Tag Archive: murder

Philip Chism ruled competent to stand trial

Philip Chism

Philip Chism

Last month the trial of 16-year-old Philip Chism was halted when a judge ordered Chism to a psychiatric facility to determine his mental competency. Chism was said to be uncooperative with his defense and that he was hearing voices among other concerns. Yesterday a judge ruled that Chism is competent to stand trial and the proceedings have started up again.

Chism was 14-years-old in 2013 when he allegedly raped and killed his teacher, 24-year-old Colleen Ritzer of Danvers High School in Danvers, Massachusetts. Chism allegedly raped her not only physically but also with a tree branch before slitting her throat and leaving her body in the woods. Chism has been charged as an adult.

The details of Chism’s psychiatric report has not been made public.

The Washington craigslist killing that isn’t

Christopher Garcia Gonzalez

Christopher Garcia Gonzalez

23-year-old Christopher Garcia Gonzalez has been arrested and charged with the murder of 32-year-old Christopher Davis of Lynwood, Washington. Local media in Washington seems to be implying that there is a craigslist connection to the murder but I disagree.

Davis is said to have taken out an ad on craigslist for what the local media is calling ‘a romantic housekeeping arrangement’ which sounds like a roommate with benefits situation to me. Gonzalez was allegedly being thrown out by Davis after an argument. It’s unknown if that was the motive for the murder but Gonzalez allegedly strangled Davis before stealing his car and fleeing the state. Gonzalez was later captured in California.

The reason I don’t consider this what the media would normally refer to as a ‘craigslist killing’ is because as far as I can tell Gonzalez did not use craigslist specifically to find a murder victim. It sounds like that Gonzalez had been there a while before deciding to murder Davis. A crime like this has happened before in Florida where 24-year-old Latoya Jordan stabbed 53-year-old Daniel Somerson to death. Jordan was living with Somerson for a while after responding to a roommate ad on craigslist. Conversely though, 21-year-old Grant Van Muren killed Charles Clark of Naperville, Illinois, the day he moved in after responding to a craigslist ad. In the case of Clark’s murder it seemed that Van Muren was only searching for a victim and had no intentions of staying.

No disrespect is intended towards Mr. Davis as I hope that his killer is prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Chism trial halted as competency questions arise

Philip Chism

Philip Chism

Jury selection was about to begin in the trial of Philip Chism before a judge ordered him to a psychiatric hospital to determine his mental competency. Chism was 14-years-old in 2013 when he allegedly raped and killed his teacher, 24-year-old Colleen Ritzer of Danvers High School in Danvers, Massachusetts. Chism allegedly raped her not only physically but also with a tree branch before slitting her throat and leaving her body in the woods. Chism has been charged as an adult.

Chism is said to be uncooperative in aiding his defense by not talking to his attorneys. His defense also claims that he is suicidal, has banged his head against the floor and is hearing voices. The prosecution believes he’s faking it and I tend to agree. I’ve previously read and posted about subjects who have used the ‘hearing voices’ excuse to angle for a stay in a mental institution rather than prison. Also as far as I know, and please correct me if I’m wrong, there has been no previous history of Chism having auditory hallucinations so I seriously doubt he’s having them now. I don’t blame the judge for ordering more evaluation since all bases should be covered to limit appeals if Chism should be convicted and in my opinion he should be.

Body of missing St. Louis soldier found

 Robert Polk

Robert Polk

I’m saddened that I have to post that the body of 22-year-old Robert Polk of St. Louis was found this past Thursday. It appears that Mr. Polk had been there for some time however police have released that the cause of death appears to be a shooting. As you may recall Mr. Polk went missing a week ago today after going to look at a car that he found on craigslist.

Police aren’t saying if craigslist is related to his murder since they have not yet named a suspect. However police have said that there has been a transaction on one of Mr. Polk’s financial accounts that is said to have taken place after his death.

Anyone with information is urged to contact CrimeStoppers. The phone number is 866–3 71–8477.

As I mentioned in my last post about Mr. Polk too many people have been murdered in the past year or so after going to look for cars on craigslist. If a deal for a car looks too good to be true on craigslist it probably is. A lot of criminals use fake ads for cars as a way to lure a victim that they know will have a substantial amount of cash on them.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family of Robert Polk.

UPDATE 11/1/2015: I received the following information from MissingVeterans.com on my Pinterest page

The regional CrimeStoppers organization is requesting help from the public. Anyone with information that leads to an arrest in the murder of Mr. Polk will be eligible for up to a $5,000 reward. Call or text a crime tip to the CrimeStoppers hotline: 1-866-371-TIPS (8477)

Abilene cop latest victim of craigslist killing

Phillip and Violet Walter

Phillip and Violet Walter

The body of 27-year-old Abilene, Texas police officer Don Allen was found in his home on August 31st of this year. According to recently released court documents Allen had placed an ad on the craigslist personals that one local media outlet called too explicit for publication. Investigators believe that his alleged killers, Violet and Phillip Walter, responded to the ad. The cause of death has not yet been released but the motive may have been a simple robbery as the pair were allegedly caught pawning some of Allen’s possessions. The pair have been charged with first-degree murder.

My prayers and condolences go out to the friends and family of Officer Allen.

I’ll post more details as they become available.

UPDATE 10/8/2015: Officer Allen’s cause of death has officially been listed as strangulation in the act of homicide. Also the Walters were said to have allegedly been in possession of some of Officer Allen’s police gear and that his service pistol is still missing.

Arrest made in the murder of Cynthia Worthy

Cynthia Worthy

Cynthia Worthy

There’s been some conflicting information being put out by the media but from what I can tell two suspects were arrested last night in Oak Park, Michigan, but only one of them has been charged with the murder of Cynthia Worthy.

Police are not releasing a lot of details but they say the suspect has a criminal history and was on parole at the time of Ms. Worthy’s murder.

I’ll post more here as more details become available.

UPDATE: Previous reports were incorrect. Only one person was taken into custody. Still no further information on the suspect.

UPDATE 10/17/2015: The suspect has been identified as 26-year-old Jerome Moore of Oak Park, Michigan. He was recently arraigned on first-degree murder charges in Cynthia Worthy’s murder.

Jerome Moore

Jerome Moore

Cynthia Worthy was a good girl who got caught up

Cynthia Worthy

Cynthia Worthy

There hasn’t been any news information in the ongoing investigation of Cynthia Worthy’s murder. If you’ll recall Ms. Worthy went missing this past Friday after leaving to meet a man from Backpage. Her body was recently found in a Detroit alley. According to the coroner’s report she had been stabbed multiple times in the chest. So far no person of interest or suspect has been named or apprehended.

I wanted to share with you a quote from The Detroit News from Cynthia Worthy’s mother.

She was a super-sweet girl who just got caught up doing something just to make some quick money,” Priscilla Harrison said Tuesday. “She was a good girl. She didn’t deserve this. … She’s got a lot of family and friends who are loving her and missing her right now.

A lot of sex workers think I hate them, that I want to see them hurt or destitute. Nothing could be further from the truth, I want to see them safe, out from under a traffickers control if they’re under it and preferably out of the lifestyle. The allure of money can be powerful hut in my opinion it’s not worth the risk to willingly put yourself in the danger that these women face on a constant basis. If anyone who is reading this is thinking about going into the business I implore you not to. The risk to not only yourself but the trauma that your family could endure is not worth it.

Cynthia’s family currently have a GoFundMe site set up for her funeral expenses. I hope you can spare some money for a grieving and loving family.

As I said previously police do not currently have a suspect…

Anyone with tips or information is asked to call the Detroit Police Department at (313) 596-1616 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.

Body of missing Detroit woman found

Cynthia Worthy

Cynthia Worthy

The body of 23-year-old Cynthia Worthy of Detroit has been found. Sadly it seems that she was stabbed to death and her body was found in an alley. Ms. Worthy went missing last Friday after meeting a man from Backpage for a date. Her family states that she was working as a prostitute on Backpage but that she was trying to get out of the lifestyle.

So far there has been no mention of a suspect. I’ll post more details as they become available.

My prayers and condolences go out to her friends and family.

Idaho man shot and killed by your latest craigslist killers

Marshall and Kimball

Marshall and Kimball

53-year-old Kent Storrer of Twin Falls, Idaho, was shot and killed while he and his son-in-law were trying to sell his son-in-law’s car on craigslist. Police say that 22-year-old Jerry Burton Kimball and 20-year-old Jacob Lyn Marshall responded to the ad and took the car for a test drive. After the drive Marshall allegedly shot both men and he and Kimball then took off with the car. Mr. Storrer succumbed to his injuries while his son-in-law, 32-year-old Jasper Qualls, survived. Marshall was arrested after a police chase where he is said to have rammed a police cruiser with the stolen car while Kimball later turned himself in.

Sadly this is not the first major craigslist related crime to happen in Twin Falls. Back in 2012, Justin Crawford tried to have his wife raped multiple times through craigslist. He posed as his wife of the classifieds site and claimed to be into rape fantasies.

So just because you live in a small town or rural America don’t think craigslist is safe by any means.

My prayers and condolences go out to the friends and family of Mr. Storrer.

Elytte Barbour seeks new trial for craigslist thrill kill

Elytte and Miranda Barbour

Elytte and Miranda Barbour

Last year Elytte Barbour and his wife Miranda pleaded guilty to the murder of Troy LaFerrara in Sunbury, Pennsylvania, and were both sentenced to life without parole. The husband and wife pair lured LaFerrara to his death by posing as a prostitute on craigslist. Once they got LaFerrara into their vehicle Miranda Barbour stabbed him while Elytte restrained LaFerrara by his throat.

Elytte Barbour is now asking for a retrial stating that his counsel was ineffective. He claims that there was evidence that he was insane at the time of the murder and that his attorney only urged him to take the guilty plea of second-degree murder to avoid the death penalty. Not surprisingly Barbour is representing himself.

Personally I’d like to see him get a new trial. I could use the laugh since he’s representing himself and if he went back to trial he’s probably be convicted on first-degree murder which would make him eligible for the death penalty.

UPDATE 9/14/2015: Here is a more current article about Elytte Barbour wanting to withdraw his plea. Apparently he is no longer representing himself as he now has a new attorney.

UPDATE 11/2/2015: Elytte Barbour has withdrawn his request for a new trial.

“This effectively brings the case to an end,” District Attorney Ann Targonski said.