Oklahoma State Senator Ralph Shortey was allegedly caught in a Moore, Oklahoma, motel room with a 17-year-old male that he had met through craigslist. When asked why the Senator was in the room with a minor he was said to have replied “he was just there to hang out with his friend.” I’m pretty sure every time a child predator says that, a Chris Hansen gets his wings.
The teen’s family reportedly told police that the boy has a history of turning himself out on craigslist for money. Just because he was a willing participant, that doesn’t excuse Senator Shortey for his actions. While 16 may be the legal age of consent in Oklahoma, since the boy was under 18 that still makes it child prostitution.
It will be interesting to see if the Senator receives probation or if he will be running for President of the cell block.
The NYPD are looking for a man who they believe raped a 21-year-old woman in the Bronx. The victim says that she responded to a modeling ad on craigslist. After going to meet the man at the Paradise Motor Inn on Boston Rd., the victim tried to leave before the suspect raped her.
Police on Thursday released photos and videos of the suspect, and are asking anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.
What I refer to as the modeling scam is one of the more preferred tricks in the online sexual predator’s arsenal. Mostly, I’ve posted about how it’s used to target underage girls, but it’s not unheard of being used to target adults. Again, if you have such aspirations you probably should avoid craigslist since anybody can say that they’re a modeling agent considering that the ads are free.
I originally posted about 59-year-old Ellis Vogt, of Fayette County, Tennessee, here. He went missing during the summer of last year after hiring a caregiver off of craigslist only known as ‘Janie’ or ‘Jaynie’. Sadly, Mr. Vogt’s body was found earlier last month and was just recently identified.
Janie/Jaynie has been identified as Pamela Bingham after she was arrested in Oklahoma after being found in Mr. Vogt’s missing van. While no cause of death has been rendered yet, police have stated that Bingham is a person of interest in Mr. Vogt’s death. She is currently being held on $250K bond.
Hiring a caregiver from craigslist for either yourself or a loved one is a risky move. At best they could not be bonded or well-trained, and at the worst they could be a con artist, sexual predator, or even a killer. This article can help you on how to decide where to get a caregiver. It may cost a little more to avoid using craigslist, but isn’t it worth it for the safety alone?
55-year-old Gary Owens of Omaha, Nebraska, reportedly took out an ad on craigslist that said he was a nice guy and just looking for a friend. A homeless woman responded to his ad looking for a place to stay. Instead she found herself in a makeshift prison. Once she was in the house Owens allegedly told her “You know we’re going to have sex right?” before preventing her from leaving the bedroom. After she rebuffed his advances, Owens allegedly restrained her with rope and choked her into unconsciousness before raping her. When she needed to use the bathroom Owens would lock her in there as well. The victim says she was eventually able to trick Owens into letting her use a phone and was able to call a women’s shelter who helped her escape. Owens is said to have a long and violent criminal history.
I can understand someone being desperate enough to seek shelter anywhere if they’re without a home, however, craigslist is not that place to look. Unfortunately, it is overflowing with violent predators like this. If they’re allowing you to stay in their home out of ‘the goodness of their hearts’ it’s more than likely that they want something unsavory in return.
18-year-old Jerry Johnsey, of Auburndale, Florida, and 16-year-old Byron Lasiak, of Winter Haven, have been charged with first-degree murder in the death of 67-year-old Donald Merkley, also of Winter Haven. Johnsey allegedly knew his victim through craigslist and was having sex with the victim prior to this. In this instance the pair went to the victim’s house and during sex Johnsey allegedly put Merkley in a chokehold until the victim fell unconscious. At that point Johnsey and Lasiak are said to have taken turns beating the victim in the head with a baseball bat. They then found some gasoline and spread it around the house before taking $2.75 they found on a counter.
If you’re looking for a friend with benefits or just a one night stand, I would avoid sites like craigslist. Due to its low level of entry and perceived level of anonymity it is a criminal haven. Hook-ups like this in the past from craigslist have led to crimes ranging from robbery to rape to murder. While craigslist isn’t the only dating avenue where these crimes happen I would say that it is the most prevalent one.
38-year-old Mario Alston, of Las Vegas, is accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl from nearby Henderson, Nevada. Alston allegedly placed an ad on craigslist that the victim is said to have responded to. The contents of the ad are as of yet unknown, however, the conversation soon moved to the mobile messaging app Kik, where the victim is said to have given Alston her address. When the girl’s parents weren’t home Alston reportedly went to the home and sexually assaulted the girl.
I know this sounds like just another Kik kreeper, because the app is rampant with sex offenders and pedophiles, but there is something I wanted to address from the article I linked to.
Detectives say Alston and the 13-year-old started communicating non-stop on the “Kik” app. It’s an app where messages can be hidden from parents.
While Kik is a preferred tool of predators, the messages are only hidden from parents if parents choose not to check their kids’ phones. Despite all of its faults it’s not an app designed to be hidden from parents, you just have to now what to look for. I’ve even included a picture of what the app icon looks like at right. Both Android phones and iPhones have a button that list all the apps that are on the phone. Don’t just rely on the apps that are on the phone’s main screen. Again, you may trust your child, but do you trust the strangers they may be talking to?
44-year-old James Beck, of Tampa, Florida, was killed this past Tuesday after trying to sell his 16-year-old son’s dirt bike on craigslist. Beck and his son met a pair of individuals when one of them opened fire on Beck, striking him twice in the neck. The two suspects then ran off with the dirt bike. Beck unfortunately died on the scene from his injuries right in front of his son.
Police have arrested 16-year-old Ramontrae Williams and 17-year-old Dontae Johnson, and charged them with first-degree felony murder and robbery.
Sadly, I don’t have much else to add here. Craigslist should be considered too dangerous for anyone to use anymore. While you, the reader, may have found the perfect deal on craigslist, and have never had a problem, the number of people killed through craigslist is now in the triple digits. Craigslist has become nothing more than a dangerous game of Russian Roulette, and too many people are becoming victims to a deadly game that they don’t even realize they’re playing.
24-year-old Amy Brown of Edmonds, Washington, was arrested for allegedly stabbing her craigslist date in the chest. While the pair laid in a Lynwood, Washington, hotel bed, Brown reportedly kept asking her date if he was a serial killer. When he gave his last reply of ‘no’ Brown replied that she was a serial killer, and stabbed her victim in the chest. The wound was not fatal and the victim was able to escape to a nearby drug store.
When police caught up with Brown in the parking lot of the motel she reportedly told police that she was a ‘loon’ and wanted to be a serial killer. She is also said to have told police that she wanted to kill the man in order to eat his heart.
Sadly, Brown is not the first person to try to use craigslist as their own personal killing ground. A serial killer on Long Island is still at large, and they’re suspected of using craigslist in order to kill several women that advertised as prostitutes on the website.
“Craigslist: The place where serial killers are born.” Great selling point you have there.
In case you were wondering, even in states where recreational marijuana is legal it’s still illegal to sell it online. In either case Michigan is not one of those states. If you sell anything on craigslist you’re taking your life in your hands, but if you’re selling something illegal those chances increase dramatically. I’m not saying that these men deserved to die, but there is obviously no honor among criminals.
21-year-old Jared W. Baratka of Plymouth, Minnesota, had been previously convicted of stalking a teenage girl. He was sentenced to 90 days jail and 36 months probation, but the jail time was suspended, because letting stalkers run around free is such a good idea. After being picked up for one of his many alleged probation violations, police found emails on his phone that has led to him being held on $1 million bail.
A 56-year-old man said he answered a personal ad on craigslist, which turned into a request to kidnap and sexually assault a teen girl in Plymouth. The man told police that, as a hobby, he roleplays on Craiglist in the adult section, but that in this instance it became too real when the man he was in communication with — who police believe to be Baratka — supplied photos of the girl, an address, and the make and model of the car driven by the girl.
The man supplied communications he had with Baratka to officers in which Baratka encourages him to kidnap and sexually assault the girl while filming it.
The informant repeatedly asked if Baratka was serious, to which Baratka responded “I definitely 100 percent want this.” He allegedly offered $100 to the man during their communications.
This is far from the first case of someone soliciting the rape of another person on craigslist, in what I refer to as ‘rape by proxy’. Tragically, a number of the ones who have tried this before have been successful. The one that leaps immediately to mind is Jebidiah James Stipe, who orchestrated the rape of his ex in Wyoming through craigslist in California. Only by sheer luck was Baratka not able to carry out his plan.