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Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Teacher William James Vahey: The Life and Crimes of an International Pedophile

     In 1970, 20-year-old William James Vahey pleaded guilty in California to child molestation. Notwithstanding the sex crime conviction he graduated from college in 1972 with a degree in education. Facing arrest for not registering as a sex offender, the pedophile fled to Tehran, Iran where he landed a job teaching eighth grade history at a private school attended by American and European children.

     From 1973 to 1975 William Vahey taught at the American Community School in Beirut, Lebanon. A year later he was in Madrid, Spain teaching at another private American school. After working one year in Spain, Vahey returned to Iran, this time teaching at the Passararod School in the city of Ahwal.

     In 1978, the itinerate pedophile taught eighth grade students at the American Community School in Athens, Greece. Two years later he turned up in Saudi Arabia at the Saudi Aramco School in Dhahran. After teaching in Saudi Arabia, Vahey moved to Jakarta, Indonesia where he taught at the Jakarta International School for ten years. After a decade in Indonesia Vahey ended up in Caracas, Venzeluela working at the Escuela Campo School.

     Vahey's wife Jean (pedophiles are often married), the former superintendent of the Esceula Campo School, was, in 2009, the executive director of the European Council of International Studies. This may explain why her husband had been able to land so many private school teaching jobs around the world.

     After a year in Venezuela William Vahey was in London, England teaching at the Southbank International School. He taught English boys ages eleven to sixteen, most of whom were offspring of foreign business executives and diplomats. During his three year tenure at Southbank Mr. Vahey took students on numerous overnight field trips.

     In August 2013, administrators at the American Nicaraguan School in Managua hired Vahey to teach ninth grade history. Two months later Vahey accused his house maid of theft and fired her. In February 2014 the maid went to the principal of the American Nicaraguan School with a thumb drive she had taken from Vahey's computer. The memory stick contained at least 90 images of boys between the ages 12 to 14 who were either asleep or unconscious.

     William Vahey, when confronted by school authorities in possession of this evidence, confessed to drugging and sexually assaulting male students. Fired on the spot, the traveling teacher fled the country to avoid being arrested by Nicaraguan police.

     A federal judge in Houston, Texas, on March 11, 2014, ruled that FBI agents could lawfully search Vahey's thumb drive. Two days later in a Luverne, Minnesota hotel room the 64-year-old pedophile committed suicide. During his tenure as a middle school teacher Mr. Vahey had taught at ten private schools in nine countries. He also coached boy's basketball and took students on hundreds of overnight field trips.

     At the time of William Vahey's death he owned a home in London, England and a house in Hilton Head, South Carolina. 

     On April 23, 2014 a FBI spokesperson issued a statement that read: "This is one of the most prolific and heinous sexual predator cases we have seen. It appears Vahey was able to perfect his crimes in such a way that his victims were unable to report them. He has been teaching overseas the entire time. We strongly believe there are more victims."

    Most of the dead pedophile's former employers were not eager to acknowledge Vehey's commission of sex crimes under their noses. As is so often the case, when suspicions of this nature arose, education administrators simply "passed the trash." They fired the suspected pedophile without alerting his new employers about why he had been terminated. Teacher William James Vahey, with a resume full of employment recommendations from former employers, was passed around the world.


  1. I worked for six years at the American/Nicaraguan School. I personally know of 3 child abusers who worked there as teachers/administrators. Yes, like the clergy, the trash is passed on. The administration invariably skates and continues on it's merry way. I am curious of 2 things: Did he leave a suicide note? How did he dispatch himself?

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  5. He was at JIS for 10 years. Your article says something happened because he left their quickly.

  6. He was my 9th grade world history teacher in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia. He was in Abqaiq at least 8 years before being transferred to Dhahran. He was fired from the Aramco it's school in Dhahran after proof was provided that he drugged and raped students. Aramco did not contact the authorities. His wife was aware of his activities and the victims have contacted the FBI. This is more horrifying than people think and the victim count could top 200 or 300. This man is pure evil. There is no cure for pedophile's but death.

    1. The above account is not true. Vahey was not fired from ARAMCO. None of these accusations became known until just recently.

  7. My ex husband worked alongside Bill Vahey at the junior high school in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia (working for Aramco Oil Co). We knew him as a family friend. Our boys were the same age and Bill coached my son's soccer team. This has haunted me since hearing about it as I knew Bill to be such a nice, sweet man. A true wolf in sheep's clothing. My hope is that there will be a class action suit against Aramco for their negligence in overlooking the matter. This incredibly rich company could have saved so many boys down the road during Bill's career after moving on. As for my son, he is trying hard to brush this off as a guy would typically do, but I know that many of these former students are reeling from this news - confused and not sure whether or not they were one of his victims. As for Jean - even the thought that she could have known is beyond comprehension. If this is the case she deserves prison. And how could she not have suspected something. God help his boys....

  8. Thank you Joan for your information. He was, as you say, a wolf in sheep's clothing. That's how pedophiles get away with what they do for so long. I'm sorry your family has been touched by this scandal.