Monkey ‘torture king’ organised mutilation videos

A ringleader known as the “torture king” is facing up to five years in prison for helping create “sexually sadistic” monkey mutilation videos.

Michael Macartney, 50, was a key player in a twisted global network which commissioned and shared videos of animal abuse on the encrypted messaging platform Telegram.

The former motorcycle gang member, who has previously been jailed, has been charged in Virginia with conspiracy to create and distribute animal-crushing footage.

Two women have also been charged in the UK in connection with the group, which was exposed in a BBC investigation.

Macartney, who was known online as the “torture king” ran several online groups where participants shared ideas for videos such as setting monkeys on fire, injuring them with tools and even putting one in a blender.

Videomakers in Indonesia were then paid to carry out the twisted acts.

Macartney is accused by prosecutors of collecting money and distributing videos depicting the “torture, murder, and sexually sadistic mutilation of animals, specifically juvenile and adult monkeys”.

Macartney last year confessed to his role in the torture ring, describing himself as the “king of this demented world”.

“I was the man,” he said. “You want to see monkeys get messed up? I could bring it to you.”

‘Most grotesque thing I’ve seen’

He described how participants would vote on methods, such as whether they wanted to use hammers, screwdrivers or pliers.

The resulting videos were “the most grotesque thing I have ever seen”, Macartney said.

Macartney is understood to have cooperated with the Department of Homeland Security and is expected to plead guilty to conspiracy charges.

He will make a plea later this month and is facing up to five years in prison.

Further charges are expected to be brought against some of the other 20 people investigated in connection with the network.

Two other participants have already been charged in the US.

David Christopher Noble, 48, a former US Air Force officer who was previously court-martialed and dismissed from the military, and Nicole Devilbiss, 35, are both facing up to five years in prison.

A further two people have been jailed in Indonesia, and three women have been arrested in the UK, two of whom have been charged.

Holly LeGresley, 37, of Kidderminster and Adriana Orme, 55, of Upton-upon-Severn were charged last month with publishing an obscene article and causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

Ms LeGresley went by the screen name “The Immolator” and was allegedly involved in commissioning some of the most extreme videos.

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