"We want to apologize in advance for this statement," the writer warns. "The uglier and fatter the moms, the easier it will be for you to get into that family."

(Forensic computer analyst Brian Mize notes that pedophiles increasingly are connecting with their young prey via interest-specific websites, such as a youth soccer team's home page. Sometimes, Mize says, predators adjust their Facebook profiles to match the interests of the kid they're targeting. The near-ubiquity of smartphones facilitates communication out of range of parents' prying eyes and ensures that video capability is a mere touchscreen away.)

FBI investigators say Jeffrey Greenwell relied on a consistent method to seduce boys: In nearly every instance, he sought out single mothers on online dating websites. He would romance a woman and spoil her son, lavishing the boy with attention and gifts. After a time he'd move the relationship to a more intimate level, taking the boy on trips to Six Flags or babysitting him and, finally, sexually molesting him.

On October 23, 2009, federal and state authorities arrested Jeffrey Greenwell just outside his home in Miramiguoa Park and detained him at the Franklin County Jail.
On October 23, 2009, federal and state authorities arrested Jeffrey Greenwell just outside his home in Miramiguoa Park and detained him at the Franklin County Jail.
The Miramiguoa Park home where Greenwell lived prior to his arrest.
Jon Gitchoff
The Miramiguoa Park home where Greenwell lived prior to his arrest.

"You're talking about the best predators ever," the federal agent from St. Louis says. "Greenwell was very smooth-talking. He dressed normally. He wooed the heck out of the mothers. This wasn't 'the guy in the ice cream truck.'"

The agent points to a flow chart the investigators created to diagram Greenwell's various connections to molestation victims and their parents, as well as two suspected fellow pedophiles. He gestures to photos of four mothers and ticks off Greenwell's tie to each: "boyfriend, boyfriend, babysitter, coworker."

Subke and his partner from the FBI questioned their quarry at the sheriff's office on the evening of his arrest.

Subke began by offering Greenwell, 37 years old at the time, a soda. After reading him his rights, the investigators explained that there had been some allegations made against him. At first the conversation skewed toward small talk. A Riverfront Times request for a transcript of the interrogation under the federal Freedom of Information Act was denied by the Records Management Division in Winchester, Virginia, because the investigation into Lost Boy is ongoing. But Subke and the St. Louis-based federal agent consented to describe the interview.

"Mr. Greenwell, what kinds of hobbies are you into?" asked the detectives.

Scooby Doo, SpongeBob and playing Xbox, the suspect replied.

"What's your type, Mr. Greenwell? Guys or girls?"

Guys, the man answered. Young males, specifically — around eight to twelve years old. "But I don't like hardcore sex images," he asserted. "Society doesn't look too kindly upon adult males who like young boys."

"Let's talk about child porn," the interrogators suggested a little later.

"They're boring," the suspect replied. His computer skills, he added in response to another question, were "beginner to low-intermediate." He said he had encrypted the contents of his hard drive "because of personal information."

The FBI agent asked about a framed photo of a boy he'd seen on a wall in Greenwell's home: It appeared to be a formal school portrait. Greenwell explained that it was an old photo of a boy he'd been a father figure to.

After a while the investigators brought up the fourth grader who had described how Greenwell had sexually molested him. Eventually Greenwell admitted that he had fondled the boy's penis and photographed the experience.

But Greenwell didn't stop there.

Mindful of Greenwell's penchant for Scooby-Doo merchandise, the interrogators broached the topic in the hope that he might be familiar with the "Scooby-Doo Productions" material that LA investigators had turned up on Lost Boy. But instead of referencing those videos, Greenwell described a pornographic video a friend had sent to him — and also a non-pornographic video he had made, which featured the son of a coworker playing in a park.

"We didn't know what the hell he was talking about," says the FBI agent. "So we played off of it."

"Yeah, tell us about those other videos," the agent prompted.

At that Greenwell abruptly opened up.

He admitted incorporating Scooby-Doo imagery into the home movie he'd shot in the park, featuring a boy he knew. He began spouting "computer lingo," as the agent puts it — saying he'd used the Sony Vegas software to tag three other videos with his "Scooby-Doo Productions" imprimatur. He hadn't shot those videos, he said; they'd been sent to him by acquaintances. He said he'd blurred background details so as not to reveal where the videos had been shot.

"Everyone knew him as 'the computer guy,'" the federal agent notes in retrospect. "If there was something in the background that identified someone, he would take care of it."

The detectives asked Greenwell who'd sent him the videos. One man was from New Hampshire, he said; another, who went by the screen name "SpongeBob," was from Utah.

The investigators could hardly believe what they were hearing.

"LA was hot after 'SpongeBob,'" the FBI agent explains. When Greenwell offered up the man's name, Antonio Cardenas, "We immediately call LA, and Salt Lake starts their investigation full-bore."

Greenwell kept talking.

He admitted that the framed photo on his wall was of a boy he'd molested, and he told Subke and the agent where the boy's mother lived. He admitted he was "Muddyfeet." He admitted to operating a child-porn message board of his own, called "aLL bois." He identified by name all of the boys in photos that had been sent from Los Angeles. He coughed up the screen names of ten additional fellow porn traders.

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