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.
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.
They say that April is the cruelest month but I think February may have just taken the crown.
Back in February 56-year-old Frank Steinsiek of Little Rock, Arkansas, was shot and killed by someone allegedly posing as a craigslist buyer for the motorcycle he was advertising. Arrested for the shooting and charged with capital murder was 24-year-old Jeramye Hobbs. Hobbs allegedly told police that he bought the bike from Mr. Steinsiek legally but police gathered other evidence that led them to arrest Hobbs.
My prayers and condolences go out to the friends and family of Mr. Steinsiek.
Again, no matter where you are or what you’re selling or buying you are taking your life in your hands by using craigslist. As I’ve stated many times, possibly the only safe place to make transactions is at a police station.
James Jones Jr.
Only just a few weeks after the craigslist murders of Bud and June Runion a 21-year-old college student was shot and killed during a craigslist robbery. Police in Marietta, Georgia, say that James Jones Jr. was shot to death while trying to buy what he thought was going to be an iPhone 6. His assailants even took the Nike sneakers he was wearing as he sat in his car dying. Police have arrested Jordan James Baker, 18; Jonathon O’Neil Myles, 19; and Kaylnn Shiquez Ruthenberg, 21. Police have testified that Ruthenberg pulled the trigger.
Such a stark contrast in lives too. James Jones Jr. was a well-dressed colleges student who mentored kids at a local school. Ruthenberg on the other hand has a long criminal history and once pawned a $1500 watch he stole for $50.
Even though Jones’ murder happened back in February my prayers and condolences still go out to his friends and family.
In closing always remember that when you deal on craigslist no one is looking out for you, not even craigslist themselves. Due to the sheep amount of criminal activity and violence that takes place on craigslist you’re better taking your business elsewhere.
Baker, Myles, and Ruthenberg
Ever since I started posting about crimes as they relate to craigslist I’ve been talking about making a list of all the victims who have been killed by way of the online classifieds site. I no longer have to worry about that daunting task becuase someone with better resources than me has.
I’ve talked about the AIM Group many times before. They’ve done many studies on the effects of human trafficking that craigslist and backpage have had. More recently they’ve put together a list of all the victims of ‘craigslist killings’ since 2007. In those years I’ve lost count of how many victims there have been. The AIM Group lists the number of victims at 86 and I’m sure that number will continue to increase at an alarming rate since there were 21 of these killings in 2014 alone.
Granted that number is a small number compared to all the transactions that take place on craigslist but 84 is still an inordinate amount of people who were taken away from their families in some of the most violent fashions often time just for a shiny bauble or trinket they were selling.
In that vein Aim Group has started an initiative called SafeTrade. Their goal is to organize police stations and other law enforcement offices to be safe havens for online classifieds transactions with no cost to the police departments.
Help take back the online classifieds from criminals and visit the SafeTrade website today for further information.
Back in September 41-year-old Mamuka Chamiashvili of Brooklyn, New York, was shot and killed in Elizabeth, New Jersey, after responding to a craigslist ad for a Mercedes-Benz SUV.
Back in October 28-year-old Ali Garner and 30-year-old Keon Lewis, both of Elizabeth, were arrested in connection with Mr. Chamiashvili’s murder and recently 36-year-old Travis Picou of Paterson was also arrested. All three are being held on $2 million bond each.
I’ll say it again that using craigslist for any reason is very akin to playing Russian Roulette.
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.
This week the Florida Supreme Court upheld the death sentence for David Sparre. Sparre was convicted in the brutal 2010 stabbing death of 21-year-old Tiara Pool. Sparre had met his victim through the casual encounters section of craigslist in Jacksonville, Florida. The pair had sex before Sparre stabbed her almost 90 times. Sparre was convicted and then sentenced to death for Tiara’s murder. After his sentencing Sparre sent a letter to his ex-girlfriend bragging about how he enjoyed killing Tiara. So it came as a surprise to me that an appeal of his death sentence was even being entertained.
During his trial and penalty phase Sparre instructed his attorney, Chief Assistant Public Defender Refik Eler, to not present any evidence in his defense. Eler, who said Sparre was guilty of second-degree murder but didn’t deserve the death penalty, planned to introduce evidence he was mentally unbalanced and abused drugs and alcohol since he was 11.
But Sparre reiterated his instructions to Circuit Judge Elizabeth Senterfitt, who ruled that Eler couldn’t present the evidence against his wishes.
On appeal Tallahassee Public Defender Nada Carey argued that Senterfitt abused her discretion by not considering all the evidence that would have kept Sparre off Death Row. She said it didn’t matter that Sparre didn’t want it brought up.
In Thursday’s unanimous Supreme Court ruling the justices said that in cases where a death-penalty defendant declined to offer a defense, the judge was required to order a comprehensive pre-sentence investigation into the that defendant’s background. That was done in Sparre’s case, with the investigation addressing his physical and mental health.
So that brings Sparre one step closer to the needle which will be infinitely more merciful than the death of Tiara Pool, a mother of one who still had her whole life in front of her. It’s too bad they won’t be able to lunge the needle into him 90 times. Hell, by the time his execution date would have rolled around I’m the country will have lost its nerve on killing monsters like Sparre.
Matthew Joseph Fischer
16-year-old Matthew Joseph Fischer was arrested for the stabbing death of 17-year-old Lucas Bennett Cavanaugh in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Fischer allegedly stabbed his victim after Fischer’s girlfriend received some messages over Snapchat from Cavanaugh. Fischer responded by daring Cavanaugh to come over and fight him which Cavanaugh obliged. During the fight police say that Fischer produced a knife and fatally stabbed Cavanaugh in the torso. After the fight Fischer fled and called his mother who didn’t hesitate to turn him back over to police. Fischer is being charged as an adult.
I never understood jealousy. To me jealousy is just another name for mistrust. If you trust your partner you don’t have to worry if some other guy is Snapchatting her. If you trust her she’ll just delete the messages. Not to mention like I’ve always said there is no man or woman alive worth killing over especially at that young of an age. You may think at that age you’re going to spend the rest of your life with that person but the odds are that you won’t. Now two lives are ruined over something so trivial as teenage jealousy.