APD officer Tim Pipes read a series of text messages sent between Violet and Phillip on the day of Allen’s death. They showed Violet telling Phillip to find a way to get money to prevent impending homelessness and hunger. They then showed that Violet set up a meeting with a person referenced as “Clyde lick.” A Ranger testified earlier in the case that “lick” is slang for a robbery or the victim of a robbery. Another text message from Violet to Phillip says, “Choke him,” with another sent hours before Allen’s death saying, “Take him out all the way, just do it.”
Officer Allen’s death should serve as a warning to others looking to get their rocks off through craigslist. If a police officer isn’t safe from craigslist criminals, neither is anyone else. With craigslist’s low barrier of entry and implied notions of anonymity, crimes like these will only continue to occur.
You can see my first post on Veron Primus here. He’s been the main person of interest in the 2006 murder of 16-year-old Chanel Petro-Nixon. Primus had recently been arrested on murder and kidnapping charges in the island country of St. Vincent. Investigators in Brooklyn say thanks to that arrest they were able to obtain evidence that allegedly connects Primus to Chanel’s murder. Authorities in Brooklyn are not saying at this time what the evidence is but that they are looking for even more evidence.
Chanel Petro-Nixon was 16 in 2006 when she was strangled to death in Brooklyn, but to date no one has been charged with her murder. As recently as 2014 the NYPD said that they had a person of interest in her murder but could not physically connect him to the crime.
The story took a strange turn recently as the person of interest, 29-year-old Veron Primus, has been arrested on the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent for allegedly stabbing another woman to death. Primus is accused of murdering 24-year-old real estate agent Sharleen Greaves last year. Primus was a classmate of Chanel’s back in 2006 and was the last person believed to be with her before she disappeared. Primus was being questioned about the alleged kidnapping of another St. Vincent woman when, from what I understand, found evidence implicating him in the murder of Ms. Graves and possibly one other woman.
I hope for the sake of Chanel’s family that this somehow will finally allow New York police bring justice for Chanel.
I’ll post more on Primus and his more recent alleged crimes as information becomes available and time allows.
Police in Madison Heights, Michigan allege that 19-year-old Christopher Charles-Ruben King killed 59-year-old Fernando Gonzales on Halloween night. Gonzalez is said to have placed an ad on craigslist looking for a date. Sometime during the night King allegedly strangled Gonzales to death before setting fire to his house and stealing his car.
Again I don’t care what your sexual orientation is, but if you’re using craigslist for hook-ups or one night stands you’re inviting a world of trouble on yourself. Craigslist is rife with criminal activity and is no longer the friendly communal neighborhood site that it was roughly two decades ago.
The body of 27-year-old Abilene, Texas police officer Don Allen was found in his home on August 31st of this year. According to recently released court documents Allen had placed an ad on the craigslist personals that one local media outlet called too explicit for publication. Investigators believe that his alleged killers, Violet and Phillip Walter, responded to the ad. The cause of death has not yet been released but the motive may have been a simple robbery as the pair were allegedly caught pawning some of Allen’s possessions. The pair have been charged with first-degree murder.
My prayers and condolences go out to the friends and family of Officer Allen.
28-year-old Daniel Tejeda, of Providence, Rhode Island, was recently indicted on first-degree murder charges for the death of 24-year-old Ashley Masi. Masi was found unresponsive back in March by police doing a welfare check on her. Police discovered that Ms. Masi was working as a prostitute on Backpage. Investigators say that Tejada responded to her Backpage ad and somewhere along the line allegedly strangled her to death. Unfortunately Ms. Masi left behind three young children who are now in state care. Tejada is already in jail on unrelated charges.
19-year-old Afrikka Hardy is believed to have been the victim of alleged serial killer Darren Vann of Gary, Indiana. She was working as a prostitute out of nearby Chicago and was advertised on Backpage. However just because she was a prostitute doesn’t mean she deserved to be strangled to death by a serial sex offender who has allegedly confessed to killing at least 7 victims. She had family and loved ones who cared about her.
This is more blood splashed on the pages of Backpage since they facilitated the murder in my opinion but they’re not going to stop unless they’re forced to stop. Congress needs to get off its ass and update the archaic Communications Decency Act before there are more Afrikka Hardy’s. Backpage isn’t going to stop on its own while there is blood money to be made.
UPDATE 5/31/2016: Vann’s trial, which had been scheduled for July 25th, has been rescheduled for an unknown date. A hearing for the new trial date is set for August 19th. The defense requested the rescheduling stating they need more time to prepare.
UPDATE 5/3/2018:Vann has pleaded guilty to killing Afrikka Hardy and six other women. He is expected to be sentenced to life without parole later this month.
While I was off taking some downtime from the world of crime one of the most horrific craigslist related crimes happened in western Michigan. To be honest I’m having a hard time trying to come up with one that was more violent and cruel.
31-year-old Brady Oestrike of Wyoming, Michigan is believed to have killed 18-year-old Brooke Slocum and her boyfriend 25-year-old Charles Oppenneer. From what I can gather from the media reports Brooke Slocum was in contact with Oestrike through craigslist trying to set up some kind of sex for housing deal on the urging of Oppenneer. It’s unclear exactly what happened next but after the trio had met up Oppenneer’s headless body was found in a nearby park.
An investigation of Brooke’s Slocum’s computer led authorities to Oestrike. When they tried to arrest Oestrike during a high risk traffic stop he fled and shortly afterwards crashed his car. Oestrike took his own life by shooting himself before police could apprehend him. When police opened the trunk they found the body of Brooke Slocum who had been strangled to death. She was also 8 months pregnant at the time of her murder. As of yet Charles Oppenneer’s head has still not been located. Investigators are looking into whether or not Oestrike was connected to any other murders but are saying that nothing is concrete at this point. I am only scratching the surface with my description of this most disturbing crime. Please read the news links that I’ve provided below.
Now I hate to speak ill of the dead and especially a victim of such a violent crime but I have to wonder if maybe Brook was being turned out on craigslist by her boyfriend. Brooke’s own father even said that her relationship with Oppenneer was not healthy…
“I know that love is not manipulation; love is unconditional and that wasn’t the case,” Slocum said. “My daughter deserved better than that.”
I’ve posted more than one story on this site concerning craigslist where boyfriends or husbands have manipulated their significant others into prostitution or pimps have caused women and girls to believe they were their boyfriends while the pimps were just using them as their prostitutes. I’m not saying I’m 100% certain that this is what happened but it is definitely one avenue to explore.
Lastly, once again I find myself trying to warn people to the dangers of craigslist especially when it comes to the seedier parts of the site like the personals and the casual encounters section. Horrible and vicious people like Oestrike are out there waiting for an opportunity to find a victim that craigslist basically brings to their door. I urge you to not be that victim.
UPDATE 11/3/2016: Recently, police in Wyoming, Michigan, released all their records of the investigation into the murders under the Freedom of Information act. There is a plethora of information released that shows just how much of a sadistic psychopath Oestrike was. This murder was so grisly I really don’t want to go into recounting it but I will leave you with a number of links that document the police investigation. JUst the headlines alone show what kind of monster Oestrike was.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 8 years since the murder of 16-year-old Chanel Petro-Nixon of Brooklyn. In June of 2006 Chanel’s body was found in a garbage bag after having been strangled to death. At that time of her death police were looking into Chanel’s MySpace account for any possible clues. Since that time no one has been arrested for her murder.
The article I linked to does mention something that I had not had heard about until now. Police do have a person of interest in Chanel’s murder. On the day of Chanel’s disappearance she was supposed to meet a boy. When questioned the boy said that Chanel stood her up. That boy is now in prison for violating a restraining order taken out by a former girlfriend. He was also charged twice with rape but was acquitted both times. To me that sounds a lot like where there’s smoke there’s fire but police have not been able to physically connect him to the crime. That’s why police say they need the public’s help.
The Mayor’s office, NYPD, and Crime Stoppers have joined forces to offer a $22,000 reward to anyone with information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case. The number to dial with a tip is 1-800-577-TIPS. All calls are treated confidentially.
“There are people that have information,” Detective Scandole told PIX 11. “And they may believe that information is not important and it may seem inconsequential. But to us, it could be the one thing that ties it together. It’s like we’re putting together a jigsaw puzzle and we’re missing that one piece.”
I pray that the Nixon family will find justice and peace very soon.
In Naperville, Illinois, Charles Clark posted an ad on craigslist looking for a roommate in mid to late January. Police say that the ad was responded to by 21-year-old Grant Van Muren. The pair signed a lease agreement and Muren moved in.
Eight hours later Muren allegedly strangled Clark to death, took his money and tried to burn down the house to cover up the crime scene. What struck me about this story was the way Muren tried to burn the house down.
Police say that Muren opened up the gas on the oven and placed their lease agreement in a toaster before fleeing. If that sounds familiar because it was what Matt Damon did in one of the Jason Bourne movies. Muren obviously doesn’t watch Mythbusters or else he would have known that particular way of causing an explosion was busted. It hasn’t stopped the police from charging him with arson in addition to Clark’s murder.
If you’re looking for a roommate I’d recommend using something that’s more reliable than craigslist. Granted there are millions of transactions that take place on craigslist every day without incident you have to keep the plane crash correlation in mind. What I mean by that is we always hear about the planes crashing but never hear about the number of planes that deliver their passengers safely every day. However if one airline had as many crashes as craigslist has had killings that airline wouldn’t be in business anymore.
UPDATE 5/5/2014:Muren is now trying to claim self defense. He says that the victim tried to gouge his eyes out and that’s why he killed him. I’m sure the robbery and the attempt at burning down the house was just coincidental.