The family of a woman who committed suicide recently thinks it may have had to do with a Creep Catchers video she was in.
The vigilante group confronted Katelynn McKnight, accusing her of setting up a meeting with what she thought was a young girl to have sex. McKnight denied it on the video, but killed herself soon after it was posted.
McKnight’s family says she suffered from a mental illness, and was taken advantage of. A Facebook group against Creep Catchers has been launched, with others saying they’ve preyed on people with mental illness in the past.
Staff Sgt. Stephen Camp of the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team’s Internet Child Exploitation unit tells Global News the vigilantes don’t seem to care what happens after the video is up.
“The creep catchers get what they want, which is basically entertainment for their website, which draws in consumers.”
He says it can make their work very frustrating if they scare off a target that they’ve been tracking.
“What we have is a target, a person that is gone now but is continuing to reoffend. In the past two months there have been two targets that have gone on, after their creep catchers incident, to reoffend in other provinces.”
In the meantime, there is not much police can do from a legal standpoint.
“We haven’t seen anything specifically that they’re doing that is illegal, it’s more of an ethical, moral dilemma.”
Camp says if you know of someone viewing or making child porn, or preying on children, the best thing to do is get that information to the RCMP.
Global News sat down with a former member of the local Edmonton Creep Catchers, who would only speak on the condition of anonymity. They say they were sexually assaulted in their youth, and that’s why Creep Catchers had such appeal, but after seeing rampant bullying going on, they quickly changed their mind.
They say they weren’t the only one to express hesitation at posting the Katelynn McKnight video.
“I think that there was maybe three members of the Edmonton group that expressed concern about it. Neither the president or vice president at the time expressed concerns because they had taken the video and obtained the chat logs themselves.”
This former member says they spent no more than 6 months working with the group. They add that they wish they’d spoken up more loudly.