Craigslist scammer turned killer

Craigslist scammer turned killer

Murray Blackmon

This story is back from late September.

65-year-old Murray Blackmon is accused of the fatal hit and run of a 44-year-old man who Blackmon may have scammed on craigslist. The victim was said to be there to buy a laptop from Blackmon, but Blackmon has a history of craigslist scams. The victim was holding on to Blackmon’s car as Blackmon tried to drive away from a Morrow, Georgia, parking lot. When Blackmon stopped the victim allegedly hit the asphalt striking his head which killed him. Blackmon is said to have stopped his vehicle where the victim fell and grabbed a computer box.

Again, I would never recommend using craigslist for anything but if you do use craigslist or a similar service, always meet the other party at your local police department.

US News

Former policeman shot in Tenn. craigslist killing

Former policeman shot in Tenn. craigslist killing

Ricardo Lamont Murray Jr.

42-year-old Jonathan Outlaw was a former police officer at Tennessee State University. Recently, he was shot and killed at a gas station in Robertson County, Tennessee. He was there to meet someone from craigslist who was interested in buying his car, instead three suspects tried to steal the car from Outlaw. One of the suspects allegedly shot Outlaw as they fled with his car.

Police have arrested two suspects. One is a juvenile and the other is 19-year-old Ricardo Lamont Murray Jr. The third suspect has yet to be identified.

The Craigslist Killing blog has 119 craigslist murders listed on their site, but doesn’t have the murder of Mr. Outlaw listed yet. That would make 120 murders with a craigslist connection. No matter who you are, no matter what your background or profession, you can become a victim of one of these crimes. Even worse, there’s been so many of these killings you could be just a statistic.

The Tennessean

2nd man charged in craigslist killing of Vicente Cruz

2nd man charged in craigslist killing of Vicente Cruz

Gilbert George Moran

In addition to the arrest of 34-year-old Davis Rios, police in San Antonio also arrested 39-year-old Gilbert George Moran, in the alleged craigslist killing of Vicente Cruz in Atlanta, Georgia.

Back in May, Mr. Cruz went missing after going to sell his truck on craigslist and never returned, His truck was found abandoned and his blood was inside the truck. His body was found behind a vacant Atlanta home.

Just how Mr. Cruz was murdered and which of the men allegedly killed him has not yet been made public.

Man arrested in San Antonio for craigslist killing of missing Georgia man

Man arrested in San Antonio for craigslist killing of missing Georgia man

Davis Rios

Back in May, I posted about the disappearance of 44-year-old Vicente Cruz, of Austell, Georgia. He went missing after he went to sell his truck on craigslist. His body was found on May the 22nd, which I was unaware of. That officially made the story a craigslist killing.

This past week, 34-year-old David Rios was arrested in San Antonio, Texas, and charged with Mr. Cruz’s murder. What hasn’t been made public yet is the cause of Mr. Cruz’s death and the motive behind the crime.

If you’re selling something on craigslist, even if it’s something as big as a truck, meet the buyer at your local police department. Most municipalities have safe zones at their police stations to facilitate classified transactions safely. If the seller says they can’t meet at the police station, then it’s not worth risking your life over a sale.

Georgia craigslist killing was over shoes

Georgia craigslist killing was over shoes

Brooks and Scott

(Story broke 6/30/2017)

Back in May, I posted about the murder of 26-year-old Mezaio Pickett who was shot and killed at a restaurant parking lot in Smyrna, Georgia, during a craigslist deal. At that time, it wasn’t made very clear if this was a robbery set up or something else. Back in late June, it was made public it was indeed something else.

22-year-olds Damien Akeen Scott and Vincent Diandrez Brooks were both charged with Mr. Pickett’s murder, however, we now know Scott was the alleged gunman. Mr. Pickett had agreed to buy two pairs of shoes from Scott through craigslist. The victim was said to have changed his mind about which shoes he wanted and bought the pair of shoes right off of Scott’s feet.

“They exchanged money, gave him the $350, they shook on it and as Mr. Pickett was walking back to the car, the seller said ‘nah,’ walked back, reached through the driver’s window and shot Mr. Pickett one time in the back,” Grubb testified.

Scott fired five more times, then jumped in Brooks’ car and they drove off, according to the Channel 2 report.

So it wasn’t even a robbery. Mr. Pickett, a father of five, was shot and killed just because the seller didn’t like how the deal worked out. He wasn’t even back to the car before he decided to end the life of man who just paid him $350. This is how little value life holds in certain sections of our society.

Brooks is being held equally as culpable in Mr. Pickett’s murder since Georgia law holds getaway drivers as responsible as the gunman. Brooks himself thought he was driving Scott to a job. So in the end, Scott has ruined the life of his friend, taken the life of a stranger, and impacted three families, including his own, all due to his inability to deal with what he perceived as a bad deal without resorting to mortal violence.

Both suspects are currently being held without bond.

Trench’s appearance on #Murder and a retrospective of Tiara Pool’s murder

As some of you may know, I recently appeared on TV One’s #Murder to discuss the craigslist killing of Tiara Brown/Tiara Pool.

As you can see by viewing the episode below, my screen time was very minimal which was ok.

I mean you had police investigators, members of Tiara’s family, accomplished journalists, and here I am some loudmouth with a bad haircut and a website. So while I was a bit disappointed in not having more screen time, I understood why.

The reason, I’m guessing, as to why I wasn’t in the show more is they really didn’t cover a lot of time between the arrest of David Sparre and his being sentenced to death. That’s where I am extraneously connected to the story.

When I first posted about Sparre’s arrest along with a follow-up post about Tiara, I received a number of comments from someone claiming to be a member of David Sparre’s family who was not only proclaiming Sparre’s innocence, but was blaming Tiara for being murdered. In the commenter’s eyes, Tiara going on dates while her husband was deployed in the Navy was a worse crime than Sparre stabbing her multiple times and slitting her throat. The commenter continued to proclaim Sparre’s innocence and blame Tiara even in the face of overwhelming evidence against Sparre.

While I was being interviewed, I also discussed David Sparre’s behavior while he was in custody awaiting trial. When he was arrested he didn’t have any facial tattoos, but when the trial started he had tear drops tattooed on his face. Teardrop tattoos can sometimes signify the person sporting them has killed someone. That’s not the best defense for someone who was facing the death penalty for stabbing a random woman to death. I also discussed the letter Sparre wrote to his ex-girlfriend, after he was convicted but before he was sentenced to death, where he admits he enjoyed killing Tiara Pool.

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience although I wish it would have been for a happier reason. I want to thank Jupiter Entertainment for even considering me for an interview. I also want to thank Greg Collier for his continued support as well as my Patreon patrons. Of course I couldn’t do any of this without my readers both old and new. Lastly, I want to thank my editor and proofreader Lady Gray, who has made me a much better writer over the past year.

In closing, I want to express my remorse I didn’t get an opportunity to meet Tiara’s family while I was in Florida for the interview. If you’re reading this, my heart continually breaks for Tiara. By all accounts, she had so much potential to lead a fulfilling life, only to have it taken away by someone less than a man with such careless disregard for life.

Trench to appear on TV One’s #Murder

Trench to appear on TV One's #Murder

This Monday Night, July 24th 2017, I will be appearing on an episode of the TV show #Murder, that’s on the One TV Network. The show deals with the craigslist killing committed in Jacksonville, Florida, by David Sparre.

The episode airs at 10PM Eastern and 9PM Central. If you don’t have TV One in your area, or on your cable package, you can view the episodes later on the TV One website.

I’ll be posting a select clip to my YouTube Channel after it airs.

LGBT church staff member victim of craigslist killing in Dallas

LGBT church staff member victim of craigslist killing in Dallas

Yevin Rushing

(Story broke 7/9/2017)

54-year-old Robert Lee Covington was the personal assistant to the senior pastor at the Cathedral of Hope of Dallas. According to reports, the Cathedral of Hope is one of the largest LGBT churches in the country. Mr. Covington was found dead in his home on Friday night. He is said to have died from asphyxiation due to his nose and mouth being covered by duct tape. Missing from his home were his Rolex watch, his cell phone and car keys.

Police had no suspects until 22-year-old Yevin Rushing allegedly returned to the scene of the crime in a U-Haul. Rushing saw police investigating the crime scene and left. Neighbors reported this as a suspicious vehicle which led police to the suspect. Rushing allegedly told police he met Mr. Covington on craigslist and Covington had given him his Rolex. The watch was said to have been in Rushing’s vehicle. He is currently being held on $500,000 bond after being charged with capital murder.

By all accounts, Mr. Covington was loved by his congregation and by no means do I intend to sully his name or memory. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t remind not just those in the LGBT community, but anyone, not to use craigslist for hook-ups. While there is a degree of anonymity to craigslist, there is a much higher degree of danger. Anybody who uses craigslist for any kind of physical pursuit could find themselves robbed, sexually assaulted, or sadly, even killed.

My thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to the friends and family of Mr. Covington.
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19-year-old shot in Florida craigslist killing

19-year-old shot in Florida craigslist killing

(Story broke 6/16/2017)

19-year-old Brian Brown was shot and killed this week after trying to sell a Playstation on craigslist. Brian went to the meeting place in North Miami Beach, Florida, but instead of meeting a buyer, he was shot in the back three times and died from his injuries. This happened during the middle of the afternoon in a very public spot. Sadly, Brian was a kid who had everything going for him in life before it was tragically and selfishly cut short. He had received a football scholarship to a college in California that he’ll unfortunately never get to use.

So far, no arrests have been made.

Anyone with information is asked to call detectives at 305-471-2400 or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. A reward of up to $3,000 is offered for information that leads to an arrest.

As I’ve said before, the old rules don’t apply anymore. Craigslist criminals don’t care anymore if it’s the middle of the day or if it’s in front of a crowd of people. They’ve shown time and time again they’ll do whatever it takes just to make a few lousy bucks. Think about it for a second. Someone killed this bright kid who was full of potential just to steal a video game console they probably could have gotten for couple of hundred bucks at a pawn shop. I hope justice is swift and unforgiving toward those who committed this heinous crime.

My thoughts, prayers and condolences are with the friends and family of Brian Brown.

Craigslist drug deal leaves 1 dead, 3 arrested in Austin

Craigslist drug deal leaves 1 dead, 3 arrested in Austin

Akeem Bradford

(Story broke 6/8/2017)

Once again, even criminals aren’t safe when using craigslist. In Austin, Texas, 26-year-old Cutberto Moran-Ayala was killed in a shootout with three men from Chicago. Moran-Ayala advertised weed for sale on craigslist and when he arrived for the sale he was greeted by 22-year-old Savon Galloway who allegedly stuck a gun in the dealer’s face. The two exchanged fire along with 22-year-old Akeem Bradford who was with Galloway. Also arrested was 19-year-old Christopher Hamilton. All three have been charged with capital murder. Considering this is Texas we’re talking about, capital murder charges often lead to capital punishment.

No honor among thieves and dealers, I guess.

Maybe if craigslist actually moderated their ads, maybe Moran-Ayala would still be alive. While illegal activity may attract other illegal activity, very few people deserve to be gunned down like that.