James Lewerke pleads guilty

Lewerke pleads guilty in slashings:

James Lewerke, the Indiana teen who was arrested for a 2004 slashing attack against his classmates, has pleaded guilty but insane to his charges. Under the plea he could face a maximum of 10 years. Lewerke was to be tried as an adult when his trial was supposed to started next week. The sentence will be determined on February 23rd. Hopefully the judge will take leniency on Lewerke because in my opinion he is one of the few cases where the suspect is legitimately mentally ill.

People in glass houses

Craigslist exec strives to keep the Internet neutral:

Jim Buckmaster is the CEO of craigslist. He’s concerned about Net Neutrality. Basically proponents of Net Neutrality want the government to step in and prevent ISP’s from creating tiered levels of service with the premium priced tier providing faster service to highly trafficked websites. Personally I’d prefer the government to stay out of the internet but that’s neither here nor there.

Mr. Buckmaster would like the government to get involved.

I guess I would say I’m cautiously optimistic that lawmakers will do the right thing, although it seems in a lot of cases that these things get decided according to who puts forward the most lobbying and the most campaign contributions, he said. Since the phone companies have played this game for decades, they certainly have an advantage there.

Mr. Buckmaster should be careful in invoking the name of our government and should be more concerned with cleaning up his own house. MySpace has already felt the wrath of state and federal governments due to the controversy that surrounds it. With craigslist’s reputation for drug dealing, prostitution, robberies, and assaults it’s only a matter of time before someone in the government decides to regulate craigslist.

craigslist babysiter was a level 3 sex offender

Neighbor catches sex offender seeking babysitting job on Craigslist:

Gather ’round and listen to the tale of John Gilbert Gray. A level 3 Washington State sex offender who thought he was pretty slick. His original crime was for the sexual assault of a 21-year-old woman. When he got out he told authorities he was homeless. In actuality he was living with his wife in an apartment. The reason was that if he reported as homeless a sex offender notification would not be distributed around the neighborhood.

And he would have gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for those meddling housewives. And the fact that he took an ad out on craigslist for BABYSITTING!!!

But a young mother in Gray’s neighborhood, who fears retaliation and wants to remain anonymous, says she was checking Craigslist, and found an ad for babysitting that made her suspicious.

“We decided out of the blue to check it up on Washington State sex offender’s list and lo and behold there was his face,” the mother said.

In the neighborhood, the woman says Gray went by the name “Logan”. She says she and other mothers were alarmed to realize Gray is a level three-sex offender — the highest risk to re-offend — and that he and his wife were advertising to babysit.

So she reported him.

For his efforts Gray is looking at a year in the pokey.

I really wonder what made him think that babysitter was the logical career choice for a sex offender trying to hide from authorities. Did he think that no parent would do any kind of background check on him? Not to mention the fact that hiring a babysitter from craigslist is not the most logical choice for a parent.

Louisiana MySpace sting

Santa’s Helpers child predator operation:

This is a story about an internet sting that took place recently in Louisiana.

In Acadia Myspace.com helped the Acadia parish sheriff’s department and the Attorney General’s office take alleged child predators off the street.

Christopher Patton, Mark Whitney, Troy Kimble, and Robert Brenneman were arrested during the sting, which involved setting up fake Myspace profiles of underage girls to which the suspects allegedly responded and set up meetings.

“There are a number of statutes that play. The person who exposes himself on his webcam has violated the law. The person who arranges to meet a child for sex is breaking the law. The person who asks for child porn has violated the law. The typical has violated all three.

And it just wouldn’t be Christmas without the MySpace profiles of at least some of the suspects.

I was able to find the MySpaces of Patton, Kimble, and Brenneman.

Thanks to Kirk M. for the tip.

‘Tis the season to get robbed on craigslist

CRAIGSLIST SHOPPER MACED AND ROBBED OF $2,000:

Is anyone else besides me starting to notice a pattern here?

Fremont police hope to take a pair of would-be entrepreneurs into custody for using the popular classifieds Web site Craigslist for a robbery ruse, police reported today.

An unidentified victim answered an ad on the Web site for a 46-inch television on Wednesday. The sellers brought the television over to his house on Grimmer Blvd. and immediately set it up to prove that it worked, according to Fremont police.

The victim told police he went straight to the bank to take out $2,000 to purchase the television. When he came back, however, the suspects attacked him with mace and took the money and the television.

Yet you never hear of any proposed legislation for the safety of craigslist users. I wonder why that is.

One media outlet picks up on craigslist crime spree

Craigslist Criminals: The Site’s New Danger:

Finally someone in the media recognizes the dangers of craigslist.

PORTLAND- Craigslist, the fee-free website based out of San Francisco, allows users to post items they wish to buy and sell without providing identification, a policy that is beginning to cause problems.

Portland Police say thieves are using the site to sell stolen goods. They warn: if the price is too good to be true, it probably is.

Myles Wright has been searching for the thief who stole his $4,000 handmade trailer. Someone took it from his yard several months ago. Wright had been checking Craigslist to see if anyone was trying to sell his trailer and networking with others selling trailers to see if they had any information.

His research paid off. Police arrested Forrest Green in connection with the theft. Green has allegedly been stealing trailers and using Craigslist to sell them. Wright’s trailer has not yet been recovered.

Except they’re only scratching the surface. Stolen goods are only the tip of the iceberg. Let’s not leave out prostitution, rape, child molestation, robbery, and drug pushers.

Christopher Penley’s father files lawsuit

Slain boy’s father says he plans to sue Seminole sheriff’s office:

For those of you who may have forgotten, Christopher Penley was the Florida teen who was shot and killed by police for brandishing a pellet gun in a threatening matter at Milwee Middle School. At the time of the shooting police were not aware that it was a pellet gun as it was altered to look authentic. An investigation by the state ruled that the shooting was lawful.

Now Christopher Penley’s father, Ralph Penley, has filed a lawsuit in hopes the SWAT officer Lt. Michael Weippert will be fired. Weippert was the officer who shot and killed Penley.

“The guy that murdered my son is still on the sheriff’s department squad,” Penley said, choking back tears in a telephone interview.

“We’re gonna pursue this now because I’ve waited a long, long time,” he said.

The civil lawsuit alleges that Weippert, the SWAT team member who shot Christopher Penley, violated the boy’s civil and constitutional rights and acted with premeditation, Keith Parker, a private investigator for the family said last week.

“(Weippert) was not reacting to the assailant. He had already plotted out that he was going to shoot him,” Parker said. “They had that bathroom surrounded. They had enough fire power to start a war. That kid wasn’t going anywhere.”

The family is also suing for one count of negligent retention, claiming Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger should have known that Weippert allegedly has a mental condition from past shootings and should not have been allowed to remain on the SWAT team, Parker said.

I know that grief can cloud your judgment so I’m not trying to condemn Mr. Penley but this lawsuit is clearly in the wrong. None of this would even be an issue if Christopher Penley had not brought the pellet gun to school, taken another student hostage, barricaded himself in the bathroom, then threatened police with the weapon. The only person responsible for Christopher Penley’s death is Christopher Penley.

Brandon Bigsby: sex offender and parole violator

MySpace.com Used To Track Sex Offender:

Registered sex offender Brandon Bigsby, 24, must have really been addicted to MySpace considering he broke basically all of his parole conditions to use it…

On Thursday, officers were dispatched to Taft College, where they found Bigsby’s GPS tracking device. He was believed to have left an hour previously to the deputies’ arrival. Deputies tracked Bigsby to the Beale Library in downtown Bakersfield, where he accessed a MySpace forum. Officials arrived and found Bigsby, where he was arrested.

Bigsby pleaded guilty to one count of a lewd and lascivious with a child under 14 years of age in May 2003, according to Superior Court records. He was sentenced to three years at Wasco State Prison and required to register as a sex offender. He is listed on the Megan’s Law Web site.

If parole violations aren’t enough to keep pedophiles off of MySpace I don’t see how any legislation could either.

I was unable to find a MySpace for Bigsby.

More on Viriginia’s proposed MySpace legislation

False promises on MySpace safety:

I’m kind of relieved that I’m not the only person that thinks Virginia’s proposed MySpace legislation is pointless…

Flummoxed by bad press, the folks at MySpace.com are scrambling to derail the perception that they’ve become the preferred dating service of pedophiles.

The first arrow in their anti-Cupid’s quiver is to enact state and federal laws requiring that convicted sex offenders register their e-mail addresses just as they already must register their physical one. Armed with the new database, MySpace and other sites will be able to bar the cyber-gates against perverts.

On Monday, Virginia’s Attorney General Bob McDonnell announced his backing for the required legislative changes here.

McDonnell is right to be concerned about the issue, but if his loud endorsement causes parents to ease up on supervising children’s Internet use, the effort will be worse than irrelevant. The idea is so ridiculously full of holes that any predator familiar with such obscure Internet technologies as Yahoo! and Google can get around it with a minute’s effort.