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.
Brooke Slocum’s family have set up a GoFundMe in order to help pay for her and her unborn child Audi’s funeral expenses if you’d like to donate.
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.
Thanks to Soobs for the tip.
Craigslist Killings: Father of victim says she was in unhealthy relationships
Craigslist murders: Wyoming police release investigation timeline
Pregnant teen strangled, boyfriend decapitated in Craigslist sex case
Exclusive: Photos inside home of suspected Craigslist Killer
Jessica Heeringa investigators look into Craigslist Killings
Brooke & Baby Audi Funeral Services GoFundMe
Man sentenced to life for killing 4 Michigan women:
Backpage.com killer stays in cell on sentencing day:
This past Tuesday 26-year-old James Brown, of Sterling Heights, Michigan, was sentenced to life without parole for the murders of Renesha Landers, 23, and Demesha Hunt, 24, Natasha Curtis, 29, and Vernithea McCrary, 28. If you haven’t been following the story Brown killed the women after answering their advertisements on Backpage. The four victims were working as prostitutes but that shouldn’t devalue their lives or Brown’s sentencing.
In pairs Brown left their bodies in abandoned cars in Detroit although the murders took place at his home. One of the cars he lit on fire in an attempt to destroy evidence.
Like the coward that he is Brown stayed in his cell rather than go to court to face his sentence. I mean, how bad do you have to be for a Michigan judge to say that he wished that Brown could have been sentenced to more than just life. This coming from a state that has never had a death penalty since it was accepted into the Union.
Yet Backpage’s business continues unabated like the victims never existed or had family and friends that loved them. I’m sure you’re tired of me saying this but every penny they make from the prostitution ads is nothing but blood money. Hopefully one day there will be a reckoning for Backapge and its owners Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin.
Backpage murderer Brown convicted on all counts:
Yesterday James Brown of Sterling Heights, Michigan was convicted on four counts of murder. Brown killed Renesha Landers, 23, and Demesha Hunt, 24, Natasha Curtis, 29, and Vernithea McCrary, 28, after finding them advertising on Backpage. While these women may have been working as prostitutes it doesn’t change the fact that they had families and people who loved them as shown by their attendance in court.
After asphyxiating his victims in pairs at his home he would put their bodies in the trunk of the cars they arrived in and abandoned them near an interstate. He set the car on fire that Natasha Curtis and Vernithea McCrary were found in.
Brown will receive a mandatory sentence of life without parole as Michigan has no death penalty. That’s right, the state that contains Detroit has no death penalty.
At the time of the murders Backpage almost broke their arms patting themselves on the back claiming they helped in the investigation rather than taking any kind of responsibility for the fact that the money they make from the ads of these four woman, and any other woman advertised on their site, is nothing but blood money.
Murder charge in Kzoo Dumpster beating:
Man who was beaten, left in dumpster, dies:
26-year-old Drew Thorngate of Kalamazoo, Michigan, was recently charged with the alleged murder of 30-year-old Francisco Veloz Padilla. Originally Thorngate was only charged with assaulting Padilla but unfortunately Mr. Padilla died from his injuries almost a month after the assault.
According to police Padilla had requested massage services through Thorngate’s craigslist ad but stood Thorngate up. So when the pair finally met it’s alleged that Thorngate beat Padilla with a baseball bat before leaving him in a dumpster. Thorngate is also said to have left the scene and then returned with bleach to clean up the scene and doused Mr. Padilla in bleach also.
Again, it doesn’t matter which side of the craigslist transaction you’re on. If you’re doing any kind of business on craigslist you’re taking your life in your hands.
UPDATE 12/9/2014: Thorngate has been unanimously convicted of first degree murder meaning that he’ll more than likely be sentenced to life when he is sentenced in January.
Backpage.com ads for sex ‘dates’ with 14-year-old lead to federal charges for Saginaw woman:
Back in January the FBI received a tip that an ad on Backpage for Saginaw, Michigan was for a 14-year-old girl. When investigators conducted a sting to find the girl they also arrested 20-year-old Desiree Poole for allegedly prostituting the girl on Backpage.
Poole allegedly tried using the excuse that she thought the girl was 16. Now where have we heard that kind of defense before? Oh, that’s right usually from sexual predators who get caught. It seems that pimps/traffickers and child predators tend to use the same kind of tactics to groom their victims.
Poole is looking at 10 years behind bars on federal child sex trafficking charges and no one at Backpage is facing any kind of repercussions whatsoever.
Deante L. Brown
Task force busts alleged online prostitution ring at Southfield hotel:
26-year-old Deante L. Brown of Detroit, Michigan is facing federal charges of sex trafficking after he allegedly prostituted several women on Backpage. What makes this story even more tragic than usual is one of the women he was prostituting. I can’t do her plight justice so I’ll quote the article.
“April” turned out to be an alias for a former Eastern Michigan University teaching student who developed a blood disorder that resulted in her losing multiple fingers, court records show. After the amputation, she became addicted to pain-killers, heroin and crack cocaine and turned to prostitution because she believed she had “no place to go and no one to turn to for help,” according to court records.
She says that Brown turned her out at a hotel in the Detroit suburb of Southfield, Michigan where she was forced to have sex with men sometimes ten times a day. In return Brown would giver her a baggie of crack for each date and that Brown would not allow her to sleep. She says that was the only way she could get through it. When police set up sting she told them that there is a large group at the motel involved in sex and drug trafficking. Brown was arrested when he returned to the hotel room.
Again this should go as the ultimate myth buster when it comes to consenting adults. A lot of times pimps and traffickers use women who are already hooked on drugs or get them hooked on drugs to work for them. This is a practice you’re supporting when you use a prostitute and try to justify it to yourself by claiming they’re consenting.
Also in this article an FBI agent stated that Backpage is not part if the problem.
“Backpage really isn’t to blame. … It’s the exploiters out there who are taking advantage of the minors and these females,” said Edward Price, an FBI officer with the task force. He noted that several media outlets run adult material and escort ads, which are not illegal.
While I’m not going to call for Agent Price’s badge I have to vehemently disagree with him. While some other publications may carry ads for prostitution none of them have as many and make as much money on them as Backpage. Brown was said to have kept most of the money that April earned so the only people making money off of her were Brown and Backpage. To me that makes them 100% complicit in the sex trafficking trade. It’s sad to see that an FBI agent can’t see this.
Muskegon man arrested after allegedly trying to entice young girl on Craigslist into starring in pornographic film:
Wow, it’s just a veritable cornucopia of craigslist creepers today isn’t it?
This particular creeper is 22-year-old Joseph Alan Geissinger, of Muskegon, Michigan. He was arrested by his local police department for allegedly trying to solicit a 16-year-old girl through craigslist to star in a porno that he was producing. The girl had posted an ad on craigslist offering her services as a baby sitter.
Police say that Geissinger just straight up asked her if she wanted to be in his ‘movie’. Luckily the girl told her mother who first posed as the girl then eventually contacted police. Police do not believe he’s actually made any videos but believe he may have contacted other girls.
Anyone who believes they have been contacted by Geissinger under that screen name is asked to contact the Muskegon Police Department at (231) 724-6750 or Silent Observer 72-CRIME; or Muskegon Police Detective Kory Luker, who is actively working the case, at (231) 724-6755.
He’s looking at 20 years.
Now the girl and the mom did the right thing by contacting police however under no circumstance should you allow your son or daughter to post an ad on craigslist for baby sitting. This isn’t the first time that some predator approached someone through a non-sexual ad. The one story that always sticks out in my mind is the one about the handyman who was approached by someone who wanted to have sex with his kids. These are the kind of dregs that permeate craigslist. Why people still consider to business on it is beyond me.
Ind. woman charged with promoting juvenile prostitution in Lansing:
That not-so-hot mess up there is 20-year-old Jacqueline Clark of Muncie, Indiana. She was arrested in Lansing, Michigan for promoting juvenile prostitution. It seems that Ms. Clark transported a 17-year-old girl from Muncie to Lansing which is a 200+ mile trip and it crosses state lines. She is also accused of advertising the minor girl on…wait for it…you might be surprised…ok you won’t be..the Village Voice Media owned backpage.com.
This brings us two interesting points. Women are just as capable, and sometimes even more capable, as men when it comes to the sex trafficking of others.
Secondly, and this is becoming an ad nauseam point to say the least, once again we have a minor slipping through backpage’s multi-million dollar screening process which in my opinion is about as thorough as an age check at the former Neverland Ranch.
You are not fooling anybody backpage. The only advantage that you have is that most of the public are uninformed of your practices. It’s my goal to change that even if it has to be one person at a time.
Backpage crime post #202
Prostitution/Human Trafficking post #790
Judge doesn’t buy that teen girls were willing sex workers, pimp gets serious prison time:
25-year-old Marcus Manning was sentenced to 15 to 40 years in a Grand Rapids, Michigan court recently. He was convicted of pimping out two underage girls on the Village Voice Media owned backpage.com. What really got my goat bout Manning is what he said about his victims in court.
First off he couldn’t get their ages straight. According to the judge the girls were 17 and 15. Manning said that the girls were 16 and 18 and that the older one was his girlfriend. This is S.O.P. for pimps. They tell at least one of their victims that she’s his girlfriend while selling her for sex.
Manning’s defense attorney said that “They were not victims, they were accomplices.” Never mind the fact that Manning took the 17-year-old girl and her friend from Florida by saying he wanted his ‘girlfriend’ to meet his family. Apparently his family is a bunch of twisted pervs willing to pay money for sex with underage girls.
This is nothing new. As M told me most pimps, just like Village Voice Media says, think they have a Constitutional right to sell these girls like slaves. Again these pimps mist have not read the 13th Amendment.
Marcus Manning is just one of the multitudes of human traffickers out there collecting money for the repeated rapes of underage girls.
Yet more people are willing to share a video of some powerless African warlord rather than spreading the message about our country’s children being sold as sex slaves on a website owned by a newspaper company.
Backpage crime post #199
Prostitution/Human Trafficking post #787
Camden Named 2nd Most Dangerous City in America:
I thought Camden, New Jersey would have been a lock to ‘win’ the not so prestigious title of America’s most dangerous city. After coming in 2nd to last year’s champion, St. Louis, Camden went on to lay off half of its police and firemen. As expected crime skyrocketed in an already crime plagued city.
The only time I’ve ever been to Michigan was a layover in the Detroit airport but if Flint is ranked higher than Camden it must really be a pit.