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Friday, December 13, 2019

Decemystery (2019) 13: Snuff Films (NSFL Version)

Life is cheap.
A serious warning: this entry contains graphic discussion of murder, torture, animal abuse, and child rape. Reader discretion is highly advised.


Today’s entry is special. There are two versions of it: one that contains extreme levels of horrible detail and one that’s much less grisly since I don’t want to alienate those who want to follow this blog series religiously.


This diversification of the blog is easy to explain: today’s entry is on Snuff Films. If you aren’t familiar with them, then boy oh boy are you in for a trip. If you’re reading this particular intro, odds are you’re doing it in passing or you’re feeling gutsy. It’s the NSFL version and it’s the one with all of the fun, brutal, hard-to-stomach details. So let’s get to it! Or you can scroll up for the SFW version.


Look Into the Camera and Smile: The Mystery of Snuff Films


As is the case with any great researcher: I’m pulling my information to start from Wikipedia. The definition of a snuff film is a movie in which a person actually dies—be it they were murdered or commit suicide. Whether or not this film is then distributed in an attempt to make a profit is irrelevant, all that matters is the footage is circulated (be it physically or on the Internet). One final thing to note is that these murders are not something like an execution (such as those recorded by the Islamic State). Snuff films are recorded for one of two purposes: to make a profit off of the death of another human being or for entertainment purposes.


As such, it’s best if we understand one thing going forward: snuff films do exist in a way. There have been deaths that have been recorded, be it by bystanders or by security cameras, that have surfaced online. I have seen videos of people who’ve been shot by police/civilians, run over by cars, died in tragic work accidents, and even been split in half by trains or other vehicles. The mystery here isn’t as to whether or not snuff films exist, but rather: is there a market for one; are snuff films being deliberately made by people who then circulate it to make a profit off of these acts of evil?


Well, in order to find that out, we must first go back to the beginning and discover where the idea of snuff films originates.


Historically: the word “snuff” has been used since 1874 and originally referred to the part of a candle wick that had already been burned. Nowadays, and more officially, the term “snuff movie” was first used in the 1971 book by Ed Sanders “The Family: The Story of Charles Manson’s Dune Buggy Attack Battalion.” In this book, Sanders claims that The Manson Family made a film in California where they recorded their murders. There’s no proof of this however and while it remains a contested aspect of the Manson murders to this day, it’s generally agreed that Manson never had his followers record the murders they carried out.


One man disagrees with the official report though: film studies professor Boaz Hagin. He claims that the idea of snuff films goes back over half a century before Sanders’ book: as early as 1907. It was in that year that a Polish-French writer by the name of Guillaume Apollinaire published a short story called “A Good Film”. This story was about newsreel photojournalists who stage and film a homicide due to the public’s fascination with news regarding crime.


Whatever the case may be: snuff films have become a huge part of urban legend lore. They’ve been at the center of some hysteria from decades ago and continue to fascinate some people to this day. Their first leap into modern culture—to some degree anyways—was with the 1976 film Snuff, which has a history that I’d like to cover one day in a separate entry.


For now, that’s the history of snuff films in the general sense. The hype surrounding them has never exactly died down, but they aren’t the hysteria causing machine that they used to be. However, there have been a few instances where films have caused controversy for being snuff films. Ironically, Snuff isn’t one of them.


The following three films are listed on Wikipedia as having been mistaken for real snuff films. They are as follows:


#1: The Guinea Pig Film Series


The first example comes in the form of the notorious Japanese Guinea Pig series. These films were intended to appear like snuff films, having been filmed in a grainy video style and with unsteady camera movement. The films also featured some of the most lifelike special effects; internal organs and graphic wounds being shown on camera.


The grainy video and unsteady camera movement was unique to the first two entries (to the best of my knowledge anyways). That style did serve as the basis for where the second film, Flower of Flesh and Blood (which was released in 1985), was actually mistaken for an authentic snuff film. In 1991, Charlie Sheen was so convinced that the film was a real snuff film that he informed the FBI. The Bureau began an investigation into the film, but closed it after the producers of the film released a “making of” and showcased how the special effects were utilized to create the murders shown in the film.


#2: Cannibal Holocaust


This film is legendary for how controversial it is—so much so that it’s claimed to be banned in more than fifty countries. Adding to this: Entertainment Weekly named it the 20th most controversial film of all-time.


Directed by Ruggero Deodato, Cannibal Holocaust is a 1980 exploitation film that managed to get the director arrested and charged with first degree murder on several accounts. This was due to the actors not having been seen since before the film’s release. Deodato had an explanation for that: he made them all sign a contract that prevented them from doing anything for a year following the film’s release. Instead, he had them take on new identities to live their lives. Once the actors appeared in court to verify this and Deodato showed the court how they did the now infamous pole impalement scene, he was cleared of all charges.


That said: this film did include some genuine deaths—six in fact. Five animals were killed on camera and one off camera. The film also contains numerous scenes of sexual violence. Both the deaths of the animals and that aspect make the film extremely controversial to this day.


#3: The August’s Underground Trilogy


Ah, the August Underground films. These grisly movies are written, directed, and star Fred Vogel. They center on the supposed home movies that are made by a serial killer and his friends and depict gore, sex, torture, and homicide (or so says Wikipedia). The practical effects used in the films are so lifelike that scenes are often distributed on the Dark Web and claimed to be real life snuff films.


This hasn’t gone unnoticed by Canadian officials either. When Vogel was traveling to Canada to go to the Rue Morgue Festival of Fear in Toronto, he was arrested and had pending charges of “transporting obscene materials into Canada” after copies of August Underground and its sequel—August Underground Mordum—were discovered by customs officials, along with some merchandise he had planned on bringing to the convention.


Lucky for Vogel, the charges were eventually dropped, but not after he had spent around ten hours in a customs prison and his films had been sent to Ottawa for “further observation.”


Meanwhile, copies of August Underground Mordum ended up being confiscated by customs officials in 2004. The reason for this seizure was that “they offend against the standards of morality, decency, and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be imported.”


With those three examples out of the way though, it’s worth mentioning that the reality of films—as in ones released to the general public—containing actual deaths isn’t true. There are claims that Brandon Lee’s real death was kept in The Crow and that the accident on the set of The Twilight Zone Movie—which killed Vic Morrow and child actors Myca Dinh Le and Renee Shin-Yi Chen, weren’t kept in their respective movies. The footage was destroyed. The urban legends saying it was kept in are just that: urban legends.


Though what of actual snuff films? Do they exist? That is, after all, the point of this entry. So let’s get to it. The following are a few notorious snuff videos/films that have made their rounds on the Internet—both on the surface web and the dark web. Five of the six below I, admittedly, picked from this video by LayLoFilms. However, I’ve added onto their history where I could. Nevertheless: all credit goes to him and him alone; I’m also deeply sorry if this qualifies as poaching content. As stated at the very start: reader discretion is highly advised.


#1: 3 Guys, 1 Hammer


The Dnepropetrovsk maniacs consisted of three Ukranian men: Viktor Sayenko, Igor Suprunyuk, and Alexander Hanzha. Their crimes amounted to 21 counts of murder in the first degree and robbery (in the case of Hanzha, who only got nine years in prison while Sayenko and Suprunyuk got life in prison). All three were only 19-years-old when this occurred.


In the way of their murders, their crimes were extraordinarily grisly in nature, with nobody being off limits in their eyes. Children, the elderly, vagrants, the drunk, and even animals were targeted; These victims were typically tortured and brutalized to the point that recognition was next to impossible. I’ll let the information Wikipedia contains do some explaining though:


Most victims were murdered by blunt objects, such as hammers and steel construction bars. Blows were typically directed at the faces of the victims (hence the inability to recognize anyone).


Mutilation wasn’t uncommon. Some victims would have their eyes gouged out while they were still alive. A pregnant woman had her fetus extracted from her womb (though no victims were sexually assaulted).


Hanzha was allegedly squeamish and had a blood phobia; he also refused to give his kitten a bath as he was afraid he would scald it. As such, Suprunyuk proposed that he face his fears by torturing stray dogs that they were able to find. The three ended up capturing them in a nearby wooded area that was close to their house, hung the dogs, disemboweled them, and took photos near the corpses.


This torture of animals continued and, at some unknown point in time, the boys shot a video that was shown in court of them in a garrage. The three had built a cross from wooden boards and nailed Hanzha’s kitten to it, crucifying it. They proceeded to place foam and glue into its mouth to silence it from screaming, then shot it with pistols.


Now as for why this is mentioned: the local media where the murders occurred had initially reported that the three boys had planned on getting rich from the various murders they recorded. Adding to this, there’s a claim that Supunyuk was in contact with an “unknown, rich foreign website operator” who had allegedly ordered a total of forty snuff videos and would pay a large amount of money should they be made. This claim comes from a former classmate of Suprunyuk’s and one of the three boys girlfriends, who stated that the three had intentions of making a total of forty videos of murders. This theory, however, has been shot down by authorities. Regional security chief Ivan Stupak stated that there was no evidence that the three had intentions of making snuff videos. Adding to this, Detective Bogdan Viasenko said:


“We think they were doing it as a hobby, to have a collection of memories when they get old.”


Deputy interior minister Nikolay Kupyanskiy also commented on the matter by saying:


“For these young men, murder was like entertainment or hunting.”


I’ll leave it up to you as to whether or not they truly intended on getting rich from these videos as in the end: their legacy has been immortalized through what has become known as 3 Guys, 1 Hammer.


#2: Karate Murder


This one I don’t know much about to be honest. From what I know: a man walked into a karate dojo and claimed that his teacher was God. He then challenged the karate master, who beat him—severely. Even after the man was on the ground, the man stomped on him until he died. All of this was recorded and the man was dragged out of the dojo, a trail of blood leading out of the dojo.


If this case is the one that I found via Google, the man was thrown into a dumpster and the Karate Master was charged with murder.


#3: Dagestan Massacre


During the War of Dagestan, Russian prisoners of war were recorded as they were executed. These execution videos were reportedly discovered throughout the entirety of the war by Russian soldiers. The content of the videos varies, though most were beheadings and one included a man who was chained who jumped in front of a tank and was crushed to death.


One of these tapes was made in September of 1999. In it, six Russian soldiers—one who was only 19-years-old—were all mercilessly executed, with a knife being pressed against their throats before being withdrawn. The soldiers were toyed with before eventually being beheaded by the Chechen militants.


According to experts: these videos were made for two reasons. The first was to frighten their enemy while the second was a way to advertise what they’ve done. As for the snuff film aspect: some of these videos were later sold with the foreknowledge of their content. This, naturally, led to them ending up online.


This particular massacre—which is officially known as the Tukhchar Massacre—is sometimes mistaken for another incident in 1996 where four Russian soldiers were executed at the end of the First Chechen War.


#4: Robert Dwyer’s Suicide


Robert Budd Dwyer was the Treasurer of Pennsylvania and was expected to resign after being indicted on bribery. He had held a press conference on January 22, 1987 where he was expected to resign as Treasurer. After he finished speaking, he handed out notes to his staffers and, from an envelope, drew a blued Smith & Wesson Model 27 .357 magnum.


Nobody in the crowd that had come to see him speak was sure of what Dwyer would do with the firearm; Dwyer himself having backed up against a nearby wall as he held it in the air. After a bit, Dwyer calmly said the following:


“Please, please leave the room if this will… if  this will affect you.”


Immediately, a few people fled with the intention of calling for help. Those who stayed, meanwhile, begged Dwyer to surrender the gun. A few attempted to approach him. Dwyer, however, warned them all to stay back; his final words being,


“Don't, don't, don't, this will hurt someone.”


Seconds later, Dwyer pulled the trigger, firing a single shot into his mouth. He died immediately, though he wasn’t pronounced dead for another half hour.


A grand total of five news cameras had recorded the events, with one of them remaining focused on Dwyer the entire time. It had also caught close up footage of the shooting’s aftermath as his lifeless body fell to the floor; blood seeping from the exit wound in the back of his head, his nostrils, and his mouth.


Dwyer’s press secretary, a man by the name of James "Duke" Horshock, went to the podium and told the media to leave immediately and requested that medical assistance be called, along with the police.


Dwyer had requested his organs be donated in the letter’s he’d handed out (which also contained suicide letters). One of Dwyer’s aides would later state that his corneas were capable of being transplanted, but that every other organ was unusable by the time his body had reached a hospital.


This next part I must admit is going to be opinionated and I apologize as I, as a writer and an aspiring author, am someone who wishes to always remain neutral. Whether it’s on politics, conspiracies, religion, or any other topic. I am someone who has no desire to ever go down the route of blaming one belief or take for being the reason that something happens or for anything along those lines. That said, the reason Dwyer is in this entry; the reason he is a part of something related to snuff films, is thanks to what I’d consider to be one of the most astoundingly callous, egregious, and exploitative instances in United States media history.


Several television stations throughout the state of Pennsylvania ended up broadcasting the footage that had been recorded of Dwyer’s suicide to a “midday audience.” In the case of Philadelphia station WPVI (Channel 6 according to Wikipedia) showed Dwyer pulling the .357 Magnum’s trigger and slumping backwards, but it didn’t show the bullet’s path. Yet, inexplicably, for the next several hours, news editors had to figure out how much of the footage they wished to air.


Meanwhile, stations like WCAU and Pennsylvania’s Group W stations KYW and KDKA opted to take the more conservative path and “froze” the footage just prior to the gunshot. However, KYW and KDKA opted to keep the audio in as the image froze. This action done due to William L. Martin, Group W’s news cameraman, and reporter David Scollenberger having had a camera set up at the conference. Both decided to air the audio with a freeze frame of the magnum in Dwyer’s mouth.


Meanwhile, a few news stations decided to outright air an unedited version of the suicide. WPVI in Philadelphia decided it’d be a good idea to simply rebroadcast the footage in its entirety on both their 5 P.M. and 6 P.M. Action News broadcasts without any warning whatsoever. This same news station also the source for the suicide still being available on the internet. Thanks, WPVI!


Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported that WPXI in Pittsburgh broadcast the footage—uncensored—on an early newscast. When asked why they did this, By Williams, the operations manager at WPXI, said the following:


“It's an important event [about] an important man.”


Williams went on to avoid broadcasting the footage during the evening news. He stated that the reason was this:


“Everyone knows by then that he did it. There are children out of school.”


Despite this, at the time of the Dwyer’s suicide, most children weren’t in school. This was because of a snowstorm that had affected central Pennsylvania. Nice work, By Williams!


Meanwhile, the Harrisburg TV station WHTM-TV decided it’d be a good idea to one-up WPXI and broadcast the suicide twice that day. This was in spite of the hundreds of complaints they received from viewers after the first one. In response, they stated that their decision was due to the important nature of the story as a whole.


In the end though, one radio reporter—a man named Tony Romeo—developed depression from this incident. He was standing a few feet from Dwyer before he pulled the trigger and opted to take a break from journalism after the incident.


As for those who saw the incident on television: a study revealed that older students who saw the footage ended up creating many darkly comedic jokes. This isn’t uncommon nowadays as many tragedies often lead to many jokes similar in tone and can be seen on websites such as 4chan. These jokes were the most common in areas where the uncensored footage was aired.


#5: 1 Lunatic, 1 Ice Pick


Luke Magnotta is a man who was wanted by animal rights groups on account of uploading videos of himself murdering kittens. However, that isn’t what 1 Lunatic, 1 Ice Pick really is. Rather, it’s a video that was allegedly promoted 10 days in advance and showed the heinous murder of international Chinese studen Lin Jun.


On May 25, 2012, an 11-minute video with that title was uploading to the website BestGore. In it, we see a naked man (Luke) who was tied to a bed frame before being stabbed repeatedly with both an ice pick and a kitchen knife. He is then dismembered before Luke has sex with the man’s body.


As all of this is going on, the 1987 song “True Faith” by New Order plays.


Luke then proceeded to use a fork and knife to remove some of the Lin’s flesh and had a dog chew on the body. Although this is the extent of what the view could see, Canadian authorities state that they obtained a longer version and say that Luke may have committed acts of cannibalism.


In June of 2014, Luke was arrested at a Berlin Internet cafe. In December of that same year, he was sentenced to life in prison.


#6: Daisy’s Destruction


“Come see a child’s mental ruin, her innocence lost, used as a tool, she’ll learn how to please her mistress, her body will be ravaged, her dignity stolen.”


Daisy’s Destruction was once thought to be an urban myth, but after 56-year-old Australian child rapist Peter Scully was arrested in February of 2015 in the Philippines, it would come to light that this entry’s one true snuff film was a reality.


Unlike the other videos above, Daisy’s Destruction cannot be found online—at least not that I know of. This is for a very easy to understand the reason: it contains child pornography. The titular Daisy was a mere 18-months-old when the film was made and while she’s still alive, she’s sustained permanent physical injuries due to the severity of her abuse. There were two other girls that were abused along with her: 12-year-old Liza and 11-year-old Cindy. Liza and Cindy’s parents willingly gave them to Peter believing that they would live better lives with him. While Liza survived, Cindy was murdered by Scully, who strangled her to death after she was subjected to being repeatedly raped, tortured, and forced to dig her own grave. 


Liezyl Margallo, one of Scully’s girlfriends and the sole hands-on abuser of Daisy, was a former child prostitute herself. According to her, Scully videotaped himself as he murdered Cindy. It’s said that he sold this snuff video to people around the world, though for how much, I cannot find out and whether or not it made it onto the Dark Web is unknown.


As for Daisy’s Destruction itself, the film was made by Scully’s “No Limits Fun” production company and was distributed on the Dark Web. The film, which was made in 2012, was a multi-part “film” that was sold to buyers for upwards of $10,000. The content of the film itself is extremely difficult to find information on, and even if I could find any details, I’d be hesitant to relay any of it for fear of this blog being shut down or the FBI arresting me under the suspicion that I somehow had a copy of it.


What is known is that the film was, as stated earlier, believed to be an urban myth for a while. However, as we now know: it isn’t. What little is known is that the film featured the rape and torture of the three aforementioned girls, though Wikipedia states that they were the three “main” victims. Whether or not there were more is unknown, but that wording leads me to suspect that there may indeed have been more.


The perpetrators were Scully himself and “some Filipina accomplices”, presumably Margallo and other child prostitutes that Scully had imprisoned and made his sexual deviant slaves. Margallo was, at the time of the making of the film, 18-years-old, didn’t abuse Daisy under her own volition. Rather, Scully repeatedly urged her to take part. This abuse is something that I’ve found varying reports on, but some of it is generally accepted to be fact.


Now, before I continue and state what was allegedly in this film, I want to state one thing: I didn’t watch this film. I didn’t watch any of it. I didn’t look at a clip, I didn’t view a still frame from the film itself (though one website did have the opening image that invites you to witness Daisy’s mental ruin), and I didn’t actively seek anything illegal out. I do not, under any circumstances, condone looking for anything illegal. Everything you are about to read was looked for under the intention to present to you the clearest and most thorough image to help you understand the reality of snuff films, snuff videos, and the general state of the darker side of the Internet. I did not do this for self gratification, pleasure, or anything else. WIth that said, what you are about to read is what I’d consider to be one of the most disgusting, vile, and unsettling things I’ve ever had to type.


The following information was gained through a website called DarkWebSitesLinks. Due to the site having a few images on the specific article that are a bit unsettling and related to the video itself (such as the opening credit title that was at the start of this), I won’t be linking it.


According to the site though, Daisy’s Destruction consisted of 3–4 videos, both of which ran between 5–9 minutes in length. Besides the victims, there was only one person who “starred” in them: a masked woman who later turned out to be Liezyl Margallo. The toddler that were tortured, meanwhile, supposedly ranged in age between 18 months to 4 years. I’m unsure as to how many victims were involved with Daisy’s Destruction and I personally have no desire to keep digging into it more than I already have as I don’t wish to be flagged as someone suspicious (I’ve read enough stories to know how the “it’s for research” argument goes down with law enforcement), but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the “toddlers” that were tortured here are separate from the victims that were raped. Don’t quote me on this as the website I’m citing could simply be wrong or have made an error in their wording/ages given.


Anyways, Margallo, who the film states is the “mistress”, was the one to carry out the physical brutality, Peter Scully was the man behind the camera who—as stated earlier—urged his girlfriend to carry out the entire film. As such, when Scully was arrested, Margallo wasn’t charged with anything (though this could be wrong; Wikipedia nor this specific article explicitly state that she was charged). 


As I said earlier: the film was sold for upwards of $10,000. DeepWebSitesLinks states that this wasn’t just for the film itself, but rather per clip. As such, Scully was raking in a staggering $30,000–$40,000 should someone have bought the entirety of Daisy’s Destruction. Or, at least, I’d guess he was; the film was posted to a series of websites run by a man named matthew David Graham, who was arrested at the age of 22 for running a series of “hurtcore” child pornography websites. Graham would later go on to state that he obtained the video so more people would visit his sites.


Content wise, the film is very heavily dedicated to torturing. This includes, but was no doubt not limited to:


Clipping [Daisy’s] private parts with cloth-clips. (Source: DeepWebSitesLinks)


“Dropping hot wax [on Daisy’s private parts].” (Source: DeepWebSitesLinks)


Using Daisy to “satisfy her [Magallo’s] own personal sexual needs.” (Source: DeepWebSitesLinks)


Magallo defecates on Daisy and then smears it over the toddler’s body. (Source: LayLoFilms)


Daisy was tied upside down and beaten with rope with other materials for hours on end. (Source: DeepWebSitesLinks/LayLoFilms)


There are claims that Daisy was dismembered by a machete. This also comes from LayLoFilms, who then states that Daisy’s throat is slit. Given that Daisy survived the overall ordeal and DeepWebSitesLinks doesn’t make note of this, I’m going to assume that this claim likely originates from when this video was believed to be an urban legend. However, I refuse to actively seek out and verify this as I’m already certain that the FBI has me on a watchlist for merey conveying this information.


Supposedly—though it isn’t very difficult to believe—authorities that would later view the video after Scully was arrested ended up crying. Some went into shock while others suffered nightmares for months on end. A few also ended up needing therapy.


They weren’t alone though. Margaret Akullo, who at the time of Scully’s arrested was the Project Coordinator for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and is an expert on child abuse investigations, would later state that the case was “horrific” and was the worst she’d ever heard of.


That’s Daisy’s Destruction content wise. As for what happened after: Scully was arrested when one of his girlfriends, Carme Ann Alvarez, later turned on Scully after seeing two other girls wearing dog collars. Both girls, aged 9 and 12, were cousins and had been given to Scully. He’d recently had them dig their own graves and said that they would be buried there. After taking pity on the two children, Alvarez contacted police, who arrested both her and Scully. Just like Scully, Alvarez was sentenced to life in prison.


Meanwhile, Magallo was the one to point police in the direction of Cindy’s grave. As said earlier, I don’t know if he was sentenced at all.


As for Daisy’s Destruction, the video is still out being circulated. How common it is, I couldn’t tell you. Presumably, it’s common enough to be feared on websites—or so DeepWebSitesLinks says.


As one final little note: by some silly old coincidence though, Peter Scully had a stroke of good luck when all of the physical evidence (including the video camera, memory card, and every single photograph) were lost in a mysterious fire. Nevertheless, he was sentenced to life in prison since a bill had recently passed that banned the death sentence.


With that said, one can safely say that snuff films do, in fact, exist to some degree. That’s without a shadow of a doubt. However, just how readily available are they and to what extreme[s] do they go?


It goes without saying that Daisy’s Destruction sets the bar obscenely high. While it may not feature a murder on camera, it’s classified as one due to its extreme nature and grisly acts. As such, don’t yell at me for being the one to include it. I’m the messenger, not the author.


Anyways, there’s one instance that, while not as extreme as Daisy’s Destruction, does bring to mind the classic mental image of a snuff film. It comes from a man by the name of Mark L. Rosen, a legendary horror producer during the 1970s and 1980s. He worked on films like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1976) among many, many other films. His story was one that I first read on the Lost Media Wiki, so all credit goes to them.


Four years before his death in 2012, Rosen was interviewed for Killing Joke Films’ Snuff: A Documentary About Killing on Camera. The documentary, which runs at a brisk 76 minutes, centers on the legend of snuff films across five chapters. Rosen tells two of these; the first of which centers on an account that was documented: a child snuff ring that was based in Russia that was “intercepted by British Intelligence MI5.” I did a Google search for this and couldn’t find anything, though the documentary that’s mentioned is online. If you wish to berate me for not being able to stomach any more child killing, please have at it in the comments below.


Moving on: the second chapter is the one we want to focus on (and is the one that Lost Media Wiki focuses one). It’s a personal account from Rosen and one that a disclaimer prior to the film’s epilogue states is “true” and that Rosen has only ever given this account to a select few people in his life. The story goes that Rosen was tasked early in his career to scout or screen an array of “adult entertainment films” for approval and, likewise, possible distribution on behalf of other individuals in the industry. In one case, a man from the Philippines contacted Rosen and stated that he wished to meet with him and his representatives to view a film that he had the intention of getting distributed. The man stated the film was, “unique”, “hard to acquire”, and “unlike anything he had ever seen.”


Rosen naturally agreed and later met the man at the Century Plaza in Chicago. The man was described by Rosen as being standoffish and stated that his bodyguards weren’t the kinds of people one would expect to have anything to do with film. He also stated that the way they vaguely spoke of the film made him uncomfortable.


Once Rosen and the man arrived in the hotel room, Rosen was shown the film. He described it as being a violent, hardcore S&M adult film that involved an array of graphic sex acts, including anal, leather, and erotic asphyxiation between two actors. Rosen would later state that it was “rougher” than any other BDSM film he’d ever seen in his life. This was later amplified as the film went on; the actress had a plastic bag over her head and, according to Rosen, appeared to be struggling and attempting to take it off. However, the male actor wouldn’t allow her. As the actress began to breathe heavily—and seeming to be on the verge of passing out—Rosen states that the male actor forcefully lifted her head up and drew a large hunting knife. He then slashed open the woman’s throat and the camera zoomed in on the gaping wound.


Appalled by what he saw, Rosen left the hotel and told his representatives about what he had seen, claiming that it had been “too real” to possibly be special effects. He ended the story by stating he only ever had one more encounter with the mysterious man, stating that it was when told him and his representatives that he had no interest in picking up the film as it “wasn’t for them.” Rosen also added that he had no idea where the man went and he has no idea if anybody else had any interest in the film he wished to distribute.


When the director of the documentary, a man by the name of Paul von Stoetzel, asked Rosen what made his story more believable than others, Rosen stated that someone died making the film he saw and that, at the time, special effects didn’t exist. He also claimed that people—especially those that work within the film industry—dismiss the concept of snuff films being a reality as they don’t want to accept the possibility that something like them could ever be real.


After the documentary was released, speculation arose as to whether or not Rosen’s story was, in fact, real—or if it had been made up by the filmmakers simply for the purposes of adding drama. This was further amplified by the trailer to the documentary, which suggested that the movie that the filmmakers had received and reported to authorities was, in fact, the one that Rosen speaks about.


The entry on Lost Media Wiki closes out by stating that, should one believe Rosen’s account, then there’s more or less no way to prove as to whether or not the film was real or fictitious in nature. It’s unknown if it was picked up by a distributor or is in the collection of a private collector. There’s also no evidence that Rosen ever had a business exchange with a man at that point in history. Nonetheless, for all intents and purposes: the film is yet another legend in the long, sordid history of snuff films.


That is, for the most part, the history of snuff films. They’re a weird legend that brings to mind many different kinds of thoughts—none of which are particularly good if we’re to be kind about it. Still, there exists a different kind of snuff film, one for the modern age. They’re called Red Rooms and we’re going to take a quick glance at them for the sake of completion.


Decide Their Fate: Are Red Rooms Real?


First up: a quick acknowledgement. Red Rooms appear on the Conspiracy Iceberg. For what reason: I’m not 100% sure. I mentioned that it’s possible that the government is covering them up, but I cannot confirm nor disprove that theory. Despite what I said: we won’t be covering the conspiracy angle today. I apologize, but things change and this entry has taken up so much of my time writing it that I cannot look into what is and isn’t a conspiracy theory. Don’t worry though, I’ll return to discuss Red Rooms more in the near future—hopefully before summer time.


Now then: what are Red Rooms? Well, that’s easy to answer. They’re supposedly live streams on the dark web where someone is abducted by a group of psychopaths who then had a group of heavily vetted individuals watch and pay money to have the streamers torture or rape the victim. The amount of money paid is generally said to be in the thousands, though I’ve heard a few claim it’s in the millions.


This is, of course, all speculation. Red Rooms are something that have never been found—officially anyways. There do exist two that have been discovered on the dark web that are the closest to the legend that anyone has ever discovered. They are as follows:


#1: Project A.L.I.C.I.A.


A website appeared on the deep web at some point (I cannot find the exact year) with a countdown. There was a 10 minute audio loop in the background with what sounded like a woman screaming. When it expired, a live stream started, but you couldn’t see anything. The same audio was still playing. Most believe that this was a hoax or a troll.


#2: The ISIS Red Room


Similar to Project A.L.I.C.I.A., the ISIS red room had a countdown. The claim was that a group of ISIS jihadists were captured and their torture/deaths would be livestreamed for all to witness. Unlike the previous live stream, this one actually went live. In it, we could see a man in the corner of a room with a bag over his head. Another man enters and places some bacon on a table and orders the man to stand up. Then sit down. Then stand up again, only to make him sit back down. Eventually, the plate of bacon is thrown at the prisoner and the man leaves.


After a bit, man returns with a hammer and a wrench and the torture begins. However, the stream allegedly lagged and you couldn’t exactly see much. In one of the few stable moments, viewers were able to see the prisoner dry heaving before the stream eventually shut off.


The validity of this red room is heavily debated; some think it was legitimate while others think it was another hoax. Me personally, I lean towards it being another hoax.


That’s my stance in general on Red Rooms as a whole. While there have been crimes that have been live streamed, the overall nature of Red Rooms is something I’m highly skeptical of. Nevertheless, they aren’t something that’s implausible. If there are any that have popped up, I’m inclined to think that they’re really FBI sting operations. I digress though, this was merely a time to cover what I’d consider more “modern” snuff films. Let’s get into the theories of those now.


Theories


With every that we’ve discussed, I wouldn’t be surprised if this entry seems very confusing. So, as a reminder: the mystery here is if there’s a market for snuff films. Given what we’ve seen so far, it goes without saying that there are only two theories: they exist or they don’t.


1. Snuff films do exist


The idea that snuff films exist is probably one of the most disturbing and unsettling ideas one can think of. The mere thought that someone is willing to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a movie where someone is tortured before being murdered for pure entertainment is something that I find unspeakably disturbing.


Yet, as we’ve seen, people will purchase footage of people being tortured and subsequently murdered. Whether you read the SFW version of this entry or the NSFL version, the point—I think—comes across all the same. There is a market for it. Though, a question arises: how big is it?


The incidents you read above aren’t exactly common. They’re extraordinarily rare in fact. So while there is a market for it in the eyes of some, it isn’t one that’s particularly large. That leads into the second theory.


2. Snuff films aren't real and cases like Daisy's Destruction are an exception to the rule


Our second theory is that snuff films aren’t real. Rather, incidents like the ones you’ve read are just incidents that managed to become big enough news and the hysteria of snuff films from times of yore was resurrected.


This theory is the one that most people—along with law enforcement—have generally agreed upon. There are no snuff films and what you read on the Internet is merely urban legends that inoke a sense of fear and dread inside of you that takes hold of your heart. As such, you conflate a killer or rapist who sold what he did to someone else with the idea of a market for this, rather than a one-off crime that managed to get spread.


With that, the theories end. As for Red Rooms: the lack of anything concrete on them existing is why they won’t get their own theories. Incidents of people torturing people via live stream or live streaming mass shootings don’t fall into the same category as they don’t utilize audience participation via donations. That said, some think they’re heavily regulated and vetted and as such: we just don’t know about it because of that reason. Whether or not you believe this is entirely up to you.


My Take


I do think that snuff films are real and I do believe they are circulated. I don’t, in the slightest, think that Daisy’s Destruction is some sort of “exception” to the so-called rule. The Dark Web encompasses most of the internet and let’s face it: if child pornography can be circulated there with relative ease, there’s no reason to suspect that videos of people being murdered are exempt from this.


Now do I think there’s an entire black market of it? No, not necessarily. What I think is that there’s a niche demographic that will purchase—or at least be willing to pay some sort of fee—for access to it. Whether it be morbid curiosity or they get a rise out of it, I cannot say. Whatever the case may be, I think that in this day and age: snuff films are more likely to exist than they did in the 1980s or 1990s.


All of that said: I think the fact there even is a market at all is way too much. Given how large the dark web is, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that there could be an entire underbelly of an industry that exists that we just don’t know about. That alone should be terrifying enough.


Conclusion


This entry was one that was significantly more difficult to write about than anything else I’ve ever undertaken and I must say: I’m really happy I managed to get through it. While I am happier as a whole about the NSFL version than the SFW one, I am still extremely glad that I managed to find a way to edit this in order to share it with those who can’t stomach the grislier aspects of such a topic.


I hope that, no matter which version you opted to read, you enjoyed this trip through a topic that has spanned decades and continues to be something that’s discussed to this very day. I’d also love to know what you think about snuff films. Do you believe them to be real? Or do you think that they are merely an urban legend that has stood the test of time thanks to evolving forms; the mass accessibility of digital media having allowed it to evolve from being a VHS tape to being uploaded to the internet for rapid sharing amongst groups of sick individuals or even having the murders be live streamed? Let me know and I’ll see you tomorrow!

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