Police: 3 Seattle brothers arrested spent majority of lives sexually abusing children

by: Gary Horcher, DeeDee Sun, KIRO 7 News Staff Updated:

SEATTLE - Three brothers in their 70s and 80s have been arrested in Seattle for allegedly possessing images of child-sex abuse with police still investigating them, according to Seattle Police Department.

>> Read about the latest in the investigation here

Key developments:

  • 82-year-old Charles Emery, 80-year-old Thomas Emery and 79-year-old Edwin Emery were charged Monday with two counts of possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexual conduct.
  • Police say a family member was cleaning the men's Green Lake home and discovered what she believed to be materials depicting the sexual abuse of a child.
  • Charging papers say authorities including members of the FBI's internet Crimes Against Children Task Force searched the home, finding evidence prosecutors say that each of the men spent the majority of their lives sexually abusing children and exploiting children depicted in child pornography.
  • Detectives say it was Charles' "manifestos" about Satanic rituals, kidnapping, raping and killing girls that led them to dig under sheds, searching for evidence of potential murder.

What the investigation first found

On Aug. 19, Seattle child sex crime detectives say they acted on a tip from a relative who arrived to clean out the garage of the brothers.

The relative called 911. At the home, detectives collected a staggering amount of child porn.

Home in Green Lake. Image: KIRO 7

They also found evidence of the sexual exploitation of young girls as well as children's worn clothing and underwear, children’s shoes, toys and movies. 

Homeland Security's Internet Child Exploitation team assisted in the search, which involved digging for potential buried evidence under locked sheds and garages.

About the brothers

Neighbors in the quiet Green Lake neighborhood along Northeast 59th St.Street say they always wondered about the dilapidated house and the three guarded, mysterious Emery brothers who lived there since 1962. 

"I've never seen a girlfriend, a wife, a woman of any type visit that house," said Don Smith, who lives next door.

Seattle police say the brothers, ranging in age from 78 to 82, began molesting their own sister and eventually molested other young relatives for decades.

82-year-old Charles Emery is one of the three brothers arrested in a child sex abuse investigation.

None of them had ever married, none had their own children or many relationships outside their own siblings.

Police arrested 82-year-old Charles Lee Emery in a Queen Anne nursing home. Eighty-year-old Thomas Edwin Emery and 78-year-old Edwin Harold Emery were arrested at their home.

Scroll down to read about the manifesto. 


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Detectives say Charles, Thomas and Edwin sexually molested young relatives for years, and collected pictures and even children's shoes.

But detectives say it was Charles' "manifestos" about Satanic rituals, kidnapping, raping and killing girls that led them to dig under sheds, searching for evidence of potential murder.

Detectives say one of Charles' writings was found buried and partially burned -- along with a child's hat.

The search extended from the home in the Green Lake neighborhood to another home the brothers owned 90 miles away in Shelton. Image: KIRO 7

"Their writings express desires to kill children," said Capt. Mike Edwards, who leads SPD's Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force.

The search extended from the home in the Green Lake neighborhood to another home the brothers owned 90 miles away in Shelton.

"It's very clear that these three individuals have an obsession with young female children, they've had this obsession for most if not all of their lives, and they acted on it," said Edwards.

Charging documents indicate SPD detectives questioned Edwin Emery and his relatives about child porn found on his computer in 2013, but no charges were ever filed.

Now detectives are hoping to identify the children in the photos and they hope to find victims who may have been molested decades ago and never came forward.

Shed in Green Lake. Image: KIRO 7

Neighbors react to brothers’ charges

Neighbors have been wondering exactly what happened in this home since investigators swarmed the home over the weekend. The new details Seattle police and court documents revealed leave them stunned.

For decades, neighbors didn't think much about the three brothers who've lived there for 55 years.

“I just thought they were harmless weird old guys,” said Julie Vandenberg, who lives directly across the street.

Neighbors saw the investigators in hazardous materials suits and police bring out box after box of evidence on Friday and Saturday.

Watch coverage from our report over the weekend below, scroll down to keep reading. 

“It was shocking. I didn’t know what to think,” said Smith, who watched investigators work late into the night Friday from his home next door.

“It’s way worse than I thought. It is sickening, it's really sickening,” Vandenberg said. “Something happened to little children here - it sounds like little girls, and that's horrific.”

Neighbors say many young children live on the block.

The neighbors say they wish they would've noticed some sign earlier, about what was going on in the house but they're just glad the three brothers aren't there to victimize kids any longer.

Neighbor Don Smith said he was surprised the allegations were kept quiet for so long.

"I mean, to be next door to these guys for all these years, if. If they're going out every day and doing something like that, I was like, wow. This is too much"


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