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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 to whom he'd been a father figure.
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 L.A. 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 nonpornographic video he had made, which featured the son of a co-worker 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.
"L.A. was hot after 'SpongeBob,' " the FBI agent explains. When Greenwell offered up the man's name, Antonio Cardenas, "We immediately call L.A., 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 10 additional fellow porn traders.
After three and a half hours of questioning, minus a few breaks for cigarettes, Greenwell finally wound down.
The next day Subke and his partner from the FBI set out to find the boy in the framed photograph.
As he catalogued the contents of Greenwell's porn cache, Brian Mize considered how to identify the men in the photos. Part of the solution lay in the DVDs Greenwell had stashed in his safe.
Though Mize encountered pornographic examples of Greenwell's Scooby-Doo Productions handiwork, the DVDs in the safe contained no sexually explicit content but instead depicted scenes from trips Greenwell took with other men and small groups of boys. Destinations included nearby attractions Six Flags and Jellystone Park, as well as towns in Arkansas and Illinois. The footage was outwardly innocuous, though every now and then the banter betrayed the men's forbidden proclivities. Mize viewed the travelogues over and over again for four straight days, searching for clues.
Eventually he found one.
During a road trip to Arkansas, one of Greenwell's adult traveling companions pointed out various landmarks, leading Mize to conclude that the man must live in that state. After watching for hours, the cyber-sleuth heard Greenwell address the man by name: Evan.
Mize had Greenwell's cellphone, and when he checked it, he discovered a match — a man named Evan Batton, who turned out to be a youth pastor at a Baptist church near the town of Dardanelle, off Interstate 40 about 80 miles northwest of Little Rock.
Just as he had with Greenwell, Mize constructed a photo series for each boy he suspected was one of Batton's victims. He sanitized one photo for each series and sent the package to his colleagues in Arkansas. Batton later was arrested and convicted of raping a 7-year-old.
In the end Mize discovered two more names through video analysis and repeated his cataloguing process twice more, preparing a package for agents in another Midwestern state and one in New England. By the time investigators located the New England suspect, the man had committed suicide; the Midwestern suspect remains at large.