This past Tuesday night 18-year-old Jawad Ali Razai was shot and killed in Durham, North Carolina, after responding to a craigslist ad for a cell phone for sale. Instead, police say, that 18-year-old Jarrion Hood shot and killed Razai during an attempt to rob him. Somehow Hood was shot as well but unfortunately survived. Hood also has been previously charged with kidnapping and assault with intent to kill.
What can I say that I haven’t already said in the past 8 years since I’ve been tracking craigslist crimes? It’s not a safe way to do any kind of business no matter what side of the transaction your on, what time of day the transaction takes place or even how public the meeting place is. If someone is determined enough to try to take what you have nothing will stop them from getting it, including a possible murder charge.
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.
Yesterday police in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania arrested 28-year-old Chad Marshall Wilcox for allegedly killing 36-year-old Manuel Hakimian of Norristown in late September. Police say that Wilcox arranged a sexual meeting with Hakimian through craigslist and when they met at Hakimian’s home Wilcox bound his victim before slashing his throat. Wilcox then went on a multi-state spending spree using his victim’s bank and credit cards. Wilcox turned himself in to police in North Carolina because he had an outstanding warrant for child rape in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania.
To whomever out there hasn’t taken the hint yet. Whether you’re gay, straight or whatever, meeting people from craigslist for any kind of romantic or sexual encounter is the worst of ideas. While the odds are not likely that you’ll meet a throat slashing child rapist they’re good enough that meeting a stranger from craigslist is more akin to playing Russian Roulette. It only takes on meeting with a craigslist predator to change your life for the worse, or end it.
I originally posted about Abdullah Alkadi here. He was the 23-year-old student from Cal State-Northridge who went missing after selling his car on craigslist. I was hoping that he would be found alive but sadly that is not the case.
While the girl’s boyfriend, 20-year-old Nathaniel Vivian, struggled with Zeitz over the console the girl is said to have fired a shot which struck Vivian in the hand before striking Zeitz in the chest killing him. The couple was in a car at the time of the shooting and had the girl’s 16-month-old baby in the back seat.
Gamer friends of Zeitz set up a GoFundMe page in order to help pay for his funeral expenses.
My thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family.
If you’re doing any kind of business on craigslist no matter where you may be the odds are pretty good that you may end up being robbed which has led to deaths in the past. I would recommend not doing business on craigslist but if you insist on doing that insist that the transaction take place during the day in front of your local police department. You can never be too safe when dealing with these kind of transactions.
Anyone with information in this case is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.
As I’ve said before since craigslist has such a low-level of entry (free) anyone can place an ad. Not to mention that craigslist users have this notion of anonymity it makes it a haven for all sorts of criminal activity. It’s not worth whatever great deal you think you’re getting.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family of the victim.
36-year-old Ernest M. Roach of Racine, Ohio was recently charged with the murder of 16-year-old Ericka Brown of Cross Lanes, West Virginia. The pair had allegedly met on craigslist for sex but unlike a lot of stories I’ve posted in the past in this case the victim is said to have posted the ad.
On Aug. 3, Brown allegedly posted to the site the ad “seeking men – w4m I’m looking for $$ ill (sic) do anything for it, I am a girl,” along with a telephone number.
Roach allegedly paid his victim twice for sex.
Ericka Brown’s body was found on the banks of the Ohio River wrapped in plastic and attached to a cinder block.
I have not yet seen a motive mentioned yet for the murder. I wonder if he was unaware of her true age and then freaked out when he found out she was 16. 16 may be the age of consent in both Ohio and West Virginia but once money changes hands it becomes child prostitution. Not to mention that Roach allegedly took her across state lines into Ohio.
Lastly I can’t stress this point enough, parents please keep tabs on your kids internet activities whether or not this means on a computer or a cell phone. As I’ve said many times in the past parents really are the only real line of defense between internet predators and your kids.
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.
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.