One of the alleged murder weapons used to kill Mark “Zeb” Spencer
While the United States may lead the market in craigslist killings the market has not been cornered.
In Coomera, QLD, Australia, the body of 37-year-old Mark “Zeb” Spencer was found. Police believe that he was beaten to death after a robbery scam went horribly wrong. According to reports Mr. Spencer ordered the services of a prostitute through craigslist. Instead the prostitute and a male partner allegedly beat Spencer to death.
Authorities in Australia have arrested 33-year-old Peta Lorang-Goubran and her accomplice, 28-year-old Mark Dayney, and charged them with Spencer’s brutal murder. The pair are believed to have beaten Spencer to death with a tennis racket and a baseball bat. Investigators also say that the pair may have other victims that they have robbed in a long running scam.
So it’s just not the US where you’re taking your life into your hands by using craigslist. Even in other countries they refuse to clean up their site.
On a somewhat unrelated note, brothels are legal in Queensland while street prostitution is not and sex trafficking against people’s will does take place in the country.
There’s been a report floating around that says there have been 45 craigslist killings since 2009. That sounds about right but there have also been more since at least 2006 not to mention those killed through Backpage as well. Yet neither site really does anything to try to protect their users.
Chad Richard Hurst
Back in late October, 30-year-old Chad Richard Hurst was arrested in Jacksonville, Florida and is believed to have stabbed 28-year-old Jennalee Miles to death after arranging a ‘date’ with his victim on Backpage. Hurst is also charged with stabbing another woman from Backpage who escaped.
I’m sure Liz McDougall and Backpage just think that Hurst was exercising his right to display his knife skills.
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.
UPDATE 10/31/2014: Vann has pleaded not guilty.
Chad Marshall Wilcox
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.
Police say that Abdullah was stabbed to death by 28-year-old Agustin Rosendo Fernandez of Long Beach. Fernandez is said to have killed him in order to steal the car. Fernandez was allegedly in possession of the car at the time of his arrest.
My prayers and condolences go out to the friends and family of Abdullah Alkadi.
I’ll post more as additional details become available and as time allows.
Nathaniel Vivian, the shooter’s alleged accomplice
28-year-old Danny Zeitz was shot and killed in Sandy Springs, Georgia, on Friday while trying to sell a video game console on craigslist. Zeitz was allegedly shot by a 16-year-old girl who authorities have not named in yet another robbery gone bad.
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.
This past Thursday night 28-year-old Saul Cifuentes was shot and killed by someone posing as a craigslist seller in Houston, Texas. The victim thought he was meeting someone in order to buy a video game console, instead it turned into a robbery gone wrong. As of yet no suspect has been arrested.
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.
Ernest M. Roach
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.
UPDATE 9/20/2014: The feds have dropped charges against Roach so the state of Ohio can go forward in prosecuting Roach for murder.
I don’t know if Roach would be eligible but Ohio does have the death penalty and they’ve executed someone as recently as this year.
UPDATE 10/06/2014: Roach has entered a plea of not guilty.