The suspect in the fatal shootings in Three Georgia Spas has told the authorities who blamed massage companies to provide an exit for his sex addiction.
Robert Aaron saw spas for a long time as “a temptation that he wanted to eliminate”, according to the Sheriff’s office spokesman of Cherokee County.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said that the spas were not on the police radar: “For what we know in Atlanta, these are legally operative businesses.”
However, early signs indicate that companies may not have been totally above the board, leaving women who work there especially vulnerable to abuse and violence.
The three spas are listed in Rubmaps, an erotic review site that allows users to look for and review the illicit massage halls. The site is the most popular of its kind, where buyers who call themselves “amateurs” or “achievements” in search of sex, go to seek and share information, according to a Polaris study, a non-profit group That operates the national direct line of trafficking.
The aromatherapy spa and the golden spa, both in Atlanta, have about 100 comments, many recent. A GOLD SPA review on March 9 indicated that it was “full service”, as well as a similar review of five days before. A review for Aromatherapy Spa on March 2 also indicated that sex was in the list of services. The Asian Youngs massage in Acworth, Georgia, has 39 reviews of Rubmaps, the latest publications published in February.
One of the eight victims, Xiaojie So, was listed as the owner of a limited liability corporation associated with the Asian massage of young people. The LLC is also owned by Wang’s body and body massage, a spa in the neighboring Kennesaw also listed in Rubmaps.
Atlanta-Area Spa Smoothings: Suspeche officially loaded after 8 people killed in 3 spas; Most victims were Asian.
Rubmap’s reviews, along with advertising for 24-hour services, are red flags, said Elizabeth Kim, the Director of Operations of Restore NYC, a non-profit organization that works to provide housing and economy solutions for survivors of Trafficking
“In New York, for example, many of the illicit massage companies are open super late, or you can not simply enter as a normal business: you have to be buzz,” said Kim. “They are projecting if it is a client or application of the law or something like that.”
The Golden Spa and the aromatherapy spa are among several businesses frequented during the nights, according to neighboring business owners; Its customers and services are still discreet behind the black windows and parking lot behind the buildings.
The Gold spa has a black glass door that avoids visibility from the outside. The windows are hidden by rusty blinds. At least one set of windows covers seem to be joint together with adhesive tape. The only visible inside is an ATM near the main entrance.
The property has a LED serrated Firt that says the business is open 24/7. The parking areas are empty.
Two buildings to the right of the Aromatherapy Spa is Craig Barnes’ G Salon, a one-day spa that opened in this Piedmont Heights neighborhood in 1999. Its services include traditional hallmarks, such as hair cuts, hair dyes and Perms, as well as hair removal, microdermabrasion, eyelash extensions and aromatherapy massage.
The spas and Striptez clubs that share this Atlanta Vía with G Salon were here when Barnes arrived more than two decades ago. The immediate area includes a Mexican restaurant and pizzeria, automobile repair workshops, medical offices, a psychic loft and apartment.
“Twenty-one, no problems,” Barnes said. “I have never met anyone, I have never seen anyone there (at the Tuesday shooting site) in 21 years old, they are calm, they do not do business at the same time I do it.”
As Barnes closes its doors to customers at 7 p.m. on weekdays and 6 p.m. On Saturdays, the 24-hour spas are preparing for a late night customers’ hurry.
When the Tuesday shooting occurred during the rush hour of the night in Atlanta, Barnes was in his room. One of the customers of him called from the other side of the street to cancel an appointment. Barnes