(Originally Posted Wednesday 7-1-20)

So, the initial vibe I got from this photo was the guy was following the girl around. And she didn’t know it, which led me to think that’s creepy (plus something about his grin seems off). So, then I thought who is this guy and why is he following her around?

An easy/quick answer would be he plans to kidnap her but that didn’t seem right. Then I remembered the movie Taken and what happens when girls go overseas (not in the literal sense fyi) and then things started clicking.

This guy is French (no real reason, just seems to fit, it could change). He’s smart, speaks several languages well. And another half dozen he knows common expressions to fake his way through a brief encounter. He’s a career criminal. Interpol knows who this guy is but he’s never done anything major that can put him away for any real length of time. He’s spent a few years in jail but only in short periods of time. Three months, six months kind of things. But this has had the added benefit of lots of people knowing him. He’s become a go between for different criminal groups and individuals. Most find him annoying but people tolerate him because he’s useful.

Right now he’s working with a group of criminals who are targeting young women traveling overseas. This could be a single country/city like Paris, or somewhere. Or it could be across several countries depending on how big this crime group is. I think we might circle back to the kidnapping idea and tweak it slightly.

He doesn’t do any of that. His job is to find girls and figure out who’s worth grabbing. Maybe the group he’s working for has a really high success rate in getting ransoms paid.

They don’t demand anything outrageous. Few thousand to tens of thousands. $30K if you’re a millionaire ain’t going to break you for your daughter back. And baring being grabbed, drugged, and maybe embarrassing photos taken of the girls, nothing major happens to any of the girls (for context no being assaulted, or say sold into slavery). It’s not a fun experience but it could be much much worse.

This guy and the group have found a successful model to operate under. It’s easier for the mark to pay to get their daughter/girlfriend/wife back then to involve police or take other measures.

So far everything has worked smoothly for them. But what if the one in the picture is where things start to go bad for them?