Police in Happeville, Georgia have charged Tahreem Zeus Rana with allegedly shooting and killing 26-year-old Vernicia Woodard then burning her body in an attempt to destroy evidence. Before his arrest Rana was an Atlanta police officer. He reportedly met his victim on either craigslist or Backpage depending on the source. I haven’t seen any confirmation if Ms. Woodard was a prostitute but that shouldn’t matter. No one should have to bury someone who has been set on fire and possibly burned beyond recognition just so someone could try to throw investigators off their tail.
Thankfully the Happeville police thought more of Ms. Woodard’s life than her killer as they were able to track him from the internet correspondence between the two however Rana fled. He was apprehended at the Atlanta airport before he could board a flight to Mexico.
So far no motive has been given the killing. I’ll post more as details become available. To my recollection this is the first time that a supposed craigslist killer has been a cop.
Earlier today Elytte and Miranda Barbour both pleaded guilty to the murder of Troy LaFerrara. If you’ll recall the Barbour’s hatched a plan to kill someone by luring them through craigslist with promises of sex. They eventually were able to convince Mr. LaFerrera into their SUV where Elytte Barbour strangled their victim with a cord while Miranda Barbour stabbed him to death.
The pair have pleaded guilty to second-degree homicide. The main difference in Pennsylvania between first and second-degree homicide is that first=degree can get you the death penalty while second-degree limits the sentencing to life in prison. Since Pennsylvania hadn’t executed anyone in quite some time I always thought that the chances of them being sentenced to death were slim even though they probably deserve it.
According to WMAR in Baltimore, researchers are trying to find a link between Columbine and other mass shooters. I am far from a learned scholar but if you’ve been paying attention for the past 15 years it’s hard not to notice a link.
Columbine is the firs of what I call the five major school shootings in America. The others being Red Lake, Virginia Tech, NIU and Newtown. In each of those cases the shooters, Jeff Weise, Cho Seung-Hui, Stephen Kazmierczak and Adam Lanza, all had some degree of not only fascination with Columbine but in some cases sympathy or hero-worship of the killers. Weise wanted his shooting to be on the anniversary of Columbine. Cho referred to the Columbine killers as martyrs in his videotaped manifesto. Kazmierczak had an obsession with both the Columbine shooting and the Virginia Tech shooting. Lastly most recently Adam Lanza kept spreadsheets with detailed information about Columbine and other mass shootings. That’s not even mentioning other school shooters that don’t get as much attention like TJ Lane, Alvaro Castillo, Kimveer Gill, Aaron Ybarra, etc.
One researcher goes on to mention the media’s role in all this without saying if they’re to blame one way or the other. I think the media does share some of the blame as more and more media outlets try to be first rather than correct along with the sensationalist nature of today’s major news sources. Reports from these sources can sometimes be viewed as glorifying the killers.
The other thing that is a problem is the dissemination of misinformation that has perpetuated since Columbine. What’s the first thing that people think when they hear a school shooting has happened? Most people will wrongly assume that the shooter must have been bullied, yet there is no evidence that any of the six gunmen involved in the five major school shootings were bullied. Yet as I’ve said many times before this bullying trope, or myth as a I like to call it, has refused to die in the face of evidence that says otherwise.
I used to refer to people who idolized or sympathized with school shooters mutants. Since that time the internet has latched on to the term columbiners. Kids who weren’t even alive during the time of Columbine are on the internet professing their dedication to the two cowardly killers from Columbine and the others that have killed after them. Any one of them could be your kid. This is not normal behavior for anyone and will only set them down a path of destruction either for themselves or someone else. If your kid is one of these Columbiners intervene before it’s too late.
I just saw the headline to an article that read “How America’s Police Became An Army”. The answer is obvious but since it’s popular to hate cops these days no one dares say it. The criminals became armies first. Does no one remember the North Hollywood Shootout? In a nutshell back in 1997 two men attempted to rob a Bank of America branch in North Hollywood, California and outgunned the LAPD and SWAT for 44 minutes.
After that the nation was aghast that a large metropolitan police department could be overpowered like that by only two men and most communities sought to have their police departments with the ordinance they needed to fight crime. Yet when the police use that ordinance every one gets their panties in a bunch and cries ‘police state’ while most of you wouldn’t know a police state if it put a black bag over your head.
Investigators say that Hristovski placed an ad on the casual encounters section of craigslist looking to have sex with a mother and underage daughter. He received a response to his ad from a 30-year-wold woman with a 13-year-old daughter who said she was willing to entertain his sick requests. Reports say that e-mails sent from Hristovski to the mother were quite graphic and explicit. Of course the mother was actually an investigator for the Placer County Sheriff’s Department who traced his IP address to a Homeland Security owned computer. Homeland Security oversees the TSA and the TSA has terminated Hristovski’s employment. The FBI said that at the time of his arrest at his home Hristovski tried claiming that it was just a fantasy. Right, and if he showed up at a meeting point he probably would have been there to just ‘hang out’.
Just another sexual predator on craigslist who possibly could have used his government connections to do God only knows what to his victims. Yet craigslist gets yet another pass. Heaven forfend they should actually do any kind of moderation of their own site.
I really wanted to use one of those “You won’t believe what happened next” type of headlines because I think this something that all parents and kids need to see. However I refuse to stoop to those levels.
Anyway, 31-year-old Steven A. Bahr of Sheboygan, Wisconsin is accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl after she posted a pic of herself on Snapchat. For those of you who may not know Snapchat is a smartphone app where the picture someone takes is supposed to disappear after a certain amount of time, usually within seconds.
Reports say that the girl sent out a picture of herself at a local supermarket. Bahr allegedly replied to the photo asking if she wanted to ‘chill’. Bahr is said to have driven up to the girl and asked her to get in. When she refused Bahr supposedly grabbed the girl by the arm and put her in his truck. They made several stops before getting to Bahr’s place but the victim said she was afraid to ask for help. The alleged assault took place at Bahr’s residence. The girl reportedly said she was 17 on Snapchat but told Bahr that she was 15 before the assault took place.
Usually I’m not one to have problems with a victims story but I have a problem with this one. The first is that I thought someone had to be on your friends list to see your Snapchat pictures. (Please correct me if I’m wrong about that.) Was Bahr on hers? Secondly the fact that she lied about her age and didn’t ask for help during any stops make me wonder IF she voluntarily went with Bahr.
HOWEVER none of that matters because of one thing, the age of consent in Wisconsin is 18. 17, let alone 15, is well out of range of a 31-year-old man.
So parents, once again I say to you check your kids’ phones for this app. If they have it make sure you know who everyone on their friends list is. If you feel that your child should not have an app like Snapchat take steps to have it removed and blocked from the phone. I’m sure you don’t your child getting into the truck of a man in his 30s alone.
For those of you who may think I’m exaggerating about letting your kids have unfettered access to smartphone messaging apps like Kik please allow me to share something with you. The Trentonian newspaper in New Jersey claims to have had an actual pedophile call their news offices to discuss apps like Kik. He is said to have called in after reading an article about a child porn sting. What he had to say is both eye-opening and disturbing…
“There are two applications on the internet that kids go on, but adults are also on it,” said the man, who would not identify himself. “I could go on it now and probably within 20 minutes have videos, pictures, everything else in between off the app because I know they’re both still active. That’s where all the child porn is coming off of.”
The pedophile said any predator could simply download the Kik messenger app for a mobile phone, make up a bogus username, and through Kik download another app called Hit Me Up.
“With the combination of both of those apps, you go on and say ‘I like little boys between this age and this age,’ and people would start sending you pictures,” the Gloucester County man said. “Because that’s how I did it when I was doing it.”
“I made a stupid username and within five minutes, I got 20 pictures,” he said of the app that allows users to talk, browse and share content. “Kids are always on. You can even ask the kids on there to send pictures and they do. Those apps are well known in our industry.”
The fact that he refers to child porn an ‘industry’ disgusts me to no end.
As I’ve said before if your kids are using Kik on their smartphones someone would need to know their username to contact them. Unfortunately since their usernames aren’t tied to their cell numbers too many kids give out their Kik usernames freely.
I urge you to check your kids phone’s not only for the Kik app but check their friends list on the app as well. Make sure that someone like Mr. Industry isn’t soliciting them for photos.
Late last month a King County, Washington judge made the journal of the Seattle Pacific University shooter, Aaron Ybarra, public. In shootings of this nature there’s almost inevitable a journal and they almost always appear like every known school shooter is reading from the same script. Ybarra is no exception.
In the first part of the released journal Ybarra talks about how he underwent mental healthcare for two and a half years and how he felt it didn’t help. Considering he went into it on day one determined that it wouldn’t help him it’s no surprise. You can’t be helped if you don’t want to be. He also talked about how he only underwent treatment because his friends and family kept urging him to. If everyone you know is telling you to get help maybe there is actually something wrong with you.
I’ll also remind the anti-pharmaceutical Luddites that Ybarra went off his meds before attacking SPU. That doesn’t matter to them anyway because they like to play both sides of the argument. If he was on meds it was because of the meds. If he went of his meds it was because of the meds. They are the living embodiment of trying to have your cake and eat it too.
Next, Ybarra talks about all the people he wanted to get revenge on for perceived slights against him and his family. None of whom, as far as I can tell went to SPU and none of them were Paul Lee, the man who Ybarra killed. Like most school shooters Ybarra is just another coward lashing out violently against people who had nothing to do with his own inadequacies and over-inflated sense of entitlement.
Then Ybarra notated about how he scouted out SPU and how everyone was so nice and helpful to him. You think that may cause someone to reconsider their actions but not Ybarra. Like most school shooters he’s just a selfish punk looking to make a name for himself.
Lastly, on the day of the shooting he writes about how he used to feel bad about the people killed during school shootings but now he’s being guided by Eric Harris And Cho Seung-Hui. Like those who came before him Ybarra is just another unoriginal loser unable to cope with the real world.
While some may think that this is a good way to make a name for themselves in a few years his name will be forgotten. We may remember the Jesse James’ of the crime world but how many outlaws were there whose names have been forgotten to history? Continue reading →
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.
The girl was found to have several ads for prostitution on the site, according to arrest reports.
Both Wellses had user names posting ads, police said. Both admitted using their credit card to post the ads.
Such a complex scheme rivaling of some of the greatest criminal capers in history. No wait, scratch that. That’s how every ad for an trafficked teen is placed on Backpage. So what exactly does your process entail Backpage because it’s obviously not working.
I don’t know if I’ve made this offer to you yet Backpage but I’m going to make you the same one I made to craigslist. I’ll give you the solution to all this then you can pay me a tidy consulting fee. Do you know what the best way is to prevent teens from being trafficked in sexual slavery on your website? Stop publishing ads for prostitution.