|Alfonso, a Kerbela Circus clown
missing since 1996.
A black-market clown smuggling ring has been shut down in Knoxville after a seven-year search for the culprits behind the activity.
For the purpose of protecting the investigation, details have been withheld from the media during the past few years. Now, with 14 arrests, the full details are being released.
It appears that clowns have been abducted each year from the Kerbela and Barnum Bailey circuses. They were then taken to the Metropulse offices and subjected to a battery of brainwashing techniques, then eventually sold to local businesses as cheap labor.
Several local companies have been named in the investigation for purchasing clowns for cheap labor and ‘pick-me-ups’ for downtrodden staffers. Among the local organizations under further investigation are AC Entertainment, Bush Brothers, and Clayton Homes. The primary purchaser of clowns was the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra who has used clown labor to cover nearly 40% of their musician needs since 1999.