Today’s World News story is part one of a two part expose on sex scandals in the puppet industry.
In November the famed voice of the Sesame Street character “Elmo,” Kevin Clash, was accused by model, hardened criminal and duckface extraordinaire Sheldon Stephens of having sex with Sheldon when he was a 16-year old. Now 23, Sheldon recanted his accusation a day later, then recanted his recanting a few days after that.
Two more young men are selling their stories to the media, but have not yet released the number of times they will recant. Detective Helen Nelosi assigned to the case states that there are “no indications that the allegations are fabricated.”
Authorities have started investigations to see if any other puppeteers were responsible for any more underhanded activities. A nationwide puppet sex sting was attempted, but they discovered that in most cases the real victims are the puppets instead of human children. Operating budgets were slashed in the wake of that discovery, since sexually abusing puppets is not against any laws.
“Every day these puppets have people pulling their strings, and shoving their hands up their rear ends. Why will no one help them?” asked Cindy Malkenholm, President of the Save Our Cute Knits (SOCKS) organization. “Sex with a puppet or other Fabric American, called ‘stuffing’ is unnatural and is most cruel to the victims who must be dry-cleaned or hand washed. If they don’t have anyone to transport and pay for them, they just end up shoved under a bed – crusty and alone. Some puppets cannot be washed at all, and are mortally soiled after just one abuse.”
In Minnesota, an entire ring of puppetphiles was discovered. A local comedy group called “Vilification Tennis” was showing a slideshow when they mistakenly showed an image of a yet unnamed Vilifier and his clearly traumatized victim (see Fig. 2).
The group tried to pretend it was all part of the show, but several puppeteers were in the audience and they know what they saw was not consensual. They reported it to the authorities, who were not surprised because many Vilifiers are already known sex offenders.
“This is the sickest thing I’ve ever seen,” said Mineapolis police officer Kristine Algin, “can’t puppeteers keep their hands to themselves?”
Most law agencies are out of their league when it comes to highly specific crimes. Usually they hire outside consultants, who can give them advice and background information that police officers generally do not possess. In the past they have hired computer hackers to help in internet crimes, zoologists to help with endangered species smuggling, and foodies in poisoning cases.
However this time they tried asking a group of puppet experts from a local elementary school, all of whom were under eight years of age. Because of the subsequent crying, screaming, bed-wetting and lawsuits, the police are not allowed within two hundred feet of any elementary school. In the future, police promise to consider the age of their consultants before showing them graphic material of their favorite television characters being violated.
Some puppets are also being accused of sex crimes, however only against other puppets. A hard drive containing sexually explicit photographs was recovered from a sting in California, where a puppet fluffer tipped off the police. Puppets from around the world were frequenting a clandestine sex club and abusing puppets who were brought to secret locations against their will.
Law enforcement has not confirmed the identity of the green puppet (Figure 3), however the victim has been identified as a vulnerable adult puppet. The police would like tips on who the green puppet may be.
Investigations are continuing. However as more victims are identified, the cost of protecting them and bringing them to safety grows. Donations for housing, tailoring and cleaning of abused puppets can be sent directly to any number of local charities, or to Vilification Tennis.