Federal court documents state that Cox was born and raised in St. Louis. He joined the Air Force in 1975 after he graduated from high school. Five years into his career as a computer operator, the military court-martialed Cox for sexual assault. His victims were four young girls between the ages of 7 and 11 that he was babysitting at Rhein-Main Air Force Base in Frankfurt, Germany.
He was dishonorably discharged and served five years of an eight-year sentence at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.
While on parole, Cox returned to the St. Louis area. In just a few years, he was in trouble again. He was arrested two more times for inappropriate contact with young children: in Bridgeton in 1988 and in Overland in 1989. He was charged and, though he wasn’t convicted, officials revoked his parole. He spent another year in Fort Leavenworth in 1992.
When Cox got out, he moved back to the St. Louis area to live with his mother. A St. Louis County speeding ticket record lists his address around that time as being on the 3400 block of Wismer, just three blocks from the home on Wright Avenue where 9-year-old Angie Housman lived with her mother, Diane Bone, and her stepfather, Ron Bone.
Federal court documents go on to state that Cox involved himself in an online child pornography ring in 1997, eventually administrating boards for the online group.
In 2002, while living in Pueblo, Colorado, Cox contacted a woman he believed to be a 14-year-old girl through an internet chat room. They exchanged explicit emails and Cox sent her money for a bus ticket with the offer for her to travel from Virginia to be his “sex slave.” That woman was an FBI agent, and authorities arrested him at their scheduled meeting.
Further investigation of Cox after the arrest uncovered 45,000 child pornography images on his computer. He was charged and pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography and attempted enticement of a minor across state lines to engage in sexual activity. His arrest also led to an arrest of another member of the child pornography ring in the United Kingdom.