Trench interviewed about the latest craigslist killing

trench5

Ruben Rosario: Is it fair to blame Craigslist for criminals?:

Short answer, yes, but we’re getting a head of ourselves.

The other day when I posted about the recent craigslist killing of Aung Thu Bo in St. Paul I stated that Minnesota seems like a breeding ground for craigslist killers since there have been 3 or 4 craigslist related murders there. Turns out it was 3 but I digress.

Not too long after I made that post I received an e-mail from Ruben Rosario of the Pioneer Press. In a brief e-mail exchange he asked me if it is unfair to blame craigslist rather than hold the criminal responsible. By clicking the link above you can see my quotes in the very well written article by Mr. Rosario. However that’s not all I said, no disrespect intended to Mr. Rosario. I understand that stories need to be edited.

As somewhat of an exclusive to my readers here is the entire content of what my reply was to Mr. Rosario…

Craigslist needs to moderate their site. It’s become too full of criminals and scam artists. If you go through just about any section of craigslist I would say at least half the ads are either scams or some other form of criminal activity waiting to happen. They say the site is too big to be monitored but Facebook does it constantly to keep unwanted material off their site. Instead craigslist relies on what they call community policing which is just another phrase for inmates running the asylum.

Craigslist should also get rid of their perceived notion of anonymity. People tend to think that their anonymous on craigslist but they really aren’t. Unfortunately craigslist doesn’t do anything to discourage this misguided notion.

Granted we’re only talking about roughly over a dozen people who have been killed involving craigslist in some way compared to 573 million transactions but that’s more than enough people being murdered in this country to make it a concern. If I was running a website as large as craigslist and my userbase was being killed, even a fraction of a percentage of them, I would take greater steps to prevent it from happening again. Craigslist just kind of throws their hands up in the air and says “Oh well, what can you do?”

And yes the criminal themselves are ultimately responsible for their own actions however craigslist is making it incredibly easy for them to find victims.

And I stand by every word of that.

Thank you again to Mr. Rosario and the Pioneer Press.

After doing things like this for the past few years I still find it surreal when the media wants to talk to me and I’m always humbled by the experience and appreciative.

Another craigslist killer emerges

Craigslist exchange was slain student’s last; refugee family’s pride and support dies in shooting:

Maplewood felon charged with luring his murder victim with Craigslist ad:

While the media may tell you otherwise Minnesota seems to be a breeding ground for craigslist killers. This is the 3rd or 4th craigslist murder I can think of in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. This time police in St. Paul, Minnesota arrested 26-year-old Steven Emmanuel Lewis in the shooting death of 19-year-old Aung Thu Bo.

Bo had responded to an ad on craigslist for a cell phone, Lewis allegedly was the seller. Police say that after meeting in public Lewis convinced Bo to go back to Lewis’ place where the charger and other accessories for the phone were. Lewis pulled a gun on Bo to rob him. When Bo wasn’t producing any cash fast enough Lewis went to reach into Bo’s pocket when the gun went off with the bullet striking Bo in the head. Bo was removed from life support the next day.

When police caught up to Lewis he allegedly tried telling police that he was shot in a totally unrelated incident.

Here’s the real tragedy. Bo was a promising college student who worked hard to help support his family. Conversely Lewis was a career criminal whose charges included punching a woman who was pregnant with his child.

Bo was charged with second degree murder so if Minnesota even had a death penalty he wouldn’t be eligible for it.

Since part of his name is Emmanuel Lewis here’s hoping that his cellies make him their little Webster.

A productive member of society is dead while the leech who killed him continues to leech off the system. In Minnesota there will be no justice for Aung Thu Bo.

UPDATE 8/17/2012: A memorial fund has been set up for Aung Thu Bo.

Cards and gifts can be sent to the Aung Bo Memorial Fund at the Topline Federal Credit Union, 976 Lexington Av., St. Paul, Minn. 55103.

I wonder if Craig or Jimmy will be making any donations.

UPDATE 7/16/2013: Lewis has pleaded guilty saying he never meant to shoot Aung Thu Bo. His sentencing is scheduled for September.

UPDATE 9/4/2013: Lewis was sentenced to 24 years in prison for 2nd degree murder.