Everyone knows what Craigslist is at this point in life. Everyone also knows what it is used for. The ads on there can range from buying or selling a kitchen appliance or maybe a vehicle, to posts that only adults should see. Because of the wide variety of people who go on there, the website has been the breeding ground for countless crimes that have been committed. Anytime you meet someone from the site it’s a very good idea to be more than careful. Your life depends on it.
Today we are looking at some of the most vicious crimes committed through the website and you should pay very close attention to what you are about to read. Not all crimes on there have been solved. There is still one that has been an ongoing investigation for over ten years as the bodies continue to pile up. There is also a case in the Dunedin, Florida area of a woman setting up dates and then having her boyfriend rob the men with a gun upon their arrival. This woman still has not been caught.
Overall there have been more than 100 murders that started with a post on Craigslist so you should always be very aware of what you are doing or where you are going. Read on to see plenty of reasons why safety should always be your number one concern.
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15 The Babysitter Murder
Katherine Ann Olson was a 24-year-old woman looking to make some extra money caring for children in Minnesota. Michael Anderson was a 19-year-old with serious social issues. Once he decided that he wanted to see what it felt like to kill someone he put up an ad on Craigslist. He posed as a woman named Amy and exchanged several emails with Katherine.
The day she showed up for work she had never spoken to “Amy” on the phone, so she wasn’t aware that there was no actual woman or kids in the house. Michael lured her upstairs where he shot and killed her with a .357. He dragged her body to the basement and tied her up and kept her there.
He was eventually caught and is serving a life sentence with no possibility of parole.
14 The Long Island Killer
If you live on Long Island, pay very close attention to this section. The Long Island Killer (also known as the Long Island Serial Killer, the Gilgo Beach Killer or the Craigslist Ripper) is still on the loose. The unidentified person is said to be responsible for anywhere between 10 and 16 murders. The meetings were set up as meetings for sex through the Craigslist website.
Several persons of interest have been questioned over the years but nobody has ever been arrested and charged with the crimes. They have been happening for over ten years and police believe it’s the same person responsible for all, or at least most of the killings.
Keep that in mind… the person has never been caught. The ad you answer in Long Island could be that elusive criminal.
13 The Donna Jou Murder
When two people have a one on one meeting anything can happen. If only one person is still alive after the meeting, it’s very hard to find out exactly what happened. Since Craigslist is widely known for sexual hookups, a lot of those meetings are straight one on one meetings and a lot of crimes go unsolved.
Donna Jou went over to the home of John Steven Burgess for a night of sex, cocaine, and heroin. Burgess’ account says that when he woke up Jou was dead. He says that he panicked and brought her body to the ocean and tossed it in. Nobody knows what really happened and his version seems to have some pretty big holes in it.
He served a few years in prison but after he was released he was arrested for once again luring women to his home via Craigslist.
12 The Alleged Maid Assault
Michael Delgado is a giant man who looks like he had a hard time meeting women. He saw an ad on Craigslist that was placed by a 42-year-old woman offering maid services. When she arrived Delgado had other plans and the woman claims that she was raped for over an hour and held against her will. Delgado was arrested and charged with rape, false imprisonment and assault.
When he went to trial though, the end result was a hung jury. They voted 8-4 not to convict him and after several attempts, the numbers were not changing. There were a lot of questions in the maid's account; with some saying it seemed that the sex was actually consensual.
Either way, Delgado is going to be tried again. The only thing that is certain with the case is that the woman didn’t like whatever happened and reported a crime.
11 Selling Baby For $100
Over the years Craigslist has had sections that were considered questionable and several have been removed from the website. One section however that has never appeared on the site is a section for selling or trading human beings.
When Paul Marquez realized that this section didn’t exist he decided to post in the regular “For Sale” section. What he was selling though was his girlfriend’s baby. He posted the ad and asked for $100 for the infant and wrote the reason that he wanted to sell was because she was “getting on his nerves.”
The post was flagged and removed but Marquez quickly put it back up again. This time someone responded and he actually gave the responder the mother’s real phone number. That person called the mother and alerted her. She then called the cops and reported Marquez, who was then quickly arrested.
10 The Wine Collector Beat Down
Everyone knows that Craigslist is a great place to find some great bargains. You have to make sure that things aren’t too good to be true though. That’s exactly what Quy Duc Nguyen traveled from coast to coast to grab some discounted, rare bottles of wine to add to his collection.
He was an avid collector and he knew his stuff. He thought that what he was going to get was well worth the trip across the country. Rare wine can certainly be expensive and Nguyen thought he was getting the deal of a lifetime. What he got though was beaten up and robbed when he arrived at the predetermined location.
There was no wine and Nguyen made the trip alone and put his life in danger. Reading this today should teach you to never go to a meeting alone if it’s set up through Craigslist.
9 The Laborer Murders
There are a lot of teenagers who look up to adults as role models or idols. Brogan Rafferty had the same aspirations but in a more twisted way. Rafferty, along with his mentor Richard Beasley, started a Craigslist crime spree that killed three before they were eventually caught.
They placed ads on the website looking to hire laborers for a farm in Ohio. The first three to show up were murdered and robbed by Rafferty and Beasley, but the fourth probable victim got away with his life. He went right to the cops and they had no problem tracking the pair down.
For his role as the mentor, Beasley received a death sentence. Rafferty claimed that he was forced into the scheme but nobody bought it. Since he wasn’t yet an adult at the time of the crimes, he only received a life sentence.
8 Philip Markoff (The Craigslist Killer)
Philip Markoff was engaged to a beautiful woman and they lived together in the Boston area. Markoff wasn’t interested in a plain normal life though. He took to Craigslist and met Julissa Brisman. They met up at a hotel in April of 2009 where Markoff robbed and murdered her. He also used the site to set up two other armed robberies.
This case was highly publicized and a couple of movies have been made about it. Markoff was in college and had a very bright future ahead of him. But he had serious financial issues and didn’t want to tell his fiancé about them.
When he was arrested his fiancé supported him because she just couldn’t believe that he had actually committed the crimes. Eventually she realized that he did indeed commit them though and cut all ties with him. Markoff committed suicide while in prison in 2010.
7 The S&M Killer
You never know what you’re going to get when you either post an ad on Craigslist or reply to one. There are just too many uncertainties to be unsafe. George Weber, a news reporter for a New York radio station, placed an ad looking for someone to meet up with for a sexual related encounter. He got hooked up with sixteen-year-old John Katehis and agreed to pay the teenager $60 for the encounter.
What Weber didn’t know was that Katehis was a Satanist with a severe S&M fetish. Once Weber was bound, Katehis stabbed him more than fifty times along his upper body and neck.
The teen killer was eventually caught and charged as an adult with second-degree murder. He received a sentence of 25 years to life.
6 The Nissan Murder
Another event that Craigslist is commonly used for is the buying and selling of vehicles. Things don’t always go well though if you aren’t safe. In Minnesota, Youa Ty Lor posted an ad to sell his Nissan. It was bad timing for the ad because at the exact same time there was a car thief scouring the For Sale section, looking for victims.
Dao Xiong contacted Lor and the two agreed to meet so Xiong could check out the car. Xiong had only one intention though and that was to steal the car. Things didn’t work out how he had planned either.
During an altercation, Xiong’s handgun went off and killed Lor. Xiong told police that it was an accidental shooting but they didn’t buy that because he took off from the scene. They used telephone records to tie him to the murder and he was sentenced to life.
5 The Cell Phone Murder
Sometimes taking one step to be safe just isn’t enough. Often times you might have to take several other steps to ensure your safety. Jonathan Clements failed to take those additional steps and it cost him his life.
He placed an ad on Craigslist looking for a new phone. When Alexander Lyons responded to the ad they agreed to meet at a local gas station where Clements would buy a cell phone for $95. While the area should have been a safe meeting place, Lyons had no intention of going there.
He called Clements and pretended to be lost. He asked Clements to come to his location so they could make the sale there. The location was actually Lyon’s aunt’s house and when Clements arrived he was robbed, shot and killed. Lyons received a life sentence for his actions.
4 Woman For Sale
Tamla Hutchins was a struggling college student. All college students are always on the lookout for ways to make some extra cash. Craigslist is a good place to find odd jobs around town sometimes to put some extra money in your pocket so Hutchins took to the website to see what she could find.
Somehow she got connected with Carlton Simons and Shenett Reevey. The pair promised Hutchins a chance to meet celebs like Lil' Jon and P-Diddy. It’s not clear what the ad was that she actually answered though. The result, however, is very clear.
Hutchins was brought from her North Carolina home to Queens, New York and forced into prostitution using Craigslist ads. She was finally able to get away and tell police what had happened. Simons was sentenced to six years in prison for his role in the crime.
3 The Work Shirt Robbery
Anthony Curcio is a criminal who used Craigslist to set up his heist. You can never say that he doesn’t have a good imagination. He put up an ad saying he was hiring day laborers for $28.50 an hour. They were told to wear certain clothing and to meet at a certain time in the parking lot of a Bank of America.
With around twenty people in the parking lot all dressed the same, Curcio showed up wearing the exact same thing. He then pepper-sprayed an armored car guard and got away with more than $400,000. When police arrived they found many men in the parking lot fitting the description of the robber.
Curcio was caught a month later when a homeless man told police he saw the robber setting up the heist and wrote down his license plate number. He did his time and is now an author.
2 The BMW Kidnapping
Who doesn’t want to take a nice ride in a BMW right? Alexander Filatov was selling his on Craigslist so Travis Landry decided he wanted it. He didn’t have any good intentions though.
Landry chose the location for the meeting and Filatov drove his BMW there hoping to have a smooth transaction. Everything seemed to be going as planned as money changed hands and everyone was in a happy mood. Landry then asked Filatov to open the trunk for him. Being the nice guy that he was, the seller gladly opened it and was then robbed and violently forced inside.
Landry got inside the car and went on a 450-mile joyride with Filatov in his own trunk. Eventually, the rightful owner of the car got away and helped police track down and arrest Landry. He received 14 years in prison.
1 The College Football Robberies
Ellis T. Jones played college football for the San Jose State Spartans. His coach said that he caused no problems on the field or in the locker room. The same couldn’t be said for his off the field actions though. Jones used Craigslist to find several victims to rob.
He posted several ads on the website advertising lots of different things. The main goal was to lure people to his location where he would then shoot them with a Taser or threaten them with a gun. He also robbed a pizzeria and a house so he kept busy while not playing football. He was eventually caught and charged with more than thirteen different charges stemming from his attacks.
He served three years for one robbery before even going to court and being convicted for his string of Craigslist heists.
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