Backpage has its share of murderers but due to the lack of alliteration they don’t always get the attention of their craigslist killing cohorts. For example, take the story of 19-year-old Brandy Carroll. Her services were ordered off of Backpage by 38-year-old Andre Robinson of Beloit, Wisconsin. Robinson would be her final client as he’s been charged with allegedly murdering Ms. Carroll.
Police haven’t released all the details of the murder except to say that at some point in the night Ms. Carroll fell down the basement stairs in Robinson’s home. Reports also say that she also suffered from stab wounds and blunt force trauma although a cause of death has not been released beyond ‘homicidal violence’.
Sites like Backpage are obviously not making it safer for prostitutes as many would claim. It’s just allowing the murderers to kill their victims in more comfortable surroundings.
The body of 28-year-old Ashley Pegarm was found over the weekend. Ms. Pegram was the mother from Summerville, South Carolina, who went missing after going on a date with a man she met on the messaging app Kik. 30-year-old Edward Bonilla was charged in her murder after blood found in his trunk matched that of Ms. Pegram. A cause of death has not been released other than that she died from homicidal violence.
What has come as surprise to me is that police in the area say that more arrests may be coming but are being tight-lipped about it as the investigation is ongoing. I can only imagine what these other arrests may entail.
I’ll post more details as they become available and as time allows.
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.
I’m sad that I have to post that 28-year-old Ashley Pegram of Summerville, South Carolina, is believed to be dead. Ms. Pegram went missing in early April after going on a date with Edward Bonilla whom she met on Kik. Police in South Carolina say that blood evidence found in the trunk of Bonilla’s car is a DNA match to that of Ashley Pegram. Bonilla was being held on obstruction of justice charges but has now been charged with murder.
As of yet Ms. Pegram’s body has not yet been found. If her body is somehow never recovered Bonilla could still be convicted of murder. Murder convictions without a body are not unheard of. The two most infamous cases of that are the convictions of Tom Capano in the murder of Anne Marie Fahey and Hans Resier in the murder of his wife Nina.
My prayers and condolences to the friends and family of Ashley Pegram.
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.
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.
Back in 2013 Kyle Dube of Maine was arrested in the disappearance in death of 15-year-old Nichole Cable. The then 20-year-old Dube used a fake Facebook profile under the name of a friend of hers to lure Nichole to a wooded area where he abducted her while disguised in a ski mask. Dube’s plan was to stash her somewhere, wait for an undisclosed amount of time, then act as her rescuer. He duct taped Nichole and tossed her in the back of a pick up truck. Somewhere during the transport Nichole died of asphyxia due to compression of the neck. Dube buried her body under some leaves in the woods and her body wasn’t discovered until weeks later.
Early in March Dube was convicted of Nichole’s murder and kidnapping. During the trial Dube’s defense attorney tried to shift blame to Dube’s ex-girlfriend who allegedly hated Nichole but the DNA evidence and Dube’s own confession to a fellow inmate was overwhelming.
Dube is looking at 25 to life on the murder charge and 30 to life for the kidnapping. Hopefully those sentences will be consecutive and not concurrent.
UPDATE 5/10/2015: This past week Dube was sentenced to 60 years for Nichole Cable’s murder and 30 for her kidnapping. The only problem is the sentences are concurrent. According to the judge Maine case law did not allow her to sentence him to consecutive sentences. I’d rather see him rot for 60 years then get out on some legal loophole so kudos to the judge for erring on the side that keeps this moron in jail for as long as possible.
Back in March a Massachusetts judge ruled that the confession that Philip Chism made in the brutal murder and Rape of Coleen Ritzer is inadmissible. The judge ruled that he had doubts that Chism was aware of his Miranda rights so his confession and the evidence retrieved from his cell phone are now inadmissible.
In my amateur opinion I think that this is only a small roadblock on the way to Chism’s conviction. Considering not only in the violent way he allegedly killed her by cutting her throat with a box cutter, raped her and left a note by her body that said “I hate you all”, I think there is probably enough forensic evidence that will lead to Chism’s conviction.
It’s a good thing that someone professional is keeping track of the list of craigslist killing victims because I didn’t even know about this one until recently. I guess that’s kind of a commentary on how common craigslist related murders have become.
Back in November of 2014, 31-year-old Papa Thiam was shot and killed in the taxi cab he drove in Louisville, Kentucky. Charged with his murder are Larico Lovings, 16, Barry Morris, 16, Quentin Lews, 17, and Anu White, 18. All four suspects have been charged as adults as they should be. Back in February it was made public that Papa Thiam was lured to his death by a craigslist ad for an iPhone 6 where the suspects had planned on robbing him.
I’m at a loss for words. I’m becoming numb to these killings. Even though the killings related to craigslist are under 100 out of the billions of transactions that take place it’s still way too many. Granted one is too many but I digress. Since craigslist ads are free it gives criminals a low threshold to post ads in order to lure people. Please be aware of that, please tell your friends and family if they plan on using craigslist.
I’ve been saying this too much lately but my prayers and condolences go out to the friends and family of Papa Thiam.