Monday, July 16, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Yes, Paige Birgfeld, Missing Mom, is a Hooker

Remember the Duke lacrosse team rape accuser? The exotic dancer who worked for an escort service to "pay her college tuition?" I called the woman a hooker when I was doing television interviews and I always got a shocked response. "Oh, no!" the host would exclaim! "She was a dancer!" Yeah, right. If a girl continues to work for an escort service after going out on a couple of "dates," she isn't keeping her job by refusing to provide the services her clients want.

When Virginia Tech killer Cho paid for a "dancer" to come to his hotel room, he was expecting to get sex. Everyone tiptoed around that as well. Do we in this society refuse to believe that prostitution exists in this country?

Paige Birgfeld, single mother of three, disappeared from Grand Junction, Colorado on June 23. Her abandoned car was found on fire across town. Soon after, her family and friends were surprised to find she had been leading a double life: not only did she sell kitchenware, make dishes for sick friends, and sew costumes for her children’s dance group, but she also worked as an escort. Her friends in the play group thought there might be something going on in her life they didn’t know about, but they never pried.

Someone has to say it. All this tiptoeing around the truth is about driving me nuts! Yes, Birgfeld had another line of income. She advertised her services as an “escort” named Carrie on her “Naughtynightlife” website which includes “extra” services that the police believe may have crossed legal boundries. May? Please. This single mother’s only other source of income is occasionally teaching dance to little children and selling Pampered Chef cookware at home parties, yet she lives in a house worth over a million dollars and doesn’t seem to be suffering from money problems.

Her site advertises in-call and out-call erotic massages which she offers in her office or at your home or hotel. She starts the massage dressed in a mini-skirt. She used to advertise her business as one offering acupuncture. She dressed in skimpy clothing and high heels for that procedure as well. All her clients were men and came (pun intended) after hours when the building was locked. The other tenants were suspicious she probably wasn’t doing medical procedures to relieve pain. I can’t imagine what could have tipped them off.

Birgfeld had worked as an exotic dancer before she met her second husband. When his finances went south during their marriage, Birgfeld told her hubby she was going back dancing to make money. Apparently, he found her dancing style a little disturbing when he found underwear in her car that wasn’t hers. This husband stated that he believed she was performing topless massages “at the least,” meaning her clients would getting a hand job while looking at her boobs.

Aw, come on, folks, let’s call a hooker a hooker. Yes, Paige Birgfeld is a hooker, a prostitute, a sex worker by any name you want to call her. She has sex with men for money and has done so for years. She may be a fun lady, a good friend, even a nice mommy (not a good mommy because clearly Birgfeld would not be working as a hooker if she were). There are other ways to make ends meet and I am sure her kids would have preferred she found another career while raising them.

It is important that we recognize Birgfeld is a hooker because it changes the profile of the victim and it lengthens the suspect list considerably. She has two ex-husbands and a boatload of scuzzy males who might have become angry with her. Birgfeld supposedly had been back dating her first husband. Did he not realize she was a pro? Might he not have gotten upset if he found that out? And what kind of guy would he be if he didn’t care? Her second ex-husband was supposedly upset that she was hooking while raising their children. I guess I can understand that emotion and he certainly could have a motive for wanting her out of his children's lives. Then, there are all her johns. One of them might be a serial killer or other kind of sex pervert.

Paige Birgfeld was making poor choices in her life. She put herself and her children’s lives in danger. She was a clearly a liar if her children, her parents, and her friends did not know the truth about her profession. She lied as well to at least one of her ex-husbands. Birgfeld was also lawbreaker which makes her a criminal. If the police found evidence of a violent crime in Birgfeld’s car, then she was likely murdered by one of the pissed off exes or one of her creepy tricks. If there is no sign of foul play, it is possible Birgfeld decided to take off and live a freer life as clearly she had a limited amount of concern for her children's well-being. Either way, the police can’t do their job and the public can’t bring them proper information if we are going to sugar-coat this woman’s life. If she was willing to put her picture up on a website called “Naughtynightlife” and spend time with strange men, why are we having such a problem labeling her a hooker? She is what she is and Mother Teresa she ain’t.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

33 comments:

Preraphazon said...
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Preraphazon said...

Preraphazon said...
"Do we in this society refuse to believe that prostitution exists in this country?"

I don't think that's the case. I think what is really going on is that a huge contingent of men do not want to do anything that might lead to making it hard to find a prostitute. I think far more men use them than women will ever know.

Start talking about exotic dancers with men and you'll find that they will go to the very end of all conceivable rationale to defend their existence. Some of them even believe their own nonsense. Or worse, they believe the dancers' nonsense, which they use to rationalize using them.

It's routine for dancers to reel in "nice guys" by telling them a sob story about why they are desperate for money and, therefore, dancing. My friend's significant other of 10 years found a dancer's story so convincing that he wasn't ashamed to tell it to his mate and a table full of their friends over dinner one night. A group of work pals had gone to a strip joint after work, and he had paid a dancer $100 for a lap dance because she really needed the money since both of her parents had died in an auto accident only two weeks prior. He really bought this load of crap, people! He thought he had done something noble until he came home to find his mate packing her bags.

Coincidentally, that very same week, I was watching a young actor on a talk show, and he began talking about how they were filming this scene in an actual strip bar with actual strippers in the background. After talking about the movie, he added as an aside that he actually felt kind of sorry for some of them and cited as an example the one on the set who had a broken leg and was having trouble making ends meet because of that. She couldn't dance, you know. Which leaves what? He actually believed her.

Why do men believe these ridiculous ruses? Because they WANT to. They want an excuse. Don't be waiting for men to do anything meaningful to end prostitution people, or you are as gullible as they are.

And the only way we're ever going to do anything about it is if we go after the johns, not just the prostitutes. Really go after them, make them the priority, and make it public. Why aren't we? Because this decision is still primarily in the hands of men.

I want to see something done about it because I believe a lot of the women involved had some sort of abuse or very bad modeling or they would not be able to do that, for any amount of money. They do not have enough insight to understand why they find it acceptable and they continue the chain of abuse one way or the other. I'm not a big believer in rehab in many instances, but I do think that getting strippers and hookers into psychotherapy might make a difference in how some of them see themselves and help them correlate their past with their present.

Levi said...

Pat, I have said basically the same thing in other cases as you did in this case. Except I think of it also a safety issue. I said that women need to recognize not to do these sorts of activities that lead them to be at a greater risk of becoming a victim of a violent crime.

It's safe to say that if you are a hooker you aren't going to attract decent law abiding men, there is a chance (putting it lightly) you are going to attract some pond scum along the way.

You look at it from a profiling spectrum, I also look at it from a safety spectrum.

And some people who have their hearts in the right place, will say that we are blaming the victim. But it is simply pointing out these mistakes so others do not make those same mistakes and become a victim to a violent crime.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown said...

You mean like senators and congressmen? ::laughs::Yes, Levi, these women defintely put themselves at risk in the profession. However, most women who are hooking do indeed know the dangers. It is pretty obvious. The problem is a number of these women are predators in their own right. While some are desperate because of homelessness and drugs (and in other countries because as women they simply have no choice at all), there are also women who enjoy the thrill they get bagging their prey, making good money off of these marks (who will spend quite a hefty sum for a few minutes of pleasure with a stranger who he has to pay to get it). They may also get a kick out of being desired or getting away with illegal acts. Some of these women are not at all victims of men. There are two sides to prostitution and it is important to recognize this when profiling.

Pat

Preraphazon said...

All true. The reasons why some of these women feel empowered still lies in something they got used to in childhood, whether it be outright abuse or one parent who was too vocal about their "anything goes" attitude to their kids or the timeless problem of girls being taught to let the man be the boss and go along with whatever they say.

What most people would find shocking is that it isn't just the seedy part of society who use hookers. The business I used to be in, there were clients (buyers) who were bought hookers who didn't even KNOW the person their sales rep had fixed them up with was a hooker. Most men are actually egotistical enough to not question when someone too good looking for them is offering them a no-strings BJ. I actually dated a guy this happened to. He actually DATED the woman. It was obvious to many people she was a hooker, but not to him. He just liked her because she just wanted to have fun, no pressure. It was years before he realized it. Half the sales rep/client relationships in the world involve keeping the client happy by providing them women. Half of them don't realize they're hookers but just think they always have a good time when they go to St. Louis or something.

If there's one thing I learned at an early age, it's that if a man can do it without getting caught, they will do it. And prostitutes or "girls who just like to have a good time," as men like to think of them, are the easiest way not to get caught. Yes, there are exceptions but I really believe they are quite rare. It's just that some are more afraid than others to get caught.

Investigator Donna Weaver said...

My comment here should not be confused with blaming the victim. However, the fact remains that high-risk behavior can increase your chances of becoming a victim of violent crime. I have pounded this into the heads of my own daughters since they were little girls, and still do, now that they are young women. Even little everyday things like not going alone to do the grocery shopping late at night (where we live there are stores open 24 hours). Certainly engaging in prostitution would exponentially increase this risk. This does not mean Ms. Birgfield or the late night shopper deserve to be a crime victim, nor does it a guarantee your safety from predators if you are not a prostitute. But taking a measure of control of your life and your behavior can greatly decrease your risk of being the victim of violent crime.

Levi said...

Ahh yes Pat how can I forget the latest sex scandal? I think that politicians will fit into the category of "dirt bags" They lie, cheat and steal! hehe.

Levi said...

Donna Weaver, you are a good parent for teaching your daughters those very important lessons.

Some people find it politically incorrect to tell it like it is.

Investigator Donna Weaver said...

Well thank you, Levi. :-) Of all my jobs in life, being a mom will always be the best one of all. Speaking of which... Since I am simply busting with this news and haven't missed a chance to tell anyone :-) (good thing I have self control in professional matters). One of my twin daughters is going to have twin girls!!!

Anonymous said...

So what? She is still a human being that has possibly had a crime committed against her. She is someone's mother, daughter and sister.
Any one of you familiar with the bible? Read john chapter 8 verse 7 and then cast the first stone

Anonymous said...

Too bad these scripture verses are so often used out of context, as they are in this case. To do so causes it to fall on deaf ears when used in the proper context ...

To help you with this one - I don't think anyone here has remotely implied that Ms. Birgfield deserved whatever has happened to her. All they are saying is that her chosen behavior put her clearly in harms way. That's what I'm hearing, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Since the Bible was written by all men, I find it a little biased against women, don't you?

Levi said...
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Levi said...

I haven't seen anyone on the comments page or in the Blog entry Pat Brown wrote say she deserved this. Since you make those claims, you should at least quote, as an example. I now challenge you to quote either the Blog author, or anyone who has posted here in the comments section say that she deserved to have harm upon her. Until then you claims are baseless.

To Donna: CONGRATS! That is great news! :-)

Anonymous said...

You right ... no one has. Which is why John 8:7 does NOT apply (was used out of context).

Anonymous said...

No, I did not take the bible out of context. The town's people were about to stone an adultrous when the words were spoken.
It wasn't the adulterer that was about to be stoned.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but did you KNOW Paige for HALF a second???? You scumbag piece of crap reported never met her, spoke to her or had a CLUE who she is. You disgust me. I hope you NEVER have to suffer through what Paige's family and friends are going through right now.

Investigator Donna Weaver said...

Anonymous said “You disgust me. I hope you NEVER have to suffer through what Paige's family and friends are going through right now."

We usually don't answer comments like this, but I am going to answer this one. Please see:
Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Blaming the Victim Does Not Solve Cases
http://patbrownprofiling.blogspot.com/2007/07/criminal-profiling-topic-of-day-blaming.html

Levi said...

*Note there hasn't been a quote from any of the Anonymous posters pointing out where anyone is blaming the victim or saying she deserved this.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you about the euphemisms. They have no place in honest speech. Women who turn tricks for money are whores.

There are men who are scumbags, but there are also women who are scumbags.

In a free society, sometimes people do these things. In a very real way, it's no different than any other criminal immoral activity. The law exists to protect us from these types. It should be enforced--and not just enforced for the women.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and let's get another little piece of bull**** out of the way while we're at it.

YOu can't blame it on their childhood or some mysterious illness of the psyche. People turn tricks for money because they choose to. Some people think it's easier than actually working for a living. Particularly if their bad habits are in the way of working 9-5.

Anonymous said...

Well, if prostitution isn't the result and continuation of a cycle of abuse, then why should it be illegal? Who's it hurting if it's not perpetuating abuse?

FRIDAY said...

This is one of the best articles on Paige Birgfeld I have read to date. I appreciate the frankness and calling a spade a spade. A saint she isn't or wasn't. The harm, she has caused her family, friends, and most especially her children is a tragedy! Still I hope she is found soon. The longer she is missing the harder on her children and their father, Rob Dixon. They deserve to be able to have closure and begin to piece their lives together again if that is even possible. Her Secret life has been a shock and surprise to many. She has shamed herself and her children, family and friends.
Her choices were not for survival but fostered by greed and selfishness. check out her interview on Escorts.com for a revealation of her REAL interests and drives; certainly not her kids. She advertized 24/7 at least an hours notice. That did not leave much time to be a devoted , present Mother. Shame on you Paige........you paid a very high price for your pleasures and so has your family.

Anonymous said...

This woman is not a saint, she chose to be a whore than do the right thing. I can and will not condone wnat she did. She is a whore...

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Anonymous said...

Another internet escort playing fast and free with the definition of what entails prostitution. Prostitution and tax evasion (large sums of cash found in boxes in her home) are criminal acts where she lived. She risked being taken away from her children and put into jail.



She was engaging with a criminal element on a regular basis, putting her family and herself at risk. She lied to her family for years about her income and made very poor decisions over and over again. Obviously no one deserves to die because of this. Her story is another sad lesson for anyone who thinks working as an escort in the U.S., where prostitution is illegal (in most places) and unregulated, is a fair way to get money.

Anonymous said...

I watched this documentary on crime channel before her remains had been found. Her friends attitude was shocking,,,painting her as some kinda saintly perfect mom. The father i can understand. No parent wants to acknowledge that their daughter is.... Well... Basically a whore. But the doccie hugely implied hubbie was the one that killed her. It didnt show her sex sites her sex profile or any of that. I am glad people are calling a spade a spade. I mean this im a dancer stuff is such a joke. These woman are giving erotic massages... That does not mean holding hands and praying. No man is going to be happy without a happy finish either. Her friend in the doccie was going on about how she only does topless massages and not full service. I mean...really??? Did she deserve to be murdered for that? Absolutely not. But she did place herself in a sick underworld and is partly responsible for her death... And wholly responsible for her kids growing up motherless. There are tons of single moms out there with worse stories than her but they not hooking yo make ends meet. So her hubbie lost his porche and lexus and was declared bankrupt.... Bohoo. Get over is what she should have done and not messed around with hard criminals and pever... Just cause she got greedy and money hungry. Poor poor kids is all i have to say...

atonyclifton said...

Yeppers, it IS refreshing to see this woman called what she is, or as we know now, was. I don't even come close to having sympathy for women like this, especially if they happen to be mothers. They're grown women and understand right from wrong. And as someone else brought up, most of these women actually get off, and like, what they're doing. A woman who really won't do this, really won't do this. There are plenty of other ways to make money. I believe, wholeheartedly, that Paige liked what she did. A lot of her friends said she was VERY comfortable, and liberal, with her body. She was also greedy as hell. She had another job and didn't, by a long shot, need to do something like this. She put herself, AND her family in danger....that's disgusting. Nobody deserves to be killed for what she did, but she should CERTAINLY have known better.

Lizzie Schultz said...

Addiction: A strong and harmful need to regularly have something (such as a drug) or do something (such as gambling). ~Merrimack-Webster

I'm prefacing my comments in acknowledging the tragedy of Paige's murder - she did not deserve that ending. I suppose it angers me that someone with so much would risk it all. Paige by all accounts was a smart, stunning woman who, unfortunately, made some very risky - really stupid choices. Her children would have their mother today had she not been seduced by the power and money so easily attained in her chosen profession. And I do believe prostitution was her priority - more so, her addiction. All else was a smokescreen designed to support her alter image as a wife/mother. She was loving; she was valued. After her divorce she presented herself as the main breadwinner struggling to provide for her children. She didn't want for them to have to compromise. Having gone through divorce & being a mother I understand that. Perhaps they would have had to downsize to a smaller home or fewer things; now their life is forever defined by death and loss. Downsize, indeed.

Paige's first husband found her stripping and didn't like it. Her second husband befalls financial hard times and her answer is to take up prostitution - ahem- massage. That doesn't fly so they eventually divorce. She as a single mom continues that line of work. There were several key crossroads in her life and each time she made the same choice.

I was more than a bit perplexed in calculating how she fit all these activities into a 24 hr period, unless this woman just doesn't sleep. When exactly does she spend time with her kids? Who was minding those kids while she was out giving a massage? And with a one hour notice...? I can't imagine how she was able to conceal this lifestyle without someone putting it together for what it really was. A massage in the middle of the night, sure, why not. Dressed in a skimpy outfit? Please.

Her father seemed loving and devoted and willing to help financially. Heck he set up a fund for her when her marriage was failing. If I had a choice between family support and prostitution it'd be a no brainier. Unless she became addicted to not only the money, but the sexual power/dynamics of that, shall I say, line of work. Paige was addicted to that life, she placed it above all else. It fed a strong, internal need. Because she could not resolve her addiction, she was consumed by it. Such a shame.

Anonymous said...

Paige contributed to the distruction of families and relationships.
Maybe greed motivated her to strip and marry an equally morally bankrupt rich husband.
Sad, but this is a cautionary tale. Shortcuts don't pay, and if you engage in criminal activity, you may get into depths that you never imagined possible because there is always someone more devious than you. Sad.

Anonymous said...

She had a live-in nanny. That is how she had time to carry on this life. Snap out of denial. She was not a good person by any stretched. She fooled a lot of gullible people like her goofy friend in the news story. She sounded like a complete fool.

Jan Kerry said...

Get a grip. She is simply stating a fact. If you choose to put yourself in harms way your chance of being a victim is GREATLY increased. This does not mean you deserve to be a victim but for god's sake if the women who choose this lifestyle don't care enough to protect themselves why sugar coat the facts. YOU ARE PLAYING RUSSIAN ROULETTE WITH YOUR LIFE. That is a fact. Not an opinion.

Anonymous said...

Her mortgage was $ 5,500 a month .Her house was worth a million dollars . None of her family or friends could see she was living beyond means