I used to work in civil service for a small government research department in Phoenix, AZ
Most of the research we did was mundane and really dull. One thing we did were studies of other departments including the sheriff’s department headed by the famous Joe Arpaio, the ‘toughest sheriff in America’.
On more than one occasion when interviewing Sheriff’s Department employees allegations of misconduct would come up usually regarding drug and under age prostitution rings. In 2006, while conducting an exit (after employment) interview with a former Sheriff’s Department, similar allegation came up but with an added twist. The interview was basically normal, covering aspects of the job, benefits, compensations etc. At the end I asked interviewees if they had anything they would like to add. In this instance the respondent seemed like he had something he wanted to add but was reluctant. I assured him I would respect his confidentiality and was actually under an oath to do so and if I did violate his confidentiality he could file charges on me. He began to tell me there were ‘bad things, criminal things’ going on at the Sheriff’s Department but was reluctant to go further. I let him know I had heard things like that in the past and even prompted him by say ‘ you’re talking about the drug rings and the prostitution rings’. He then said ‘yes but that’s not all of it. They make movies in these old warehouses out in Scottsdale.’ After my somewhat blasé but friendly response he went on to say these movies were using ‘little kids’ by which he did not mean teenagers. He also mentioned a specific, highly placed person in the Sheriff’s Department.
A few months later I was visiting with an old friend and one of his buddies. During the course of the conversation I mentioned an incident where the Sheriff’s Department had given me a copy of the blueprints to the new jail to use as a map because they were tired of providing me with an armed escort when I had to go down there. I thought this was really stupid of them and joked about selling it on EBay. My friend’s buddy then began asking me what I knew about the Sheriffs Department and ‘things I heard’. When I asked for specifics he replied ‘criminal activities’ I told him about the drug and teenage prostitute rings, which were basic common knowledge on the street. He asked me if I heard anything about anything in Scottsdale and I said that I did, something about movies being shot in warehouses out there. He then said ‘did I know what kind of movies’ and I said ‘what I heard was kiddie porn but you hear all kinds of things’ and he said, really loudly ‘ it’s not just kiddie porn, it’s kiddie snuff porn. This was a bit much for me and I looked over at my friend as to say is he for real and all my friend said was ‘it’s true’. Then as he was going on about it he said ‘ do you know who’s behind it ?’ And before I could say anything, he blurted out the same name the ex-employee had.
The last reference to the kiddie porn movies came while visiting a friend of one of my neighbors. We had gone over there to ‘party’. When the neighbor’s friend found out where I worked he was at first suspicious since contraband herbal party supplies were in evidence then after awhile became more comfortable. He asked me what I knew about the Sheriff’s Department and also, the witness protection program and could I get a hold of someone for him.
Upon me asking ‘why?’ he wanted to know stuff, he then went into a long tale about how his cousin was a LEO, was involved in a case that involved law enforcement and Federal judges, and then provided some very gruesome details about special movies being made, that involved very small children and infants, grownups, strange costumes, and snuff (killing). His cousin supposedly had entered witness protection, no one ever went to trial, and he hadn’t heard from her since. He wanted to know if I could a message to his cousin. The movies, he mentioned at one point, were filmed in some old warehouses and also mentioned the name of the Sheriff’s Department employee. The details he gave me, supposedly coming from his cousin to whom he was very close, were horrific.
He had also mentioned that his cousin had been very badly affected by this and had been persuaded to stay on the case because of her ‘in’. Supposedly also this was something she stumbled on while doing undercover work investigating cocaine smuggling.
Unfortunately I was not in a position to help him. Same story from three different sources that I seriously doubt knew each other.
One of the deputies whose name came up in connection with the things described above was David Hendershott who, when he retired at full pension, was rehired the next day in a new position, at over 150 thousand dollars a year in addition to his pension. His son, by the same name is also a Sheriff’s Department employee. Hendershott was found to have been hiring friends to ‘work’ for the Sheriff’s department, without having them do much actual work.
Hendershott was fired in 2011 “based on the findings of a six-month probe, conducted by Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, into allegations including mismanagement, nepotism and obstruction of a criminal investigation. Babeu’s investigation was triggered by a 63-page internal memo detailing a long list of questionable behavior among top Sheriff’s Office employees.’
Despite his public fall from grace during this scandal, Hendershott now works as a private investigator, offering “products and services” which include, among other things, “child abduction recovery”.
Hendershott lost his job and was vilified in the press for engaging in various forms of corruption, but he was never questioned regarding his knowledge of the abuse of adults and children, and their use in snuff films. These are the crimes that go univestigated and unpunished because exposing them would expose the rotten core of the justice system itself.