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.

Illinois craigslist killer resentenced

Illinois craigslist killer resentenced

Timothy Smith

In 2011, Timothy Smith of Woodstock, Illinois,  shot and killed 48-year-old Kurt Milliman. Smith was prostituting his wife on craigslist out of their home and Milliman allegedly got to rough with Smith’s wife. Smith jumped out of hiding and shot Milliman. The couple tried concocting a home invasion story to try to hide their activity. However, investigators saw through the ruse and Smith was convicted of murder in 2013 and sentenced to 50 years behind bars.

In 2015, Smith was granted a new trial on the grounds that the judge at his trial did not allow an involuntary manslaughter charge to be considered by the jury.  It was to no avail, however, as late last month, Smith was once again sentenced to 50 years behind bars for a conviction of first-degree murder. Smith has to serve his entire sentence without the possibility of parole.

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.

Ohio Craigslist vigilante sentenced to life

Craigslist vigilante sentenced to life in Ohio killing

William Knight

Back in March…of last year, 64-year-old craigslist vigilante William Knight, of Streetsboro, Ohio, shot and killed a man he thought had stolen his son-in-law’s dirt bike. Knight found the bike being sold on craigslist and decided to confront the seller in Akron. The only problem is, the seller wasn’t the person who stole the bike. Knight killed 24-year-old Keith Johnson who had bought the bike from someone the year before. Knight claimed self-defense, but witnesses say Johnson was trying to flee at the time of the shooting. Originally, Knight was only charged with involuntary manslaughter. Later, a grand jury indicted Knight for murder.

Earlier last month, Knight was convicted by a jury of murder, and later that month, he was sentenced to life in prison. ‘

Initially, Knight had informed police he was going to meet the seller, but something more pressing drew the police’s attention so Knight didn’t wait on them. If you find something of yours that was stolen listed on a site or app like craigslist, don’t go to meet the seller yourself. Instead, call the police and let them handle it. It’s kind of their job. While the media loves to tell stories about civilians whose stolen stuff ended up on craigslist and got it back by confronting the thief, there are so many things that could go wrong in that situation that it’s too dangerous to conduct such a sting on your own. There’s no stolen property that’s worth the cost of your life.

Grisly details released in Oklahoma craigslist killing

Grisly details released in Oklahoma craigslist killing

Baker and Garcia-Boettler

I initially posted about the murders of Alize Smith and Jarron Moreland here. Back in April, the two 21-year-olds from Moore, Oklahoma, were shot and killed during a craigslist gun sale gone wrong. Their bodies were found days later, weighted down in a pond. 22-year-old Kevin Garcia-Boettler and 43-year-old Johnny Barker were charged with their murders. Also charged was Garcia-Boettler’s 16-year-old brother who has now been identified as Brett Boettler who has been charged as an adult. 40-year-old Crystal Rachelle Boettler, the mother of the two brothers, has been charged as an accessory after the fact.

After allegedly shooting the two victims in their van, the Boettler brothers took their victims to their mom’s home where Barker, Mrs. Boettler’s boyfriend, is said to have helped the brothers dispose of the bodies. Reports are also now saying that Smith’s and Moreland’s bodies were dismembered before being thrown into the pond.

According to court documents, detectives found the White Chrysler Town and Country van which was seen during the shooting, at the Boettler home.

After looking inside, they found “cleaning products and a power washer around the vehicle,” “dried blood spatter on the ceiling of the van” and “a bucket of water with a chainsaw bar inside and soaking in the water along with several jigsaw blades.”

Again, all this senseless violence could have been prevented if craigslist had only moderated their own site for illegal gun sales. Selling firearms is against their terms of service, but they refuse to enforce it.

(Sources)
KFOR
KOCO
OKC Fox

Two Okla. men killed during craigslist sale

Two Okla. men killed during craigslist sale

Baker and Garcia-Boettler

Just because craigslist removed its personals section doesn’t mean it’s any safer. Last weekend, two men, 21-year-olds Alize Smith and Jarron Moreland, went missing in Moore, Oklahoma, after witnesses saw them being taken into a van. Moreland’s family claimed that he was meeting someone to sell something through craigslist. Sadly, the bodies of Moreland and Smith were found weighted in a pond earlier this week. Three suspects have been arrested and charged in their murders, and they are 22-year-old Kevin Garcia-Boettler, 43-year-old Johnny Barker, and the 16-year-old brother of Garcia-Boettler.

According to police, Moreland and Smith were said to be selling a gun on craigslist and the trio of suspects were meeting with the two men to purchase the gun. Once Moreland and Smith approached the suspects’ van, one of the suspects claims they heard a gun being cocked by one of the victims. This resulted in one of the suspects firing on the two men, killing them both. Tragically, this could have all been prevented.

Craigslist’s terms of service forbids firearms from being sold or traded on their site, yet it happens all the time. The problem with craigslist is the usual one as they hardly ever do any kind of moderation on their site for any kind of illegal items or sales. Instead, they rely on their users to flag any kind of inappropriate ad, the same users who are posting the illegal ads to begin with. This is akin to the inmates running the asylum. Craigslist has the ability to screen for ads like this as they have done so in the past with unlocked iPhones when that was still illegal. Yet they allow guns to change hands without even batting an eye.

Death row craigslist killer wants new trial

Death row craigslist killer wants new trial

David Sparre

In 2010, a then 19-year-old David Sparre stabbed 21-year-old Tiara Pool 89 times, killing the Jacksonville, Florida mother after meeting her through craigslist. In 2011, he was convicted of her murder and in 2012 was sentenced to death. In 2015, his death sentence was upheld. Now, Sparre is looking for a new trial on the grounds of ineffective counsel and diminished mental capacity.

What shouldn’t be forgotten about this story is the letter Sparre wrote to his ex-girlfriend after his conviction where he stated he enjoyed killing Tiara, admitted planning the murder for weeks and thought he was smarter than police. Egomania and psychopathy aside, does that sound like someone with a diminished mental capacity to you?

Meanwhile, Tiara’s family, who by all accounts are loving and close-knit, can’t appeal the death sentence David Sparre inflicted unfairly on Tiara just because she answered his craigslist ad.

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

Indy man dies a month after craigslist/OfferUp shooting

Indy man dies a month after craigslist/OfferUp shooting

Back in January, 40-year-old Chad Laplante and a friend went to buy a video game system off of either OfferUp or craigslist. The pair was instead lured to a robbery where Mr. Laplante was shot. He spent close to a month in the hospital before finally succumbing to his injuries.

According to Laplante’s family

“He got a fungus because he laid open too long in the hospital. He had eight surgeries, three heart attacks and three failures of life.

The suspects are still at large and police are asking for the public’s help.

If you have information that could help investigators in the Laplante case, contact Crime Stoppers anonymously at (317) 262-TIPS. If your confidential tip leads to an arrest, you could receive a cash reward of up to $1000.00. If authorities confiscate a weapon during the arrest, the reward would increase by hundreds of dollars.

I know I sound like a broken record, kids, ask your parents, but the old rules don’t apply anymore. You can go to meet someone off of craigslist or OfferUp in public and with a friend and still end up dead. My advice is to not use either platform, but if you insist on doing so, meet the other person at your local police station. While it’s not a guarantee of safety, it’s better than just meeting someone on the street.

Texas man found dead after leaving to sell car on craigslist

Texas man found dead after leaving to sell car on craigslist

Terrell Funches

UPDATE 2/11/2018: 20-year-old Terrell Funches and an unnamed 15-year-old girl have been charged in the murder Atlaf Malik. Authorities were able to trace the suspects back through the LetGo app. So is this now a LetGo murder?

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Houston man found dead after leaving to sell car on craigslist

The body of 43-year-old Altaf Malik, of Richmond, Texas, was found in a dumpster in Houston. Mr. Malik had been missing for days after leaving to sell his car on craigslist. Authorities say that he had sustained repeated stab wounds. A GoFundMe has been set up to help assist with his family. Mr. Malik left behind four children. So far, no suspect has been apprehended.

Anyone with information should call Houston Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS, HPD homicide division at 713-308-3600 or Fort Bend County at 281-342-TIPS.

According to the Craigslist Killings – Craigslist Safety Blog, this would be the 122nd murder contributed to craigslist.

Craigslist is no longer the friendly neighborhood classifieds is was back in the late 90s. Now that it’s a website with a global reach, it’s been a haven for killers and other violent criminals.