Crime

Skipper Smut: A Miami man’s dark voyage into ‘crush’ porn

In 1996, Adam Redford was working as a fishing guide, where he specialized in catching snook and other game fish in Everglades National Park's no -motor zone.
In 1996, Adam Redford was working as a fishing guide, where he specialized in catching snook and other game fish in Everglades National Park's no -motor zone. Herald Staff

When Sexy Outdoor Sports debuted online in January 2002, the website hawked relatively tame fare: bikini models adorning fishing-themed calendars, mugs and T-shirts.

But founder Adam Redford, a colorful fishing captain from South Miami-Dade, promised more — a steamy brew of “hardcore sex, big trophy fish, sun-drenched scenery, danger, adventure and, of course, lots of hot nude fisherwomen.”

Over the years, Redford’s work would indeed grow racier, starting with amateurish X-rated efforts featuring a character named Capt. Peter Codpiece, then turning down a dark back alley of the Internet. Until police essentially shut down his business earlier this year, Redford became South Florida’s secret purveyor of “crush porn” — X-rated videos featuring women graphically slaughtering chickens, rabbits and hogs.

It was a bizarre turn for the son of prominent Miami parents — one a conservationist and author, the other a one-time Dade County commissioner — who had devoted themselves to protecting the region’s rich natural resources.

Redford, however, won’t be punished by authorities for his years of producing and peddling animal smut. He was initially named as a co-defendant in the animal abuse arrests of two of his fetish models earlier this year — but the cases were soon dropped because the statute of limitations had long expired.

And although Miami-Dade prosecutors tried to build a racketeering case against him, there was simply not enough evidence. The animal porn probe has now been formally closed.

“We’re disappointed. Do we consider this justice? No,” said Stephanie Bell, an investigator for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which tipped off police to Redford’s operation. “But we’re relieved production of the videos has stopped.”

Newly unveiled law enforcement documents, archived Internet files and interviews with former associates paint the portrait of a fishing guide perpetually hurting for money and willing to push way beyond the pale to quench the appetites of fetish fans.

Redford refused requests for an interview, saying the Miami Herald was sensationalizing the story and promoting the “agenda” of animal-rights activists. His website is now shuttered.

“I’m out of the business,” Redford said of his fetish videos. “I would like to see this die down.”

Redford, 58, hails from a wealthy, prominent South Miami-Dade family.

His mother was Polly Redford, the daughter of Laurens Hammond, inventor of the electric organ. Polly Redford, who died in 1972, was a well-known local conservationist who authored a highly regarded history book about Miami Beach called The Billion Dollar Sandbar.

His father was Jim Redford, who spent 14 years as a Dade County Commissioner before losing a reelection bid in 1988. An owner of Burger King franchise restaurants, the commissioner was an avid fisherman known for his work protecting South Florida’s environment — including limiting commercial overfishing in the waters off Dade County.

Adam Redford grew up in Coconut Grove. He was first featured in the Miami Herald in 1966 when he was 9 — posing with his mother’s pet raccoon for a story about a book she wrote on the critters.

By 1992, Redford was working as a commercial diver and was featured in the Miami Herald after he founded an “underwater hockey” club — a fringe sport played with snorkel gear in pools. A few years later, Redford began guiding fishermen in the flats and back country, often in the waters off Everglades National Park, a tough and competitive business.

“He wasn’t making a lot of money doing that, so he went to the porn stuff,” said South Florida boating captain Mark “The Shark” Quartiano, who was not involved in the risqué business but praises Redford’s more recent work filming sharks under water.

By the early 2000s, Redford began Angler’s Fantasy, a calendar featuring women holding trophy catches. Wayne Conn, a well-known fishing boat captain, remembers Redford would pay him $100 to call if he snagged a big fish.

“He’d run out with a small boat, with some models, jump on the boat, take some photos and leave,” Conn said, adding: “He always seemed like he had a scheme going … really strange guy.”

Back in 2002, Redford’s website, SexyOutdoorSports.com, began hawking calendars for $15. Outdated calendars were also available for sale — “soon to be a collector’s item.” Images of blonds with bonefish and brunettes with barracudas were also available on T-shirts, coffee mugs and mouse pads.

But one click into the “adult area,” past an 18-and-older disclaimer, and viewers arrived at the infancy of his business, complete with the stylized silhouette of a bare-chested woman clutching a fishing rod.

The website boasted just two videos — back then, VHS tapes, not DVDs or online downloads.

Have Rod, Will Travel was shot in the Florida Keys and featured a model named Tyler, a character named “Capt. Peter Codpiece” and a “big-bad shark.” Then there was Beauty and the Billfish, which depicted lots of “topless fishing action and surprisingly, some good instruction on techniques employed [for] Pacific sailfish.”

By 2007 — along with the rest of the online adult entertainment industry — Redford’s website had morphed into a racier, if still unsophisticated, operation. It featured thousands of photos, more than 100 video clips and a $19.95 monthly subscription price. Some were not X-rated: women horseback riding in the nude, or a certified and naked scuba diver named Wenona spearing fish and catching lobster.

But the website soon sprouted sister sites — with names like SOS Barn, Great Outdoor Sex and Girls Gone Fishing, all of them hawking porn videos featuring women interacting with and usually killing animals, some of them supposedly shot in exotics locales such as South America.

The men who bought the videos online were sexually gratified by the women who often talked dirty to the animals before killing them, model Sara Zamora told prosecutors.

“It’s humiliation, that’s the name of the game,” Zamora said, according to 128-page statement released by the state attorney’s office. “These guys pretend to be helpless, they pretend to be a helpless animal.”

One of Redford’s “favorites,” Zamora said she often took powerful Xanax anti-anxiety pills to cope before the degrading shoots at the skipper’s Homestead house, where he lived with a teenage son. She called Redford a “cheap bastard” who wouldn’t even “offer us a glass of water.”

“It was $200 a chicken,” Zamora said, adding: “He told me exactly where to grab the chickens, how is the fastest way to get it, like for it to die so it’s not like suffering or whatever.”

And for a fee starting at $400, clients e-mailed scripts to Redford, dictating the animals, the act and even the model’s clothing. One client who financed many videos — a round bespectacled man named Anthony — sometimes accompanied Redford on boat shoots, rarely saying a word.

“He was weird. He was just naked on board,” Zamora said. “ He was just naked, standing there.”

Redford insisted on his website that he had “some limits” on filming.

“We will not film torture nor sit by and watch animals die slowly from a poor shot,” Redford wrote. “There will be no contact between an animal — dead or alive — and a woman's genitals or breasts. Hunting videos will be based on the idea that the meat of the animal is to be eaten or other parts are to be used.”

But videos found by detectives showed women squishing live fish with high heels, cutting off heads of live chickens with scissors, hogs refusing to die after being shot multiple times, goats decapitated and even live rats stapled to a board.

Zamora insisted she wouldn’t do anything more than a “straight kill,” usually chickens — and she refused when Redford asked her to use a car to run over live rabbits.

“He would say things to me like, ‘You’re so stupid, you’re going to miss out on money,” said Zamora, who stopped shooting in 2012 after the birth of her daughter.

Bell, the director of animal cruelty investigations for PETA, calls Redford’s online disclaimer “misleading.”

“There is one instance where a female holding two rabbits upside down by their hind legs violently chops at the back of their necks as the animals thrash about,” Bell said. “These are sadistic acts.”

The legality of “crush porn” has been the subject of considerable debate.

In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a law that outlawed depictions of animals being “intentionally maimed, mutilated, tortured, wounded, or killed,” saying it was too broad and violated the right to free speech. Congress responded by passing a more narrowly tailored law making it illegal to create and distribute the videos.

So far, only two people have been charged under the law: Ashley Richards and Brent Justice, of Houston, who were accused of videotaping the torture — not of barnyard animals — but of kittens and puppies, for the sexual gratification of viewers. In April 2013, a federal judge threw out most of the charges, saying the law violated the First Amendment.

But in June, a federal appeals court overturned the decision. Justice’s attorneys are now appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing the penalties for the crimes are unfair.

Whether Redford could have ever been charged under the federal law is unclear — it provided exemptions for the visual depiction of “the slaughter of animals for food or hunting, trapping and fishing.” And the law also requires videos be deemed “obscene,” a high bar in a society saturated with online porn catering to every dark desire.

“There is so much graphic and explicit material circulated these days that very few people are offended by anything nowadays,” said Miami lawyer Thomas Julin, who specializes in free-speech issues. “It’s hard to meet obscenity standards.”

But local police, acting on tips from PETA, investigated Redford for a state charge of animal cruelty.

In January 2012, Lee County Sheriff’s detectives quietly raided his house in rural Estero, where he had moved after his Homestead house was foreclosed on. Redford was arrested on animal cruelty charges.

But the case was not strong — many of the videos seized were made outside Lee — and Redford accepted probation for a misdemeanor.

Then in March, Miami-Dade police arrested Zamora and her friend, fetish model Stephanie Hird, on animal cruelty charges, a case that drew headlines around the world. Zamora cooperated with the state attorney’s office against Redford.

But ultimately, in May, prosecutors dropped the cases against the women, and Redford.

“You get there and have a 40-year-old man telling an 18-year-old girl something and then one-two-three it’s over and your life is ruined,” Zamora said of Redford the day her case was dismissed. “It’s not like these girls go there and say, ‘Yay! Let me kill an animal.’ It’s not like that at all.”

She added: “It’s something I can never take back. Unfortunately, these poor animals suffered, even though it’s just a chicken and rabbit.”

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