Case 115

Operation Cathedral

*** Content Warning: child victims, child abuse, child sexual assault, child exploitation ***

In the mid-1990s, police caught wind of an online paedophile ring known as The Orchid Club, in which members were using chat rooms to create and trade child exploitation material. Several American men were arrested, but detectives soon discovered The Orchid Club was just the tip of the iceberg. 

A much larger and more prolific online paedophile ring soon emerged, known as The Wonderland Club. A global investigation titled Operation Cathedral was launched as police raced against the clock to identify the Wonderland Club members and protect their victims from further exploitation.



Casefile Presents



Research & writing – Milly Raso

Editing – Elsha McGill

Narration – Anonymous Host



‘Flatline intro’ and ‘Come play with me’ intro and outro –

Audio production – Mike Migas 

Scoring – Mike Migas and Andrew Joslyn



Logo and website design – Paulina Szymanska



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International police operations against online child pornography – Australian Government



Operation Cathedral – BBC Panorama



Girl raped to order on the internet – The Telegraph

This club had its own chairman and treasurer. Its business was child abuse – The Guardian

Fear of jail turned paedophile Gary Salt into ‘supergrass’ – Manchester Evening News

16 indicted on charges of internet pornography – New York Times

Paedophiles’ vast ‘lending library’ – BBC News

Wickedness of Wonderland – BBC News

How police smashed child porn club – CNN World

International team of police raids ‘club’ – Portland Press Herald

Child porn gang face jail – CNN World

Net porn trader denies abuse – BBC News

Internet paedophiles are jailed – Daily Mail

Child pornographers sentenced – BBC News

Wonderland paedophiles are sentenced – ZDNet

Wonderland sentences a ‘joke’ – BBC News

Wonderland club with a sick agenda – The Herald

Tackling online child pornography – BBC News

Internet child sex perverts escape justice – The Telegraph

Renewed hunt for Wonderland victims – BBC News

Pedophile Gavin Smith sentenced for internet torture fantasy – BBC News

Pervert who ran infamous ‘wonderland’ child porn network caught looking at sick images in Old Trafford library – Manchester Evening News

Paedophile used library to download child abuse images – BBC News

Jail for pervert caught with child porn library of 250,000 sick images – Manchester Evening News

130 arrested over internet child porn – The Telegraph



Deviate: Live molestation on Internet magnifies trauma – The Sunday Record: Dec 1998

Believe children, not statistics – Leader-Telegram: Feb 1997

Greenfield porn figure found guilty – The Californian: Nov 1996

Protecting kids from pornographers – The Star Press: Dec 1996

City man sentenced for role in porn ring – The Daily Oklahoman: Feb 1998

How terrestrial cops invaded the crime zone of cyberspace – The Age: Sep 1998

Dismay at paedophile sentences – The Guardian: Feb 2001

The Faceless danger on the Internet – The Age: Sept 1998

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