured the fascination of a certain subset of people — those who are always online and are immediately aware of the buzz. As the thread unfolded, it turned out to be high-order drama: two young Russian women were being caught up in a sex trafficking operation. One Manhattan woman threw herself into the middle of the drama.

Abigail Pesta, writing for The Daily Beast, profiles 24-year-old psychology student Katherine Gutierrez Hinds:

Kathrine, herself a member of MetaFilter for more than three years, says she trusted Daniel even though she had never met him. “It’s a real community on the site,” she says, adding that she often reads discussions about personal relationships there. And so two strangers on opposite ends of the country came together, via the Internet, to try to rescue a pair of foreigners.

That afternoon, the Russian women got on the bus to New York to meet George. Daniel posted: “They are on the bus now arriving at 5 p.m.”

Kathrine sprang into action. She shed her sweats, threw on a pair of jeans, a top, and some eyeliner, and raced across town to New York City’s vast, grimy Port Authority bus terminal. There, in the bowels of the station, she went looking for the Russians. “It was terrifying,” Kathrine says. “I didn’t know if George would be there, or traffickers, or the Russian mob, or what.”

Her husband was at work, so she called a male friend to come wait with her. They waited—and noticed that they were being watched. “These two guys kept looking right at us,” she says. “They seemed out of place. In New York, people either ignore each other politely, or stare lecherously. They were just looking.”

When Kathrine spotted a pair of disoriented young women with suitcases, she approached. Sure enough, they were the Russians, and, Kathrine says, “They looked ready to throw up.”

Great read for anyone that is unfamiliar with this story, a worthy follow-up for anyone that is familiar.



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