Updates and Corrections

Updates on The Mastermind

June 12, 2020: Paul Calder Le Roux, the subject of The Mastermind, was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison by a judge in the Southern District of New York. I wrote about the sentencing for Wired, here.

March 7, 2019: Federal judge Ronnie Abrams sentenced Joseph “Rambo” Hunter to a mandatory term of life in prison plus 10 years for the murder of Catherine Lee. Abrams called the crime “horrific,” saying “I’ve seen a heard a lot of criminal activity before, including a lot of violence, but I’ve never seen anything like this… The most emotion showed was pride.”

February 7, 2019: Joseph Hunter’s sentencing, originally scheduled to take place in February, was delayed to March 7 due to the electrical outage and subsequent harrowing conditions at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. Hunter is expected to receive a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, for the murder of Catherine Lee.

December 23, 2018: At the end of The Mastermind, I report that Paul Le Roux had attempted to restart his call center business in the Philippines together with an American hacker named Mir Islam, with whom Le Roux had been incarcerated. Islam is a former member of the online collective UG Nazi who was convicted of credit card fraud and subsequently released. In December, he was arrested in Manila along with a former UG Nazi compatriot in connection with the murder of a young American woman. I’ll have more to report on this, but for now BuzzFeed reporters Davey Alba and Joseph Bernstein have the incredible story behind how it all transpired.

November 14, 2018: In Manahattan, a federal district court judge sentenced Adam Samia to life in prison without the possibility of parole, for the murder of Catherine Lee in the Philippines.

October 12, 2018: In Manahattan, a federal district court judge sentenced David Stillwell to life in prison without the possibility of parole, for the murder of Catherine Lee in the Philippines.

Corrections to The Mastermind

Even now, after five years of reporting, I’m still regularly in contact with new sources connected to Le Roux or the investigation. When I discover any new information that changes my understanding of facts in the story, I’m working with my publisher, Random House, to update digital editions of the book immediately and other editions as they are issued. Any such changes are noted below. Also included are errors in the original hardcover edition. These too are submitted for update in digital versions and slated for correction in other editions. (All page numbers below refer to the U.S. and U.K. hardcover editions.)  

Page 11: The text has been corrected to read that Chantilly, Virginia is (of course) “twenty-five miles west of D.C.,” not “twenty-five miles east.” (Submitted to Random House on 3/5/19)

Page 13: The text has corrected to read that Kent Bailey worked for ten years as a field agent in Los Angeles, not four. (Submitted to Random House on 3/28/19)

Page 72: The line “(Hornbuckle was arrested in South Africa that same year for using false prescriptions to sell pills over the Internet.)“ has been updated to read: “(Hornbuckle was arrested in South Africa that same year, and later accepted a small fine under a plea deal for exporting prescription drugs without a permit.)“ (Submitted to Random House on 5/22/19)

Page 84: The “Israeli call manager” here has been corrected to read “Israeli call center manager.” (Submitted to Random House on 1/13/19)

Page 191: The line “He wasn’t the judge, he said, just the man rendering the verdict” has been corrected to read “He wasn’t the judge, he said, just the man carrying out the verdict.” (Submitted to Random House on 1/13/19)

Page 225: The phrase “When Zuñiga disappeared,” has been removed to reflect my uncertainty about when exactly his wife appealed to a top aid of the president. I have two sources confirming that she made the appeal, but they differ on the timing of it. (Submitted to Random House on 1/24/19)

Page 242: The book incorrectly implies that Felix Klaussen traveled immediately from New York to Panama as part of the sting operation. The Panama trip in fact took place later. The text has been updated to correct the error. (Submitted to Random House on 2/10/20)

Page 268: The book incorrectly asserts that in September 2012, Derek Maltz, the Special Agent in Charge of the Special Operations Division, awaited the arrival of the plane carrying Le Roux in New York—alongside Investigator Kimberly Brill and Special Agent Kent Bailey. In fact, Maltz was on the plane with Le Roux—he’d traveled to Liberia for Le Roux’s arrest. (Neither Brill nor Bailey had been included on the trip to arrest Le Roux.) The exchange between Bailey and Maltz described on this page took place after Maltz deplaned, not before. The book will be updated to correct the error. (Submitted to Random House on 2/15/19)

Page 291: The original text implies that Hunter was inside Le Roux’s Loch Palm villa when arrested. In fact he was on a motorcycle when he was picked up. The book has been updated to correct the error. (Submitted to Random House on 2/10/20)