27-year-old Jonathan Blum is a high school teacher in the Bronx although that may not make him the brightest bulb. New York investigators say that Blum posted a craigslist ad allegedly looking for sex with someone underage who was “interested in messing around with a licensed real teacher.” He might as well have just called the police to turn himself in to eliminate the middle man. Instead police posed as a 14-year-old girl and were able to arrest Blum at a pre-arranged meeting place.
At least this exposed a teacher as an alleged predator before he could hopefully harm any kids.
43-year-old Bradley Kosmatka of Cedarburg, Wisconsin, was recently arrested on charges of attempted child enticement, attempted sexual assault of a child under 16 and trafficking of a child. It all started when a state investigator found an ad in the craigslist personals that was entitled…
“Donate for the Mom and daughter fantasy — m4ww — 40 (Grafton)”
Ick. For the uninitiated this usually means that someone wants to ‘have sex’ with a mother and her underage daughter, but mostly just the underage daughter. Like I said, ick.
Thankfully the investigator responded to the ad posing as a mother with two daughters ages 14 and 11. Kosmatka allegedly wanted the 14-year-old to join in while the 11-year-old watched.
Kosmatka was arrested at a McDonald’s, naturally, where he is said to have denied wanting to have sex with the girl and that he was going to give the mother money for a baby sitter.
As I’ve said before there actually are parents out there who are willing to loan their kids to pedophiles for either money or joining in and craigslist continues to turn a blind eye to them.
20-year-old Steven Turner of New Britain, Connecticut, is accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy that he met through craigslist. As much as some people like to believe that teenagers aren’t posting ads on craigslist the victim in this case did. Not only did Turner allegedly sexually assault the boy but he is also said to have blackmailed the victim into giving him money and jewelry to keep silent about the matter.
Police departments can offer all the space they want for people to feel safe while transacting business through craigslist but something like this can’t be prevented unless parents make sure their kids are staying off of craigslist. Craigslist sure isn’t looking out for your kids after all.
As I’ve previously posted 19-year-old Taylor Clark of Madison County, Illinois, was shot and killed after trying to sell his car on craigslist. His alleged killer is 24-year-old Michael Gordon of St. Louis. Taylor’s car and then his body were found in Hazelwood, Missouri. It seems there may have been a very good reason for that.
Reports say that Taylor met Gordon at his Gordon’s place of work where witnesses say that they drove off to a wooded area near the business before Gordon returned alone. The story gets even more tragic and pathetic from there. Gordon is said to have driven the same type of car that Taylor was selling except Gordon had his repossessed.
While police have not commented on this finding it’s beginning to sound like that Gordon killed Taylor because of his own inadequacies. Just like cowards do.
How did Gordon possibly think that this car swap killing was even going to work. I swear that criminals sometimes think that life works like a cheesy 1980s sitcom or movie where it’s so crazy it just might work. No, it doesn’t. It never works. So instead of being a leech on society fix your own damn problems before murdering someone for some selfish and shallow reason.
An innocent man is dead because he may have driven the same type of car that some other guy had repo’d. Think about that.
Taylor S. Clark
Once again I’m sad to post that the body of 19-year-old Taylor S. Clark was found shot to death 400 yards from the car he was trying to sell on craigslist. Taylor’s car was found abandoned in Hazelwood, Missouri. No suspect has been named or arrested at this time.
Police are seeking the public’s help in this case. Please call the Major Case Squad if you have any tips: 314-513-5225
Still no word if Taylor was set up through craigslist but the memory of the murder of Bud and June Runion, who died under similar circumstances in Georgia, are still fresh in our minds.
My prayers and condolences go out to Taylor’s friends and family.
UPDATE 5/6/2015: Police in Missouri have arrested 24-year-old Michael Gordon of St. Louis and have officially charged him with the murder of Taylor Clark. Taylor’s murder does appear to be yet another ‘craigslist killing’ as investigators have said that Taylor and Gordon exchanged e-mails about the car that Taylor was selling on craigslist.
Taylor S. Clark
19-year-old Taylor S. Clark of Madison County, Illinois has been missing since yesterday around 10:30 am local time. He may have been going to meet someone about selling his 2007 Nissan 350ZX that he had advertised on craigslist.
Clark is described as a white male standing 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighing 190 pounds. He has light brown shorter hair and a full facial mustache and beard.
Anyone who believes they may have seen Clark or his vehicle, or may have information about his disappearance is asked to call the Madison County Sheriff’s Office at 618-692-4433, the investigation line at 618-692-0871, or the anonymous tip line at 618-296-3000.
Please share this and the news story I linked to especially if you live in the area, but please share it even if you don’t.
My prayers go out to Taylor’s friends and family in hopes of a safe return.
UPDATE 5/6/2015: Taylor’s car was found in Hazelwood, Missouri, but so far he has not been found. For what it’s worth it’s about a 40 minute drive from Madison County to Hazelwood according to Google Maps.
Brogan Rafferty was 16 when he helped Richard Beasley commit the murders of three men in Ohio back in 2011. Beasely lured his victims to Ohio by using a craigslist ad promising employment on a ranch. Instead Beasley would shoot them and try to steal their identities in order to evade the drug and human trafficking charges he was facing. His victims were Ralph Geiger, David Pauley, and Timothy Kern. Beasley tried killing a fourth victim wo was able to escape which eventually led to the pair’s capture.
Rafferty’s involvement consisted of digging the shallow graves for the victims, driving Beasley around and splitting the take with Beasley. He was tried as an adult and prosecutors alleged that Rafferty was well aware of what crimes he and Beasley were committing. A judge and jury agreed as he was convicted on aggravated murder charges and sentenced to life without parole in 2012.
Recently Rafferty had his sentence upheld by the 9th District Court of Appeals. He tried arguing that his confession to police was coerced as he unsuccessfully did prior to his trial. He also tried arguing that juveniles are not eligible for LWOP sentences which if memory serves me correct juveniles are only ineligible for mandatory life sentences. Rafferty’s sentence was not a mandatory sentence. I’m surprised they didn’t argue that the teenage brain is not fully functioned and can’t grasp simple concepts like life and death. That’s been a favorite of those convicted of murder as a juvenile.
Rafferty’s next stop will more than likely be the Ohio Supreme Court.
In early February Washington D.C. attorney David Messerschmitt was stabbed to death in a DC hotel by someone he met on craigslist. Police say that 21-year-old Jamyra Gallmon committed the murder during a botched robbery. Mr. Messerschmitt was expecting a male visitor since his craigslist ad was looking for other men.
Galmon is claiming a bizarre form of self-defense in the killing…
After her arrest, Gallmon spoke to police. She admitted to going to the hotel that night with the intention of robbing the victim. According to the court documents, Gallmon said she walked into the hotel room and quickly turned to walk out when Messerschmitt got off the bed and grabbed her. Gallmon told police this caused a flashback to a memory of when she was assaulted.
At that point, the suspect told police that Messerschmitt started fighting with her. She pulled a knife, according to the court documents, and stabbed the victim seven times, including one wound that went through his heart.
This is another criminal defense that sounds like it’s coming from a child making up stories about who broke the lamp.
Also arrested was 19-year-old Dominique Johnson and has been charged with conspiracy to commit robbery.
Mr. Messerschmitt was married to a wife that he’s now left behind. I don’t care whatever your sexual orientation is but if you’re using craigslist to meet someone for extracurricular activities you’re taking a big risk with your safety.
My prayers and condolences do go out to the friends and family of Mr. Messerschmitt.
UPDATE 5/31/2015: This past week both Gallmon and Johnson pleaded guilty to their roles in Mr. Messerschmitt’s murder. In the plea prosecutors are only seeking 18 to 25 years for Gallmon on second degree murder charges.
Johnson was released on bond and both will be sentenced in August.
One of the stories I’m woefully behind on is this one out of Longmont, Colorado, where police say that 34-year-old Dynel Lane not only allegedly stabbed 26-year-old Michelle Wilkins but cut Ms. Wilkins’ baby from her womb. Ms. Wilkins was seven months pregnant at the time of the brutal crime.
Ms. Wilkins went to Lane’s residence after responding to a craigslist ad for baby clothes. If this sounds slightly familiar it’s because it’s eerily reminiscent of the murder of Heather Snively. Ms. Snively was stabbed to death by Korena Roberts in 2009 and then Roberts cut the baby from Ms. Snively’s womb. However in this instance Ms. Wilkins survived her injuries. Unfortunately her baby did not.
Lane has been charged with attempted murder however she has not been charged for murder in the death of Ms. Wilkins’ unborn baby since Colorado does not recognize an unborn child as a person unless it’s capable of surviving outside the womb. Take that for what your will.
Ms. Wilkins has a GoFundMe page set up for medical expenses.
Bria Corrine-Janelle Blackmon
Late last month 57-year-old Michael Scott Freeland, of Sterling Heights, Michigan, was found dead in his home after a fire except it wasn’t the fire that killed him. Police say that 20-year-old Bria Corrine-Janelle Blackmon allegedly beat him to death in order to rob him then set the fire to hide the crime. Blackmon met her victim through craigslist and had a personal relationship prior to the murder so it seems like she was in it for the long con. Blackmon’s stepbrother, 19-year-old Demonte Marcellus Easterling, has also been charged in the murder.
Macomb County prosecutor Eric Smith had the following to say about craigslist…
“Sadly, the dangers affiliated in conducting business with a complete stranger through Craig’s List has resulted in another tragic loss of life,” Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith said in a news release announcing the charges.
My prayers and condolences go out to the friends and family of Mr. Freeland.