Usually when I start writing about a school employee that gets arrested for inappropriate use of Snapchat I ask why is it that so many school workers are on Snapchat? Of course the answer is obvious, it’s where the kids are and it’s where the predators within the school’s personnel can maintain contact with the students without attracting attention from the parents, in theory. Remember that Snapchat used to tout itself on the fact that the pictures sent through the app were temporary and would be deleted after a short amount a time. Of course that doesn’t stop people from making copies or screen grabs of the allegedly short-lived pictures or videos.
In Michigan, Dominic Anthony Ciccantelli worked as a special-education classroom assistant in a middle school. Among some of the many crimes that he’s been accused of that involve inappropriate touching of some of the female students he’s also been accused of allegedly Snapchatting pictures of his junk to three underage girls including a 13-year-old girl that he helped at the school.
The 13-year-old also told police that Ciccantelli asked her to perform a sex act with him, according to court documents.
Both she and Ciccantelli allegedly said they had spent a night together in his car. The girl said they had kissed and “made out” several times in several places, including once in the school’s teachers’ lounge.
I’m not saying that all school employees are child predators but it seems that there’s an inordinate amount of them among those who work at schools.
Again I say to parents it’s up to you on whether or not you want to allow your kids to have Snapchat on their phones or tablets. However I urge you that if you do make frequent checks on their friends list to make sure that no adult is contacting them for sexual reasons.
Brogan Rafferty was 16 when he helped Richard Beasley commit the murders of three men in Ohio back in 2011. Beasely lured his victims to Ohio by using a craigslist ad promising employment on a ranch. Instead Beasley would shoot them and try to steal their identities in order to evade the drug and human trafficking charges he was facing. His victims were Ralph Geiger, David Pauley, and Timothy Kern. Beasley tried killing a fourth victim wo was able to escape which eventually led to the pair’s capture.
Rafferty’s involvement consisted of digging the shallow graves for the victims, driving Beasley around and splitting the take with Beasley. He was tried as an adult and prosecutors alleged that Rafferty was well aware of what crimes he and Beasley were committing. A judge and jury agreed as he was convicted on aggravated murder charges and sentenced to life without parole in 2012.
Recently Rafferty had his sentence upheld by the 9th District Court of Appeals. He tried arguing that his confession to police was coerced as he unsuccessfully did prior to his trial. He also tried arguing that juveniles are not eligible for LWOP sentences which if memory serves me correct juveniles are only ineligible for mandatory life sentences. Rafferty’s sentence was not a mandatory sentence. I’m surprised they didn’t argue that the teenage brain is not fully functioned and can’t grasp simple concepts like life and death. That’s been a favorite of those convicted of murder as a juvenile.
Rafferty’s next stop will more than likely be the Ohio Supreme Court.
In early February Washington D.C. attorney David Messerschmitt was stabbed to death in a DC hotel by someone he met on craigslist. Police say that 21-year-old Jamyra Gallmon committed the murder during a botched robbery. Mr. Messerschmitt was expecting a male visitor since his craigslist ad was looking for other men.
Galmon is claiming a bizarre form of self-defense in the killing…
After her arrest, Gallmon spoke to police. She admitted to going to the hotel that night with the intention of robbing the victim. According to the court documents, Gallmon said she walked into the hotel room and quickly turned to walk out when Messerschmitt got off the bed and grabbed her. Gallmon told police this caused a flashback to a memory of when she was assaulted.
At that point, the suspect told police that Messerschmitt started fighting with her. She pulled a knife, according to the court documents, and stabbed the victim seven times, including one wound that went through his heart.
This is another criminal defense that sounds like it’s coming from a child making up stories about who broke the lamp.
Mr. Messerschmitt was married to a wife that he’s now left behind. I don’t care whatever your sexual orientation is but if you’re using craigslist to meet someone for extracurricular activities you’re taking a big risk with your safety.
My prayers and condolences do go out to the friends and family of Mr. Messerschmitt.
One of the stories I’m woefully behind on is this one out of Longmont, Colorado, where police say that 34-year-old Dynel Lane not only allegedly stabbed 26-year-old Michelle Wilkins but cut Ms. Wilkins’ baby from her womb. Ms. Wilkins was seven months pregnant at the time of the brutal crime.
Ms. Wilkins went to Lane’s residence after responding to a craigslist ad for baby clothes. If this sounds slightly familiar it’s because it’s eerily reminiscent of the murder of Heather Snively. Ms. Snively was stabbed to death by Korena Roberts in 2009 and then Roberts cut the baby from Ms. Snively’s womb. However in this instance Ms. Wilkins survived her injuries. Unfortunately her baby did not.
Lane has been charged with attempted murder however she has not been charged with murder in the death of Ms. Wilkins’ unborn baby since Colorado does not recognize an unborn child as a person unless it’s capable of surviving outside the womb. Take that for what you will.
UPDATE 2/23/2016:Dynel Lane has been convicted on all counts against her including attempted first-degree murder, assault and unlawful termination of a pregnancy. Sentencing is scheduled for late April.
Late last month 57-year-old Michael Scott Freeland, of Sterling Heights, Michigan, was found dead in his home after a fire except it wasn’t the fire that killed him. Police say that 20-year-old Bria Corrine-Janelle Blackmon allegedly beat him to death in order to rob him then set the fire to hide the crime. Blackmon met her victim through craigslist and had a personal relationship prior to the murder so it seems like she was in it for the long con. Blackmon’s stepbrother, 19-year-old Demonte Marcellus Easterling, has also been charged in the murder.
Macomb County prosecutor Eric Smith had the following to say about craigslist…
“Sadly, the dangers affiliated in conducting business with a complete stranger through Craig’s List has resulted in another tragic loss of life,” Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith said in a news release announcing the charges.
My prayers and condolences go out to the friends and family of Mr. Freeland.
UPDATE 2/17/2016:Blackmon was convicted of first-degree murder while Easterling was convicted of second-degree murder.
Previously I’ve posted about how both pedophiles and sex offenders say that the messaging app Kik is one of the big weapons in their child luring arsenal. It appears to be popular with child pornographers too,
The article states that he sent the pictures to both adults and minors so it makes me wonder if he was using his own kids to find other victims.
Now I’m not saying that Kik should be driven out of business or anything like that. Kik is just a tool but it’s the way that others use that too that you should be aware of in order to better protect your kids.
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.
UPDATE 5/10/2015: This past week Dube was sentenced to 60 years for Nichole Cable’s murder and 30 for her kidnapping. The only problem is the sentences are concurrent. According to the judge Maine case law did not allow her to sentence him to consecutive sentences. I’d rather see him rot for 60 years then get out on some legal loophole so kudos to the judge for erring on the side that keeps this moron in jail for as long as possible.
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.
Oliver was allegedly prostituting the runaway on Backpage before his arrest and mailed a letter to her home to make sure she would continue making money for him.
A portion of the letter reads, “yea I want you posting every day makin at least 200 hundred dollars a day. We’ve been through this already. So u should already know the math.”
The victim in this case also was reluctant to cooperate; another passage from the letter delivered a warning regarding the teen’s loyalty: “this is the part where you plan on being in pocket and stayin loyal for life. Anything less than that is probably a bad move.”
So basically he wanted the victim to keep posting ads on Backpage while he was still in jail. Apparently Backpage’s so-called safeguards are discouraging absolutely no one.
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.
UPDATE 1/19/2017:Morris and White were found not guilty of murder, but were convicted of first-degree robbery. White will be sentenced to 12 years with tie served while Morris is looking at 12 years but do to him being a juvenile he could walk. It seems that the prosecution couldn’t convince the jury that Morris was the alleged triggerman. Lovings and Lewis had previously pleaded guilty to being accessories to the crime, but are currently out on bond.