While I was off taking some downtime from the world of crime one of the most horrific craigslist related crimes happened in western Michigan. To be honest I’m having a hard time trying to come up with one that was more violent and cruel.
31-year-old Brady Oestrike of Wyoming, Michigan is believed to have killed 18-year-old Brooke Slocum and her boyfriend 25-year-old Charles Oppenneer. From what I can gather from the media reports Brooke Slocum was in contact with Oestrike through craigslist trying to set up some kind of sex for housing deal on the urging of Oppenneer. It’s unclear exactly what happened next but after the trio had met up Oppenneer’s headless body was found in a nearby park.
An investigation of Brooke’s Slocum’s computer led authorities to Oestrike. When they tried to arrest Oestrike during a high-risk traffic stop he fled and shortly afterward crashed his car. Oestrike took his own life by shooting himself before police could apprehend him. When police opened the trunk they found the body of Brooke Slocum who had been strangled to death. She was also 8 months pregnant at the time of her murder. As of yet, Charles Oppenneer’s head has still not been located. Investigators are looking into whether or not Oestrike was connected to any other murders but are saying that nothing is concrete at this point. I am only scratching the surface with my description of this most disturbing crime. Please read the news links that I’ve provided below.
Now I hate to speak ill of the dead and especially a victim of such a violent crime but I have to wonder if maybe Brook was being turned out on craigslist by her boyfriend. Brooke’s own father even said that her relationship with Oppenneer was not healthy…
“I know that love is not manipulation; love is unconditional and that wasn’t the case,” Slocum said. “My daughter deserved better than that.”
I’ve posted more than one story on this site concerning craigslist where boyfriends or husbands have manipulated their significant others into prostitution or pimps have caused women and girls to believe they were their boyfriends while the pimps were just using them as their prostitutes. I’m not saying I’m 100% certain that this is what happened but it is definitely one avenue to explore.
Lastly, once again I find myself trying to warn people to the dangers of craigslist especially when it comes to the seedier parts of the site like the personals and the casual encounters section. Horrible and vicious people like Oestrike are out there waiting for an opportunity to find a victim that craigslist basically brings to their door. I urge you to not be that victim.
Thanks to Soobs for the tip.
Craigslist Killings: Father of victim says she was in unhealthy relationships
Craigslist murders: Wyoming police release investigation timeline
Pregnant teen strangled, boyfriend decapitated in Craigslist sex case
Exclusive: Photos inside home of suspected Craigslist Killer
Jessica Heeringa investigators look into Craigslist Killings
Brooke & Baby Audi Funeral Services GoFundMe
UPDATE 11/3/2016: Recently, police in Wyoming, Michigan, released all their records of the investigation into the murders under the Freedom of Information Act. There is a plethora of information released that shows just how much of a sadistic psychopath Oestrike was. This murder was so grisly I really don’t want to go into recounting it but I will leave you with a number of links that document the police investigation. Just the headlines alone show what kind of monster Oestrike was.
Records reveal exchange that led to Craigslist killings
Craigslist killings: Inside the murderer’s house
Craigslist killer once kept sex slave chained in basement
Craigslist killer claimed women took advantage of him
Chief on Craigslist killings: ‘We did everything we could’
UPDATE 11/7/2016: Police have released video of Oestrike preparing his dungeon.
Thanks to SweetD for the tip.
UPDATE 4/5/2019: After almost five years, the skull of Charles Oppenneer was found recently on private property in Kent County, Michigan. Reports indicate that authorities believe Oppenneer was killed by gunshot before his decapitation.