Two teachers who knew and socialized with Christopher Paul Neil, a 32-year-old Canadian now being sought for allegedly abusing young boys, told The Associated Press he wrote extensively online under the pseudonym "Peter Jackson." They described him as a social, fun-loving person, and said no one in their circles suspected him of pedophilia.
The worldwide manhunt for Neil, who eluded police for years, is now centered on Thailand. Authorities say Neil flew into Bangkok on a one-way ticket Thursday and is still at large.
From Canada, Neil's brother urged him to turn himself in. "My mother is devastated and the family is in shock," Matthew Neil said from the family home in Maple Ridge, British Columbia.
Before Neil disappeared last week, more than 300 messages under the name Peter Jackson had been posted on a forum for English teachers called Dave's ESL Cafe. The posts are a window into the mind of a man who portrays himself as dedicated to teaching, well-traveled and well-spoken - but with a sophomoric sense of humor. Sex is a recurring theme, though he never mentions an attraction to children.
In one posting, Jackson discusses wearing condoms during oral sex as HIV protection, and described rebuffing a man who hit on him in a sauna. "The guy was lucky," he wrote. "I am not violent."
He also discussed how to delay or skirt police background checks needed for some teaching jobs, and wrote that he was "SO nervous" on his first trip to South Korea, where he taught English, because he had Penthouse magazines in his bag.
"I ended up tossing them in the bin at the airport washroom," he wrote in the posting on May 18.
In the same posting, part of an online discussion with several people about pornography, he wrote: "If you're worried about any 'content' there are several ways to encrypt your drive."
"If you want to get rid of old files so no one will see, then simply deleting them will not work," he added.
A lead Interpol officer working the case said investigators strongly suspect the Jackson postings were from Neil, and have told police in Southeast Asia about the pseudonym. The investigator spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.
Interpol issued an unprecedented global appeal Oct. 8 for help identifying the suspect. Investigators had been seeking the man for three years, since German police discovered online photographs of him allegedly abusing Vietnamese and Cambodian boys, some appearing to be as young as age 6.
The man's face was initially disguised behind a digitalized swirl, but German police unscrambled the images and released four reconstructed photos last week.
Interpol received hundreds of tips and identified Neil by name as a suspect Tuesday.
After Neil fled South Korea last week, his arrival at Bangkok's international airport was caught on camera at the immigration counter. That photo, released by Interpol, shows a man with a cleanly shaved head and eyeglasses dressed in a white button-down shirt.