A man was shot in killed in DeKalb County, Georgia after allegedly trying to rob a man who was selling a bulldog puppy on craigslist. The man was offered an extra $500 to deliver the dog late at night. When the man arrived at the meeting place with the dog two men were waiting for him. One produced a gun in an attempt to steal the dog. The man selling the dog brought a friend with him who happened to be legally carrying his own gun. The man’s friend shot and killed the alleged robber in self-defense. The man who was killed has been linked to other robberies in the area as well.
Even the bad guys are taking their lives in their hands on craigslist.
I am sad that i have to post that the bodies of Bud and June Runion have been found. The couple from Marietta, Georgia went missing after going to look at a Ford Mustang that was advertised on craigslist. Unfortunately there was no Mustang which seems more like a ploy to commit robbery. The suspect in the Runnions’ disappearance and death, 28-year-old Jay Towns, has been apprehended. The Runions’ vehicle was found submerged and their bodies were found nearby but not underwater.
Here’s something that I forgot to mention in my last post. I don’t post about every craigslist scam anymore. There are so many that it would be too time consuming for me to post every one. However with the last few months I have heard of a scam where scammers are posting ads on classifieds sites like craigslist advertising either high dollar value or classic cars. In too many cases the cars don’t exist and are just bait to fleece people out of their money. Unfortunately in this case the cost was much greater.
My heart breaks for the Runion family and my prayers and condolences go out to them.
UPDATE 2/2/2015: The autopsies showed that the Runions were both shot in the head.
Bud and June Runion
Authoirties in Georgia are currently searching for Bud and June Runion of Marietta, Georgia. The couple have been missing since Thursday after leaving to go look at a classic Mustang that was advertised on craigslist in McRae, Georgia.
The Runions’ family have set up a Facebook page in hopes of getting information out to help find the couple.
Bud Runion 5’9 was last seen wearing a corduroy collared shirt and a blue canvas jacket.
June Runion 5’6 was last seen wearing a pair of tan or beige slacks and a plaid shirt.
Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or The Cobb County Police Department.
According to Google the Cobb County Police Department phone number is (770) 499-3900.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family of the Runions and I pray that they are returned safely,
UPDATE 1/25/2015: Police have named a suspect in 28-year-old Ronnie “Jay” Adrian Towns. He is currently at large and believed to be the last person the Runions talked to on the phone and has allegedly given false information to investigators.
Ronnie “Jay” Adrian Towns
Anyone with information about the couple’s whereabouts is asked to call Cobb County Police at 770-499-3900.
Michael Brandon Hill
Do you remember Michael Brandon Hill? A little bit more than a year ago he took several guns into the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in DeKalb County, Georgia. No one was hurt after he briefly exchanged gunfire with police and he ultimately surrendered after being talked into it by the school secretary. Considering he was armed to the teeth and had 500 bullets in his possession, yet no one was hurt, I had suggested that he was trying to commit suicide by cop. I was right.
This past Tuesday Hill pleaded guilty to the charges against him. He said that he wanted to take responsibility for his actions. He was then sentenced to 20 years in prison, that sentence doesn’t help anyone. Hill has a history of mental illness, specifically being bi-polar. According to Hill’s brother he was off his meds because his Medicaid ran out, a situation that I can certainly relate to. Even at his hearing Hill admitted he was trying to commit suicide by cop.
“He knew because there were children the police would come there and they would fire at him and he would die,” Deets told Superior Court Judge Mark Anthony Scott. “He is a 21-year-old man who had the deck stacked against him from birth. He reached out for help but our system, as it exists, is not equipped to give people like Mr. Hill help.”
Not to mention, and yes I will keep beating this horse, that seeking help for mental health issues in our society is still stigmatized. His own brother even said that he had ‘the bi-polar’. That’s a great example of how many people are still ignorant of what these terms really mean.
Bottom line is 20 years in prison is too much for Michael Hill. This is someone who actually needs treatment and not jail. Sentence him to a state psychiatric facility? Fine, that I have no problem with. In prison I doubt he’ll get nearly the help he needs.
Nathaniel Vivian, the shooter’s alleged accomplice
28-year-old Danny Zeitz was shot and killed in Sandy Springs, Georgia, on Friday while trying to sell a video game console on craigslist. Zeitz was allegedly shot by a 16-year-old girl who authorities have not named in yet another robbery gone bad.
While the girl’s boyfriend, 20-year-old Nathaniel Vivian, struggled with Zeitz over the console the girl is said to have fired a shot which struck Vivian in the hand before striking Zeitz in the chest killing him. The couple was in a car at the time of the shooting and had the girl’s 16-month-old baby in the back seat.
Gamer friends of Zeitz set up a GoFundMe page in order to help pay for his funeral expenses.
My thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family.
If you’re doing any kind of business on craigslist no matter where you may be the odds are pretty good that you may end up being robbed which has led to deaths in the past. I would recommend not doing business on craigslist but if you insist on doing that insist that the transaction take place during the day in front of your local police department. You can never be too safe when dealing with these kind of transactions.
Tahreem Zeus Rana
Police in Happeville, Georgia have charged Tahreem Zeus Rana with allegedly shooting and killing 26-year-old Vernicia Woodard then burning her body in an attempt to destroy evidence. Before his arrest Rana was an Atlanta police officer. He reportedly met his victim on either craigslist or Backpage depending on the source. I haven’t seen any confirmation if Ms. Woodard was a prostitute but that shouldn’t matter. No one should have to bury someone who has been set on fire and possibly burned beyond recognition just so someone could try to throw investigators off their tail.
Thankfully the Happeville police thought more of Ms. Woodard’s life than her killer as they were able to track him from the internet correspondence between the two however Rana fled. He was apprehended at the Atlanta airport before he could board a flight to Mexico.
So far no motive has been given the killing. I’ll post more as details become available. To my recollection this is the first time that a supposed craigslist killer has been a cop.
UPDATE 12/29/2014: Rana has pleaded not guilty.
It happens every summer doesn’t it? Every summer we get inundated with stories about parents who leave their kids in the car during the extremely hot weather. This summer is no different as the story of Justin Ross Harris from Georgia has been taking up the headlines. Harris is a different case however as he’s accused of allegedly leaving his 33-month-old son Cooper in the car intentionally while he went to work.
As an aside this story is too Nancy Grace for me. I bet she even made one of her stupid twitter hashtags about this. #broiledbaby or something like that.
Getting back to the point most of the parents who leave their kids in hot cars do so accidentally. Granted there are the cases where a selfish person will go into a strip club or get their hair done while leaving their kids in the car. I’m not talking about those people. I’m talking about the people who genuinely forget that they left their kid in the car while under the influence of no substances. What do we do with them? Is prosecution really the answer? Is there some kind of education that’s needed? Something is obviously needed as unnecessary child deaths caused by leaving them in a hot car happen every year.
Thanks to Ashley and Nancy for the tip.
Arthur Gerald Reid
Recently 27-year-old Arthur Gerald Reid of Macon, Georgia, tried to get out of his guilty plea during a sentencing hearing. Back in 2013 Reid pleaded guilty to prostituting a 14-year-old girl on Backpage. He also got the girl pregnant as well. As usual with these gutless cowards Reid used threats of intimidation and violence to get the girl to work for him.
Reid tried getting out of his plea by saying that he didn’t understand what he was agreeing to. Thankfully the judge didn’t buy it.
The really sad part is that some of the girl’s family don’t want her around because they fear they’re in danger while other members of her family call her a whore.
I’m sure if asked Backpage would just call this a byproduct of their freedom of speech while wrapping themselves in the flag.
Boyd and Payne
Couple charged in beating death of 1-year-old Bartow County girl:
This is an older story but I think it still deserves attention.
I’m not usually a fan of nontraditional names but Journey Ann is a beautiful name for a beautiful baby. Unfortunately 1-year-old Journey Ann Cowart’s own journey in this life was cut short. Journey Ann’s mother, Brandy Ann Boyd, and her boyfriend, Austin Payne, both of Cartersville, Georgia, were arrested for Journey Ann’s death.
The coroner’s autopsy revealed that Journey Ann had been systemically beaten prior to her death. Blunt force trauma was the cause of death and the autopsy also showed that she had been beaten previously with bone fractures that never healed properly. If she hadn’t been killed Journey Ann probably would have grown up handicapped due to all the injuries she sustained.
What really grabbed me about this story is this quote from the article…
Investigators said they had not received reports of child abuse in the home from either the Division of Family and Children’s Services or family members.
I don’t know why that struck a chord in me but it got me to thinking about how a lot of child abusers are good at hiding things. How many stories have been posted here where the suspects either moved around to avoid detection or hid behind home schooling? A lot of them are eventually found out but too many of them go undetected until it’s too late.
The police and child protection agencies can’t be everywhere at once so we as citizens need to be their eyes and ears. Maybe you don’t know how to report child abuse. Do you call police, family services, your local crime stoppers? My answer to that is yes to any of the above. I asked someone who works for a child protection agency at what point should someone call in a suspected case of child abuse. They told me if you have any suspicion of child abuse to notify someone. It doesn’t have to be physical signs like bruises or cuts. In case you don’t know who to contact I found a list of each agency in each US state and how they can be contacted. As the old adage goes if you see something say something. However let me also add that you shouldn’t go looking for child abuse everywhere you look. If you look for abuse everywhere you’ll see abuse everywhere whether it exists or not.
I’ll have that link posted on the sidebar as well.
Thanks to Victoria for the tip.
Journey Ann Cowart
Douglas principal charged with attempted child sex released on $50,000 bond:
John Harold McGill
John Harold McGill is an elementary school principal in Georgia. I would imagine that the school district is trying to relieve him of that position since he was arrested in DeKalb County during a craigslist predator sting. McGill allegedly responded to an ad placed by investigators posing as a woman who was offering her teenage daughter for sex. McGill allegedly responded by saying that “he has taught other girls and he would go slow.”
A statement like that would lead me to believe that this isn’t McGill’s first dalliance into underage girls, only the first time he’s been caught. McGill’s lawyer is arguing that his client didn’t do anything wrong because of the wording of the arrest warrant.
“There’s no mention of the (girl’s) age in that warrant,” Pilgrim said. “The warrant said ‘teenage daughter.’ That could mean 16 or 18. The evidence is different than the warrant.”
I’m sure the investigators have enough documentation saying what age the purported teenage girl was and I get the feeling it was under the legal age of consent. I don’t think that McGill would be into ‘teaching’ 18-year-olds.
McGill is also out on $50,000 bond.
If McGill had ‘taught’ other girls I wonder how many of them were from craigslist. If you think no real parent would actually turn out their kid on craigslist like this you’d be very sadly mistaken. It’s real, it does happen and craigslist does nothing to stop it.