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US: Christian puppeteer accused of planning kidnap, cannibalism

July 31, 2012

Brown, 57, lived alone in the Whispering Pines mobile home park in Largo, a professional puppeteer with a soft, Southern-accented voice and thick eyeglasses. He often served pizza to kids in the neighborhood, then drove them to services at Gulf Coast Church, where he was an active congregant.

But there was another side to Brown, according to a 29-page criminal complaint filed July 20 in federal court in Tampa: The man who, as he was feeding pizza to teenagers, nursed fantasies of murdering and eating them. The one who acted out Bible stories with puppets at his church, while musing online about carving and cooking the body parts of a young parishioner for Easter…

On Friday, Brown was arrested on charges of conspiring to kidnap a child and possession of child pornography and booked into the Pinellas County Jail. U.S. Department of Homeland Security agents who searched his home found lewd images of children bound and gagged, a flier for a missing child and “images of children that appear to be deceased.”

According to the affidavit supporting the criminal complaint, Brown told agents that he and Kansas resident Michael Arnett, another alleged child cannibalism enthusiast, “did discuss killing, dismembering and eating” a specific boy at Gulf Coast Church. However, Brown said “it was just a fantasy and he could never and would never hurt anyone.”…

Arnett was arrested in May and charged with two counts related to the production, distribution and possession of child pornography. Ross Feinstein, spokesman at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said agents continue to investigate claims Arnett made to Brown that he had cannibalized a child…

Brown had ties to a wide array of children’s programs in the Tampa Bay area. In addition to the Gulf Coast Church, officials for the Tampa Bay Rays, the Pinellas County School District, the Christian Television Network, the city of Largo and Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services, among others, all said he had been hired or volunteered as a performer, instructor or mentor….

Brown worked for years for the Christian Television Network in Largo, the state’s oldest Christian broadcasting station. He performed with puppets on a Captain Kangaroo-style show called Joy Junction. In one episode, a video excerpt of which is available online, he operates a puppet that talks disdainfully about how some bad kids tried to show him pornography.

Tampa Bay Times

“And I said ‘Hey, you call that pornography? This is pornography!'”

Gulf Coast Church is pretty spooky, too. Maybe that’s where he picked up on the cannibalism.

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