The Berlin Turnpike: A True Story of Human Trafficking in America is unlike any other book on the subject of human trafficking. Without the common hype or sensational drama, Raymond Bechard tells a story that reaches deep into the well of our souls. He has given us a completely new perspective on this complex issue which has been lurking for so long in every community throughout the United States. This is an important and essential lesson for American families. You will need courage to read this book. And you will need courage to face each day after you finish.
Revised and updated for 2017, including exposed corruption, the death of a newspaper and what the victims really think of law enforcement. This is a true story of human trafficking in America as told through the testimony of a landmark federal trial which took place at the heart of one of the country’s wealthiest states, Connecticut, over the course of eight days in 2007.
This is a true story of human trafficking in America, its history, its growth and its unprecedented entrance into our homes. It exposes every element of this crime; so reliant on secrecy and shrouded behind a scintillating veil of growing legitimacy. Yet it is buried just below the surface of our society’s mainstream perception. For the first time The Berlin Turnpike takes you to the core of how and where this all takes place. This is our path to uncovering a vast, long-ignored secret.
Read Tom Condon’s Review of The Berlin Turnpike
- Dark Side Of ‘The Pike’: Trafficking In Minors June 19, 2011 | Tom Condon Every couple of years someone submits an essay to this page about the Berlin Turnpike, about its kitsch, history, diners and bowling alleys, its “messy vitality.” All of that is true, it just isn’t the whole truth. The Pike, beloved of classic car cruisers, bowlers and shoppers, is also home to one of the most vile of crimes — sex trafficking of minors. A couple of major federal prosecutions, and coverage of them in Raymond Bechard’s new book “The Berlin Turnpike — A True Story of Trafficking in America” as well as recent articles in Vanity Fair and The Hartford Advocate, have begun to turn over the rock. What is under it should turn your stomach. Girls as young as 12 are being coerced or seduced into the sex industry, and hooked on drugs or beaten violently so they remain. It happens in the lowend motels on the Berlin Turnpike, and places like it across the country. Continue Reading … Tom Condon Reviews The Berlin Turnpike
The trial of United States vs. Dennis Paris as told in The Berlin Turnpike provides a rare and detailed account of how a specific type of trafficking commercial sexual exploitation is thriving because it has left the street corners and entered our homes. This one case contains every element of a crime so reliant on secrecy; shrouded behind a scintillating veil of growing legitimacy. Yet it is buried just below the surface of our culture’s mainstream perception.
The myth is that human trafficking of this kind disguises itself as a different monster; an evil face that is easy to recognize. The truth is far more devious and complex. In the shadows of our daily lives, this silent explosion of crime and abuse hides behind a deceptive mask of false innocence and legitimacy.
For the first time we will openly examine this heretofore ignored truth with no agenda or motive other than to expose its stark reality. This trip to The Berlin Turnpike will take you to the core of how and where these events take place from the perspective of all those involved: the victims, the police, and the perpetrators.
Never before has one story so accurately represented the dangerously magnetic commonalities shared by thousands of roadways, neighborhoods, businesses, publications, private homes, and websites.
The Berlin Turnpike: A True Story of Human Trafficking in America, is a compelling expose of the people who live with the realities of commercial sexual exploitation every day. – The witnesses. Melissa P., Eileen K., Marianne C., Jennifer D., and Kathleen C. Each has their own reason for testifying. And each has something important to hide. – The Lawyers. Passionate, calculating, and with their careers on the line, the prosecution and the defense try desperately to win over the jury with every possible strategy. – The defendant. Smart, charismatic, and looking at 30 years in prison. His story will surprise you. – The girls. Marie, Danita, Kayla, Simone and others are our tour guides down The Berlin Turnpike. They share their raw, honest stories without hype or drama. In their own words, you’ll learn what life is like with a pimp. – The Road.
Like America’s continuing struggle for equality, the Berlin Turnpike has a long, sordid history of heroes and villains. For the first time, their secrets are revealed.
One hour on the Berlin Turnpike. That’s really all it takes. It waits for you at the heart of America’s wealthiest state. And if you look closely, over two centuries of our nation’s history and culture ― the very best and worst of who we are and who we have been ― remain ensconced along this twelve-mile stretch of concrete and thousands of corridors like it, both real and virtual, across the United States and its cyber-cousin, the internet. Yet, few recognize the dire urgency of a social phenomenon that has been prevalent along all the highways of America for nearly two centuries.
Excerpt from The Berlin Turnpike: A True Story of Human Trafficking in America: “This particular day there were not too many calls coming in and it seemed as though I was not going to meet my quota for yesterday or today. So a call came in for an afternoon delight. The time of day I usually got to enjoy, where I was able to let the sun soothe me. I jumped on the call immediately and in desperate measures I agreed to something I wouldn’t normally ― because it’s dirty and calls are very cheap. I agreed to go to the Berlin Turnpike.” – “Marie”
Marie’s reluctance is not uncommon. Every community in America has a Berlin Turnpike; a place where people drive by, passing the unknown suffering going on behind closed doors. Blue Heron Avenue in West Palm Beach, Hunts Point in the Bronx, Zarzamora and West Travis Streets in San Antonio, El Cajon Boulevard in San Diego, Blue Hill Avenue in Mattapan outside of Boston, Dickerson Road in Nashville, and hundreds of massage parlors, truck stops, vacant parking lots, and websites along the way and in between.
“This is an important book for every American family,” says Raymond Bechard. “There are so many dangerous myths surrounding human trafficking in the United States. Families in Connecticut – and throughout the US for that matter – need to hear the truth about commercial sexual exploitation and why it is increasing in our community. The dangers of this crime come much closer to home than people realize. From the back pages of the Hartford Advocate, to Facebook, to over 1000 motel rooms along the Berlin Turnpike, evidence of this ongoing abuse is in our towns and our homes.”
The book’s title is taken from a “twelve-mile stretch of concrete” in the central part of Connecticut. With a long and sordid history, the Berlin Turnpike serves as a metaphor for the landscape in which human trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation, and all forms of prostitution have existed in the US for centuries while continuing to flourish today.
The Berlin Turnpike tells the story of a landmark federal trial which took place in Hartford, CT over the course of eight days in 2007. “The trial of United States vs. Dennis Paris provides a rare and detailed account of how human trafficking is thriving because it has left the street corners and entered our homes,” explains the author. “For instance, he used the Hartford Advocate exclusively to advertise the women under his control. Those same ‘Escort’ ads continued to run until we forced them to stop in late 2012.”