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.
Previously, I’ve discussed the murder of Desiree Robinson before. She was the 16-year-old girl who was being prostituted on Backpage in the Chicago area. On Christmas Eve of 2016, when 32-year-old Antonio Rosales couldn’t pay her, he allegedly brutally murdered her instead. Her alleged pimp tried to get other women to work for him and reportedly said: “Now that she’s gone, I got no money coming in.” Now, the man who recruited Desiree for her pimp testified in court to how little Desiree’s life was worth to those who were trafficking her.
Back in April, 26-year-old Charles McFee pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of sex trafficking conspiracy for recruiting Desiree into prostitution. McFee expected to get a $250 ‘finder’s fee’ after ‘giving’ Desiree to her alleged pimp, Joseph Hazley. Hazley is still awaiting trial on human trafficking charges for prostituting Desiree on Backpage. In exchange for a lighter sentence, McFee is expected to testify against Hazley.
When people ask why we need legislation like FOSTA and SESTA, Desiree’s story should be the answer why, and her story is only one among multitudes of women and children who have been bought and sold like so much merchandise on Backpage. Not only do websites that facilitate human trafficking need to be held responsible for deaths like Desiree’s, but a message also needs to be sent to every would-be pimp and trafficker who thinks they can make some quick money by selling people into sexual slavery.
In late April, 43-year-old father of seven Trinidad Bueno-Sanchez, also known as Javier Bueno, was killed during an OfferUp transaction that turned deadly. Mr. Bueno-Sanchez met a group of teens in a supermarket parking lot in Round Lake Beach, Illinois, to sell a cell phone to the teens. Instead the teens handed him only a few dollars and when Mr. Bueno-Sanchez leaned into the car to discuss the money the teens took off dragging their victim behind them. Sadly, Mr. Bueno-Sanchez fell and struck his head against the pavement. He died from his injuries three days later.
36-year-old Beth Rae Harris of Chicago got into a fight with her 23-year-old friend over a man at a club. They supposedly made up, but according to police Harris had other ideas. Harris is said to have gone out with her ‘friend’ and the friend drank heavily and crashed at Harris’ apartment. While the friend was unconscious, Harris allegedly had one or more men rape the unconscious woman out of revenge. The victim wasn’t even aware of what happened until she saw the rape being shown on her own Snapchat account. Harris was allegedly berating the victim while the woman was being raped. Witnesses were able to identify Harris through the video. The man, or men, involved in the rape have yet to be charged and the investigation is ongoing.
Is this how far we’ve fallen as a society when we’re orchestrating elaborate rape revenge plans like this over a man at a club? I’d hate to see what Harris would have done if her friend had done something more serious like not paying for her drinks or something. That’s not even mentioning the man, or men, who supposedly willingly took place in the rape of an unconscious woman. Then to further humiliate the victim, have the rape broadcast over her own Snapchat account. Who thinks of things like this?
Harris has been charged with non-consensual dissemination of sexual image and is being held on $150,000 bond. If she’s convicted, there should be a Snapchat account set up that just livestreams her prison cell 24 hours a day.
31-year-old Kevin C. Jarrett, of Kankakee, Illinois, was shot and killed in University Park, Ill., after a transaction from classifieds app LetGo turned into a robbery gone deadly. Mr. Jarrett was said to be selling his XBox on the app and his girlfriend was with him at the time of the shooting. Three suspects are said to have been involved and so far no arrests have been made at the time of this posting.
The suspect descriptions released by investigators were very vague. A witness told police they saw three people wearing all black. One of them was described as a juvenile, wearing his hair in an Afro.
Anyone with information on the shooting should go to the University Park Department or call (708) 235-4803.
This is the fourth murder connected to the LetGo app since March of this year by my calculations. That is about a murder a month. At that rate, LetGo may be spoken in the same hushed whispers as craigslist when it comes to dangerous online marketplaces.
My thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to the friends and family of Mr. Jarrett.
Hazley was also allegedly prostituting a 19-year-old the same time he was turning out Desiree on Backpage. At one point, according to the unidentified 19-year-old, he made her watch him and Desiree ‘having sex’ and after Desiree died he asked the other girl to come back to work for him, saying, “Now that she’s gone, I got no money coming in.” Hazley is looking at 10 to life in federal prison. Here’s hoping it’s closer to life than it is to 10.
There’s a whole lot of ‘not caring’ in this tragic story. Rosales obviously didn’t care about the life of Desiree Robinson. Neither did Hazley except when it came to making money. Most importantly Backpage doesn’t care that 16-year-old girls are being peddled on their website as long as the pimps continue to pay for the ads. Desiree did have a family that cared for her and they still do. They’re currently suing Backpage for allowing Desiree to be prostituted. While most of these lawsuits have failed in the past, lawsuits like this may be successful in the future due to the Congressional investigation that found Backpage was editing their ads to make them appear less criminal.
The 15-year-old Chicago girl, who was gang raped on Facebook live, was threatened with a pit bull attack if she didn’t comply or if she tried to escape. Of course it would have to be a pit bull. I’m not saying that pit bulls are inherently violent dogs, but it seems like a number of criminal types own them as some kind of ghetto/trailer status symbol.
In other news about the brutal assault, the 15-year-old suspect who turned himself in, was accompanied by his mother at the time of his arrest. It makes me wonder if the kid received a righteous ass beating by his mom before she dragged him to the cops. One can only hope.
Speaking of the 15-year-old suspect, his public defender argued that the suspect shouldn’t be charged with production of child porn, claiming that the 14-year-old was the main aggressor. Judge Patricia Mendoza had a very matter of fact response.
“The very nature that he’s in the video … one can assume he was manufacturing child pornography,” Mendoza said.
So far this has all been handled in juvenile court. I would imagine that prosecutors are awaiting the additional arrests and evidence before the teenage suspects are charged as adults. I can’t imagine them not charging them as adults as it would be a grave injustice if the alleged perpetrators were only held until their 21st birthday or less. Continue reading
Chicago police have announced that yesterday they arrested a 14-year-old male in connection with the gang rape of a 15-year-old girl that was livestreamed on Facebook Live. The unnamed suspect has been charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault, manufacturing child pornography and dissemination of child pornography, all of which are felonies. So far, I have yet to see any mentions of prosecutors wanting to try him as an adult, but I can’t see why they wouldn’t.
The police also announced that they have issued an arrest warrant for a 15-year-old male they also believe was involved with the rape. They expect that individual to be arrested soon. Several other teens and at least one adult are also suspected to face charges along with whoever was working the camera at the time.
Sadly, the investigation isn’t going as fast as police would have hoped since the victim has not only been severely traumatized, to say the least, but as mentioned previously, she is also being harassed by people in her neighborhood. It’s also unfortunate that the people who viewed the video as it happened and didn’t call police can’t be traced. According to this 2015 article from the Chicago Tribune, there is no law in Illinois requiring you to call 911 if you witness a crime, which is sad in itself as everyone who viewed this video and did nothing should have to face judgment for being the heartless monsters that they are.
A 15-year-old Chicago girl was dropped off at her home on March 19th after spending the weekend with her relatives. Sometime during that Sunday, the girl went missing. She didn’t return home until the following Tuesday, but before she had been found, she had been gang-raped by up to six men as it was being broadcast on Facebook Live, Facebook’s live streaming service. Up to 40 people watched the video live and not one of them reported it to police or Facebook. A teenager was able to get the video to one of the girl’s relatives who took it to a neighborhood activist who contacted police. However, the girl’s torment did not stop there.
After the victim returned home, she started receiving threats online including threats of violence. The girl and her family have since been relocated to a safe place by Chicago authorities.
So far no arrests have been made but a juvenile was taken into custody shortly after the girl was found.
This isn’t the first time Facebook has made headlines out of Chicago with these types of crimes. Back in January, four people were arrested for allegedly broadcasting the torture of a developmentally challenged man who thought one of his attackers was his friend. Also, in 2013, prior to the advent of Facebook Live, a gang of Chicago teens raped a 12-year-old girl, then posted the video to Facebook.
Not only does Chicago appear to be a city that would make Kitty Genovese roll in her grave, but for many people it seems to be a living hell on earth. It’s starting to make Detroit look like a vacation spot. Continue reading