William Vahey victims: ‘Hundreds’ come forward to FBI over paedophile teacher who taught at London school
The agency says US national Vahey, who killed himself in March, may have drugged and molested boys all over the world
The scale of the abuses carried out by convicted paedophile teacher William Vahey could be far greater than previously thought, the FBI said, after “hundreds” came forward following an appeal for information.
The US national’s victims are thought to include around 60 students from the prestigious Southbank International School in London, but Vahey taught at schools all over the world and allegedly confessed to molesting boys throughout “[his] whole life”.
The 64-year-old taught history and geography at the London school from 2009 until last year. He killed himself in March this year after a maid at his new school, the American Nicaraguan School in Managua, found a memory stick containing abusive images of at least 90 boys aged 12 to 14.
The FBI is leading an international investigation into Vahey’s offences, with the help of the Metropolitan Police, and revealed that it has been “contacted by several hundred individuals from around the globe wishing either to reach out as potential victims or provide information in the ongoing investigation”.
Many victims are thought not to be aware they were ever abused – according to the FBI, Vahey would feed boys in his charge oreos laced with sleeping pills and molest them in their sleep.
On 22 April Met officers executed a search warrant at Vahey's address in north London, where they recovered a laptop and 11 memory sticks.
William James Vahey in US passport photographs taken in December 2013, July 2004 and May 1995 Southbank’s chairman of governors, Sir Chris Woodhead, said he had been left sickened after it emerged boys from the school made up the majority of those pictured on Vahey’s computer drive.
The Westminster school has around 350 pupils from 70 countries, and many parents have reportedly said they do not want to be informed of any details relating to possible offences against their children.
Vahey taught at 10 schools on four continents and was firmly established in the network of international schools that traditionally serve the children of diplomats.
In early March, the maid who stole the first memory drive handed it to American Nicaraguan school director Gloria Doll, who found it contained photos of unconscious boys, often being touched by Vahey.
Ms Doll confronted the teacher, who told her, according to an FBI affidavit, that he had given the boys sleeping pills, adding: “I was molested as a boy, that is why I do this. I have been doing this my whole life.”
US embassy officials were informed but, before police could act, Vahey had flown back to Luverne, Minnesota, where he had relatives. He was found dead on 21 March after checking into a hotel and leaving a note apologising to his family. Vahey had a wife and two adult children.
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