WARNING: TERRIBLE CONTENT
A US man and woman are accused of torturing dogs following an international investigation into a disgraced crocodile expert who raped and mutilated pets on camera in Australia.
Lucas Russell VanWoert, 25, and his wife Heather Marie VanWoert, 32, were arrested after their Ohio home was raided in September 2022 and faced a series of charges related to animal cruelty.
Their arrests came after a joint investigation by US and Australian authorities to identify those responsible for creating a disturbing video called ‘1Bitch9Pups’, which circulated on Telegram and exploited websites six months earlier, in March 2022.
The film was made by British-Australian zoologist and academic Adam Britton, who was arrested in Darwin a month later and charged with almost 60 offenses involving bestiality, animal cruelty and possession of child exploitation material.
He recently pleaded guilty to all charges in the Darwin Supreme Court on September 25 and is awaiting sentencing.
According to documents filed in U.S. District Court, the VanWoert’s were not involved in the production of Britton’s video, but Britton and Mr. VanWoert exchanged 705 photos and videos of animal cruelty with each other beginning in approximately November 2020.
Lucas and Heather VanWoert (pictured) were arrested after their Ohio home was raided in September last year
Adam Britton (pictured) admitted animal cruelty, bestiality and possession of child exploitation material
The shared files included footage of Mr. VanWoert raping and torturing at least four dogs in the sleeper cabin of a tractor trailer, which he then shared with Britton on Telegram under the pseudonym “Graves.”
Detectives tracked the filming location to a truck stop in Michigan, which eventually led them to Mr. VanWoert.
One of the reasons authorities were able to identify him was because his face and a distinctive sun-shaped tattoo on his arm were visible in some images.
He was not arrested during the raid on his property, but voluntarily admitted to engaging in sex acts, beating and strangling a dog at his former workplace in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and placing his body in a dumpster.
He was accused of making “crushing” videos, in which animals are trampled or impaled to satisfy a sexual fetish, and of distributing obscene material.
In addition to images and footage of animal abuse, detectives also found child exploitation videos on his electronic devices.
Heather VanWoert (pictured with her husband) was arrested and charged with twelve counts of animal cruelty
Heather VanWoert (mugshot photo) was charged after her husband, Lucas VanWoert, pleaded guilty to bestiality and animal cruelty
Mr. VanWoert was denied bail and faces twelve years behind bars.
In November 2022, his wife Mrs. VanWoert was arrested and charged with twelve counts of animal torture.
On Sunday, Daily Mail Australia revealed that Jaden Young Korse, 24, from Kentucky, edited Britton’s depraved videos before they went online.
As with Mr. VanWoert, Britton met Korse in an online community dedicated to people who get sexual gratification from animal abuse, known as zoosadists.
They developed a friendship on Telegram, Britton’s pseudonym was ‘Monster’ and Korse called himself ‘Gorvaged’, and bonded over their shared obsession with animal cruelty.
In a pair of videos in which Britton sexually assaulted and tortured dogs, he held up signs reading “Gorvaged” in an apparent attempt to thank him for editing his work.
Korse and Britton were eventually identified in April 2022 thanks to dedicated internet sleuths who were disgusted by the images and worked tirelessly to bring those involved to justice.
However, Korse struggled with addiction from the age of 13 and died on December 21, 2021 from an accidental fentanyl overdose.
Jaden Young Korse (photo) came from Kentucky in the US and edited Britton’s videos under the name ‘Gorvaged’
Britton mainly used his Monster pseudonym to talk to like-minded people on Telegram, but Korse helped him create another pseudonym called Cerberus – a three-headed dog in Greek mythology – to release his twisted content ‘anonymously’.
Britton’s arrest came just a month after he uploaded “1Bitchh9pups” to an abuse website in March 2022.
Sources say he wanted it to become the most famous “shock video” on the Internet, but all it did was anger Internet users who were disgusted by the obscene levels of violence and scoured the video for clues.
Eventually, one person noticed an orange City of Darwin leash on one of the dogs and one user in particular managed to identify Britton and reported him to the police.
The non-publication order was lifted when Britton pleaded guilty in the Darwin Supreme Court on Monday.
He pleaded guilty in the Darwin Supreme Court on Monday to 37 counts of animal cruelty, 10 counts of rape or attempted rape of a dog, and four counts of possessing or transmitting child abuse material.
The order not to publish his name was subsequently lifted.
Britton will be sentenced in the Darwin High Court on December 13.
Britton was a crocodile expert who set up a consultancy with his wife