Long before 15-year-old Amanda Todd cut her wrists, drank bleach and, later, killed herself, she gave an anonymous informant the name of an older boy who was sending Todd’s nude pictures and videos around the Internet.
His name: Kody Maxson. And now the people behind The Daily Capper, a Web series that documented Maxson’s activities from 2009 on, say the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are idiots for dismissing the 19-year-old as “a person of no interest.”
This is their evidence.
“Her tits here lol”
Below is a chat on 4HDS.com from December 17, 2010, the first day a user named “cutiielover” showed her breasts on Blogtv, a teen videochat hub. An unknown capper — one of many lurkers of teen chatrooms who coerce young women into stripping, record the show and share it with their friends — snapped screenshots of cutiielover, uploaded the footage and posted links.
Over the next few days, cutiielover returned to Blogtv, occasionally stripping. Eventually she was banned: Nudity was against the rules at Blogtv, but seldom policed and frequently ignored — even in chatrooms for users aged 13 to 15. But the damage was already done. Lurkers had recorded every minute, and that week, several videos of her were shared and discussed.
Cappers quickly learned cutiielover’s real name: Amanda.
On December 18, 2010, Amanda Todd, who had just turned 14, started receiving threats from an unnamed capper. He demanded that she perform private shows for him on webcam, and he promised to send topless images of Todd to her friends and family if she refused.
She refused. He sent the images.
The harassment tactics were typical of Kody and his group, a producer of The Daily Capper told HyperVocal. “Kody wasn’t quiet about what he did. He was very open about blackmailing before that so I’m sure he was open about this too.” And when Maxson tracked down a victim, his messages weren’t requests, but “demands using threats,” our source said. “Some [cappers] will blackmail the same girl for a long period of time until they’ve gotten everything they can.”
Anyone who’s seen Amanda Todd’s haunting, eight-minute YouTube video can fill in what happened next: For two years, a stranger stalked her on Facebook, demanding private cam shows and repeatedly sending her nudes to friends and family.
Amanda switched schools — twice. Anxious and depressed, she turned to drugs and alcohol. She hooked up with a classmate who was in a relationship. Her peers began harassing her and beating her up. She tried to kill herself by drinking bleach. Afterward, a classmate wrote on Facebook, “She should try a different bleach. I hope she dies this time and isn’t so stupid.” Amanda, one month from turning 16, was pronounced dead October 10, 2012.
“It’s because I didn’t do stuff with him on cam”
On December 23, 2010, The Daily Capper received a message from a YouTuber calling himself “kodypwned.” It was a throwaway account; the user hasn’t logged on since. The message: “I just got the full dox [personal info] of kody1206 (blackmailer of many like peyton, amanda, blahblahblah), Kody Maxson.”
How did kodypwned get the info? Amanda Todd sent it to him.
Kody had reached out to Amanda on MSN and sent her his email address. They must have struck up enough of a conversation for her to learn a few personal details, such as his full name (Dakota William Shain Maxson) and where he lived.
On January 4, Amanda messaged The Daily Capper to confirm that she was being blackmailed and that she’d already reported it to police. “its amanda here,” she wrote. “ah i am getting black mailed and the cops are out looking for the guy that posted the video of me flashing to all my family members and friends because i didn’t do stuff with him on cam. put that in ur news people are also getting charged but the site is shut down.”
Following Amanda Todd’s suicide, the hacker group Anonymous released all the known information on Kody Maxson. Some of it, such as his address, was false. The connections between him and Amanda are flimsy: Maxson was a lurker on Blogtv. He traded “jailbait” pictures of underage girls. He was a creep, sure, but not a creep who conclusively drove a teenage girl to suicide.
But even if he never blackmailed Amanda, Anonymous argued, Maxson is still a creep who stalked other teenage girls. True or not, the information deserved to be made public.
The RCMP decided Maxson was innocent. The man’s lawyer, David Gable, stated, “Police have announced he is a person of no interest to them regarding Amanda Todd. His thing came about through an anonymous group that hacked in through a computer and got a lot of IP addresses, his being only one of them.”
In late October of this year, a CTV Vancouver reporter caught up with Maxson after a court appearance for unrelated charges of sexual assault and sexual interference of a person under 16. Maxson told the reporter that he and Amanda were “friends.” He said he was trying to help her, and that the real culprit was another capper, a guy called Viper.
“A pedo, a troll, a psycho, but not a blackmailer”
There are two known real-life identities for the capper called Viper2323. Kody Maxson told the Toronto Star that Viper is a 26-year-old New Yorker. But Anonymous came up with a different guy: a married 41-year-old in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, who with his wife trawled online dating sites for threesome partners. Images of Viper (above), validated by underage targets of his, surfaced in the capper community.
The Daily Capper thinks Maxson’s claim of innocence is bulls**t for two reasons. First, as it explains in a video released November 10, 2012, as a follow-up to the media coverage of the capper community (ours included), Kody and Viper were good friends. For a while.
“Viper and Kody worked alongside each other in groups, they trawled rooms together and even shared videos with each other,” says TDC’s animated host. “They continued working with each other till mid-2011.”
“Kody was directly involved with Amanda in December while he and Viper were still friends who shared videos with each other. Even if what Kody said were true, that would mean he knew Viper was blackmailing her the whole time and he did nothing to stop him because they shared videos with each other for long after. If Viper is the culprit, Kody was likely still involved and assisting him. That’s assuming what Kody says is true.”
But The Daily Capper doesn’t buy Kody’s story. Here’s the second reason it thinks Viper is innocent: Having tracked Viper for years, The Daily Capper knows his actions well enough to conclude that “while Viper may have been a pedophile, a troll, a psycho and many other things, one thing Viper was not was a blackmailer.”
For proof, TDC offers a chat transcript showing Viper claiming that he refused to give up his targets’ information to a known blackmailer even in exchange for recordings of a girl named Verica, “the videos he was obsessed with getting for over a year.”
He also says of another capper, “he’s a fag. he wants girls to bm [blackmail] as a trade. fuck that”:
Although Viper “was showing darker tendencies” at the end of 2010, “he’s not the type of person who would take it as far as Amanda’s stalker took it. Only a handful are known for taking it that far.”
And it circles back to Maxson: The Daily Capper insists the capper community gave him up because they all hated him. “Even if you wanted to believe his claims, you can be sure it all happened within his circle … a small group of hackers and blackmailers, most of whom are infamous for using the exact same tactics used against Amanda,” the video states. “There’s no big mystery here. Kody had been ID’d as a blackmailer even before it was a hot topic.
“If Kody was a hero,” it continues, “why is there so much wrong with the logic of his story? Why were so many people able to connect him to Amanda as soon as she was being blackmailed?”
“Caps of girls so young they could be boys”
So what makes Kody Maxson stand out among all the possible creeps? Here’s a clue: At the time Amanda Todd was targeted, Maxson had just stopped harassing another teenage girl, a skinny, blonde 14-year-old named Peyton.
Kody Maxson targeted Peyton in much the same way. He told her everything about himself. They became friends. She trusted him. And when he began sharing their private videos with fellow cappers, he had enough dirt on her that he thought she’d keep her mouth shut about it. The Daily Capper told HyperVocal that Maxson claimed to work for Blogtv and threatened to ban Peyton if she didn’t perform for him. He’d then taunt her by streaming her private videos on Blogtv under the username iStream_Peyto.
It was fitting, then, that Peyton used Blogtv to come clean about her relationship with Kody in late October 2010. The Daily Capper picked up the footage, which the host introduces by saying she is “now free of her blackmailer’s clutches.” The video is now removed, but here’s a transcript:
A month ago he recorded me for the first time, and then I was stupid enough to keep doing it because he said he’d never do it again, and he was stupid and he didn’t want to ruin our relationship. And he just used me and he stopped calling me, stopped calling me and just wanted me out of his life because I gave him what he wanted.
I have his address … he lives in Canada, I know his cousins’ names, his family … his full name is Dakota William Shain Maxson … I know his phone number … I was just, like, liking the attention he was giving me.
Although Peyton claims she never showed much skin on camera, she was well-known in the capper community and had personal ties to three major players: r0ra, Viper and Kody Maxson. (Some cappers say she still has a relationship with r0ra, which is why she’s refusing to speak publicly about the community.)
R0ra (also known as r0, r0r4, r0r44 and izq), pictured at right, was one of the users who shared and discussed X-rated videos of preteen Amanda Todd. Like Kody Maxson, he was a known stalker of Peyton.
A blogger with ties to the capper community writes this of r0ra: “R0r44 is known for having recordings of girls so young they could very well be boys. … He is in love with a girl named Peyton who is now 15. … There are more pics of him where he is cutting to spell out in blood how much he loves Peyton, but it is graphic and also pornographic.”
Viper’s connection is no less disturbing. A Daily Capper video from November 7, 2010, shows Peyton chatting with Viper about his real age (he is believed to be 41). “Seriously?” she says, stunned. “And you watch … you wanna see a 14-year-old girl ’bate?
“My dad’s a cop,” she continues, “so I wouldn’t be telling me that, ’cause that’s, like, pedophile. I’ll really go get my dad right now to backtrace your computer. he’s already caught like three pedophiles on Blogtv before and he got them in jail.”
In a follow-up video weeks later, The Daily Capper reports, “Viper has been upset at the way Peyton has been treating him since she found out his real age.”
And thanks to Amanda Todd’s story, we now know what cappers are capable of when they get upset.
Was it Kody?
Let’s recap. Here’s what we know — or at least have enough evidence to conclude is true:
Kody Maxson blackmailed Amanda Todd in 2010. The whole capper community knew it and reached out to The Daily Capper to try to expose him. Amanda even helped Maxson’s fellow cappers “dox” him. Two weeks later, she told The Daily Capper she was being blackmailed, but didn’t say by whom.
Blackmail was Maxson’s specialty. He was infamous for harassment so heinous that even Viper and other peers rejected him. He spoke publicly about blackmailing Peyton using the same formula of Facebook stalking and personal threats that Amanda faced. The Daily Capper notes sarcastically, “It could just be a coincidence that [Maxson] openly blackmailed every other girl before and after Amanda.”
We don’t know who blackmailed Amanda Todd a year later. But it was someone who kept recordings of her naked and someone who knew enough of her personal information to track her down.
If Maxson wasn’t involved, his friends were. The evidence is damning for every capper even tangentially involved in the Amanda Todd story. Todd was one of hundreds, maybe thousands, of young girls who became subject to the whims of a network of pedophiles who specialize in the sexual exploitation of minors. The men who secretly recorded and shared pictures of Amanda Todd — and other young girls — are complicit in her suicide.
What does The Daily Capper want? Justice, but it’s “not expecting it.” It wants the RCMP to reconsider dismissing Maxson, whom the community firmly believes is responsible for Amanda Todd’s blackmail.
It’s interesting that in this largely anarchic community that functions on the fringes of legality and morality, everyone — the teenage girls, the cappers and even those capping the cappers — has unanimously drawn a moral line at Kody Maxson’s behavior, and had done so well before he (allegedly) caused a 15-year-old to take her own life.
Cooper Fleishman is HyperVocal’s managing editor.