Monkey Torture King Charged In Horrific Criminal Case

By Brian Myers | Published

monkey torture

The exhaustive investigation led by BBC World Service into the brutal world of monkey torture has led to the arrest of a Virginia man known as “Torture King.” Michael Macartney has been charged with collecting online funds for the torture and killing of animals, specifically juvenile and adult monkeys. Macartney used the message-encrypting app Telegram to solicit and collect money from group members.

The Arrests

monkey torture

Macartney’s arrest for is the latest in a year-long string of suspects being apprehended in what BBC has exposed as a global monkey torture ring. Macartney and other suspects allegedly conspired with several individuals in Indonesia, who would film themselves torturing and killing several species of monkeys. To date, two others in the United States have been charged, including former Navy officer David Christopher Noble.

Three women in Britain have also been arrested, two of whom have been charged. Holly LeGresley, 37, of Kidderminster and Adriana Orme, 55, of Upton-upon Severn were alleged members of Macartney’s group that helped commission requests from members of the monkey torture group. They are among dozens of suspects that might also eventually find themselves charged.

Two men in Indonesia were also arrested by Indonesian authorities, both of whom were sentenced to jail for torturing animals.

Lucy Kapetanich, AKA Hero

monkey torture

The monkey torture online community came to light in part due to the efforts of one Los Angeles resident. Lucy Kapetanich used to relax after work like many people do, settling in on her sofa and watching animal videos on YouTube. But the more she watched, the more she noticed that the platform’s algorithm was taking odd turns.

YouTube began showing her videos that gradually became violent in nature, culminating in the provider putting monkey torture videos into her streaming recommendations. Appalled, she began to investigate further so that she could expose the culprits to authorities.

Eventually, Kapetanich was able to get access to a group on Telegram that focused on monkey torture. Afterwards, she turned her evidence over to police.

YouTube Responds

YouTube News

YouTube released a statement to BBC News, claiming that they were diligently working to eradicate all videos depicting animal cruelty, including monkey torture, from its online platform. The streaming service further revealed that they had already worked to remove several hundred thousand videos with the aforementioned themes in the last year alone.

Ape’s Cage

Macartney faces up to five years in a federal prison for his part in the monkey torture ring. But if additional charges are filed, the Virginia man might well serve more time.

The online group headed by Macartney was named the “Ape’s Cage,” and had a global membership of more than 400 people. While many of the individuals paying for monkey torture videos are in the United States, the investigation shows that Australia and the United Kingdom each had significant viewers.

The Torture King Speaks

In a grotesque admission, Macartney told investigators that the group had online polls to determine what type of torture the monkeys would undergo. In an interview last year, the man told federal authorities that he would fully cooperate, and that he believed that the right thing for him to do was to help “take down the ring.” In what could be considered a statement that nullified any remorse Macartney feels, he added that his mistake was making a profit on the videos.

Sources: BBC News, CBS News