Earlier today there was a shooting at Ridgway High School in Santa Rosa, California. A 17-year-old male student shot a 16-year-old student right outside the school. Both the shooter and victim are students of the school. After the shooting, the shooter allegedly put the gun in a backpack and handed it off to an accessory. The accessory took off with the backpack and has yet to be apprehended to my knowledge. The victim is reported to be in stable condition. The shooter tried hiding in a locked classroom but was apprehended by police. The suspect has not been identified yet due to his age. The shooting appears to have been a personal attack.
I hesitate to call shootings like this a ‘school shooting’ since the term, in my opinion, has a certain connotation. However, it doesn’t change the fact that a minor was armed with a gun at a school. No word on where the gun came from yet.
The Press Democrat
Ronnie “Jay” Adrian Towns
Back in early 2015, retired couple Bud and June Runion of Marietta, Georgia, went missing after going to look at a classic Mustang they saw on craigslist. There was no actual Mustang as it seemed to be more of a ploy to try to lure them into a robbery. A then 28-year-old Jay Towns was charged with their murders as he is believed to have been the person who placed the craigslist ad for the fictitious Mustang. Towns allegedly shot the Runions. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Towns but they’ll have to wait a little longer.
Towns’ murder indictment was thrown out by a Cobb County judge because the grand jury was not chosen at random. More recently, the Georgia State Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s decision to vacate the indictment.
Thankfully, this doesn’t mean that Towns gets to walk free. He is still currently incarcerated and prosecutors have stated that they will be re-indicting Towns as soon as possible.
The Runions, unfortunately, fell for a common craigslist scam. A crook will place a craigslist ad for a classic car. They’ll convince potential buyers to come to take a look at the car and then will try to rob them of the large amount of cash they brought with them to buy the car.
Even when buying or selling a car on craigslist, have the other person always meet you at a local police department. While not perfect, it will go a long way in discouraging thieves and murderers from showing up.
Kobe Jace Mahoney
18-year-old Kobe Jace Mahoney of Seminole County, Oklahoma, is accused of having a ‘sexual relationship’ with a 12-year-old girl he met through social media. Mahoney allegedly communicated with his victim through Facebook and Snapchat where he is said to have arranged eight sexual encounters with the girl while her father was at work.
Normally, when a headline uses the ‘sexual relationship’ headline when it comes to minors I usually mention that I call that child rape around here. However, I don’t have to do that this time due to Oklahoma law.
Mahoney has been charged with eight counts of first-degree rape. If Oklahoma criminal defense attorney websites are to be believed, sex with anyone under 13 by anyone aged 18 or over is considered first-degree rape.
Mahoney tried a variation of the ‘I thought she was 18’ defense by claiming he thought the girl was 14 or 15. That may be somewhat kosher under the poorly named Romeo and Juliet law but 12-years-old is way off the board. He’s currently being held on $500K bond and faces a life sentence.
A new mobile app called OffenderWatch Safe Virtual Neighborhood is said to scan your kids’ mobile devices for contact from registered sex offenders. It is said to scan your kids’ Snapchat, texts, emails, GPS location, and phone calls and will send an alert to parents if an RSO tries to contact your child. It will even send an alert if a child is an area too close to the address of an RSO. It only costs $9.99/yr and can be purchased here. In the interest of transparency, that is not a referral link and in a moment I’ll tell you why.
From what I can glean from their website it sounds like a pretty thorough app however I do have some caveats about it. The first is that you can only get the full set of features on Android devices. iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad only get the email scan and location alerts. This sounds more like an Apple having an issue the app then OffenderWatch only offering limited options. Secondly, there are other apps besides Snapchat that predators can use to contact your children. It is one of the more prevalent ones but not the only one. Lastly, it seems powerless if someone not on the sex offender registry tries to approach your child through their phone or tablet.
Having said all that, it’s probably a good idea to purchase this app if you’re so inclined. While no parental control app can provide you with 100% protection for your child, it’s better than relying on nothing.
As I have been saying, just because craigslist got rid of its personals and casual encounters sections doesn’t mean that the creepers have left. And once again we have another example.
53-year-old Michael Hannan of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, allegedly placed an on craigslist for “companionship needed”. Police from nearby Altoona responded to the ad posing as a 14-year-old girl. Plans were made to meet at a local mini-mart where Hannan was arrested.
So does anyone care to take a guess which section of craigslist Hannan is said to have posted his ad? That’s right. It was the Missed Connections section. This was the section of craigslist where the lovelorn can post about their missed opportunity with someone they thought they had a chance with but didn’t seize the moment. Even before the removal of craigslist’s personals I thought Missed Connections was kind of stalkerish. Now, it’s even creepier as all the craigslist predators have moved to the Missed Connections section.
To no one’s surprise, craigslist is still doing nothing about monitoring this section.
The last we had heard about the fate of the mobile messaging app Kik was that their original owners had found a potential buyer for the platform. Now we know who that buyer is.
The Verge is reporting that Kik has been bought by MediaLab which The Verge describes as “a holding company that owns companies like anonymous-messaging app Whisper.” MediaLab says that they are committed to the Kik app and that they will be bringing improvements to the app.
In the blog post, MediaLab committed to continuing to develop Kik Messenger, saying that it will spend “the next few months” on making the app “faster, more reliable, [and] less buggy.”
What we haven’t heard yet from MediaLab is how committed they are to keeping sex offenders, pedophiles, and child porn collectors from using their service or even if they see it as a problem. I guess only time will tell. However, if I was still the parent of underage kids there would be no way that I would ever allow them to have Kik on any of their devices.
I originally posted about Michael Louis McCarron here. In 2017, he was a defense contractor staying in Guam. While there he was arrested for allegedly soliciting sex from an NCIS investigator posing as a 13-year-old girl from craigslist. He has not gone to trial yet for those charges.
However, McCarron was back in Guam recently for alleged probation violations. The FBI is accusing McCarron of posting advertisements for his wife on escort websites in the Boise, Idaho area. So, to put it bluntly, the FBI believes that McCarron is pimping out his wife. This violates the probation condition that McCarron is not to use any internet-connected device.
McCarron’s defense attorney is arguing that it was McCarron’s wife that posted the ads. When asked who posted the ads, McCarron’s wife started to respond but was advised of her fifth-amendment rights by the judge.
What kind of man goes from being arrested on online child solicitation charges to allegedly turning out his wife online? Then, thinking that no matter who in his marriage was posting the ads, that he could somehow get around the terms of his probation. Not a smart one, I guess.
Again, not all pedophiles are creepy old men. Case in point, 22-year-old Austin Altman from Pasco County, Florida is accused of allegedly raping a 10-year-old girl that he met on Snapchat.
Altman reportedly drove to the girl’s home in Hernando County, picked her up late at night and then drove her back to his home. The victim states that Altman raped her by holding her down by her throat and ignoring her demands to stop.
Police were able to track down Altman who denied even knowing the girl before police found the girl in his bedroom.
Snapchat is rated T for Teen on the Google Play Store. According to its own terms of service, users have to be 13 to use the platform. That being said, no 10-year-old child needs to be on Snapchat for any reason. If your child has any kind of mobile device whether it’s a phone or tablet, all they need is a wifi connection to access Snapchat or any other questionable app. Please learn how to use the parental controls on whatever device your kids may have or else the device is just an open window to your kid’s bedroom for predators.
Yesterday at La Habra High School in California, a 14-year-old student produced a gun during shop class and started pointing it at other students. The other students were able to wrestle him to the ground and take the gun away from him. It later turned out that the gun was not loaded, but that’s not the point.
If the gun had been loaded, a struggle could have easily resulted in fatalities. Where was a 14-year-old able to get a hold of a gun anyway?
So, once again, instead of doing something about the easy access people have to firearms we’d rather rely on high school students acting as their own bodyguards.
Just because craigslist got rid of its personals and casual encounters sections doesn’t mean that the creepers have left the site. 55-year-old Joseph Hutchinson of Covington, Kentucky, is accused of posting an ad on craigslist that read: “Looking for a young guy, 18-30, to meet today through Sunday. Let’s get to know each other.”
A 15-year-old boy was said to have responded to the ad. Hutchinson didn’t seem to mind as Hutchinson is said to have sent explicit messages to the boy along with explicit photos. A meeting was arranged at a McDonald’s in Ellenboro, West Virginia.
Of course, the boy was actually a police investigator and Hutchinson was arrested without incident. To cap off this story, Hutchinson reportedly told police that he changed his mind about having sex with the boy on his way to WV and only wanted to buy him lunch at the Golden Arches. Sure you were. I bet you were only going to hang out too.
While the article doesn’t state it, I would guess that the ad was posted in the Missed Connections section of craigslist which has become the de-facto place for creeps on craigslist since the other sections were shut down.