Craigslist ‘hitman’ who killed 19-year-old Colorado girl enters into plea agreement

Craigslist 'hitman' who killed 19-year-old Colorado girl enters into plea agreement

Joseph Michael Lopez

To briefly recap the murder of 19-year-old Natalie Bollinger from  Broomfield, Colorado, reportedly, the despondent Bollinger took out an ad on craigslist last year asking someone to kill her. Friends say that Natalie Bollinger had mental health issues and was suicidal along with having a drug habit.

That does not excuse 22-year-old Joseph Michael Lopez from what he did. Lopez responded to the ad and had no problem shooting Natalie in the head with a gun that she supposedly provided. Further evidence that people who troll craigslist for such ads are a bizarre breed.

Unfortunately, last month prosecutors offered Lopez a plea deal that would spare him a sentence of life without parole.  This went against the wishes of Natalie’s family, however, I speculated that the plea deal was offered because the unusual nature of Natalie’s murder may have caused a jury to have had some reasonable doubt about a conviction.

Earlier this month, Lopez entered into the plea deal, pleading guilty to second-degree murder. He was then subsequently sentenced to 48-years behind bars. Again, in a perfect world, Lopez should have been sentenced to death for indifferently fulfilling the wishes of a mentally ill and vulnerable woman, His behavior was nothing short of sociopathic and if justice were to be truly served then Lopez would never enjoy a breath of outside air ever again.

Colorado mother killed in domestic violence shooting

Colorado mother killed in domestic violence shooting

Thomas Jackson

Back in October, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office responded to the home of Thomas and Courtney Jackson. Thomas Jackson told deputies that his wife was suicidal but Courtney Jackson denied the allegation. Previously, deputies had been to the home in Falcon, Colorado, in prior weeks due to the Jacksons accusing each other of domestic assault. Unfortunately, deputies claim they did not have sufficient evidence to make an arrest. Sadly, the night after the suicide allegations, deputies would be returning to the home as Courtney laid dead from a gunshot wound.

The night of the shooting Thomas Jackson called 911 once again claiming his wife was suicidal and that his wife shot herself during the call. No gunshots were heard during the 911 call. Courtney Jackson had sustained two gunshots to the head with the coroner stating that either gunshot could have killed her. This led deputies to arrest Thomas Jackson and charge him with first-degree murder under the belief that Jackson allegedly shot his wife after she threatened to leave him. He is being held without bond.

I have no tolerance for domestic abusers, or as we used to call them back in my day, wife-beaters before that became an ironic name for a type of undershirt. Most of my childhood was spent witnessing domestic violence on an all too regular basis. As I’ve stated before, my father used to beat my mother usually after a night of his excessive drinking. No one outside the home ever knew. Not extended members of my family, not the neighbors, no one. I lived in fear of my father because of his treatment of my mom. It’s only by the grace of God that she wasn’t killed even though she never left him. They were separated at times but my mom would always go back. I don’t know what caused it but one day my dad never beat my mom again and she stayed with him until his death. However, my dad is the exception to the rule. The majority of abusers never change and will never stop.

There’s also another victim in all of this and that’s Courtney Jackson’s 9-year-old daughter. Thanks to the actions of an insecure coward her mother is dead and her father will likely spend the rest of his life in prison. Luckily, if that word can even be used in this manner, from what I understand, she has loving grandparents to take care of her but losing your parents in any capacity is devastating especially at such a young age.

If you are or have been a victim of domestic violence, even once, get out of the relationship as fast as you can even if it’s with just the clothes on your back. It doesn’t matter if they say it won’t happen again or they say they love you, they will continue to abuse you. If you can’t reach out to a friend or family member to help please contact The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE(7233) or at their website at https://www.thehotline.org/.

(Sources)

Colorado Springs Gazette 1
KKTV
Colorado Springs Gazette 2

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If you or someone you know lives in a small town or neighborhood and knows of a crime that you think deserves more attention than it’s getting, please contact me.

Plea deal offered to craigslist ‘hitman’ who killed 19-year-old girl

Plea deal offered to craigslist 'hitman' who killed 19-year-old girl

Joseph Michael Lopez

I originally posted about the bizarre craigslist killing of 19-year-old Natalie Bollinger of Broomfield, Colorado, here. It’s alleged that Natalie was despondent and suicidal, according to her friends, and she took out an on craigslist looking for a hitman to kill her. 22-year-old Joseph Michael Lopez is said to have responded to the ad posing as a hitman and shot Natalie in the back of the head.

Now, it’s being reported that Lopez has been offered a plea deal against the wishes of Natalie’s family. Lopez is expected to plead guilty to 2nd-degree murder with a 50-year sentence and a possibility for parole. Natalie’s family is not having it…

“We said no and they still offered it to him today. Our family does not agree with this or is willing to do any plea bargain. I’m dumbfounded. I’m so disappointed in the legal system in Adams County,” said Ted Bollinger, Natalie’s father.

Can you blame him? If this was my daughter I’d be pushing for a death sentence which Colorado has only used once since it was reinstated in 1974.

In my opinion, Lopez should receive at least a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Even if the hitman story is true, just because someone who may be suicidal asks you to kill them, obviously, doesn’t mean you should. It takes a depraved indifference to just callously kill a complete stranger that you met through craigslist. And again, if craigslist actually moderated their site, if Natalie did place an ad it would never have come to Lopez’s attention.

I’m curious as to why the state is offering Lopez a plea deal. I guess the story is strange enough that it could possibly cast a modicum of reasonable doubt onto a jury.

Lopez is expected to enter his plea on December 3rd.

Did a Colorado girl take a craigslist hit out on herself?

Did a Colorado girl take a craigslist hit out on herself?

Joseph Michael Lopez

If the suspect’s story is to be believed, this may be the most bizarre craigslist killing I’ve heard of in the past 12 years.

Back in late December, 19-year-old Natalie Bollinger of Adams County, Colorado, went missing. The day after she was reported missing her body was found. Nicole had been shot in the head and a lethal amount of heroin had been found in her system.

Originally, the public turned their suspicious eye toward a scary looking man who Natalie claimed was stalking her. She even took out a restraining order on the man. Since he has not been charged in Natalie’s death, I won’t post his name. However, I get the feeling that some people will still point to him as a suspect. He was a person of interest until another person was arrested for Natalie’s murder.

22-year-old Joseph Michael Lopez was arrested this past week and was charged with first-degree murder in Natalie’s death. Lopez claims that Natalie took an ad out on craigslist entitled “I want to put a hit on myself.” Lopez claims he responded to the ad posing as a hitman. The two exchanged over 100 text messages. Lopez claimed that he didn’t shoot Natalie but was with her the night she died. However, police say when Lopez was confronted with the GPS data from his phone he allegedly admitted shooting her in the back of the head.

Do I believe Lopez’s grandiose tale of the craigslist ad? Surprisingly, I think there may be a grain of truth to his story. It’s not unheard of for people to look for a hitman on craigslist. Usually, those people are also arrested. Some of Natalie’s friends have said she had suicidal thoughts and a drug problem so it is a possibility that for whatever reason she didn’t want to end her life by her own hand. I’m not 100% convinced this is why he killed her, but it’s not the strangest reason why someone kills.

Having said that, that does not excuse Lopez’s actions in any way shape or form, nor does that make Natalie Bollinger any less of a victim. Just because someone asks you to kill them DOESN’T MEAN YOU SHOULD. Lopez reminds me of one of those guys who thinks he’s an actual ninja because he collects swords and watches anime. If his story is true, then due to his obvious disregard for Natalie’s life, I would have no objection if Lopez was given the death penalty. That seems unlikely since Colorado has only executed one person since the death penalty was reinstated in 1974.

I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this one and as usual, I’ll post updates as they become available and as time allows.

(Sources)

Daily Camera
Washington Post
Daily Mail
The Denver Channel

Classifieds crime blotter 12/6/2017

Classifieds crime blotter 12/6/2017

Trial Date Set For Couple Who Allegedly Sold Baby:
Greenville, Tennessee. Deanna Lynn Greer, 38, and John David Cain, 27, are accused of allegedly trying to see an infant on craigslist back in March.

CSU Police report series of fraudulent checks, scams:
Colorado State University, Craigslist, Fake Check Scam.

Man shot by brothers while trying to sell PlayStation in Arlington, police say”
Texas. Man allegedly shot by Bryan Arriaga, 18, and Steven Arriaga, 20, while trying to sell his Playstation on OfferUp. Charges of attempted capital murder and aggravated robbery have been filed. The victim is recovering.

Tottenville woman acting as a real estate agent accused of ripping off potential tenants:
Staten Island, New York. Caryn Celestina, 61, is accused of allegedly running a craigslist rental scam.

Lakewood woman loses $8,000 Rolex watch to con artist in Craigslist scam:
Colorado. Scam artist switched $8000 in cash with a stack of singles.

3-month-old rescued during sex trafficking sting

3-month-old rescued during sex trafficking sting

Recently, the FBI announced the outcome of a nationwide sex trafficking sting operation called Operation Cross Country XI. They were able to rescue 84 juveniles and arrest 120 people involved in sex trafficking. Of course, one of the sites they used during this operation was Backpage.

One of the most disturbing aspects of the Operation happened in Denver, Colorado, where agents were able to rescue two sisters, ages 5-years-old and 3-months-old, from someone who was turning them out for money. A ‘friend’ of the girls’ family was offering them for sex (child rape) for $600. I really hope this was the first time this supposed friend was offering these girls out, but somehow I doubt it was.

While it can’t be said for certain those girls were turned out on Backpage, I would hazard that at least a large portion of the other 82 juveniles rescued were. Yet Backpage still continues to do business, still continues to make money off of these victims, and still claims that their role in the national sexual slavery trade of juveniles is their right to free speech. Yet very few in the general population of the country care because they don’t think it’s happening where they live, or to someone they know. That’s just one of the ways they’re wrong. It’s happening across all social classes, locations, and ethnicities, and unless we wake up to the problem and it will only get worse.

Thanks to Nancy and Mare for the tips.

(Sources)
CNN
Washington Post
KKTV

Five charged in death of two girls on Colorado farm

Five charged in death of two girls on Colorado farm

This past Friday, police in Norwood, Colorado, found the bodies of two girls between the ages of 5 and 10 on a local farm. Their identities and causes of death have not been released, but the bodies were believed to have been there for at least two weeks. Police received a tip about the bodies being on the farm.

Those charged in the girls’ deaths are 23-year-old Frederick A. Blair, 37-year-old Madani Ceus, 53-year-old Ika Eden, 50-year-old Nathan Yah, and Nashika Bramble. Bramble was briefly on the run before turning herself into authorities on Saturday.

Nashika Bramble

The four initial suspects have all been charged with murder in the second degree, criminally negligent homicide and felony child abuse causing death. Before Bramble was apprehended, police said she was wanted on the same charges.

The two victims are believed to be related to each other and to one of the suspects.

Much like everywhere else in the country, even rural areas are becoming much less tight-knit. Gone are the days where everyone knew who their neighbors were. Now, people tend to be less socially active in their own communities which makes it easier to hide child abuse.

I’ll post more details as they become available and as time allows.
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Child abuse reports rise as the school year begins

Child abuse reports rise as the school year begins

Here’s something you may not have thought of, I know I didn’t. While the article I read only deals with the state of Colorado, I would imagine it’s the same in every state.

Reports to the Colorado child abuse hotline reach a lull in the summer months, then start up again as school begins. Caseworkers at Colorado’s DHS say this is because teachers don’t have eyes on their students during the summer months.

Imagine a child who is going through abuse at home during the summer. They may not even have the option to reach out to someone for help during what is supposed to be the happiest time of the year for kids. While other kids are out swimming or playing, they might be at home, not allowed to go out so no one sees the signs of abuse, just counting the days until school starts again so they can have some kind of escape from their home lives.

This means as regular citizens, we need to be more active in reporting suspected cases of abuse. It’s better for there to be a false alarm than an abused child not receiving any help because we didn’t want to get involved.

Here is a link to all the state child abuse hotlines, while Colorado’s is 1-844-CO-4- KIDS (1-844-264-5437). In any state you can remain anonymous, although more weight is given to a report when the reporter gives their name. A suspected abuser is never given the reporter’s name. However, it’s better to report anonymously than not at all.

Another classifieds creeper that may have wanted daddy/daughter sex

Another classifieds creeper that may have wanted daddy/daughter sex

Jordan Reece Chavez

(Story broke 6/8/2017)

24-year-old Jordan Reece Chavez of Loveland, Colorado, was arrested back in June for allegedly posting an online classified ad where he was looking for sex with children. I’ll get to which classified site in a moment. Chavez was arrested at a hotel by the Loveland Police Department who say Chavez believed he was there to have sex with two adults and a child under the age of 10.

While this was not mentioned in any article I found on this story, I would guess Loveland Police posed as parents willing to turn out their child on the classifieds site. Which brings us to which site it was. Every article I saw about this story said the ad was on an unnamed site. The tipster who sent me this story claims to have personal insight into the story and told me what site it was. However, since the articles are saying its unnamed, I would imagine police do not want that detail released so I will not release it either.

Some of the articles also state Chavez was being held without bond. The tipster told me Chavez had been bonded out. I can neither confirm nor deny that, however, when I went to the Larimer County Jail’s inmate search, I was unable to find Chavez listed as an inmate so take that information for what you will.

The investigation is currently ongoing…

Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact Loveland police detective Henry Stucky at 970-962-2249.

According to the tipster, they see ads like this online all the time of people seeking couples with children for the purpose of sex. Through my own experience writing this blog, and one other, I’ve found the practice is more common than you might expect. Yet the classifieds site’s administrators continue to turn a blind eye to the child sex trade that continually happens on their site in order to save the website a few bucks. With the millions they make they could hire moderators to review obviously illegal ads, but they’d rather sleep on a bed of money and try to call themselves philanthropists. Not to mention, we as consumers also turn a blind eye to it so we can get a great deal on that used couch without feeling guilty.
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Is the Live.Me app something parents should worry about?

Is the Live.Me app something parents should worry about?

I recently received a tip about a livestreaming app for mobile devices called Live.Me. With the app, anyone can livestream video from wherever they are and viewers, or followers, are able to leave comments. The internet, being what it is, has caused problems for some users of the app.

While I was unable to find any arrests related to Live.Me there have been two separate sets of parents who have complained about the app to their local news channels. In one instance, a 9-year-old girl from Colorado was allegedly threatened and coerced into taking her clothes off on camera. In another instance, a 12-year-old Florida girl was reportedly approached on the app for explicit pictures.

At this point I decided to download the app for myself to see what it’s all about. On the surface it reminds me of Stickam, the now defunct web cam site. A good number of the streamers on Live.Me were scantily clad females. The age of the streamers isn’t always displayed and the app doesn’t really require any age check for it to be used. According to their terms of service, a user has to be at least 13 to use the app, but you have to be at least 18 to download it. I have no idea on how they can actually enforce any of that, which leads me to believe they probably aren’t. Live.Me also says they don’t allow nudity or explicit sexual contact of any kind, but again it’s unknown how they’re monitoring for such content, if they’re monitoring for it at all.

One thing that particularly bothered me about the app was the ‘Nearby’ feature. As far as I can tell, even if you disable your location, it still shows you people near you who are broadcasting live on the app. Location is disabled by default but that doesn’t appear to affect the Nearby feature. Even the amount of miles between you and someone watching your stream is too revealing for me. That’s all some predators need to begin gathering information on a victim.

So in conclusion, as with most apps, it’s the parent who has to be the ultimate guardian. Check your children’s phones and tablets regularly for apps like this and then proceed responsibly.

Thanks to Cynthia for the tip.